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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. As professional wrestling is scripted, inevitably a wrestler will be required to lose to an opponent.[2]

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.[2] A loss through outside interference, cheating, or a reversed decision is called a screwjob. Wrestlers who routinely lose matches are known as jobbers.

Contents

Effects

Although most jobs are routine, a high-profile loss might signify certain behind-the-scenes events that have real-life implications on a wrestler. 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.

Jobbers

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General information

The act of losing is called jobbing and a frequent loser is referred to as a jobber.[1][2] It is a mark of disrespect to refer to a wrestler as a jobber, as it implies they are a failure in their career, equivalent to the term tomato can in boxing. The term has entered into popular culture, to mean a loser or someone who is worthless, as well as jabroni, a phrase that was popularized by Iron Sheik in the 80s and used later by The Rock.[1]

Alternate terms included:

  • journeyman (because of jobbers being hired for individual matches and not having contracts with the major promotions)
  • ham-n-egger (supposedly coined by Bobby Heenan, a phrase also used in boxing circles for unskilled fighters in reference to the amount of money they make buys them just enough for a ham and eggs breakfast). Ham & Egger also refers to the crowd, as Heenan would refer to them when they would start chanting "Weasel".

Despite the negative sense of the word, some wrestlers have made a career out of jobbing. Barry Horowitz and Steve Lombardi (better known as the "Brooklyn Brawler") made a career out of jobbing, primarily in the World Wrestling Federation, although Horowitz and Lombardi both had upset wins over Skip and Triple H, respectively.

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 towards the end of their careers, including Tony Garea, Tito Santana, and, more recently, Val Venis, and Tommy Dreamer. Triple H was given this role in the summer of 1996 by Vince McMahon as punishment for the infamous Madison Square Garden Incident.

Historic usage

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, Reno Riggins, Duane Gill, Jack Foley, Scott Casey, Los Conquistadores, Iron Mike Sharpe, S.D. Jones, George South, Dusty Wolfe, and Brian Costello.

Some jobbers had gimmicks. For example, Poffo carried Frisbees to the ring, which he threw into the stands just before he read poetry. Horowitz wore green tights and patted his own 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. 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 canceled 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, SmackDown! and ECW, and formerly on the now-defunct Heat, to put over up-and-coming superstars. 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 the WWE. Many such superstar-versus-true-jobber squash matches are dark 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".[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] As well, 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.

Local female jobbers were rarely used in the WWE. However since Beth Phoenix has been drafted to Smackdown she has so far been going against female jobbers and winning.

Gimmicks

Sometimes, jobbing may be used as a gimmick. Whilst 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 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.

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.

WWE diva Jillian Hall plays a tone deaf singer gimmick, constantly losing matches against other divas.

A recent 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, in the storyline, cost him the signing bonus he received when he joined WWE.[5]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Torch Glossary of Insider Terms". PWTorch.com. 2000. http://www.pwtorch.com/insiderglossary.shtml. Retrieved 2007-11-05.  
  2. ^ a b c "Wrestling Dictionary". Wrestling Fortitude. http://www.wrestlingfortitude.com/info/dictionary.php. Retrieved 2007-11-05.  
  3. ^ "Spotlight On... Sean Waltman". The Wrestler/Inside Wrestling (Kappa Publications): pp. 24–28. June 2007. Volume 15, 2007.  
  4. ^ "Sean Waltman at SLAM sports". SLAM! Sports. http://www.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/Bios/waltman.html. Retrieved 2008-08-03.  
  5. ^ Burdick, Michael (2009-01-20). "Big things are poppin' again". World Wrestling Entertainment. http://www.wwe.com/inside/news/mvpbigthingsarepoppingagain. Retrieved 2009-03-12.  

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