Professional wrestling, back in the day, fell into two distinct categories. Firstly, there were the main event cards. Long before pay-per-view, household incomes could support a tribe heading down to Maple Leaf Gardens (or any big city arena) to witness Hulk Hogan body slamming Big John Studd; or, the ongoing “Cold War” feud between the U.S. Express and the Foreign Legion, which played on all of our worst fears - namely, the fall of Western civilization. Secondly, and on topic, was the televised wresting on Saturday afternoons, one may even recall the channel - CHCH11. In this format, viewers would, if they were lucky, witness one match of significance, with the rest being a well-known wrestler paired with what we subjectively called a “nobody” - although he official term in the business is “jobber,” which sounds slightly more humane.
Jobbers by definition were there to work, get paid and, for the most part, make their competition look good. Glory and notoriety was not expected, although there is always the hope of upward mobility. There was nobility in what they did and we’re talking real blue-collar, alienated labour stuff here. No Pensions? No Unions? No Job Security? These jobbers were workers and they basically worked until they couldn’t work any longer or until the machine had no use for them. Today, there may still be “talent enhancers” that we see from time to time, but in the WWE everything has changed. Jobbers, in the true sense of the word and function, don’t exist anymore. This list is not a lament, but rather a dedication to the Top 15 Jobbers in WWE History.
15 Iron Mike Sharpe
Self-dubbed as “Canada’s Greatest Athlete,” Iron Mike Sharpe could be seen regularly on Saturday afternoons throughout the 1980s. Always with his forearm wrapped for whatever reason (oftentimes hiding a foreign object), Sharpe would always get a few forearm smashes in before an inevitable loss. That being said, Iron Mike was afforded victories over the likes of B Brian Blair and Cousin Luke (kinsmen to Hillbilly Jim).
14 Barry Horowitz
This guy had an awesome mullet and gave himself a pat on the back when no one else would. Part of Horowitz’s storyline and appeal was the fact that he lost so much. Like every match where the audience would already know the outcome before the bell, fans would always hope that, in some parallel universe, Horowitz could win. Eventually, the WWE allowed that to happen with his unlikely victory over BodyDonna Skip. Later he went on to also best “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” Ken Shamrock.
13 Paul Roma
He had the look; obviously spending time lifting weights in an era where most wrestlers, although physically big guys, didn’t all look like The Rock. With Roma, it seemed like there was always the potential for more. You may remember “The Young Stallions,” when the WWE paired him alongside Jim Powers (another jobber that makes the list). Again, success was limited, although they did defeat Don Muraco and Cowboy Bob Orton Jr during their brief period of notoriety.
12 Jim Powers
Like Paul Roma, on the surface Jim Powers appeared physically gifted and had spent obvious hours in the gym. In a recent Rolling Stone article, Powers opened up about his pro wrestling experience, and his brief success with Paul Roma as half of the “Young Stallions,” where has says “a lot of money was lost” when he and Roma parted ways.
11 Salvatore Bellomo
One of the most well known fall guys during the 1980s, Bellomo makes the list for his impromptu appearance on Piper’s Pit; where Piper asked why Bellomo was there, saying that he had not ordered a pizza. Long story short, Salvatore Bellomo fought all the biggest superstars and beat none of them. Poor guy.
10 Lanny Poffo
Coined “Leaping” Lanny early on, Poffo’s less memorable, but certainly more entertaining personality was “The Genius.” In this character, Poffo would usually come to the ring with unflattering prose about his opponent. Posing as overly arrogant, Poffo was always smarter than all his opponents and the audience. Noteworthy is that Lanny Poffo is Randy “Macho Man” Savage’s brother and he once defeated Hulk Hogan by count out.
9 Jose Luis Rivera
Whether part of a tag team or as an individual, Rivera lost constantly and with consistency, save a few victories over others from the “nobody” ilk. Brief notoriety came with the forming of “The Conquistadors,” although there are no significant victories. Nonetheless, Rivera was around in the 1970s and wrestled well into the 1990s, and longevity cannot be overstated.
8 S.D. Jones
“Special Delivery” Jones would give any big name wrestler a run for his money, yet was always doomed to lose, usually through rule-breaking by his counterpart. Memorable of Jones was his enthusiasm and likability. S.D. Jones did once make it to the final two of a Battle Royal with Tony Atlas, whereupon the final two combatants didn’t want to fight because they were friends. Jones and Atlas decided that a coin toss should decide the winner. In short, Jones lost the coin toss, consequently losing the match and was still happy.
7 Barry O
Despite being the brother of “Cowboy” Bob Orton Jr, uncle of current WWE superstar Randy Orton and the son of wrestling legend Bob Orton, Barry O was still a nobody – to the point where he wasn’t even taking advantage of his own surname. Despite wrestling for plenty of years, his greatest accomplishment is winning the WOW World Heavyweight Championship...
6 Danny Davis
Biased WWE referee, turned wrestler, turned honest referee, “Dangerous” Danny Davis was known for his quick pin counts, rumors of accepting bribes, and being loathed with as much enthusiasm, or more so, than the “bad guys” whom he favored. Eventually Davis did have a period of redemption where he called fair matches – undoubtedly he’s the Kerry Fraser of the WWE. As a wrestler, he was pretty much just a jobber.
5 Johnny Rodz
As one of the jobber elder statesman, Johnny Rodz lost far more than he won. He did, however, earn the name “The Unpredictable One.” Rodz’s “unorthodox abilities and willingness to face any challenger earned him the respect of fans and Superstars alike.”Regardless of his inability to win matches, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996.
4 Steve Lombardi
If remembered at all, Lombardi’s most well known wrestling personality was as “The Brooklyn Brawler.” In all his roles, Lombardi, was always presented as a heel and the Brawler was basically an unskilled street fighter sporting a Yankees shirt and blue jeans. In this character, Lombardi would go toe-to-toe with his opponent, generate hostility from the crowd and eventually fall. Unique in the world of “Nobodies” was the Brawler’s climb into some huge matches; he went up against Shawn Michaels and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
3 Tiger Chung Lee
If you don’t remember Tiger Chung Lee from small screen wrestling, you may remember his big screen appearance in the 1986 film, The Golden Child, starring Eddie Murphy. The Internet Movie Database also has Tiger Chung Lee studying Law at Columbia University before pursuing a career in professional wrestling.
2 Dusty Wolfe
Not Dusty Rhodes, but Dusty Wolfe, was a television staple in the late 1980s. One thing about Dusty Wolfe, the guy was a true jobber, both in and out of the ring as an employee with the old WWE. One “job” he recalls is basically babysitting Zeus, Hulk Hogan’s buddy Tiny Lister from the film world. According to Wolfe “it was a good deal for me. It was all expenses paid to travel with him, plus I would also get to work (in the ring), so I would also get my payday for that.” Dusty Wolfe - a true jobber.
1 Rene Goulet
Billed as “The Number One Frenchman” out of Nice, France – Rene Goulet was the master of the claw and did have a somewhat notorious career before his reclusion to the “talent enhancement” category. Although he did beat some of the greats in his earlier career, Goulet is better remembered for his Saturday afternoon work on television. You may also recall Goulet as the unofficial fight breaker-upper; when matches would get out of hand (usually outside of the ring), he was the guy who came flying down the aisle to break them up.