Revival Of ‘The Jobber’ Adds Nostalgia To New Era

When I was little, wrestling was limited to Saturday mornings and we rarely got to see title matches on television, let alone the world champion in action. More often than not, a majority of the pro wrestling television programs featured mid-card superstars facing nameless talents. They would dominate over these jobbers, and it was a win-win situation: the superstars climbing up the proverbial ladder received increased exposure on television, thus was given the opportunity to connect with the fans out there in t.v. land, and the jobber? Well, he got paid and was given both in-ring experience and an opportunity on television as well. Maybe it could even help him break into the wrestling business.

Wrestling has evolved incredibly over the years, and one thing that was removed when the Monday Night War broke out, was the legitimate jobber. Thanks to the increasing competitive nature between WWE and WCW when it came to ratings; fans were treated to high-level matches (sometimes pay-per-view in calibre), and the role of the jobber diminished. It was often shifted to lower card talents, much to the dismay of some fans. In a lot of ways, when I think about pro wrestling programming in the past, fans today are utterly spoiled when it comes to the level of entertainment they get within promos, matches, and overall programming … however, having said that, we do live in an entirely different multi-media era. There is an ongoing struggle to keep viewers tuned in, and entertained, amongst the plethora of programming and other media sources to content with.

Still, post-brand extension, one small highlight for me, has been the return of the legitimate jobber. Not only is the nameless jobber back in full force, but the fact that there are female jobbers too, are fantastic. Still, unlike back in the day (I feel old) – before the mass international audiences that view RAW and SmackDown, before the internet, before social media, before the concept that normal everyday people can become minor celebrities through Facebook posts, Twitter followings, and memes – these jobbers are not only gaining wrestling experience, being in front of a camera, but dare I say, many of them are becoming social media darlings.

In all seriousness, the concept of building up a character, using an unknown name goes back to the roots of what a jobber was really suppose to be about. If you have an entire roster losing to one strong character, you weaken the personas of others, dramatically. And, as we all know, losing doesn’t necessarily weaken a superstar; but how do you introduce and built up one, without destroying the credibility of the entire mid-card? The whole concept is helping Nia Jax and Braun Strowman (not to mention the fact that that it is aiding with the re-branding of the Braun character) along nicely, and the Milkman provided an entertaining moment on the August 30th edition of SmackDown to boot.

The idea and concept is also very nostalgic to me as well. I’ve been trying to pin point why I love the return of the jobber, and I think the real reason is this: they are faceless characters, because I am not invested in them. As such, it allows me to focus on the other character, being built up. I’m excited about the match, as soon as I see the jobbee, simply because I know it’ll be mass destruction from the get-go. It also provides a small insight to how a solid opponent, (in the instance of Jax, say a Charlotte or Sasha), may be able to fair. While Nia and Braun are being built up, there will be a time when someone (eventually) overcomes them, as part of a chapter in another’s story. And while this unknown jobber may not realize it now, their jobs have played a pivotal role in the ultimate success of the babyface that knocks these larger-than-life personas down, somewhere down the line.

I love all their looks, I love their different personalities, and I squeal (inside my mind of course) like a six-year-old when I see them in the ring. The pre-interviews or opening promos are fantastic. It’s comedic, its predictable, and it provides less intense entertainment, with all the flash. So, I love the revival of the jobber, in all its losing glory.

WNZ fans! Are you enjoying the return of the legitimate jobber? Is it something the WWE should continue, now and again, or something that should slowly be eliminated once Nia Jax and Braun Stroman enter solid programs? Leave your comments below!

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Dorathy's been an avid fan of the WWE and sports entertainment since she was a small child. She attended... More about Dorathy Gass

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