WWE has a long history of appointing on-screen General Managers for their weekly episodic shows, RAW and SmackDown. These authority figures didn't only announce matches but were also an integral part of several storyline developments.
When the first brand split happened back in 2002, both RAW and SmackDown had announced their respective managers, and thus this tradition was born. Since then, we have seen numerous such figures, with each being entertaining in their distinctive way.
While neither of the shows currently has any managerial figure, several fans are clamoring for bringing them back in recent times. Adam Pearce is somewhat of an on-screen authority figure who announces matches on both the shows, but he isn't a General Manager, per se.
Here in this article, we will take a look at all the nine General Managers in the history of WWE SmackDown and where they are now. Do share in the comments section who among them were your favorites.
#9 Stephanie McMahon (SmackDown GM, July 18, 2002 - October 19, 2003)
The first-ever General Manager of SmackDown, Stephanie McMahon, was appointed to the position after her return to television after a gap of four months. During her tenure, she convincingly enacted the role of a face authority figure, which was in stark contrast with the heelish character she played on RAW.
Her stint on SmackDown ended after losing an 'I Quit' match to her father, Vince McMahon, at No Mercy 2003. Since then, she has held a variety of on-screen and off-screen positions in WWE, including the General Manager of RAW in 2008-2009.
She's currently the Chief Brand Officer (CBO) of the company and also makes sporadic appearances on TV, the last of which was on July 20 last year on RAW, albeit virtually.
#8 Paul Heyman ( SmackDown GM, October 23, 2003 - March 22, 2004)
After Stephanie McMahon was written-off television, SmackDown head writer and booker Paul Heyman was appointed as the new GM. Heyman was already a well-established on-screen figure back then, thanks to his work in the commentary box and association with Brock Lesnar, as his manager.
During his time as the authority figure, Heyman allied back with Lesnar, whom he had betrayed at the previous year's Survivor Series. After five highly-entertaining months, Heyman was drafted to RAW thus ending his stint as the SmackDown GM.
Since then, he was involved with the new iteration of ECW and returned as the on-screen advocate of Lesnar after the latter's return to the company in 2012. He was also the Executive Director of RAW for a year, starting from June 2019. He's currently aligned with the reigning Universal Champion Roman Reigns on SmackDown.