Job (professional wrestling)
Job, in professional wrestling slang, is a term that 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 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.
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.
Jobber is a professional wrestling term used to describe a wrestler who is routinely defeated by main eventers, mid-carders, or low-carders. Most promoters do not use the term because of the negative connotation. Jobbers have been used since the 1950s, and they were popular in promotions of the United States and Canada around this time.
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) made greatest use of full-time jobbers during their syndicated television shows in the 1980s and early 1990s, Superstars of Wrestling, Wrestling Challenge and All-Star Wrestling. Barry Horowitz and Steve Lombardi were the wrestlers most prominently identified with this role; other wrestlers who performed mainly as jobbers during this period included "Leaping" Lanny Poffo, Brady Boone, Tiger Chung Lee, Mr. X, Barry O, Reno Riggins, Duane Gill, Barry Hardy, Jack Foley, Scott Casey, Los Conquistadores (José Estrada Sr. and Jose Luis Rivera), Iron Mike Sharpe, Von Krus, S.D. Jones, George South, Dusty Wolfe and Tom Stone.
World Championship Wrestling, just like the WWE, made 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. Wrestlers who worked as jobbers for WWE were also employed as jobbers in WCW during this period.
A jobber may not necessarily lose, only make the superstar look powerful or at least make another wrestler interfering with the match to look more powerful. One example is Jimmy Jacobs: employed by WWE as a jobber for a time, Jacobs wrestled Eddie Guerrero during the latter's last heel run. Though Jacobs was squashed, he 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 WWE Raw I.R.S. was pinned with a rollup by P.J. Walker thanks to Razor Ramon's interference.
A slightly higher position is "jobber to the stars" (also known as a "glorified jobber"), which is a wrestler who 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. 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, such as Steve Lombardi during the 1980s and early 1990s. 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 WWE. In addition, Triple H was given the role of "jobbing to the stars" by WWF owner Vince MacMahon in the summer of 1996 as punishment for the 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 WWE runs, later became main-eventers. Billy Kidman initially started out as a jobber in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), before moving up the ranks to become a champion in both the WCW and WWE. Paul Roma, who started as a jobber for the WWE in the 1980s, gained enough popularity in WCW to win that promotion's Tag Team Titles with partners such as Paul Orndorff and Arn Anderson, the latter as part of the Four Horsemen. The brothers the Hardy Boyz began their careers in WWE as jobbers for a few years, before receiving their first push as legitimate contenders in the tag division.
Sometimes the opposite will occur, as was in the case of "Iron" Mike Sharpe, who started as a normal wrestler in the independent circuit and the WWE, and eventually ended up being a heel jobber. Another example is Siva Afi, who was 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, eventually ended up being a jobber in the WWE, which eventually led to other local promotions to give him a jobber position.
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, composed of prominent jobbers. 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. 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.
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