WWE has opened the floodgates of authority figures over the past month. Not one, not two, but three McMahons (including Triple H) have returned to a regular TV schedule.
The McMahons are currently embroiled in a passive-aggressive power struggle on Raw. Poor Vickie Guerrero, a fellow authority figure, is being used as a pawn in the ongoing family pissing contest. The result is an over crowded scene at the top of WWE.
So who really does have the most power out of this confounding stable of supervision? The situation is best sorted out using the criteria of tenure and TV time.
Brad Maddox seems to be poised for one of two things. He'll either usurp Vickie as Raw's General Manager (or whatever they're calling that title these days), or he'll finally get back into the ring with Vickie as his heat magnet a la Dolph Ziggler.
Maddox continues to take credit for major booking decisions and acquisitions on Raw, but there is much more potential in Brad Maddox, the wrestler than Brad Maddox, the authority figure.
Teddy Long continues to go through the motions on SmackDown in Booker T's absence. With Booker T as the SmackDown GM, Long plays the Brad Maddox to Booker's Vickie Guerrero with a little more bass in his voice.
Booker T is currently out with injury, making Long a bit more relevant in his absence. Prior to Booker's absence, tension was teased between Long and Booker T. Regardless of the outcome, there will be a ceiling to the amount of fictional power allocated to Teddy Long as has been the case since he became SmackDown GM in 2004.
Booker T has not been on television for close to a month as he recovers from triceps surgery. Teddy Long has assumed the lion's share of managerial duties on SmackDown in his absence, which actually seemed to be the case prior to his departure and much to his dismay.
Vickie Guerrero has been rendered a figurehead on Raw with the McMahon's controlling every move she makes. Her relevance seems to be a casualty of the current McMahon power struggle on Raw, which has significantly curtailed her power.
Guerrero still gets credit for booking matches and acquiring big-name talents like Rob Van Dam, but she is a shell of the fierce, dominant cougar she was in her early GM days.
Stephanie McMahon is just getting back into the swing of things in terms of being on Raw. It seems as though her authority could be concentrated on the Divas division as the ongoing McMahon conflict continues.
Triple H and Vince McMahon seem to be at the center of this conflict, with Stephanie serving as a wild card.
Triple H is threatening Vince McMahon's power in an art-imitating-life storyline that documents multiple changing-of-the-guard scenarios.
Triple H is stubbornly holding on to his twilight days as a pro wrestler while transitioning into a front-office fixture. Meanwhile, Vince McMahon is holding on to his post as WWE CEO with similar stubbornness as his influence continues to be siphoned off to Triple H.
Vince McMahon will be the be-all, end-all in the WWE as long as he has a pulse. Whether or not he is being encroached by his offspring or in-laws, the buck stops with Vince both in front and behind the camera.
This is subject to change as time goes on, but the WWE is several years away from the day that Vince McMahon is not its number one authority figure.