Friday, May 22, 2015

History of the Jobber


Hi Scott,

I just read on Wiki that essentially Johnny Rodz was basically the first jobber in History. How accurate is that? What is the history of Jobbers?

Happy Memorial Day or Whatever it is you freaky peace-nik Cannucks celebrate.

​We throw rocks at veterans because we're Bizarroland.  

I guess it depends how you define a jobber, but there certainly were guys who were basically tomato cans even in the Goldust Trio era.  It's a tough designation because there was no TV and so there was little need for squash matches.  I'll tweet the question to Karl Stern, because that's the kind of thing he'd probably love to cover on his show.  ​

95 comments:

  1. He's been around a while, 2008-ish if I had to guess?

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  2. Thanks for coining the term "geeks" for jobbers, because as far as I'm concerned, there is no looking back now.

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  3. This was asked on the Wrestling Classics board some time ago. Consensus was that it started with the start of studio wrestling.

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  4. AverageJoeEverymanMay 22, 2015 at 8:11 PM

    Maybe he was the first guy to be under contract just to be a jobber.

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  5. Contracts weren't a thing until WWF expansion.

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  6. My Dad was from New Waterford! Wow, small world. I grew up in Donkin, small village around the Glace Bay area.

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  7. Rodz was a decent sized star in LA during the mid 70s. His claim to fame is winning a battle royale that Andre the Giant was part of. Rodz worked his way to New York and was paid better to lose then to win in Los Angeles. Rodz and Jose Estrada, though considered 'scrubs' back in the day, were valuable to Vince Sr to see how a new babyface looked against heel offense. Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz is a bit of a stretch, but I can appreicate his value to the territory back then.

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  8. There were other lower mid carders that hung around for years. Rodz, Jose Estrada, Baron Mikel Scicluna, Dominic DeNucci and a handful of others I can't think of right now. They made great money putting talent over and were reliable workers for Vince Sr.

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  9. I've always enjoyed the Estradas.

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  10. Jose Luis Rivera and Salvatore Bellomo were the first jobbers I remember.

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  11. The ultimate jobber of my youth will always be Jim Evans. Right down to the name. That's a perfect jobber-ass name, Jim Evans. http://www.profightdb.com/img/wrestlers/thumbs-600/280eae9bd4jimevans.png Beast of jobbing.

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  12. Be curious to figure out specifically when the term "jobber" itself came into usage. I know it derived from the term "job guy", as in one who jobs, but I believe the concept was around a good while before they started using the actual term.

    I'd have to find it, but I have an old magazine from 1938 I believe, which mentions guys paid to take a dive. I'll look when I get home from work tonight, see what the parlance of that era was.

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  13. So, I assume most of were probably watching wrestling as little kids (I started when I was 4 or 5). What did you all call jobbers as little kids? My brother and I called them "cheapos."

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  14. See, I don't even like that term in this context at *all* because it doesn't make sense with what I think of the word "geek" to mean. They weren't nerds, they were just less capable wrestlers. If all jobbers wore horn-rimmed glasses and pocket protectors, then sure.

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  15. Before it was almost synonymous with nerd it pretty much just equated to weirdo or loser.

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  16. Like in public school the computer kids were nerds, geeks were the weirdos.

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  17. Now there's geek chic or whatever.

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  18. Maybe back when it meant person who eats chicken necks, before any of us were born. I'd imagine 99% of us were born in the geek = nerd era.

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  19. I was in public schools in the 80s and there was maybe a 0.000001% difference between the words nerd, geek and dork.

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  20. Ok, well around here then. We moderately differentiated when we were being assholes to those kids.

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  21. No names.

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  22. "Clunks."


    The pushed guys were "stars." The anonymous TV punching bags were "clunks." Then I knew that guys like Lanny Poffo, Jose Estrada, and the Conquistadores were too good to be clunks, so they were "others."

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  23. In the BIZNESS of course, "jobber" and "job guy" are two different things. "Jobber" is considered a disparaging term (just ask Barry Horowitz). But it's not just Barry--during one of the Cornette/Heenan shoots they discuss backstage fights, and Heenan describes one with an "underneath guy," then corrects himself: "No, this guy was a JOBBER." With the exact same tone of voice that one might use to say, "child molester."

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  24. And none of those guys were pure jobbers. DeNucci and Scicluna were tag champions and Scicluna was a full-fledged title contender in Bruno's day and then later they fell down the cards (Scicluna admittedly came close to being one by the end). Rodz and Estrada would win an arena opener or TV match or two per year and generally put up a fight. In the '70s you still had total schlubs like Silvano Sousa and Rocky Tomayo who were a level below Rodz.

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  25. I think an "underneath guy" is a Barry Horowitz type who is a solid wrestler while a jobber is just some schlub who looks like shit, wrestles like shit and just gets his ass kicked by the Midnights or Road Warriors.

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  26. The heel jobbers below Rodz, they'd get some licks in but were mostly ineffective. The face jobbers rarely got any offense at all. When I saw Fred Marzino, Charlie Brown or George Rosello in there with a Stan Hansen or Hulk Hogan, they are going to suffer for their craft in a major way.

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  27. Scrubs. Then after Bobby Heenan came in, ham and eggers or five and dimers.

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  28. I never even bothered to name them.

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  29. Jake's next victim is what I usually called them.

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  30. I remember Herb Abrams' UWF actually trying to push many of the old WWF jobbers after they ran their course in the WWF.


    Nothing screams bush league more than trying to pass off Barry Horowitz, SD Jones, Barry O and Ricky Ataki as serious threats after we had seen them get destroyed by the real stars for several years.

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  31. At the same time them getting destroyed got them more national attention and more eyes on them than Herb's real stars so I could see some logic. Same reason TNA pushes WWE rejects in failed hopes that the four million that saw them be losers will recognize them and follow TNA. I'm not saying its great logic but I do see a sliver of logic in it.

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  32. Except Herb's real stars just happened to be WWF legends like Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, Ken Patera and The Killer Bees. No way in hell anybody buys the jobbers as threats compared to those guys, as old and past their prime as those legends were.

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  33. I've been rewatching the GWF from the week after Rod Price's title victory in August of 92 and even Rod Price and his partner John Tatum look like out of shape jobbers. Its an extreme case where you have guys like Ebony Express, and the Texas Mustangs that look like young stars and everyone else is fat, out of shape and its embarrassing to even see them being pushed as wrestlers. The Youngbloods, Black Bart, none of these guys should have been anywhere near a televised wrestling show in 92.

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  34. Oh I agree with you The Killer Bees were my favorite tag team for a long time. I'm just saying that I saw logic in the theory not that he should have been doing it.

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  35. You picked a horrible timeframe to start following them. Eddie Gilbert, Lightning Kid and Scott Anthony were long gone by then and when they left, they took the quality of the product with them.


    What the GWF was left with after that were "The Not Even Ready For Saturday Morning Let Alone Prime Time Players".

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  36. Its just when I picked up on it with ESPN I powered through a few episodes but pushing the California Connection as the top heel stable was just too much to watch. I had heard great things about it. Pac, Lynn, Harlem Heat, Bradshaw, Duncum, the Patriot, Cactus Jack, Raven, and Rip Rogers that sounds like a hell of a line up in the early 90's but I caught the end of it I guess.

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  37. I called them 'the losers' and they were one of my very favorite parts of the show especially when they looked funny or really out of shape.

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  38. The term "Whipping Boy" which predates "Jobber" existed decades before Johnny Rodz put on a pair of boots.

    Essentially, that wikipedia claim is bullshit.

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  39. Adam "Colorado" CurryMay 22, 2015 at 11:57 PM

    That's what me and my brother called them too.

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  40. Adam "Colorado" CurryMay 22, 2015 at 11:59 PM

    "Mooks" would be a better term.

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  41. I don't know where you were hearing these things but I've never heard anything good about Global as an organization. There were isolated bits of good stuff here and there, but that's it. It was always a goofy-ass Wrestlecrap-filled promotion.

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  42. Dorks were like nerds and geeks but without the intelligence.

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  43. Yeah there was a time when being a "job guy" was considered reputable. Whether they were a young guy coming up, an old guy on his way down, or a guy who promoters felt being "enhancement talent" was the best they could aspire to, being a job guy wasn't totally looked down on. I kinda feel it was during the 70's where you started to see older wrestlers being less respectful of the job guys. Thinking about it, though, it probably varied from territory to territory and on the promoter.

    Someone should ask Cornette. I'd say ask Meltzer, but his answer would take an hour and confuse everybody.

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  44. Honestly, I used to read stuff online about Global being this forgotten treasure too, back in the rec.sport.pro-w days. Guess it was more nostalgia / the uniqueness of having all those guys come up...pretty much one of the last "territories", I guess.

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  45. Whoa back up.


    There was a jobber named *Charlie Brown*!?!?


    For real??

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  46. For real. Black dude billed from Atlanta. Used throw these big windup punches. And took more stretcher rides then any wrestler I've ever seen. Google search him with wwf and there's a couple of his matches floating around.

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  47. In my experience as a young adult (I'm 20) nerd was tied to academic performance and being smart, while geek was more tied to what hobbies you had (comics, video games).

    As a result Geek kind of became a positive identifier for some while nerd is still just a negative term for the intellectually minded.

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  49. In the UK there was different role still; which was Big Daddy's partner. Basically you're entire match was getting beaten down by the heels (plus the odd hope spot) before making the hot tag so that Daddy could win with the Big Splash. On the plus side you were always at the top of card!

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  50. Drunksuke "Dock" MuracoMay 23, 2015 at 3:18 AM

    I can not co-sign for this Tatum/Price hatred. Those guys were great in '86 UWF and they were friggin' great in Global. Much appreciated!

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  51. Drunksuke "Dock" MuracoMay 23, 2015 at 3:19 AM

    Super fun product. Still dig it.

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  52. I'm just waiting to hear what Adam Curry is going to roast you with.

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  53. I'm just curious why when WWE today trots at jobbers, they always get the worst looking guys possible. Like, Ryback beats up two accountant looking motherfuckers and we're supposed to be impressed?


    Why not get some dude that has a good body and just clobber them? That way the guy winning looks like even more of a badass.


    Though honestly, there's no reason for 'local talent' when they have NXT. Bring up some of the football players they recently acquired and let them be murdered. You give your future main-roster guys some exposure, the ability to work with a bigger name and when they finally break in, you can tell a neat little story about them working up from the bottom. It's not like Bryan jobbing to Cena fifteen years on Heat hut his career, nor did the Hardy's getting regularly murdered on Raw in the 90s...

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  54. Robinson TilapiaMay 23, 2015 at 5:23 AM

    You mean the ladies actually really didn't like Chaz?

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  55. Robinson TilapiaMay 23, 2015 at 5:25 AM

    There was that moment where they really presented an impressive roster, third to WWF and WCW (hell, the second might actually be debatable.) They suddenly completely scaled back, though, and, while it remained interesting, the quality of the talent nose-dived.

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  56. Robinson TilapiaMay 23, 2015 at 5:29 AM

    I've always been fascinated, even since I was a kid, as to which jobbers got offense in, how often, and why.

    I remember Rip Oliver being used as enhancement talent at a set of tapings, putting on an extremely competitive match with Jake Roberts, and being highly put over by Bruno on commentary. Roma, shithead Garea, Bradley, etc, always got a solid flurry, and some back and forth in. Others got an Irish whip rehearsal, a couple of punches, etc. Others got nothing. Others got over by pure overselling, like the height Lee Scott used to get on backdrops in WCW. just the sight of him showed a beating was coming.

    Would love to know more one day as how these decisions got made.

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  57. Robinson TilapiaMay 23, 2015 at 5:31 AM

    Because they're playing for comedy that Ryback can beat two, three, or five of them at the same time.

    I liked the Ryan Braddock/Scotty Goldman days because they were played as guys lower on the ladder, trying to move up. That's all. Everyone can't be on top. Someone has to be the Tampa Bay Bucs, or whoever.

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  58. Depending on who they were wrestling, a lot of the old NWA jobbers would get in offense. I remember guys like George South, Italian Stallion, etc always getting a brief stretch of shine against Flair, Tully, etc.

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  59. Watching The Road Warriors rush the ring and beat the piss out of two nobodies while Iron Man was blaring in the background is one of the things that got me hooked on wrestling as a kid. The Midnight Express squashes were great as well.

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  60. I'm still waiting for WWE to debut a jobber tag-team named Ben Dover and Phil McCracken.

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  61. My friends and I called them "No-Names". Not that their generic monikers were much different than a "Bret Hart" or somebody, but they always came off as plain.

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  62. Nobodies or Losers then Journeymen. I'd read the term in some book probably.

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  63. Rockin' Todd ParkerMay 23, 2015 at 7:07 AM

    I remember watching MidSouth Wrestling as a youngster and there was this jobber named Shawn Michaels. Just a clean-cut kid who would get absolutely squashed.

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  64. Robinson TilapiaMay 23, 2015 at 7:21 AM

    Yeah, the story they were trying to tell with the star going over certainly made a difference, and those guys were definitely the equivalent of the WWF guys I listed above.

    I just wondered what determines the jobber pecking order, and why some guys who weren't the regulars for the occasional Irish whip reversal, etc.

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  65. Maybe if Russo was still on the booking team.

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  66. Robinson TilapiaMay 23, 2015 at 7:23 AM

    There's a WCCW squash with Shawn in it which either Mercer or Lawrance claimed to have interviewed him before he match, and that all he said was to get his name right. Love that.

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  67. Steve Cox was a Freebird for a bit too, wasn't he?

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  68. Roma, Jim Powers and Rick McGraw always seemed to be ONE second from winning that big match. I remember those guys beating other jobbers sometimes which made them a little more believable.

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  69. I don't remember calling them anything, but I do remember thinking if you are in the ring with no announcement and the other guy has music, etc. you aren't good enough to win the match.

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  70. I remember watching WCCW and seeing a youngster named Rick Rudd get beaten up by someone. He turned out ok too.

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  71. Jack Foley ended up becoming one of the prime examples of jobber who became a superstar

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  72. Yeah I know how it's been redefined, but that makes even less sense for midcard wrestlers.

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  73. I think everyone is just overlooking the obvious. "Geek" sounds hilarious and is fun to say.

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  74. Just my opinion but I think if a guy looked good or could actually wrestle then they wouldn't get super squashed b/c you never know if you could repackage them into something else. Ray Traylor is a good example. He was a job guy until Dusty saw him bump around for Tully once and then he told him to stop bumping, took him off of tv and repackaged him as Big Bubba.

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  75. I knew "job guy" by like 10.

    Before that I would just call the nameless jobbers who show up occasionally "locals"

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  76. He wasn't a jobber. Two enhancement matches a jobber do not make.

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  77. What part of Japan did those promotions originate from?

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  78. Or heard it many times from monsoon

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  79. If a wrestler is a jobber and not many see it, does he still yet job?

    - From the Book of Jabronis, 7:18

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  80. there is a Boston Garden match from 88 i believe with Iron Mike Sharp vs Barry Horowitz that the crowd even got into... Sharp even thanked the crowd after on the mic

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  81. Iron Mike Sharp

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  82. Of course - that'll be it.

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  83. My friends and I would call them "squash wrestlers," in that most of the time they would get squashed with little token offense. Not even a hope spot.

    Then you had guys like Virgil in the 80s and 90s who would win the occasional match against the underneath guys but still get pounded against guys like I.R.S. These were "professional squash wrestlers."

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  84. Italian Stallion would win a few matches, if I remember correctly. Hell, he even had his own custom ring jacket!

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  85. Remember when Paul Ellering and J.J. Dillon wrestled tune-up opponents to ready themselves for War Games? Ellering rushed the ring as well! It was awesome.

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  86. I'm black and I want a satin jacket that says Italian Stallion on it.

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  87. I just considered midcarders like Virgil to be in the same class as the other name guys, just "not that good."

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