Up against a machine too strong
Greedy politicans buying souls for us are puppets
Won't find their place in line
Now, tie a string around your finger now, boy
'Cause it's just a matter of time"
The Corporation was a Power Stable in WWE led by WWE owner/chairman Vince McMahon. The group represented Vince's corporate empire and its purpose was to enforce his authority and punish those who defied it, such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and D-Generation X.
The group was formed at Survivor Series 1998 when Vince not only screwed Austin, but Mankind, whom had been loyal to Vince for several months, out of the WWF Championship in a tournament. Vince and his corporate stooges Sgt. Slaughter, Big Bossman, Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco, were joined by Vince's son Shane (who screwed Austin out of the tournament after pretending to be his ally) and his new "Corporate Champion", The Rock (who Vince "feuded" with heading into the event, and who won the WWE title in a remake of the Montreal Screwjob). They were later joined by Ken Shamrock, Shawn Michaels (who replaced Sgt Slaughter), Test, Kane, Chyna, The Big Show, Triple H, and the Mean Street Posse. The goal was to create a "corporate image" for WWE which was being threatened by the likes of Austin, Mankind, and DX. They would also later feud with the Ministry of Darkness.
Things started to fall apart for the Corporation in 1999. Despite Vince's efforts to keep the title off of Austin (even fighting Austin one on one in a steel cage), Austin would win the title back at Wrestlemania XV. A few members also left such as HBK ("fired" by Vince), Kane (after being backstabbed by Chyna), and Big Show (who Vince slapped, leading to Show punching him out). To make matters worse, the Ministry was constantly threatening Vince's daughter Stephanie during this time, and Vince shifted his focus away from his Arch-Enemy Austin in order to protect her. Shane would then turn against Vince and take over the Corporation. Other members such as Shamrock, Test, Patterson, Brisco, and finally The Rock would leave the Corporation, leaving only Shane, Triple H, Chyna, Big Bossman, and the Mean Street Posse. Shane would then reveal he was in cahoots with The Undertaker all along and the Corporation would merge with the Ministry of Darkness to form the Corporate Ministry. Both Shane and Undertaker had been taking their orders from a mysterious "Higher Power", who eventually revealed himself to be none other than Vince McMahon himself, pulling another FaceHeel Turn for masterminding his own daughter's kidnapping just to get the WWE title off of Austin.note The Corporate Ministry, and thus the Corporation in general, would finally collapse after Austin retained his title at Fully Loaded 1999, which as a result Vince was "banished" from WWE (he came back a couple of months later of course).
The Corporation would use "No Chance in Hell" as its theme music following the 1999 Royal Rumble (the song was the PPV's theme song), and it would later exclusively become Vince's theme. After it merged with the Ministry of Darkness their theme became a Dark Reprise of "No Chance in Hell".
Not to be confused with the 2003 film The Corporation.
"No tropes, no tropes in Hell, you've got.."
- Arch-Enemy: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Mick Foley, and DeGeneration X all together and separately fought the Corporation at the same time. At Mankind's iconic title match against The Rock, all three fought against the Corporation, with DeGeneration X subduing Vince's goons while Stone Cold hit The Rock with a steel chair and helped Mankind pin him.
- Bad Boss: Vince and Shane McMahon.
- Battle Butler: Ken Shamrock was Vince's major enforcer in The Corporation, and stayed loyal to Vince when he was ousted and the Corporate Ministry was formed. When Vince revealed himself as the "Higher Power", Shamrock was less than pleased, declaring, "You USED me... NOW I'M GONNA ABUSE YOU!"
- Big Bad: Vince McMahon, the evil corporate overlord responsible for the antics of the Corporation and was the main villain of the Attitude Era as a whole.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Being a 90's heel stable this goes without saying.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Vince, of course, but Shane was weaving toward it. Also Shawn Michaels, in his commissioner role.
- Distracted by the Sexy: During The Bossman and Shamrock's feud with Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett, their manager Debra managed to cost the Corporation a shot at the tag team titles, causing Pat Patterson to feed The Bossman and Shamrock saltpeter powder to inhibit their sex drives for the next match.
- The Dragon: Shane was Vince's second-in-command, however The Rock was the "Corporate Champion".
- Dragon Ascendant: See The Starscream below.
- Evil Overlord: Vince McMahon
- FaceHeel Turn: The Rock (whose turn kicked the Corporation into high gear, to be precise), Shane McMahon note Chyna, Triple H, & Ken Shamrock.
- Fleeting Demographic Rule: 2013 saw Triple H form a very similar stable, "the Authority", nicknamed "The New Corporation" by fans, with Randy Orton and the Shield, which was focused around protecting what was "best for business", preventing Daniel Bryan from becoming champion, and punishing any wrestlers who spoke out against HHH's regime.
- HeelFace Turn: Shawn Michaels, Kane, The Big Show, The Stooges, Ken Shamrock, Test, and The Rock. Subverted with Vince McMahon, as he was the mastermind behind the Corporate Ministry.
- Hijacked By Vince McMahon: The Corporation turned against Vince McMahon and it was shortly revealed that Shane was in league with The Undertaker and had been taking orders from the same "Greater Power". Said Greater Power turned out to be Vince himself, meaning he was still the leader of The Corporation the whole time
- Hourglass Plot: With DeGeneration X. By the time late 1999 had come around, every single member of The Corporation with the exception of The Big Bossman had turned face and most of them were now feuding with a heel DX. This includes Vince and Shane.
- Knight Templar
- Overlord Jr.: Shane McMahon
- Power Stable:
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Mean Street Posse, Shane's Upper-Class Twit friends Rodney and Pete "Gas" from Greenwich, plus Joey Abs.note
- The Man Is Sticking It to the Man: When Vince assembled a stable known as "The Union" (Mankind, Ken Shamrock, the Big Show and Test) to go up against the Corporate Ministry, despite that he was still in charge of the WWF. Vince was also the "Higher Power" controlling the Corporate Ministry, so he was "sticking it to himself" in more ways than one until he revealed this fact and his true goal, causing the Union to collapse
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: The primary gimmick of the stable.
- Spiritual Successor: Has one in The Authority.
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: In effect - Mabel was brought into The Corporation as extra muscle, but in his one and only match as a Corporation member (the 1999 Royal Rumble) he was kidnapped by The Ministry of Darkness and brainwashed/converted into joining them.
- The Starscream: Shane turned out NOT to be this as he was still taking orders from Vince, aka The Greater Power
- Those Two Guys: The Stooges, Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco, who were two former high-class wrestlers who got to act like absolute buffoons. Sometimes Sergeant Slaughter joined them, making it Those Three Guys.
- Villain Team-Up: Once Vince and Rock left the stable, Shane had to merge with the Ministry of Darkness to keep the Corporation from completely dissolving, though the real reason was because Vince McMahon was the Greater Power controlling both stables all along.