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People Power (5/5/2015): It's Jobberin' Time!



Hi everyone. I'm Mark De Joya (@MDJSuperstar), your regular host for the People Power surveys here at Smark Henry. Last week, we featured a survey on the greatest wrestlers never to have become World Champion. We'll be aiming a bit lower this time around, as we take a look at the greatest jobbers of all time.

The art of jobbing is extremely under-appreciated. You may suppose that the ultimate goal in all of professional wrestling is to claim championship gold, to become a legend, or to get inducted into the Hall of Fame, and you're probably right. But the truth is, becoming a star is a carefully curated process. To become a star, a wrestler needs to be able to showcase his skills and ability against the right kind of wrestler, someone who can take a beating with a certain level of panache, sell his moves like death, and by losing, make the victor seem truly legitimate in the eyes of the audience.

"Iron" Mike Sharpe was instrumental in molding the Ultimate Warrior into a finished product.

That's the job of a jobber. These are men who may have lost a hell of a lot more times than they have won, but in the process, have helped make legends and champions out of the men they faced. These are men without egos. And sometimes, in the cutthroat world of professional wrestling, that's the rarest and most precious gift of all.

As always, all results were voted upon by the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas wrestling community. So let's get cracking, shall we?

 *****

#5
Barry Horowitz (42%)


"Big stage" win-loss record: 
.036 (WWF/WCW)

Major championships & accomplishments: 
None.

Talk about excellence. Talk about greatness. Talk about an indomitable fighting spirit. 

You probably aren't talking about Barry Horowitz.

Over his 16-year career, including stops in the WWF and WCW, Horowitz has wrestled almost 300 matches, and amassed a career winning percentage of less than 4%. Think about thatI could step into a wrestling ring and win 4% of my matches. The man has lost to everyone from Scotty Riggs to the Disco Inferno. 

His best run was in 1995, when he registered seven wins in what was his first ever real push in the WWF, ending the year with a dominant (for him, at least) win-loss rate of .219.

When that's your definition of a good year, you're probably not on your way to the WWE Hall of Fame. 

But the truth is, Barry Horowitz never aspired for anything better, as he stated in an interview with Rolling  Stone. "I'm happy to be there, living my dream," he said. "I'm gonna do what they want. If I can progress, fine. It's a very political business. They can make an example of you if they don't need you."

Because as he fondly recalls Gorilla Monsoon telling him, "We got all our superstars. We don't need any more."

*****

#4
Santino Marella (47%)


"Big stage" win-loss record: 
.552 (WWE)

Major championships & accomplishments:
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship (2 times)
  • WWE United States Championship (1 time)
  • WWE Tag Team Championship (1 time)
  • Miss WrestleMania (2 times)

It isn't every wrestler who gets to win the Intercontinental Championship in his WWE debut, but that's exactly what the "Milan Miracle" Santino Marella accomplished. 

It isn't every male wrestler either who gets to be crowned as "Miss WrestleMania," but that's one more thing Santino Marella accomplished—twice, no less!

It isn't every wrestler who gets to boast that he's off to beat the Honky Tonk Man's record 64-week reign as Intercontinental Champion, but that's exactly what Marella did as well with his weekly "Honk-A-Meter" challenge. Never mind that he lost the title after just 12 weeks; the point is that he had the bravado to even set such an audacious goal.

It isn't every wrestler who gets to set a Royal Rumble record, but Santino did that too. In 2009, he broke the Warlord's long-standing record for fastest elimination, somehow managing to get tossed out within just 1.9 seconds of entering the ring. 

It isn't every wrestler who gets to make us laugh and cry and boo and cheer for him consistently throughout the course of his career, but that's exactly what Santino Marella did. He cared more about entertaining us than his win-loss record, and that's probably why he doesn't mind that he's won barely over half his matches.

We may never see him in the ring again, and that's perfectly all right. In the hearts of every wrestling fan who loves a good laugh, the Master of the Cobra will never be forgotten.

*****

#3
The Brooklyn Brawler (51%)


"Big stage" win-loss record: 
.070 (WWF/E)

Major championships & accomplishments: 
None

Few wrestlers talked a bigger game in the 1980s than the Brooklyn Brawler, and that's probably why it was so fascinating to watch him laid out flat on his back after getting steamrolled by any number of newcomers to a WWF ring.

With a career winning rate of 7%, emerging victorious from matches clearly wasn't one of the Brawler's gifts. What he excelled in however was his versatility. From his early days under the tutelage of legendary manager Bobby "The Brain" Heenen, to such varied gimmicks as a meantime wearer of the Doink the Clown mantle, The Ugandan Giant Kamala's handler Kim Chee, or baseball picket-buster Abe "Knuckleball" Schwarz, the Brawler showed magnificent range, always embracing what ever role the company called on him to do.

The man has had his moments too. In 1997, he won a battle royal at the WWE's Madison Square Garden show for the chance to take on Shawn Michaels for the World Championship. He lost that match, and that's all for the best. In a world full of winners, the Brooklyn Brawler was a magnificent loser who knew his job and helped launch countless wrestlers into full-time stars. You weren't a man until you'd gone through the Brawler. Just ask the Rock. He faced off with the Brooklyn Brawler for his WWE tryout match, and noted later on in his autobiography that he owed his excellent showing to the Brawler's ability to carry him and make him shine.

You can't make lemonade without lemons, and you can't make stars without the legendary Brooklyn Brawler.

*****

#1(tie)
Zack Ryder (61%)


"Big stage" win-loss record: 
.396 (WWE)

Championships & accomplishments:
  • WWE United States Championship (1 time)
  • WWE Tag Team Championship (1 time)

For one brief shining point in his career, you could rightly say that Zack Ryder was the single hottest name in professional wrestling, at least as far as the online world was concerned. Tired of being overlooked and forgotten by WWE management, the Long Island loudmouth devised his own YouTube show, "Z! True Long Island Story," which served to spotlight the charisma, cleverness, wit, humor, and inventiveness of the man behind the tan.

Dubbing himself the Internet Champion, Ryder finally got himself over to the point that live crowds would start chanting "We Want Ryder!" or flashing "Ryder or Riot" signs at TV tapings. He finally got his moment of singles championship glory, taking down future World Champion Dolph Ziggler for the coveted United States Championship in 2012.

Sadly, there aren't many other memorable in-ring moments for the rest of Ryder's career since then. He's been off television for much of the time since then, generally serving only as cannon fodder for more established stars.

Zack Ryder's time may have come and gone, but we truly believed that he fought the odds and made himself, and for that we give the self-declared Long Island Iced Z one resounding woo woo woo!

You know it.

*****

#1(tie)
Heath Slater (61%)




"Big stage" win-loss record: 
.132 (WWE)

Major championships & accomplishments:
  • WWE Tag Team Championship (3 times)

Heath Slater has not won a match in seven months.

Heath Slater has been humiliated by retired out-of-shape wrestlers just to get a laugh—Vader, Sid, Diamond Dallas Page, Bob Backlund, Scotty 2 Hotty, Rikishi, Road Warrior Animal, the APA, and even Lita have all kicked his ass in the ring.
Heath Slater has gone from being a key member of the hottest stable on the planet in the Nexus to suffering the indignity of putting over the Bunny or Los Matadores as a member of Slater Gator, only to eventually get dumped by Titus O'Neil.

Heath Slater is a three-time WWE Tag Team Champion, but his most recent highlights involve getting RKO'd through a buffet table and playing JBL's fake nephew on the The JBL & Renee Show.

Heath Slater has had to face the public shame of being issued an arrest warrant for alleged assault, and not being allowed to wrestle until the charges were dropped.

Heath Slater has been compared to the Wendy's logo.

And through it all, Heath Slater has never wavered in his commitment to his role. He buys into who he's supposed to be, never gives up, and plays his character to the fullest every single damn night. He takes no nights off, embraces each skit, each gimmick, each moment like it's the main event of WrestleMania.

People applaud John Cena for being an absolute company man, but we don't give Heath Slater enough credit for being the same way. He may not be in the upper crust of today's talent roster, but he gives everything he has to give, and perhaps that's why we can reward him with co-ownership of the top spot here in the Smark Henry People Power jobber rankings.

*****

I personally found it saddening that Heath Slater and Zack Ryder ranked so high in the survey.


Classic jobbers of yesteryear would have been thrilled to have had the careers both men had, with a smattering of secondary championships and memorable highlights between them. I personally would have put the Brooklyn Brawler and Barry Horowitz at the top of the list for three very specific reasons.

  • Their sheer longevity in serving as gatekeepers for emerging stars to pass through to be seen as legitimate contenders
  • The absolute futility of their career winning records. Seriously, it takes complete commitment and an absolute love for the game to be able to swallow a winning percentage in the single digits.
  • Their magnificent talent in selling and taking a beating. They knew how to make their opponents look good, and never demanded getting any shine back.

Do you agree with how the rankings played out? Got any violent reactions over why "Iron" Mike Sharpe didn't make it? Leave us a comment below, and let's have a good conversation on your thoughts.

*****

Mark De Joya (@MDJSuperstar) is an advertising professional and brand strategist by day, but dreams of being the Vince McMahon of the Philippines by night. He writes anything to do with numbers for Smark Henry: People Power, our weekly fan survey, and Best For Business, our regular financial report. With 18" arms and a 300-pound squat, he is also the official bouncer of the Smark Henry offices.

All photos were taken from WWE.com. Championship tallies, accomplishments, and win-loss records are courtesy of the Internet Wrestling Database.

Comments

  1. Great read! Better infographic! Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words! Have you gotten to read the other great articles up on the site?

      Delete

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