No one is quite sure how so many wrestling terms got started. “Jobbing” has been around for decades, no one know where it came from but it was soon accepted. It basically means losing, often cleanly, to put the other guy over. Back in the ‘80s, you saw those guys on TV who never once won against bigger stars and were referred to as “jobbers.” That passed a bit as the Monday Night War meant bigger stars seen more often but the term remains. Of course, for every guy willing to do the job, someone else won’t. Obviously, a lot of big stars dislike jobbing, whether it hurts their standing or they don’t feel it’s right. Most are good company guys and will go along with this but others might be just a tad more annoyed.
Indeed, some take it to a new degree, feeling totally in the wrong having to lose. It’s not even about a title, they don’t feel it’s right for them, they don’t think the other guy deserves a win or know it’ll be bad for fans. It can be ego to be sure as no one wants to be seen as the loser. But it can also be about the storyline or how they know it’ll be bad. Sometimes, these refusals to job become serious business and cause huge damage while just the knowledge they hated it can affect things. Here are 15 times a wrestler wasn’t exactly thrilled doing the job and show how some folks take “sore loser” to a new degree.
15 Roddy Piper To Anybody
Piper was an old-school guy and as part of that, he hated the idea of losing. Even if it was called for and logical to the storyline, Piper just loathed it. It came up during his early runs in Mid-Atlantic as it was noted he would never do a clean job, only losing the US title to Greg Valentine after Valentine brutally attacked him.
In WWE, Hogan and Piper’s epic feud was massive but Piper made sure to only lose by count out/DQ. Hogan himself stated that had Piper been willing to job cleanly just once, it might have convinced McMahon to give him a run as champion. Piper kept it up in various feuds and it wasn’t until WrestleMania VIII that he took a clean pinfall loss to Bret Hart and that was only because of how much he respected Bret. His beliefs continued even in his WCW runs as Piper just couldn’t stand putting a guy over clean. Piper fans complain about his lack of a title run but the man’s own insistence on being a winner hurt the chances of that majorly.
14 John Cena At SummerSlam 2010
There are several times in John Cena's career where fans have accused him of holding back younger stars and refusing to let his character look weak. However, this was one time where it has actually been confirmed that Cena decided he wouldn't lose. The Nexus was the talk of the business in the summer of 2010 and a WWE vs. Nexus match was booked for SummerSlam.
Edge and Chris Jericho have discussed how the original plan was for Barrett to go over Cena to end the match, but Cena vetoed it and decided to do his typical Super Cena comeback. The Nexus lost all their steam and Cena has since admitted it was the wrong decision.
13 Stone Cold Taking His Ball And Going Home
Stone Cold Steve Austin spent years being underused in WCW, so when he finally hit the big time, he made sure that his character always came out looking strong. Austin rarely took clean losses once he became the top star in WWE, with it often taking two or three guys interfering for Austin to lose. Austin also once reportedly refused to work with Jeff Jarrett at all, thinking he wasn't on his level.
There's the rumor of how the SummerSlam 1999 main event was originally booked for Austin to drop the title to Triple H, but the match was changed to a Triple Threat so Austin wouldn't have to job to Triple H directly.
Finally of course came the time in 2002 when Austin was asked to lose to Brock Lesnar in a match on RAW without any prior build. Austin felt it was a huge waste of his starpower to lose to a young rookie without the payoff of a PPV match. Austin has since admitted he was difficult to work with in his prime.
12 Triple H To Everyone
Given he cites Ric Flair as a key inspiration, maybe it’s not surprising Triple H followed Flair’s tendency to hate doing a job. Likewise, he felt the heat from the Curtain Call that shoved him into a losing streak and thus wanted to keep on top when his 'punishment' was over. This came to the fore during Hunter's runs as champion as he clearly disliked the idea of losing to The Rock or others even if it’s what fans wanted. Even bigger was how he didn’t even want to give up losses to Eugene or others and dominating too much as champion.
Most feel he should have dropped the belt to Booker T at WrestleMania XIX but he didn’t, ruining a lot of build. True, he changed a bit putting over Batista and Cena in later battles but that streak of hating to lose continued to pop up, especially with him going over Sting. True, Hunter may be “The Game” but he sure was a sore loser at it.
11 Chris Jericho To Chyna
In his first book, Jericho detailed how in 1998, he came up with a big feud taking it to Goldberg, mocking his entrance and such and it got him nicely over. He was prepared for their final encounter to be a big PPV event only to be informed it would be on Nitro and a three minute Goldberg squash. Jericho states it wasn’t losing that was the issue, it was like that as it made all the build irrelevant and hurt both of them.
That ended up being a key reason for Jericho to jump ship to WWE where he also wasn’t pleased about “paying his dues” with early losses, including to Chyna. Jericho has gotten better since, dropping a title a few times and putting guys over well yet his early days were marked by him not happy over having to do a loss.
10 Goldberg In WCW
When you start off winning over a hundred matches, it’s no surprise losing isn’t your thing. Goldberg was on fire in 1998, dominating with his victories and the fans loving him wiping out all in his path. He wanted it to continue and thus was not happy with the plan to have the streak ended by Nash. In WWE, Goldberg hated losing his first big match to Triple H and he was right as that hurt his standing and thus weakened his later victory.
Since his return, Goldberg seems willing to do business when necessary, but as we've seen over the years not many get the better of Goldberg in big matches. Goldberg took some heat for beating full-timer Kevin Owens, but that was a company decision, and not Goldberg trying to squash younger talent.
9 Kevin Nash In General
Nash may come off a cool guy in person but his ego has led to some very ugly messes. That got him attention with his WWE championship run which was terrible business. While he dropped the belt to Bret Hart, Nash didn’t seem happy with it and it helped drive him to WCW. There, he and Scott Hall ensured they got the tag titles and dominated, including vetoing planned title drops. That was nothing compared to when Nash got the book and had himself end Goldberg’s streak to win the title and only giving it up to Hogan with the infamous “Fingerpoke of Doom.”
Nash had other bouts where he clearly disliked losing, only giving it up to Kidman to help his own rep rather than for the company. His ego remains infamous and thus Nash ranks high on the list of guys who just didn’t want to do the job properly.
8 Jeff Jarrett Losing IC Title To Chyna
The issues with Jarrett is that he’s a good upper mid-card guy but thinks he’s on the level of Austin/Hogan/Flair fan heat. A key showcase was in late 1999 when Jarrett was not happy about being a feud with Chyna for the Intercontinental title. He was to drop it but it so happened that his contract with WWE expired the day before the show. So Jarrett held up Vince for $300,000 so he didn’t got to WCW with the belt. That as a famous incident but much bigger was Jarrett’s tenure in TNA as NWA champion. The few times he lost the title, it was under a mess of some sort and almost never cleanly. Jarrett clearly hated to lose the belt or the main event despite how TNA had much hotter guys on their roster fans wanted. That he held the belt so long was annoying and continued during his later runs with the company. It’s always hard to get a boss to lose and Jarrett proves it.
7 Rey Mysterio To Dolph Ziggler
During his rise to popularity, Rey had little issues doing a job. That was true in WCW where he traded the Cruiserweight title around while putting on some great matches. He was not pleased when he had to lose his mask, a sacred thing for his culture and it wasn’t helped by how badly WCW booked him afterward. In WWE, Rey seemed to have little trouble with laying down for a guy if need be, as he held multiple titles.
But an exception was in 2009 when Rey won the IC title only to get booked to lose it fast to Dolph Ziggler. Mysterio complained about this, saying he needed a longer run to build up the belt and the loss would make his recent feud with Jericho meaningless. He’s done the job a lot of times but even Rey has to complain about a few losses.
6 Ric Flair In General
Most ignore it because of his star power and huge respect but it has to be said: In his prime, Flair was as much a spotlight-hogging politician as Hogan or Triple H. Indeed, his refusal to lose would hurt Jim Crockett a lot, the biggest issue when Flair was to drop the belt to Lex Luger but refused, leading to screwjob finishes that hurt business. He dropped it to Steamboat, then got it back a few months later. Losing to Sting was good but that failed so he managed to get the belt back.
In WWE, Flair didn’t want to lose to Hogan and had to be talked into dropping it to Bret. His WCW run is likewise filled with Flair hating to lose to Hogan and others and doing his best to boost himself over others. Even back in the ‘80s, he wasn’t pleased such as dropping the NWA title to an obviously drugged up Kerry Von Erich so he had to get it back after just a few weeks. Flair may be loved by many but never forget this guy went out of his way to avoid doing a proper job.
5 Bruno Sammartino To Anybody
Bruno has gone on record admitting he hated to lose. He just despised it so much and that was a key reason his first run as WWE champion lasted seven years. Sure, he was huge business but Bruno just didn’t feel guys were ready to beat him. He really did dislike coming up short in any match and did his best to look good. He was not pleased that Ivan Kolloff was the one chosen to finally end his reign, the Madison Square Garden crowd shocked so silent that Bruno feared he lost his hearing. After that, he disliked doing other jobs and thus it wasn’t hard to decide to let him have another run as champion.
Again, he hated to lose it to Superstar Billy Graham and made sure it was by Graham cheating. At least Bruno admits his hating to job at all and it does enhance his legend as a terrific star who put WWE on the map.
4 Hulk Hogan In General
Maybe it shouldn’t be too much of a shock. In the AWA, Hogan came up short against Nick Bockwinkel’s champion despite being the hottest guy in the company. In WWE, he reigned for years as champion, his act as the unbeatable hero huge business and folks loving it. So it’s not surprising Hogan would be resistant to changing that to lose. That came up big in his feud with Flair, Hogan reluctant to put him over and a key reason he left WWE in 1993 was his refusal to drop the title to Bret Hart. In WCW, Hogan again didn’t want to lose to Flair or to Vader, causing problems.
The bigger one was, of course, Starrcade ’97 as all logic said Hogan had to lose clean to Sting but instead made it a total mess that had Hogan looking better in his loss. Even in his later WWE run, Hogan kept it up, refusing to lose to Shawn or Randy Orton and complaining about the few times he had to job. As one of the biggest egos around, it’s no shock Hogan never liked a loss.
3 Nia Jax When Asked To Lose To Sasha Banks
Nia Jax has been taking WWE by storm with her fantastic size and power. A beautiful woman, she is also imposing and most think she’s due for a run with the belt. But recently, word is that Jax isn’t happy about her situation and her push in WWE. She was unhappy with her pay but especially how she was to lose clean to Sasha Banks at TLC. In fact, Jax reportedly called up her cousin, The Rock, to ask advice with him saying she should do as she wants. She seems to have skipped on RAW and buzz is building up that she is only one of several people in WWE not happy with how the company is doing, hinting at a major exodus coming. Regardless, Jax is a current major example of someone not happy with losing and how it showcases bigger issues of WWE that worries fans.
2 Shawn Michaels Throughout His Run On Top
Shawn, by his own admission, was a rampaging jerk in his prime. He’s totally open about it and how he would refuse to do jobs, something he seems to regret. A key example is in late 1993 when Shawn was cranky about the possibility of dropping the Intercontinental title and so was suspended with Razor Ramon getting the belt. In 1995, Shawn got beaten up by a guy at a bar and so gave up the belt rather than lose to Dean Douglas.
The most famous case is how Shawn refused to return the favor to Bret with a loss at Mania, giving up the title instead and how that set up Montreal. While Shawn seemed to change his attitude, he famously didn’t want to lose to Hogan at SummerSlam ’05 and thus oversold Hogan’s offense as a way of showing him up. Shawn would put guys over later in his career but in his high period, he hated losing big time.
1 Bret Hart At The 1997 Survivor Series
It’s the most famous moment ever of a man not wanting to job. The fact is, Bret had a bit of a history with that. When WCW came calling in early 1992, Vince was worried of Bret jumping with the IC title. So he forced Bret to lose it to The Mountie, Bret only agreeing if Vince put out the story he was wrestling with the flu.
But the bigger one was Montreal. Vince was adamant that Bret simply could not go to WCW still the champion, even if he gave it up. Bret refused to lose to Shawn Michaels and in his home country. For Bret, it was a matter of pride wrapped in national love, claiming losing in Canada would be a blow for the country. The back and forth snapped and built up big time leading to the now infamous screwjob. To this day, Bret contends he was in the right with many disagreeing. Nonetheless, it’s the biggest case ever of a guy not happy with the idea of losing and one that shook up the entire business.