by Kevin D’Hooge
I have to make a confession. I watched SmackDown live two weeks ago (like I always do). Not only was I watching, but I was actually watching with my brain on, you know, to make astute observations and whatnot. All of a sudden a light bulb went off in my head. Much less, my insights came during the jobber matches.
For those unfamiliar with jobbers, they are “bottom feeder” wrestlers who have the sole purpose of making their opponent look really good. Jobbers lose every match. In terms of WWE I’m talking Zack Ryder, Bo Dallas, Jack Swagger, Curtis Axel, Heath Slater, etc.
Jobbers. Enhancement talent. Call them whatever you want. They’re the most unheralded wrestlers on the roster and have the most thankless jobs.
This particular episode saw action for both Ryder and Dallas. It goes without saying they both lost their matches: Ryder to Kevin Owens and Dallas to Roman Reigns.
Neither match lasted more than 5 minutes.
Still, Dallas and Ryder did their thing. In a way there is an art to jobbing. There must be brief flirts with victory for the jobber, only to fall flat at the end. Not only this, but the jobber needs to be exceptionally skilled at selling the damage of his or her foe’s moves.
Charisma is also an essential trait of an elite jobber (an oxymoron if there ever was one). They need to play to one of two extremes: either the likeable hero/underdog (Swagger, Ryder) or the annoying runt you want to be squashed (Slater, Dallas, Axel).
If proven enhancement talent pay their dues over the years, why don’t they ever get chances to climb up?
Week in and week out they put their reputations on the line. Casual fans mock them and don’t appreciate their work. Personally, every time I see guys like Heath Slater or Curtis Axel grace my screen I roll my eyes.
Not because I don’t like them, but because I know what the end result will be.
It’s highly unlikely the current cast of jobbers will ever hold meaningful gold in WWE, but never say never. Guys like Triple H, Curt Henning, and the Hardy Boyz started off as jobbers.
I’m not saying jobbers should be pushed straight to the moon after paying their dues. However, at the very minimum, they deserve the chance to be credible players in the mid-card if they have the talent. Otherwise, they can seek employment elsewhere.
The way things lie now, WWE jobbers are put in a moral conundrum: they work for the most lucrative wrestling company in the world. At the same time, they’re nothing more than comic relief/minnows for the sharks.
Is it worth selling your dreams and credibility for a paycheck?
Scratch that, I know the solution: WWE could inaugurate the Annual Al Snow Invitational Tournament.
Airing exclusively on “WWE Superstars” on the award winning WWE Network, America’s favorite jobbers compete in a singles tournament to see who’s the best of the worst! Imagine the drama, the ratings, the suspense, and best of all, filling out a bracket!