|Name(s) The Authority|
Debut August 18, 2013
Years active 2013–2016
member(s) See below|
Disbanded May 1, 2016
The Authority was a villainous professional wrestling stable in WWE, which originated due to Triple H helping Randy Orton win the WWE Championship from Daniel Bryan at the 2013 SummerSlam pay-per-view.
The stable was led by company executives Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Many other wrestlers were a part of the group, including Seth Rollins as "The Man" until suffering a knee injury in November 2015, Kane as the "Director of Operations" until October 2015 and Randy Orton as The Authority's hand-picked champion and "Face of the WWE" until November 2014. The Shield formerly acted as The Authority's main henchmen to offer protection or carry out attacks until March 2014.
The name of "The Authority" was introduced in October 2013 and initially referred to only Triple H and Stephanie McMahon as a power couple. The Authority shared similarities with The Corporation and The McMahon-Helmsley Faction, and has also had ties to Triple H's previous stables D-Generation X and Evolution.
The stable's run ended after WrestleMania 32 when Triple H was dethroned as WWE World Heavyweight Champion by Roman Reigns, and Shane McMahon received authority to run Raw.
From June 2013, members of the McMahon family began to dispute various elements of the control of WWE, such as the fates of Daniel Bryan, as well as Raw and SmackDown General Managers Brad Maddox and Vickie Guerrero, respectively. On the July 15 episode of Raw, John Cena chose Bryan as his opponent for his WWE Championship defense at SummerSlam. In the following weeks, Mr. McMahon repeatedly offered Bryan a corporate makeover, which Bryan consistently refused. Triple H subsequently announced himself as the special guest referee for the match.
At SummerSlam, Bryan defeated Cena to win the WWE Championship. After the match, Triple H gave Bryan a Pedigree, allowing Randy Orton to cash in his Money in the Bank contract. The next night on Raw, Orton had a championship coronation along with Mr. McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H, with Triple H inviting Bryan to the ring to clear the air from the night before. This was a ruse, as Orton attacked Bryan and cemented the formation of the group. That same night, The Shield began to work for Triple H as his enforcers. Kane also joined The Authority as the "Director of Operations".
During this time, The Authority were also feuding with Big Show, who as well as Bryan, was voicing his displeasure of Triple H's regime. As punishment for this, Show was placed in a 3-on-1 tornado handicap match against The Shield, which Show lost. He was then forced to sit at ringside during his friends' matches and watch them being attacked by members of The Authority at the risk of being fired. The Authority later claimed that Show was broke (kayfabe) and forced him to knock out the likes of Bryan and The Miz, again at the risk of being "fired". At Battleground, Show interfered in the WWE Championship match between Bryan and Orton and knocked out both of them, sending a message to The Authority and causing the match to end in a no contest. The following night on Raw, Show was "fired" by The Authority after he announced he was ordered to only knock out Bryan the night before. Following this, Show knocked out Triple H before being escorted by officials out of the arena. After Stephanie McMahon took possession of Show's house and Triple H banned him from WWE for life (kayfabe), Show began to run-in and attack various superstars over the next several weeks until the November 4 episode of Raw, when The Authority was forced by the Board of Directors to give Show whatever he wanted in return for not suing the company. Show asked for his job back and a WWE Championship match against Orton at Survivor Series, which he received. At the pay-per-view, Orton successfully retained his title.
The Authority were also involved in a short feud with Cody Rhodes, after Rhodes also spoke out against Triple H's authoritarian rule. Rhodes was forced in a match against Orton on the September 2 episode of Raw, with his job on the line, which he lost and was fired after the match. Over the next few weeks, his brother Goldust tried and win his job back, losing to Orton on an episode of Raw, while his father Dusty Rhodes, after confronting Stephanie McMahon, was knocked out unwillingly by Big Show while pleading for his sons to get their jobs back. At Battleground, Rhodes won his job back after teaming up with Goldust by defeating Shield members Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns in a non-title match. On the October 14 episode of Raw, The Rhodes Brothers defeated Rollins and Reigns again in a no disqualification match for the WWE Tag Team Championship after an attack by Big Show.
Orton continued to feud with Bryan over the WWE Championship. At Night of Champions, Bryan defeated Orton to win the title. However, the following night on Raw, Triple H stripped Bryan of the title due to a fast 3-count by referee Scott Armstrong. Orton and Bryan competed for the vacated WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell, where Orton won back the title after special guest referee Shawn Michaels superkicked Bryan, allying himself with The Authority.
On the November 25 episode of Raw, Orton's long time rival, then World Heavyweight Champion John Cena, suggested that there should only be "one champion" in WWE. Triple H announced a unification match at TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, where Orton defeated Cena in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match to unify his WWE Championship with Cena's World Heavyweight Championship, which ultimately created the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Orton defeated Cena again in a rematch at Royal Rumble after interference by The Wyatt Family. At Elimination Chamber, Orton retained his title in the Elimination Chamber match by defeating Cena, Sheamus, Bryan, Christian and Cesaro.
Bryan's feud with The Authority intensified due to Authority members getting involved in Bryan's matches. This led to Bryan challenging Triple H to a match at WrestleMania XXX, with Triple H initially refusing. Triple H finally accepting the challenge on the March 10 episode of Raw, after Bryan rallied dozens of his fans to occupy the ring. Triple H later added a stipulation where the winner of their match would be placed in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship later that night, making it a triple threat match. At WrestleMania XXX, Bryan defeated Triple H, and later that night, he defeated Orton and Batista to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The next night on Raw, Triple H challenged Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but after Bryan was attacked by Orton, Batista, and Kane before the match, The Shield interfered and attacked The Authority. As punishment, the following week on Raw, The Shield competed in an 11-on-3 handicap match, and after they were assaulted by all eleven superstars, the match was declared a no contest. Following the match, Orton, Batista, and Triple H reunited as Evolution and attacked The Shield. Meanwhile, Stephanie McMahon and Kane continued to feud with Bryan. At Extreme Rules, The Shield defeated Evolution and Bryan defeated Kane to retain his title.
The following night on Raw, Triple H forced Dean Ambrose to defend his United States Championship in a 20-man battle royal, with Ambrose being eliminated last by Sheamus, losing his title. The Authority began pressuring Bryan to give up the WWE World Heavyweight Championship as he suffered a legit neck injury and was not physically cleared to compete, but Bryan refused. At Payback, after threatening to "fire" Bryan's wife Brie Bella after Stephanie McMahon viewed Brie shoving her as "assault", Brie instead "quit" before slapping Stephanie. That same night, Evolution were once again defeated by The Shield in a No Holds Barred elimination six-man tag team match.
The following night on Raw, Batista, frustrated with not receiving a proper one-on-one match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, "quit" WWE in the process for a second time. Later in the night, before a match between Roman Reigns and Randy Orton, Rollins was revealed as Triple's H "Plan B" when he attacked both Ambrose and Reigns with steel chairs, thus turning on The Shield and rejoining The Authority. On the June 9 episode of Raw, Bryan's doctor stated Bryan was not clear to compete yet; therefore, The Authority stripped Bryan of the title. That same night, The Authority created a six-man ladder match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank, with them adding Orton to the match. On the June 23 episode of Raw, The Authority also added Kane to the match. Meanwhile, Seth Rollins began to feud with former Shield teammate Dean Ambrose, and on the June 17 episode of Main Event, acting on behalf of The Authority, Rollins announced a traditional Money in the Bank ladder match, also naming himself as the first entrant. At the pay-per-view, Rollins won the Money in the Bank contract by defeating Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Rob Van Dam and Jack Swagger; however, both Orton and Kane were unsuccessful in winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which was won by Cena. At Battleground, Rollins defeated Ambrose by forfeit after Ambrose was ejected from the arena by Triple H and both Orton and Kane were once again unsuccessful in winning the title from Cena in a fatal four-way match, also involving Roman Reigns.
Bryan took time off from the WWE to recover from his injury, so Stephanie McMahon began feuding with The Bella Twins by constantly putting Nikki in handicap matches. Brie returned to WWE on the July 21 episode of Raw, appearing in the crowd as a fan, with Stephanie being arrested for battery after slapping Brie and for resisting arrest (kayfabe). That same night, Triple H chose Cena's opponent for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam; after seemingly choosing Orton, Orton was attacked by Reigns. Brock Lesnar then made his return to WWE to align with The Authority and Triple H chose Lesnar to face Cena instead. At SummerSlam, Orton was defeated by Reigns; however, Rollins defeated Ambrose in a lumberjack match, Stephanie defeated Brie after Nikki turned on her sister and aligned herself with Stephanie, and Lesnar defeated Cena to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The following night on Raw, Rollins kayfabe injured Ambrose after being placed in a Falls Count Anywhere match following interference by Kane and Rollins. This led to Rollins feuding with Reigns; however, Reigns legitimately suffered a hernia injury requiring surgery. At Night of Champions, Rollins declared himself winner by forfeit due to Reigns' injury, leading to Ambrose returning attempting to attack Rollins, though he would be escorted from the arena by security. Later on in the night, Rollins interfered in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match between Lesnar and Cena, attempting to cash in his Money in the Bank contract, but was stopped by Cena before the bell rang and Lesnar remained the champion. In September, Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble were seen taking orders from Triple H and used in segments throughout the show. They were later confirmed to be working for The Authority, mainly being placed as personal security for Rollins known as J&J Security. Over the next few weeks, tension appeared between Orton and Rollins, with Rollins attacking Orton following one of his matches. At Hell in a Cell, Orton was defeated by Cena in a Hell in a Cell match; however, Rollins defeated Ambrose in another Hell in a Cell match following interference by Bray Wyatt.
The following night on the October 27 episode of Raw, Orton attacked Rollins to get revenge for Rollins attacking him before. Orton performed an RKO on Rollins, before defying The Authority. Later that night, The Authority tried to get Cena to join them, only for Cena to refuse. This led to Triple H challenging Cena to a traditional Survivor Series tag team elimination match at Survivor Series. On the November 3 episode of Raw, Mr. McMahon announced that if Team Authority lost the match, they would be out of power. Later that night, Orton was defeated by Rollins and, following the match, Kane, Noble and Mercury attacked Orton, removing him from action. In the weeks leading up to Survivor Series, The Authority secured the final spots on their team with Mark Henry, Rusev and Luke Harper, all aligning with The Authority, while Cena chose Big Show, Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus for his team, leaving one final spot to fill. However, on the November 17, episode of Raw, Sheamus suffered a legitimate injury, removing him from the match. Later that night, during a confrontation with The Authority and their hand-picked team, Cena was joined by Erick Rowan and Ryback, completing his team for Survivor Series. On the November 21 episode of SmackDown, Triple H announced that if Team Cena were to lose the match, every member of Cena's team, except Cena himself, would be fired.
At Survivor Series on November 23, Mr. McMahon returned to add a final stipulation to the match; if Team Authority were to lose, only Cena would have the power to restore the in-ring jobs of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. During the match, Big Show turned on his team by knocking out Cena and being counted out of the match, aligning himself with The Authority out of fear of losing the match and being fired again. Despite this power shift and with only one member of Cena's team remaining (Ziggler), Sting made his WWE debut and attacked both The Authority's crooked referee Scott Armstrong and Triple H, giving Ziggler the chance to pin Rollins and gain the win for Team Cena, thus ending The Authority's control over WWE. After Survivor Series, Triple H and Stephanie returned to WWE's headquarters, with the remaining members of The Authority still associating with each other, often referred to by the announcers as "the remnants of The Authority".
At TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Big Show defeated Erick Rowan in the first ever Steel Stairs match, but Kane was defeated by Ryback in a Chairs match and Rollins lost to Cena in a Tables match to determine the #1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after interference from the returning Roman Reigns.
On the December 29 episode of Raw, Rollins attacked guest hosts Christian and Edge, with the help of Show and J&J Security, and held Edge hostage. When Cena attempted a rescue, Rollins threatened to break Edge's neck unless Cena brought back The Authority. After Cena relented and aquieced to Rollins' demand, Rollins, Show and J&J Security attacked Cena as Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, accompanied by Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman, emerged onto the entrance ramp to celebrate their return.
On the January 5 episode of Raw, The Authority punished each member of Team Cena; Ziggler was defeated by Bad News Barrett for the Intercontinental Championship in a two out of three falls match; Rowan was by Harper, with J&J Security as special guest referees; and Ryback was defeated by Rollins and Kane in a handicap match. Later that night, The Authority, during what they called "John Cena Appreciation Night", invited Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback into the ring with Cena, only to (kayfabe) fire all three men. Cena then attempted to win their jobs back and was defeated by Rollins in a lumberjack match. On the January 19 episode of Raw, Cena defeated Rollins, Kane and Show in a 3-on-1 handicap match, once again with the help of Sting, thereby reinstating Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback's jobs.
At Royal Rumble, Rollins was unsuccessful in winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Lesnar in a triple threat match also involving Cena. In the Royal Rumble match, both Big Show and Kane were unsuccessful after Roman Reigns eliminated both men at the same time. At Fastlane, Rollins, Kane and Show defeated Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback in a six-man tag team match. Following the match, Randy Orton made his return, attacking J&J Security and Kane. Later that night, Triple H had a face to face confrontation with Sting, which ended in a brawl. Sting issued a challenge to Triple H for a match at WrestleMania 31, which Triple H accepted. The following night on Raw, The Authority attempted to persuade a returning Orton to rejoin them following his attack of Authority personnel, though Orton did not give a direct answer until the group met up backstage. Orton agreed to rejoin the stable, and he and Rollins were subsequently booked in a tag team match for later that night against Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns. The loss Orton and Rollins suffered in the match further exacerbated tension between the two. The tension finally reached a head a few weeks later when Orton refused a tag from Rollins and left the ring during a match with Reigns, revealing that he only rejoined The Authority to get revenge on Rollins for his curb stomp. Orton then put Rollins through an announce table with an RKO.
At WrestleMania 31, The Authority scored several victories; Triple H defeated Sting in Sting's WWE debut match, and Big Show won the 30-man André the Giant Memorial battle royal. After losing his singles match against Orton earlier in the night, Rollins cashed his Money in the Bank contract during the main event between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, making it a triple threat match, becoming a world champion for the first time and bringing the title back to The Authority. At Extreme Rules, Rollins defeated Orton in a steel cage match to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, while Big Show lost to Roman Reigns in a Last Man Standing match. Show took a brief hiatus from WWE afterwards, quietly leaving The Authority in the process. On the April 27 episode of Raw, it was announced, by vote on the WWE App, that Rollins would defend the title against Orton and Reigns in a triple threat match at Payback, which was later turned into a fatal four-way match including Dean Ambrose on the May 4 episode of Raw, after Ambrose defeated Rollins. By that time, signs of dissension were shown between Rollins and Kane; however, after Triple H announced on the May 11 episode of Raw that Kane would no longer be the WWE Director of Operations if Rollins lost the title at Payback, at the event Kane helped Rollins retain the title. On the May 18 episode of Raw, Ambrose challenged Rollins to a match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Elimination Chamber, but Rollins refused. Later in the night, Ambrose attacked Rollins until The Authority granted Ambrose a title match against Rollins at the event. Ambrose defeated Rollins by disqualification; therefore Ambrose didn't win the title. After the match, Ambrose took the title belt. During the Raw after Elimination Chamber, Big Show returned alone and quietly separated from the Authority. At Money in the Bank, Rollins defeated Ambrose in a ladder match to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. On the June 15 episode of Raw, The Authority reinstated Brock Lesnar, who returned to the WWE and invoked his rematch clause (after losing the title to Rollins at WrestleMania 31) to face Rollins at Battleground for the championship. On the July 6 episode of Raw, when Lesnar destroyed J&J Security's, Cadillac Escalade, which Rollins gifted, both Noble and Mercury were injured by Lesnar in the storyline; this resulted in them being out of action indefinitely. A week later, during the contract signing for the match on the July 13 episode of Raw, Rollins and Kane attempted to attack Lesnar, but Lesnar thwarted them by executing a F-5 to Kane to the floor and later kayfabe injuring Kane's ankle using a steel step. After Lesnar left, Rollins blamed Kane for the failure of the attack attempt and further exacerbated his ankle injury by attacking him. With this move, Kane was also left out of action indefinitely and this left The Authority with only three active members in Rollins, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon. At Battleground, Rollins retained the championship when The Undertaker interfered and attacked Lesnar, causing a disqualification in Lesnar's favor. At SummerSlam, Rollins faced John Cena in a "Winner Takes All" match where Cena's United States Championship was also on the line. Rollins was successful when Jon Stewart, the former host of The Daily Show and the host of SummerSlam (who had been involved in a brief feud with Rollins in February) interfered on Rollins' behalf, thus making Rollins a double champion. At Night of Champions, however, Rollins learned he had to defend both of this newly won titles in one night. Cena enacted his rematch clause to regain the United States Championship, while Rollins successfully defended the World Heavyweight Championship against the returning Sting, who suffered a legitimate neck injury in the match that would force him to retire early the following year. At the end of the night, Rollins was attacked by Sheamus, the then Mr. Money in the Bank, followed by a vengeful Demon Kane. Upon returning to the Authority, Kane began playing mind games with Rollins and the Authority members, acting completely ignorant as to his actions at Night of Champions. He then ambushed and attacked Rollins on several occasions as Demon Kane, causing the Authority to grant Kane a World Heavyweight Championship title match at Hell in a Cell, in which both Rollins' title and Kane's job as Director of Operations were at stake. Rollins retained the title and Kane was removed permanently from the Authority.
On November 4 at a live event in Dublin, Ireland, during a match with Kane, Rollins suffered legitimate tears in his right ACL, MCL, and medial meniscus, and must undergo surgery and be out for 6–9 months. As a result, he was forced to vacate the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on November 5. On the following episode of Raw, Triple H announced a tournament to crown a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, then introduced Roman Reigns, who he gave the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, then told Reigns it could be his if he replaced Rollins as the "Face of the Authority". He declined the offer, leading to Triple H "remembering why he chose Rollins and not Reigns" and put him in a match against Authority loyalist Big Show, who was defeated, forcing Triple H to find a new member to replace Rollins. At Survivor Series, Sheamus cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and defeated newly crowned champion Reigns, after he refused to shake hands with Triple H, to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, thus aligning with Triple H and The Authority. On the November 30 episode of Raw, Sheamus announced that he had formed his own stable called The League of Nations along with King Barrett (England), Alberto Del Rio (Mexico), and Rusev (Bulgaria). This new stable – with the theme of all members having been born and becoming stars overseas – remained associates of The Authority, while becoming its own entity.
At TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Sheamus retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Roman Reigns in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. After the match, Reigns "snapped" following his loss and attacked Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and Rusev. Triple H came to the ring to calm Reigns down and tend to Sheamus, but as he did so Reigns attacks him as well that left him injured and out of action in the storyline. Following Reigns's attack on Triple H, Mr. McMahon took temporary leadership of The Authority in Triple H's absence and gave Reigns a title match on Sheamus's request on the December 14 episode of Raw, but gave the stipulation that should Reigns fail to win the title, he would be fired (kayfabe). Despite McMahon and The League of Nations interfering on Sheamus's behalf, Reigns knocked out McMahon and pinned Sheamus to win back the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The Authority began their 2016 campaign by forcing Roman Reigns to defend the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Sheamus on the January 4, 2016 episode of Raw with Mr. McMahon serving as the special guest referee to ensure that Reigns would lose the championship. Despite McMahon's attempts to "screw" him during the match, Reigns retained after knocking out McMahon and corrupt referee Scott Armstrong. In retaliation, McMahon announced after the match that Reigns would defend his title against 29 other men in the Royal Rumble match at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. At the event, Triple H made his return, got his revenge on Reigns by eliminating him, and won the Royal Rumble match and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship by lastly eliminating Dean Ambrose. On the February 22 episode of Raw, Mr. McMahon presented the "Vincent J. McMahon Legacy of Excellence" award to Stephanie. Before she could start her acceptance speech, Shane McMahon returned for the first time since 2009 and demanded to gain control of Raw, claiming The Authority was running the company to the ground. Mr. McMahon accepted the offer, only if he won one more match. Shane accepted, and Mr. McMahon announced he would wrestle at WrestleMania 32 against The Undertaker inside Hell in a Cell. Later that night, in the main event match between Reigns and Sheamus, Triple H came out and he and Reigns would start brawling outside the ring. Triple H proceeded to smash Reigns' face onto the announce table, (kayfabe) breaking Reigns' nose, and ending the attack with a Pedigree onto the steel steps. On March 12 at Roadblock, Triple H successfully defended the title against Ambrose, securing his place in the main event of WrestleMania 32 against Reigns, to whom he lost the title on April 3. On the post-WrestleMania episode of Raw on April 4, Mr. McMahon opened the show to announce that his returning son, Shane McMahon, would run Raw for one night only. However, Shane continued to run Raw due to "overwhelming fan support" until the April 25 episode of Raw, when Stephanie McMahon returned to announce that Mr. McMahon would decide who'd permanently control Raw at Payback. Mr. McMahon announced that both Stephanie and Shane would run Raw together on a permanent basis, thus disbanding The Authority. On August 29, 2016 during a Fatal Four Way Elimination match for the vacant WWE Universal Championship on Monday Night Raw, Triple H barged in from the barricade and pedigreed Roman Reigns and helped Seth Rollins pin him. Just as when Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins were the last two standing (minus Big Cass who was eliminated first), Triple H pedigreed Seth Rollins and helped Kevin Owens win the vacated title. The COO had made a short appearance at Clash of Champions picking up his wife Stephanie leaving the arena.
On January 28 during a live taping of NXT Takeover: San Antonio, Seth Rollins interrupted programming exacting revenge on Triple H for costing him the chance of winning the WWE Universal Championship back in August 2016. An enraged Triple H appeared with security to get Seth off the premises. Two nights later, Triple H announced that he was doing trying to make a new Seth Rollins as he called in his destroyer, Samoa Joe. Joe proceeded to injure Seth causing Rollins several weeks of action and warned Seth in March to not appear at Wrestlemania 33; a defiant Seth Rollins instead challenged Triple H stating "it will be the last thing you ever do". On March 13 during a verbal confortation between Triple H Stephanie and then general manager, Mick Foley, Triple H was a victim to Mr. Socko but Stephanie low blow Mick from behind. Seth Rollins, walking with a crutch, entered the ring and attacked Triple H. Forgetting how intelligent Triple H was (earning the nickname, the Cerebral Assassin in years past); The COO used the crutch to further damage the semi-recovered knee of Seth Rollins and to add more insult to injury, Triple H borrowed a submission move out of Raw Commentator Corey Graves' book, the Lucky 13. Seth's knee was re-injured. On March 20, Mick Foley had reading cards speaking of an apology but his insubordination caused Stephanie to give him two words, "You're Fired", Sami Zayn tried to come into the defense of Mick but Stephanie put Sami Zayn in a match versus Samoa Joe. Zayn submitted to Joe for butting in business that wasn't his. Stephanie also targeted Bayley by putting Nia Jax in a singles match versus her in which the Triple Threat Raw Women's Championship at Wrestlemania 33 was changed into a Fatal Four Way after Nia won against Bayley.
Championships and accomplishments
1 ^ Orton's first reign and the beginning of his second reign were when the title was still known as the WWE Championship.