When Did “Jobber” Become A Dirty Word?

Chris Fitzpatrick


"J-O-B-B-E-R" is NOT a 4-Letter Word

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Every old school wrestling book I’ve read lately, from JJ Dillon’s brilliant work to the Hall of Fame series book "The Heels" and on down the line uses the term "did the job" or "do the job." They tend to shy away from the exact term "jobber."

In fact, even the term "jobber" has been euphemized into the term "Enhancement Talent" to avoid the negative connotation of the aforementioned "J-word."

A thread currently in our WWE section explores the idea of "Jericho the Jobber."  That discussion can be seen and discussed here:  http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showthread.php?t=116096

People are asking if Kane is destined to job to The Undertaker again.

And I want to take a few moments to ask why it’s such a bad thing?

The idea of pro wrestling is based on any real sport – the existance of a winner and a loser, and the pursuit of success based around those wins. Every great storyline has a winner and a loser, even if the loser picks himselk back up to live another day.  In real sports, winners are loved or hated – but mostly hated.  The Yankees.  The Lakers.  The Red Wings.  The Steelers.  Fans of these teams LOVE these teams to no end.  They celebrate the highs, and demand an answer for the lows.  When they win, it’s because they are supposed to.  When they lose, the coach or manager is "over rated" or the captain is "past his prime."  John Cena is the Lakers of the WWE.  His fans LOVE him, his detractors HATE him.  Triple H is the Yankees – tried and tested to no end, always there, despite the clamor of some for him to "let someone else have a try" despite not having won many championships recently, and oft accused of having an "unfair advantage."  The Undertaker is like the Steelers – respected, always there when you least expect it, long-term contender.  You wait for the other shoe to drop and for him to fade, but he just won’t.  Like the sports teams I’ve compared them to, people who hate these wrestlers boo them at every turn – maybe because they’re so damn good.

At the same time, everybody LOVES an underdog.  They appreciate the one-a-decade run the Chicago Cubs go on, much they way they love Christian in a casual sort of way.  The Tampa Bay Rays are young and exciting, and much like Kofi Kingston, capture the imagination and attention of all fans.  Sports fans even cheer quietly for a Kansas City Royals or a Detroit Lions to make a Mikey Whipwreck-esque run, though in all fairness, comparing ECW to the NFL is like comparing my leaky sink fawcet to the Nile River.

That’s where the winners and losers comparison with Pro Sports and Pro Wrestling ends.

In many ways in professional wrestling the loser of the match / feud is more valuable than the winner. I believe it takes far more to lose – keeping oneself strong, elliciting crowd reaction, and putting over the winner – than it does to win. Yet the term "jobber" is like being hit with bird crap rather than being regarded with the value it should carry.

Even the relatively new term "Jobber to the Stars" is negative, as if a way to suggest it as a place where yesterday’s stars go to die. It’s been used to describe a LOAD of former greats and Hall of Famers, from JBL to Big Van Vader, Kane to Mark Henry.

The sustainability of the business is based on the creation of newer, younger stars, and the best way to do that is to have them defeat an established veteran. There’s no two ways about this.   

Hogan became a mega-star by beating Andre. And Andre JOBBED to Hogan that night.

Warrior claimed the top spot by beating Hogan. And Hogan JOBBED to Warrior.

The Hogan / Slaughter feud occured because Warrior JOBBED to Slaughter, regardless of Savage’s interference. He got pinned, simple as.

Flair jobbed to Savage, Perfect jobbed to Hart, Hart jobbed to Bulldog, Hart jobbed to Michaels, Michaels jobbed to Austin – get the idea?

Can we get off of the whole "jobber stigma" off our minds anytime soon? Or is the negativity of "jobbing" permanently etched onto the retinas of the IWC?

Chris W. Fitzpatrick

Wrestlezone Forums


While visiting our forums to read reaction and debate this topic, please check out some of our other hot discussions:

Is AJ Styles Over Rated – http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showthread.php?p=2105656#post2105656

Best Heel Turn of the last 8 Years – http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showthread.php?t=115762

Is Santino the Best Intercontinental Champion of the Past 3 Years – http://forums.wrestlezone.com/showthread.php?t=115811

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