When I was about 10 years old one of my closest friends, Mario, brought magazines to school that changed my life. No, it wasn’t porn! Shame on you, if that was your first thought. They were wrestling magazines. See Mario lived with his grandfather, who was a mortician, and his favorite wrestler was The Undertaker.
This was my introduction to the character and wrestling. From then on, I was hooked. I would watch it religiously every Monday night. It was a perfect marriage of hero versus villain tropes and the competitive appeal of sports. Like comics, I was in love with the characters and storytelling, and the theatrics added an infectious. You can’t help but get excited when you heard that glass break, and Stone Cold Steve Austin came storming out, or raise your hand along with Finn Bálor as he confidently makes his way to the ring.
There are two main archetypes in wrestling; the face and the heel. The face, short for baby face, is the hero booked as the crowd favorite. The heel is the “bad guy.” Then there’s the jobber. A jobber is a perennial low carder, who is essentially booked to lose. The jobbers lose to give heels heat, which is boos and jeers, and help the faces get cheers.
Jobbers are an essential part of the program; in fact, it’s a euphemism for simply doing your job. That job is to protect keyfabe, which is the suspension of disbelief, or the status quo. It’s not a glamorous job but still a spot on the card. “Better than nothing” as my dad always says.
Over the last few months, I’ve been a bit of a jobber. I’ve felt more defeated than ever. Despite my best intentions, I’ve felt unfulfilled and unappreciated at work. In my personal life, I often feel like I’m being used. I mean I like being someone who friends can count on but sometimes it can feel like I don’t get that in return. On more than one occasion, I’ve also felt like merely someone to project frustrations or guilt on.
There are a few reasons why someone may become a jobber. It could mean the promotion has a lack of faith in a wrestler as a marketing commodity. More commonly, it is a means of training a wrestler who doesn’t have much experience in front of a live audience. Still, everybody wants a big win. We all want to feel like we matter and I’ve been fighting so hard just to be heard.
Despite what anyone says you don’t have to stay a jobber. Through patience, perseverance, and hard work you can prove to everyone, and more importantly yourself, you’re much more than that. If you want people to believe you’re a superstar, you have to believe it yourself first. Curt Hennig didn’t start off as Mr. Perfect. He worked his way up until he became one of the greatest Intercontinental champions of all time.
So don’t stay on the ropes, springboard off of them like AJ Styles. Sometimes we have to struggle to find our voice and get that extra push to find the place we’re supposed to be. If I’ve learned anything lately, it’s there is always room to grow. There is always more to learn. So never be satisfied. Be the best version of yourself and look to be even better than that.
Get out there and make your own heat or gain your own cheers. Whatever you do just keep moving forward. Thanks for reading. It’s been a pleasure taking bumps for you and I’ll see you next time.