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SLAM! WRESTLING: Guest Columnist

SLAM! Sports
SLAM! Wrestling







Tuesday, October 13, 1998

SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column

Jobbers into Stars? I don't think so...

DX
The entire DX crew (left to right) Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, Billy Gunn, X-Pac, Chyna and The Road Dog.
By MARY CATHERINE ADAMS -- For SLAM! Wrestling

Many people say that Vince McMahon has done a tremendous amount with a severely limited roster. I agree. Many people say that the WCW's roster has many big name stars. Again, I agree. Some people say that Vince McMahon takes the jobbers from other promotions and turns them into top draws. It's there that I disagree.

Yes, McMahon and compant do turn these people into major draws but if you really look carefully, these guys were never jobbers in the first place. I should clarify that, a large percentage of these wrestlers were not jobbers, those who were did not make it big. The ones I am referring to were the very athletic, talented wrestlers that until a gimmick change was made, never really stood out. I want to show you some examples, and maybe you readers out there will have a different opinion of these so called former "jobbers".

Example #1: Hunter Hearst Helmsley. He started out in WCW in 1994 and did not really accomplish much. When he entered the WWF he was touted as "very technically sound" and was even compared to Ric Flair. For some reason, no one ever cared and this Connecticut bluebood was put on job duty seemingly due to lack of interest. He lost to guys like Savio Vega, Fatu, Phineas Godwinn {a.k.a. Mark Canterbury} and did not really cause much of a stir until he ditched the dress pants and polo shirts for jeans and a DX t-shirt. His career really and truly took off when he fired Shawn Michaels from DX on the March 30 Raw and completely changed his attitude. Now people recognize his ability, but if you look at tapes of his older matches from 1995 and 1996, you will see that the superb ability was already there.

Example #2: The "Road Dog" Jesse Jammes {yes it is spelt right}. If I hear one more person say that The Road Dog is all mike work and no wrestling ability I am going to scream. This guy is a second generation wrestler, who was properly schooled and trained. He sure didn't accomplish much as "The Roadie" or as the "New Double J" {heck even I changed the channel on that one}, but when he changed his gimmick to "The Road Dog" and teamed up with Billy Gunn, he penned a new lease on his career. Now I'll admit, that he does get beat up a great deal in his matches {but I think that's the WWF's fault not his}, but given a right opponent with a similar style, he can have a great match.

Don't believe me? Check out his match from the King of the Ring '95 with Bob Holly. A great match full of high flying action and technical spots. I noticed his match with Mark Henry from Raw wasn't too bad either and if someone can put on a decent match with someone who outweighs them by nearly 200 pounds, they've gained my respect. Add oodles of charisma to the package, and you have got yourself a money-maker. Now if the WWF would only book him with some decent people....and impending feud with partner Billy Gunn may actually bring out his style which brings me to...

Example #3: "Bad Ass" Billy Gunn. Rockabilly? Come on, Vince surely you can do better than that. It is a real shame that he wasted so much time as a lame-o "Smokin'" cowboy. I cannot even bear to watch his early WWF matches. {I think the goofy 70's moustache and the terrible 80's hair had something to do with that}. When I can stomach his "Smokin Gunn's" stuff, I notice that he uses many of the same moves that he uses now. {ie: the Rocker dropper} Only difference now is, he executes them way better, with more arrogance and flash than before. His mike work has come along way. Mark my words, this guy is going to be big. He's in great shape, good looking, cocky and involved in one of the most popular angles in history. Billy Gunn was always good, but only now is he starting to shine.

D'Lo Brown
WWF European champ, D'Lo Brown.
Example #4: D-Lo Brown. Jim Ross calls him "one of the most underrated" wrestler ever. I agree with him totally. He did not excel in his "Did you hear what he said?" role in the old Nation of Domination with Faarooq and company. He rarely wrestled and when he did, he jobbed. This guy was never meant to be a jobber, he has some fantastic moves. Sure, he's never going to headline, but he is becoming a solid mid-carder. He seems to come up with a new variation on his top rope splash every week.

These are only a few of the wrestlers that fall into this category. If you really look, the wrestlers that were put into the "jobbers made into stars" category, were never really jobbers. Sure they lost alot, but what I mean, is that the ability was always there. When I think of a jobber I'm thinking of someone, who for lack of better word, sucks. Guys like HHH, The Outlaws, D-Lo, Kane and The Rock were alot of things, but "sucking" was not one of them. I have the early matches on tape to prove it too, and if you are a huge Outlaws fan or whatever the case, I recommend you check out their early stuff and see just how their careers evolved. Jobbers into Stars? I think it is more like Talented-Wrestlers-Who-Had-Lousy-Gimmicks-or-No-Pushes made into Stars.



Mary Catherine Adams is from Sarnia, Ontario. She can be emailed at barkingseal@hotmail.com

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