Job (professional wrestling)

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In professional wrestling slang, the term job describes a losing performance in a wrestling match.[1] 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 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.[2] Wrestlers who routinely lose matches are known as jobbers. WWE blurred out this term, by calling jobbers as "lovable losers", "local competitors" and "journeymen"[disputed ]

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. Sometimes, jobbing is presented to a wrestler because of the problems and bad working relationship that the wrestler and the owner of the promotion actually have, or, it can be presented only because of the owner's good graces.

Jobbers[edit]

General information[edit]

Jobber is a professional wrestling term used to describe a wrestler who is routinely defeated by main eventers, mid-carders, or low-carders. Jobbers usually end up losing any match they participate in. Most promoters don't use the term because of the negative connotation. Jobber is also used in boxing to refer to an unskilled fighter 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. Damien Demento, 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.

Jobbers are used since the 1950s, and they were popular in promotions of the United States and Canada around this time.

A slightly higher position is "jobber to the stars" (also known as a "glorified jobber"), which is a wrestler who still defeats pure jobbers and mid-carders 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, Rob Van Dam and Montel Vontavious Porter.

A lower position is a "squash jobber" which is a wrestler who is defeated very easily, and don't get any wins over his/her opponents.

Teams also can be buried by being jobbers, or jobbers to the stars. Examples of teams buried by being jobbers include teams like The Headshrinkers, and Power and Glory.

Many of these jobbers to the stars are "heels" (villains) who routinely beat up on "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. Heels can also be jobbers, popular heel jobbers include, Steve Lombardi during the 80s and early 90s, Damien Demento, and Ron Bass. Two of the more notable "heels" in this category were The "Unpredictable" Johnny Rodz, as well as Jose Estrada. In the 1980s, Lombardi teamed with Barry Horowitz, to form a heel team. However, Lombardi and Horowitz ended up losing most of their matches in the WWF. Triple H was given the role of jobbing to others stars by Vince McMahon in the summer of 1996 as punishment for the infamous Madison Square Garden Incident.

There are times, however, when a jobber will prove their skill, determination, and/or loyalty to the business, and move beyond jobber status. Curt Hennig and Eddie Gilbert, who served as high-level jobbers during their initial WWF runs, later became main-eventers. Billy Kidman initially started out as a jobber in WCW before moving up the ranks to become a champion in both the WCW and WWF. Paul Roma who started as a 1980s jobber of the WWF, gained popularity in WCW when he teamed with Paul Orndorff to win the WCW tag-team titles twice, and with Arn Anderson as the Four Horsemen. Sometimes the opposite will occur, as was in the case of "Iron" Mike Sharpe who started as a normal wrestler, beating jobbers in the independent circuit, and the WWF, ended up being a heel jobber, or in the other hand as was in the case of Siva Afi who started out as a successful main-eventer/mid-carder in the independent circuit, including challenging Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship to a 60-minute time limit draw in front of 20,000 people, ended up being a jobber in the WWF, which eventually led for other local promotions to give a jobber position to him.

Less recognized names in the wrestling business are nearly always used as jobbers in bigger/national promotions.

Jobbers are also known as journeyman (because of the wrestler coming from a local promotion, and actually don't have a contract) and as enhancement talent (because of the jobber enhancing wrestlers' skills and abilities)

Historic usage[edit]

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, WWF Wrestling Challenge and WWF All-Star Wrestling. 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 (Jose Luis Rivera and Jose 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 huge use of jobbers during the late 1980s and 1990s. Jobbers like Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, Bobby Walker and Trent Knight lost the majority of their matches. However, they usually scored clean victories against other pure jobbers. Many jobbers of rival promotion, the World Wrestling Federation, jumped to WCW in the 1990s, and, just like the WWF, they were also used as jobbers in WCW.

The American Wrestling Association also made a moderate use of jobbers in their shows.

In independent promotions jobbers rarely appear, but when they do, it is mostly in squash matches.

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 other heel wrestlers. Lombardi was repackaged as, "The Brooklyn Brawler" initially managed by Bobby Heenan, and later on his own.

Today, superstar-versus-jobber matches take place occasionally on Raw and SmackDown!, to put over up-and-coming superstars. Now, most jobber matches act like an enforcer for wrestlers with a violent gimmick (Example: Fellow wrestler, Ryback defeating pure jobbers in Raw and SmackDown!), WWE also uses jobbers at live events and their TV programs. 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). Because of squash jobbers' lack of wrestling ability, squash matches are either not booked, usually they are unscripted.

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. Jacobs 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".[3] 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.[4]

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 Sincere, 'outing' him by his real name Tom Brandi, in an act of breaking kayfabe (admitting the show was scripted).

Gimmicks[edit]

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, 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 it has since become a part of his character, being also one of the few notable exceptions (the other wrestlers who worked as enhancement talent and are remembered by WWE are SD Jones and Duane Gill) of WWE (WWF) remembering him in their archives, and website.

The Barry Horowitz/Skip feud in the WWF during the Summer of 1995 revolved around how Horowitz's constant losing streak ended when he defeated Skip.

In 2003, after he returned from his neck injury, Chris Kanyon did a jobber angle, in which his gimmick was "Who's Better Than Kanyon? Nobody". He ended up jobbing to opponents on WWE Velocity.

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 – cost him the signing bonus he received when he joined WWE.[5]

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. This culminated when Randy Orton actually faced off against Slater, defeating him with an RKO.

In 2012, Slater formed a team along with Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal known as "3MB". They usually suffered embarrassing losses, including one defeat to Alberto Del Rio, The Miz, and Lombardi (as "The Brooklyn Brawler") The three members of the group were pure jobbers in past years.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Torch Glossary of Insider Terms". Pro Wrestling Torch. 2000. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  2. ^ "Wrestling Dictionary". Wrestling Fortitude. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  3. ^ "Spotlight On... Sean Waltman". The Wrestler/Inside Wrestling (Kappa Publications). June 2007. pp. 24–28. Volume 15, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Sean Waltman at SLAM sports". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  5. ^ Burdick, Michael (2009-01-20). "Big things are poppin' again". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-03-12.