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Thread: Jobbers: The Unsung Heroes of Wrestling

  1. #1

    Jobbers: The Unsung Heroes of Wrestling

    I grew up in a time when professional wrestling on TV consisted of the top stars beating up people who barely got a move in during the entire match. The idea was to sell the stars and promote the house show that would come around, almost monthly. This was before the time of weekly mainstream wrestling and quality matches every week. In my day, the big stars hardly ever touched each other on TV, which is where the Jobber came in.

    So this thread is to discuss the unsung heroes of our sport, the often unnamed dudes who get beaten up to within an inch of their lives, THE JOBBERS!
    Who were the best? Who were the worst? Should Jobbers be used more today to spotlight wrestlers? What jobbers transitioned the term to become more?

    You get the point.

    DISCUSS!

  2. #2
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    I totally think they need to bring back more enhancement talent. Maybe not the way things were in the eighties but there's no good reason not to make more use of them to give people wins on TV and keep the big matches fresh.

    The first name that came onto my head was Iron Mike Sharpe, quickly followed by S.D Jones...



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  3. #3
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    Iron Mike Sharpe!!! I absolutely love that man, he is a joy to watch on old episodes of Superstars and Challenge.

    SD Jones, not so much, unless you absolutely love headbutts.

    Favorite WWF jobbers, in order: Iron Mike Shapre, Brady Boone, Lanny Poffo, Tony Garea, & Scott Casey.

    I really do dislike SD though, he seems to suck quite a bit, though not as much as Terry Gibbs!

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    I remember S.D. being there all the time, and thought it was more to do with his pathos, or his work taking a beating more than anything he did in giving one out....

    Not seen him in years though, he may just come to my mind because he was often around, rather than because he was any good. Though if he was poor and got booked that often he had to know where the bodies are buried.



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    The Brain
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    I honestly think WWF just liked a reliable warm body in there. He didn't fuck up and his schedule was always open. I always cringe when they try to do a half hearted mini-push for him. I remember at one point they teamed him with Paul Roma for a while and Gorilla Monsoon made a lot of bold predictions about how well they would do. I'm sure you can guess how that went.

    I actually really like Roma in that role too, and in some of his later stuff. He was a shit Horsemen but he was a fine talent overall.

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    I'm doing a raw rewatch on the network (kill me lol) and the amount of squash matches are amusing. But its fun to see guys like Glen Ruth and Scott Taylor before they got breaks in the attitude era to be something other than enhancement talent. You can also tell when a good jobber is in there vs. a jobber by how many good bumps and screwups they fail to make.

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    The Greatest of All Time LWO4Life's Avatar
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    I always loved jobbers with gimmicks. Like a Mike Sharp, or of course Barry Horowitz (he won a PWI award!) SD Jones, I actually had his action figure, and I CHOSE to get his action figure over others. He never won a match when 6 year old me was booking my own territory in the living room, but he did make the roster.



    The only place I hated to see jobbers was Raw. When I saw jobbers on Monday Night Raw, I'd get upset. Then at about 17 I realized, Raw might have killed the jobber market, and that's not good. Jobbers are a very important part of wrestler and I say bring them back, as long as it's not the cruiserweights.

  8. #8
    The Brain
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    Yeah, I do miss a good jobber, though there are guys like Heath Slater keeping the dream alive in their own way. Barry Horowitz is a super solid guy and deserves any praise he gets! Also, don't forget these guys!


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    Love Barry. If anyone deserves to pat himself on the back, it's him.



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    The Brain
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    Special mention to Judo Joe Black, who seemed to understand the basic concept of wrestling. If you don't know him, give him a look.

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    My Jobber Mt. Rushmore:
    Barry Horowitz, George South, Rocky King, Pete “Duke of Dorchester” Dougherty, and Joe Gomez

    Quote Originally Posted by LWO4Life View Post
    I always loved jobbers with gimmicks. Like a Mike Sharp, or of course Barry Horowitz (he won a PWI award!) SD Jones, I actually had his action figure, and I CHOSE to get his action figure over others. He never won a match when 6 year old me was booking my own territory in the living room, but he did make the roster.


    I remember he got into a jobber feud with Pete Dougherty because Pete beat him to end his multi-hundred match losing streak.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 02-06-2018 at 05:23 AM.

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    Not to be contradictory, but shouldn't Mt Rushmore only have four faces on it??!

    Whisper this in case Shane sees this and goes nuts, but I recently rewatched a match with Horowitz and Lex Luger, and honestly Barry looked way more impressive even in defeat. And I'm not even a big Luger detractor. Guess Lex just didn't fancy it that day.



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    I beat up Kong! Powder's Avatar
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    You forgot Barry O, Cowboy Bob Orton's brother.

    And Steve Lombardi prior to the Brooklyn Brawler.

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    What year was that? Lex certainly had his down periods. Horowitz could be very impressive in his own way at times, I've heard he helped both Owen Hart and Ultimate Warrior get hired by WWF by really making them look good in their tryout matches.

    Barry O and Lombardi both do a fine job, but they wouldn't make my top 5. Maybe top 10 of their era, maybe not.

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    Very late 1993, when he was running the Lex US stuff but you can see he'd already lost the top spot to Bret and 'Taker.



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    Yeah, he probably wasn't busting his ass at that point. Definitely a guy who did his best work by far in NWA/WCW.

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    If you read Luger's book, it comes off like wrestling was just a job to him and i could see him thinking its not really worth it to give my all when i have this fantastic body and keep getting paid.. Like i don't think he cared if he was the main event or not...

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    Luger has always been very clear that wrestling was a business to him. He always tried to do a good job, but he was never interested in sacrificing his mind and body for the "art" of wrestling, which is frankly a position I kind of respect, as too many people over the course of years have lost themselves to wrestling. Even Luger didn't get off scot free, as he has some physical issues now to deal with even after taking care not to destroy his body.

    I do wish that he had stood up to the bosses backstage a little more over the course of his career, but I guess his personality type was to follow orders and try to make it work with whatever they handed him.

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    I'm not saying Luger is wrong for that position but its also not surprising how his career went because of that stance or other reasons like being injured. You don't need to be passionate about wrestling to succeed but you're less likely to take the chicken shit and turn it into chicken salad if you don't.

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    The Brain
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    I'd argue backstage politics played a bigger role in Luger not becoming an even bigger success than he already was, which was pretty significant in and of itself. But yeah, if he had a different attitude he might have been more motivated to fight against those politics.

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    I also don't think it was that bad of a career. He was what he was and I don't know if he would have had an even better career if certain things went in favor of him. I think his WWF run was bad timing and bad booking... in NWA/WCW there's a bigger case for him... maybe try him on top after Sting but he was not the personality Sting was.

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    The Brain
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    He tended to draw better than Sting, at least in the late 80s when they both feuded with Flair. He was pretty clearly positioned to take over from Flair, but Flair balked at Starrcade '88 (among other times), then later pulled his bullshit about only wanting to drop to Sting, and they got stuck running Luger as a loser in increasingly stupid situations as they waited for Sting to heal up from his injury, and eventually the fans lost faith and interest in the guy. And then he was just about the most popular guy on the planet again in '97, but his title run got cut down to mere days because Bischoff, as he's said in interviews, just never though Luger was a top guy in spite of his popularity. They quickly jobbed him out to Buff Bagwell (of all people) and he never recovered.

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    One of the things people have said is that Flair, and maybe Bischoff was the same, essentially didn't see him as the guy to take over precisely because he saw it as a job and no more, and they just didn't trust him with the top spot. With Sting, they saw someone who would be in all the way. And it is hard to imagine Luger in TNA and giving better promos than he ever had before.



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    its just another way to say Sting was one of the boys and Luger was not. In interviews i've seen with Sting, he comes off a guy that sees it as a job as well. But that doesn't mean he didn't want to improve or anything.. Its a guy that reinvented himself to stay relevant. Luger never did that and more importantly, probably never had the chance.

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    I mean Sting was all about business for sure, but there's a difference in what I was driving at. I mean, Lex seems to have given off the vibe that it was a marriage of convenience. Sting was there for the money but I think people kinda expected Lex to walk away, while they trusted Sting to be the man. The way guys trusted Hogan in the WWF.



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  26. #26
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    I know we're getting off topic here, but I have to object to the idea that Sting reinvented himself. Cult will probably come yell at me in a minute, but Sting was given the holy grail of character reinventions because Scott Hall suggested they rip off The Crow, and Sting took advantage by getting completely out of shape and frequently reverting to his former goofiness as soon as they let him open his mouth back up.

    This may be too conspiracy theory for some, but after watching through the major shows I have honestly wondered if Flair insisted that he drop the belt to Sting instead of Luger is because he knew Sting would buckle under the pressure whereas, Luger had the potential for serious staying power if he got the belt when he was at the peak of his heat.

    Bear in mind, I have had the accusation of "Sting Slander" thrown at me more than once.

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    Hmm... if you're right, one hell of a lot of people who were there at the time have been taken in by Flair.

    Personally I still think for most of their career, Luger was a far bigger enemy to himself than anyone else, and I do find the general theory that he didn't ever want to improve enough pretty convincing. I know he was probably hotter at one point but I don't think I have ever been convinced that he could have sustained that in the mid or longer term.

    Sting? Hey, I think he does get better as he goes and shows willing. I'm not even thinking reinventing himself, just basic skill levels. Starrcade was a major black mark against him for sure but I can't think of any others.



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  28. #28
    The Brain
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    Taken in by Flair how? The idea was for Luger to win the title several times over, and Flair politicked his way out of it, most famously by insisting he would only drop to Sting. I'm not saying Sting should have never been world champion and Flair convinced them otherwise, his popularity alone puts him in the discussion. But I do think any way you look at it, Flair's interference really hurt the generation that was supposed to replace him in WCW.

    Interested in the idea that Luger was an enemy to himself. Taking a year off to be a bodybuilder probably wasn't great, but I never had the idea he sabotaged himself, unless you count not speaking up when he was given crap to work with. I'd also argue he was doing fun stuff much later in WCW than most people are aware of, but maybe that's my bias showing through.

    Sting does get better... eventually.

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    Well, no one denies Flair basically refused to drop the belt to Lex. But what I have heard most often is that he did that because he thought it was better for business and all about Lex, rather than being about what was best for Flair. So if your theory is right, that the politics were actively malicious, then Flair has most of the people that were there under the illusion that he did it for more noble reasons. Or they are lying for him decades later.

    The main thing about him being an enemy to himself was his attitude. Even the people who liked him said he rubbed people the wrong way, and more importantly wanted to know just enough to get by but wasn't really interested in getting better beyond that. And again, that's the report that comes from the people who said that they liked him as a person, if not a performer. I won't bother sharing with you the opinions of the people who were actually set against him....

    Shane actually wrote a column saying something kinda similar once, about having to deal with that as a Luger fan. I think he's changed his opinion somewhat over the years but it always seemed to me to be the simplest explanation and the one that fit best.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 02-14-2018 at 08:51 PM.



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    Yeah, I think we're kind of saying the same thing about Luger's attitude, just phrasing it a bit differently. He did rub people the wrong way backstage, and he did tend to follow orders and not question stuff when he probably should have. I do think that played a factor in Flair convincing everyone not to push Luger, because Luger did draw better than Sting so any argument based on the good of the business is a bit tricky, unless you're saying that they were afraid Luger wasn't motivated enough to stay in NWA/WCW even if given the ball. Ironic if that was the logic, considering it was Flair himself who bugged out!

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    I'm focusing less on the not speaking up than you are, and more on the giving the impression he didn't give a damn, but other than that we're pretty close together I think, yeah.

    The Luger leaving thing can be pushed even more than that, I think. Not just leaving WCW, but leaving the business entirely. The bodybuilding thing suggests that might not be completely ill-founded.

    The thing about drawing that shouldn't be overlooked is that Sting came second chronologically - and the business was turning down quickly by that point. Everyone - Flair included and even Hogan - drew less by 89/90 than they had in 87/88. And in being first Luger would draw better until Sting had time to catch up in recognition. So if you factor wider social trends in drawing stuff is tricky.

    Hehe, been a while since this thread was about jobbers huh?



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    I should talk about the weekly jobbers i see on my raw rewatch to get us back on track again... but I haven't resumed it yet. oops.. looking forward to Kid's debut.

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    Seen much Duane Gill yet?



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    only as an Executioner in ep 1 although he's in another match on episode 7. Then he has a Bob Backlund match I can look forward to a month later.

    I've not seen most of these early Raws ever, besides a few clips.

  35. #35
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    Ok, here's one of my favorite quick jobber matches from 1987! Extra bonus because it's kind of an all-jobber match, because Roma & Powers never really shook that status in my eyes, but maybe they should have based off this tag match with Lombardi & Horowitz. It's a quickie but a goody, so give it a watch!


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    Yeah that is a good one besides the botched clothsline from Lombardi. kept a quick pace and built to the hot tag well.

    Roma and Powers have wonderful athletic ablity and physique.. but i don't think either could cut a convincing promo

    Something i'm noticing more than anything on these Raw jobber matches is the terrible hair. Duane Gill has a weird red neck mullet/dog the bounty hunter type thing. Another guy had like only hair on the back of his head. like a Tyson kidd style only on the back lol.

  37. #37
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    Jobbers are the unsung heroes of wrestling. At least in the jobber era. Being good enough to get in the ring with a higher rated star is an accomplishment. But maybe some jobbers should not be given that much credit. When I watched Judo Joe Black's match with Ken Patera, he was never given the chance to do any move that might endanger Ken. Maybe that is what has left a bad taste in my mouth when I think of jobbers. Most never got any offense in. It was almost as if the promotion went in the audience and asked who would be willing to get beat up by a star.

    Of the jobbers I did watch Barry Horowitz is my favorite. He actually got to win matches. Frogman LeBlanc is my second favorite because he was a local jobber. Chico Torres was a good worker on Global Wrestling Federation's programing where he mostly lost as an underdog. If you watch this video you will see my two favorite local jobbers:

    The USWA was not as good as WCCW as the matches on television then were mostly squashes.

    I think one match may show Lex Luger's flaw. I am sure most here have seen the match where Bruiser Brody no sold and Lex found himself in a precarious position. Not knowing how to get out of it he went to the referee for a disqualification.

    I never really enjoyed the jobber era. Does it really make a wrestler look stronger when they beat someone you know they will beat? Sort of like my recent criticism of The Bludgeon Brothers. Since their introduction after the recovery from injuries they have only faced jobbers and low level tag teams. Yes the internet fan base is aware of their history. I was unable to watch them during their earlier run. If you are a newcomer to the product you are not aware of their earlier history with other tag teams. Their personas are much different now. So I would like to see them built up by fighting higher competition before moving on to the championship. Just like when I watched my first WWF matches. How could I really tell how good Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage or any of the other higher tier stars were if they only beat up wrestlers who I knew would never win when I saw them coming to the ring?

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