QOTD: Wrestling’s Darkest Moment

We’re moving into a little bit deeper territory today, as we
tackle a subject that is likely to paint a fairly broad canvas.
Today’s Question:
What was, in your opinion, professional wrestling’s darkest day?
We’ll discuss your answers tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s
yesterday’s replies, lifted directly from the comments section.

We were talking about jobbers. Those loveable undercard
losers, that try as they might, just can’t seem to win a match. We definitely
had a wide array of what you considered to be a “jobber”. Let’s dive in.
therealnitzilla: Um, I believe the politically correct term
is “enhancement talent.”
And the Gobbledygooker would prefer to be remembered as an
esteemed Guerrero family member, but it’s not going to happen.
WCW1987: Dolph Ziggler.
MikeyMike2323: Ziggler and Ryder today. Zach has been DOA
for two years now. Maybe it’ll be easier to leave now that Curt Hawkins left.
Colt Cabana does well for himself on the Indy scene and Ryder is a thousand
fold better than him.
David: Zack Ryder; he had a fan base with his
YouTube show; people were chanting for him in matches he wasn’t involved in;
his us title win got him a great pop. He lost the title to swagger 2 weeks
later who then lost the title to santino a few weeks after that. He then feuded
with kane/eve which made him look just plain bad. He then got the losing pin at
wrestlemania because he was made to be an idiot. I’m not saying he would main
event wrestlemania but he could have been in the kofi/santino role and always
be in the mid card hunt for a title.
Crikey Mate Down
Under Aussie:
Ryder, massive fan
base, kids were wearing the headbands and he was getting big reactions on the
woo woo woo. Nice signature maneuvers, decently sized, comfortable on the mic.
Never going to be world champ material, but he definitely does not deserve this
underuse as a jobber.
RosAlGhulScoe: I know this is going to sound crazy now, but
I really think they should have put Cena vs Ryder on the PPV after WM.
You guys sure love you some Zack Ryder and Dolph Ziggler.
The fact the Ryder love is still pouring in some two years after his weekly
castration from worst enemy Kane and even worse best friend John Cena speaks
volumes about the fan support he had. Dolph Ziggler is an interesting choice as
a “jobber” seeing as how he held the World Title as recently as a year ago, but
it’s almost hard to disagree at this stage of his career. Sadly it looks like
he’s carrying CM Punk’s leftover chips squarely on his shoulders, without the
clout to get away with it.
Danimal Crossing:
I had an SD Jones LJN figure back in the
day. The yellow shirt not the red shirt if you’re wondering.
The Daniel Bryan of his time; doing the deed in record time
during the biggest pay-per-view in history to that point. I’m not old enough to
have seen much of his career, but I have seen my share of Coliseum Video, and
he was a solid soldier.
Mike_N: Tim Horner. He was a legit mid carder back
in the NWA and Southern territories, but he never went past JTTS in the WWF.
He’d get all the token jobber offense in tag matches against heel
teams–dropkick and a couple of armdrags–and then he’d tag in his jobber
partner, who’d promptly get destroyed and pinned by the heels.
Another great old school suggestion. Tim Horner had the ring
skills to throw down with anyone – here’s a quick display of that in
a squash match where he picks apart his opponent in a manner that you might expect
from a Dean Malenko.
ziggaman730: Well Idk about yall, but El Dandy was one
Jam up guy!
And a serious professional.
Petrock: Iron Mike Sharpe
Parallax1978: “Iron” Mike Sharpe. Man that guy
looked scary and as a young #1 Draw I was always shocked when he lost.
I’ve attended a couple of WWE events with my wife, and
inevitably there will be at least one match featuring a wrestler I’ve never
seen before. She asks me who everyone is, and the no-name always winds up with
the distinction of being called “Iron Mike Sharpe” which seems to satisfy her.
Previous Mike Sharpe’s include Sheamus in 2009, and Roman Reigns in 2012.
PeteF3: The legit answer here is Barry Horowitz. A
great (as in GREAT) worker when allowed to show it, and could function as
either a cocky heel or a gutsy underdog babyface.
VintageGamer: Barry Horowitz. His run as The Jobber That
Could ended way too soon and he could have just as easily transitioned into the
cocky jobber that kept living on past laurels.
Your opinion wouldn’t have gone over well with my 6th
grade friends, where he was referred to as “Barry Horriblewitz”. And I’m pretty
sure your dream scenario came true in the WCW Saturday Night studios; the
canned heat in attendance couldn’t stand the guy.
Mister_E_Logdriver:
I would totally have liked to see Lanny
Poffo in a tag team or even get an IC title push. The poem gimmick, and a
different moveset for the time was pretty cool.
I refused to give the title of “jobber” to a man who once
beat Hulk Hogan in his prime. Granted, it was by countout, and yes Mr. Perfect
might have played a teeny role, but it happened.
Extant1979: I’m gonna go with a guy that I saw on a few
Prime Times and wrestling matches at MSG: Sunny Beach. The name alone would
have given him an IC Title win in another era, at the very least, some
vignettes.
The first wrestling tape I ever owned was bought at a street
garage sale for $1 – a used copy of UWF’s Beach Brawl. It advertised an
appearance from Cactus Jack, so I fast forwarded, until I found the match, in
all its glory. Sunny Beach wrestled as one half of Wet and Wild against a skinny
Mick Foley, and Bob Orton. That match, along with the rest of the tape, was
absolutely atrocious, and attempts to sell the tape on eBay in later years
proved impossible, even with a $0.01 price tag, and my using the words “CACTUS
JACK MICK FOLEY MANKIND” about 40 times throughout the listing. It’s fairly
clear my mistake was not latching on to the legend of Sunny Beach.
Jay Thomas: Real old school guy – Rick McGraw, my first
favorite wrestler as a kid. He would get tremendous reactions on TV and at
house shows. McGraw would get in there with a Sgt Slaughter or Magnificent
Muraco and they would sell for him so strong, you always had a feeling that
McGraw would pull off an upset. But the heels always went over and came out of
a match with McGraw looking stronger.
My only previous knowledge of McGraw came from his
unfortunate obituary in Bret Hart’s book, so I did myself a favor of watching a
couple of his matches. While his drug problem could obviously be overlooked as
he was starring in the 80’s, his height probably did him in against ever
getting a sustained push. Good wrestler, great suggestion.
foeaminute: Wasn’t there some guy that kinda looked like
Hulk Hogan? I almost feel like his name was Terry Hogan or something (I know
that’s not it)…
As answered later in the thread, Randy Hogan is your winner
– and I think “kinda looked like” is about as kind to Randy Hogan one can be. I
mean, take away the pythons, the spray tan, the height… Actually, who am I
kidding? When I recapped WCW’s G-shows, I would have killed for a Randy Hogan.
White Thunder: Brad Armstrong
Brian_Bayless: Brad Armstrong was underused.
Sweet Lee: Does Brad Armstrong count? If they had let
him be “Guy That Can Wrestle” Brad Armstrong, he had a Malenko like
ceiling. Instead, he now holds the record for bad gimmicks, with at least 4
that come to mind (Arachnaman, Candyman, Buzzkill, Badstreet).
Not only is Armstrong furious at your omission of “B.A.”
from the bad gimmicks list, but Brutus Beefcake is demanding his respect at the
top of the bad gimmick list along with a hit from your finest speedball.
ABeyAnce1: R-Truth, when he turned into the crazy heel
in 2011, it almost seemed like he reinvented himself and could have gotten a US
title run or a tag team title run. Sadly, after losing to Rock and Cena at
SurSeries 11, he slowly, but surely, faded from the main focus.
He’ll be back once the Little Jimmy feud starts up with
Little Johnny. This is planned for later in the year once the custody feud for
Little Johnny between Bray Wyatt and Heidenreich is settled.
Uncruisimatic_Buck_Nasty:
there is only 1 answer: MULKEYMANIA
You’re a sick, sick man.
YJ2310: The Conquistadors! Those fellas were pretty
sharp in that Survivor Series match….
Way, way before their time. The foreign masked wrestler is a
fish upstream in any era outside WCW’s Cruiserweight heyday. Just ask any of
the 14 incarnations of Sin Cara.
dwaters: Sal Sincere, or Tom Brandi. Ironically, he
disappeared as a jobber as soon as he was called a jobber by Marc Mero.
The Mero thing was one of the worst examples of cutting off
the nose to spite the face a company can do. There truly was no point to having
Mero out him as “Tom Brandi” other than to deflate his heat balloon and make
everyone involved look like blithering idiots. This is right up there with
Steve Austin chanting “BORING” at Lance Storm.
thebraziliankid: Norman Smiley.
Ray Is A Nerd: I don’t know if Norman Smiley would be
considered a jobber…but he was CRIMINALLY underused.
WCW never got it. After spending a year or so as a goofy
jobber who just wanted to smack his bitch up, Norman gets over as a crybaby who
screamed his way through hardcore matches to win on a fluke and becomes their
hottest midcarder. The WCW brass then gets the brilliant idea to have him “show
guts” by not screaming anymore, instead losing every match he’s in. Then he
dressed like KISS for some reason and hired Ralphus and that was the end of my
interest in Norman Smiley.
brocore: “Hole in One” Barry Darsow, Repo
Man, Blacktop Bully
They would have made a killer stable with Demolition.
Hoss_of_BoD: Read every comment? Bah! Say “kitty
pumpkin fucker.”
I find your language a little apauling and I won’t be meekin
any effort to play your games.
Zanatude: George South
Ric Flair once called him his favorite jobber to wrestle, so
you’re obviously on to something here. You know you’re being criminally
underused when The Ding Dongs are set to debut and the producer looks to you as
the fodder.
Rick Poehling: How can it be anyone other than Jim Powers?
When I was a kid, Jesse Ventura had me completely convinced that he was just a
win or two away from breaking out into the big time. He put over Powers
stronger than he did most mid-carders.
In all seriousness, Powers probably was a push away from
breaking out at any point – but after spending so long toiling as “the other
guy” in mid-card tag-teams, he likely got lost in the shuffle. He definitely
had the look, and a strong enough move set to warrant an opportunity.
daveschlet: In all honesty…The Gambler. The gambler
was a criminally underused jobber and gimmick.
And we’ll wrap the comments here, as daveschlet pins my
choice right on the donkey.
It wasn’t so much the losing streak that was the problem
with the Gambler. In fact, the losing was part of his charm. He was a true
Gambler, through and through. Despite constantly getting owned, time and time
again, he thought he was smarter than everyone else, and would eventually win
his way to the top – like so many gamblers before him. But the pit never loses,
and Gambler never learned his lesson. He’d come back the following week,
feeling as cocky as ever. Maybe he’d beat some opponents playing super Nintendo
wrestling, and was convinced he was ready again to tangle with the big boys.
But it was never meant to be.
My peeve with the Gambler is that he never got the chance to
take a shot at the “big game”, and move up to Nitro; despite clearly not having
the bankroll of wins to have earned it. It would have had a real shot to get
over. Disco Inferno made a career out of being the arrogant loser, and there’s
no reason to believe the Gambler couldn’t have done the same.
Also, he totally beat Loch Ness.
Til tomorrow.