Job (professional wrestling)
In professional wrestling slang, the term job describes a losing performance in a wrestling match. It is derived from the euphemism "doing one's job", which was employed to protect kayfabe. The term can be used a number of ways. When a wrestler is booked, or scripted, to lose a match it is described as "a job." The act itself is described with the verb jobbing, while the act of booking (rather than being booked) to job is called jobbing out. To lose a match fairly (meaning without any kayfabe rules being broken) is to job cleanly. Wrestlers who routinely lose matches are known as jobbers. WWE blurred out this term, by calling jobbers as "lovable losers" and "local competitors"
A job which is presented as being the result of an extremely close match, or underhanded tactics on the part of an opponent, will not necessarily tarnish a wrestler's reputation, especially if the situation is presented as one where the wrestler "deserved" to win but was cheated. At other times a high-profile loss, particularly one which makes the wrestler in question look weak, foolish, or otherwise damages their reputation, might signify certain behind-the-scenes events that have real-life implications on a wrestler. Such a job may mark the end of a push, a departure from the company, or a loss of faith in the wrestler as a marketable commodity. As a result, it may also mark a downward slide in a wrestler's career. This is especially the case when the wrestler is beaten very easily, or squashed.
A jobber is a phrase used in professional wrestling. This term, describes a wrestler which is defeated by main eventers, mid-carders, or low-carders, usually ending up losing the match. The term, also used in boxing, refers to unskilled fighters who would earn just enough money to pay for a breakfast of "ham and eggs". A number of wrestlers have made a career out of jobbing. Barry Horowitz and Steve Lombardi (better known as the "Brooklyn Brawler") are popular examples who worked primarily in the World Wrestling Federation. Although being jobbers, Horowitz and Lombardi both earned upset wins over Skip and Triple H, respectively. World Championship Wrestling made a great use of jobbers during 1989, 1996, and 1997. Jobbers like Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, Jim Powers and Trent Knight used to lost most of the matches, however, Parker, Powers, and Knight scored clean victories against other pure jobbers. While in independent promotions jobbers rarely appear, mostly in squash matches.
A slightly higher position is "jobber to the stars", which is a wrestler who still defeats pure jobbers but who consistently loses to top-level or up-and-coming stars. This often happens to popular faces and sometimes heels towards the end of their careers, including Tony Garea, Ivan Putski, and, more recently, Val Venis, Goldust, Victoria, Chavo Guerrero, and Montel Vontavious Porter.
Many of these wrestlers are "heels" (villains) who routinely beat up on weaker "nice guy" jobbers ("faces") so as to build up a reputation of being reasonably capable competitors (which makes the stars all the more impressive when they in turn defeat them easily) as well as to earn the contempt of the audience who enjoy seeing them finally get their comeuppance when they take on the tougher wrestlers. Two of the more notable "heels" in this category were The "Unpredictable" Johnny Rodz as well as Jose Estrada. In the 1980s, fellow jobber Steve Lombardi teamed with Barry Horowitz, to form a heel team. However, Lombardi and Horowitz ended up losing most of the matches in the WWF. Lombardi (as the Brooklyn Brawler) eventually defeated Horowitz during the mid-1990s, when Lombardi received a peak push, while Horowitz, continued being a preliminary jobber.
Triple H was given this role in the summer of 1996 by Vince McMahon as punishment for the infamous Madison Square Garden Incident. Sometimes, the opposite will occur, such as with Curt Hennig and Eddie Gilbert, who served as high-level jobbers during their initial WWF runs, then later became main-eventers.
The World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) made greatest use of full-time jobbers during their syndicated television shows in the 1980s and early 1990s, WWF Superstars of Wrestling and WWF Wrestling Challenge. In addition to Horowitz and Lombardi, other jobbers of this period included "Leaping" Lanny Poffo, Brady Boone, Mr. X, Barry O, Damien Demento, Reno Riggins, Duane Gill, Barry Hardy, Jack Foley, Scott Casey, Los Conquistadores (Rivera and Estrada), Bobby Who, Iron Mike Sharpe, Von Krus, S.D. Jones, George South, The Gladiator, Dusty Wolfe and Bryan Costello.
World Championship Wrestling just like the WWF, made a greatest use of jobbers during the late 1980s and 1990s. Jobbers like Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, Jim Powers and Trent Knight used to lost most of the matches, however, Parker, Powers, and Knight scored clean victories against other pure jobbers.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling also used jobbers during the early 2000s.
Some jobbers had gimmicks. For example, Poffo carried Frisbees to the ring, which he threw into the stands just after he read poetry. Horowitz wore green tights with spangled purple suspenders and patted his own back. Eventually he fashioned a large hand print on his back.
In the early '90s, the WWF elevated Lombardi and Poffo into mid-profile programs. Poffo was rebranded "the Genius," and later stepped down from wrestling to manage "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig, and in late 1989, Lombardi became the "Brooklyn Brawler" and engaged in a feud with Terry Taylor, a.k.a. the "Red Rooster."
By the mid-1990s, the WWF dropped most jobber matches in order to increase TV ratings. Superstars fought each other on a regular basis on Monday Night Raw (see Monday Night Wars). Superstars and Challenge were converted into recap shows. By 1995, Challenge was cancelled and Superstars was moved to a Sunday afternoon timeslot on cable television. Jobbers were mainly not professionally contracted like superstars, and with the Monday Night Wars forcing the WWF to sign all employees to contracts as WCW had been doing, jobber matches died out. Today, superstar-versus-jobber matches take place occasionally on Raw and SmackDown! , to put over up-and-coming superstars. Today, most jobber matches acts like an enforcer for wrestlers with a violent gimmick (Example: Fellow wrestler, Ryback defeating pure jobbers in Raw and Smackdown) However, the term has blurred into also incorporating superstars no longer pushed due to lack of heat (e.g. Val Venis, Snitsky, Viscera, Goldust, Charlie Haas, Hacksaw Jim Duggan). Classic jobbers on these shows come mainly from local promotions and are not contracted to promotions. Many such superstar-versus-true-jobber squash matches are dark matches (either untelevised or pre-broadcast matches).
A jobber may not necessarily lose, only make the superstar look powerful or at least another superstar interfering with the match to be powerful. An example includes a jobber, Jimmy Jacobs, wrestling Eddie Guerrero during his last heel run and feud with Rey Mysterio, who actually won by disqualification when Guerrero beat him with a chair. Another example of a jobber winning was when "The Kid" suddenly won an "upset" over Razor Ramon on the May 17, 1993 episode of WWF Monday Night Raw. He then renamed himself the "1-2-3 Kid". This win and the Kid were worked into Ramon's feud with Ted DiBiase with DiBiase taunting Ramon repeatedly over losing to a nobody until he too was pinned by the Kid. On the September 20,1993 episode of WWF Monday Night Raw I.R.S. was pinned with a rollup by P.J. Walker thanks to Razor Ramon's interference.
A jobber may win by making a heel wrestler look weak. An example of this comes during Marc Mero's feud with Sable, when Salvatore Sincere defeated him by countout, due to Mero being distracted by Sable disrobing and getting positive fan reaction. In this instance, Marc Mero used the term "jobber" on-air while describing Sal Sincere, 'outing' him by his real name Tom Brandi, in an act of breaking kayfabe (admitting the show was scripted).
Sometimes, jobbing may be used as a gimmick. While in ECW, Al Snow began referring to jobbing on-screen as part of his gimmick. He subsequently formed a stable called the J.O.B. Squad. Also, in World Championship Wrestling since 1994, the tendency of the Armstrongs (particularly Brad Armstrong) to lose matches was referred to as the "Armstrong curse". On average, however, Brad Armstrong was more of a jobber to the stars, while his brothers were pure jobbers for the most part.
Steve Lombardi, better known as the Brooklyn Brawler in the WWF, is often recognized as the most famous jobber for the majority of his in-ring career and has since become a part of his character.
A jobber angle involved Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP), whose continual losses during the end of 2008 – including embarrassing losses in which he was pinned by roll-ups from mid-level WWE superstars – have, and also cost him the signing bonus he received when he joined WWE.
In 2012, Heath Slater tried to do what Randy Orton did, and become a "Legend Killer". This led to him wrestling Big Van Vader, Doink the Clown, Rikishi, Road Warrior Animal, Sycho Sid and even Lita, losing to each except Doink, in Raw's 1000th episode. This culminated when Randy Orton actually faced off against Slater, defeating him with an RKO.
In 2012, Slater, along with, Drew McIntyre, and Jinder Mahal formed a team known as "3MB" usually with embarrassing losses, and a few victories. The three members of the group eventually used to be pure jobbers in past years.
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