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Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston and the New Jobbers of the WWE

The names have changed, but obviously, the jobs have not. Welcome to the world of professional wrestling and the role of the jobber – the guy there to do his job, to make the heel or champion look good night after night in arena after arena.

Welcome to the world of Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston. No matter how wildly successful they have been as champions and as stars in the WWE, their careers have taken a path of the broken road. The company is overstocked with talent or numbers there is nowhere to go and since there are not traditional roles in wrestling like there used to be, some wrestlers fall on the sword for the good for the company. But it is hard to imagine these two as “jobbers” after such success in the past three years alone.

A slightly higher position is “jobber to the stars” (also known as a “glorified jobber”), which is a wrestler who still defeats pure jobbers and mid-carders but who consistently loses to top-level or up-and-coming stars. This often happens to popular faces and sometimes heels towards the end of their careers, including Tony Garea, Ivan Putski, and, more recently, Val Venis, Goldust, Victoria, Chavo Guerrero, and Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP when he was in the WWE).

Growing up, names like “Snake” Brown, “Wild” Bill Snyder, the Mulkey Brothers and George South were “known” jobbers who lost each week to Ric Flair, Rick Rude and Jake Roberts. The “Brooklyn Brawler” has been a staple in the WWE for decades and Barry Horowitz – who had a gimmick that made him a popular figure in the WWF. Incidentally, Horowitz was at one time the Florida Heavyweight Champion after defeating Kendall Windham back in the late 1980s. Consider it a small victory for all jobbers in in the business.

By definition, a “jobber” is a professional wrestling term used to describe a wrestler who is routinely defeated by main eventers, mid-carders, or low-carders. Jobbers usually end up losing any match they participate in. Most promoters don’t use the term because of the negative connotation. Jobber is also used in boxing to refer to an unskilled fighter who would earn just enough money to pay for a breakfast of “ham and eggs”. A number of wrestlers have made a career out of jobbing.

Jobbers are used since the 1950s, and they were popular in promotions of the United States and Canada around this time.

What bothers me about the use of Ziggler and Kingston in this role has more to do with message it sends to the WWE Universe. The losses mount and the ladder to the top of the title picture is hard enough. It appeared the company wanted to give Ziggler another push – having been a world champion just over a year ago. Evidently, that ship has already sailed. Now, he is making Randy Orton and the Authority’s newest member, Seth Rollins, look like the next coming of Eddie Guerrero.

Kingston is another case of being one of the most athletic performers in the company, but size and gimmick do not mix in a company that wants bigger, stronger, faster and more dominant. Kingston’s acrobatics are great and the fans get over with his gimmick, but Kingston would be better served as a heel – and like Rick Steamboat, that will never happen.

The WWE did its part to create a better tag team division to find spots for wrestlers who essentially did not have a spot. That saved the careers of Curtis Axel and Ryback and have hurt Damien Sandow and Kingston along the way. Sandow is another one of the great talents that have become a laughable win for the “big” stars.

It is only a matter of time for that to become reality – and the reality is even the biggest stars of just a few years ago have fallen farther than they could have imagined. The new jobber is the one we all think is just a win or two away from winning gold again.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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