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WRESTLING COLUMNS

WWE Jobbers Need Jobs
March 16, 2005 by Michael Coello


We see it on TV a lot. We have a big superstar doing a promo about how they are big and strong and tough, and their usual solution to prove it is taking out and destroying a mid-carder, jobber or some OVW wrestler. There are a lot of people in the WWE that are used as cannon fodder to these main-eventers. Wrestlers like Funaki, Akio, Billy Kidman, Charlie Haas, Shannon Moore, Maven, Rhyno, Steven Richards, Rosey, and the 3 members of La Resistance (Conway, Dupree, and Grenier). People have different opinions as to who is the wrestler least deserving of this, and I have my own. I believe Shane "The Hurricane"Helms is the most undeserving of being a jobber.

Like I said before, people have different opinions about this, and this is mine. I believe Shane Helms is getting a bad deal on RAW. You can make the same argument for everyone and I would agree. I'll even talk about some of them in this column. First, let me go to someone that needs a push on SmackDown!, Charlie Haas. Ever since the end of the Dawn Marie/Miss Jackie storyline, he's been stuck on Velocity wrestling with other people the WWE can't or won't use. A former WWE Tag Champ, Haas has been left floating to drown ever since Shelton Benjamin and Rico left for RAW or unemployment, Haas has been pretty much stuck in the team of himself and Hardcore Holly, which is mostly reserved for Velocity, dooming him to lower and mid-card.

On the other show, we have Maven. One of the winners of the original Tough Enough and arguably the most successful winners of all seasons of all the shows. Maven was a winner of the Hardcore title and had a claim to fame for eliminating the Undertaker at the 2002 Royal Rumble. He was even a member of the 2004 Survivor Series team of Orton, Jericho and Benoit, though he only spent about 2 minutes in the ring, getting hit by a chair shot by Snitsky and pinned by Triple H. Now, after a mild heel turn, he was pretty much booked in squash matches like the Snitsky/Kane/Maven squash that ended with wounded Kane choke-slamming Maven for the pin. After the WORST MATCH EVER at New Year's Revolution between him and Benjamin, which turned up as more of a promo than a match, Maven was sent back to the lower card and has been there for a while, with no real semblance of a push with the possible exception of a new finisher, which had The Hurricane as its first victim. Not even champions or ex-champions are spared from this. Perfect examples of this are Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit. WWE and World Champion, respectively, they were on top as the best in the company. After losing their titles, they got sent down the card, with Eddie being a Tag champ and Chris being in the 6-way Ladder match for a shot at the world title. This may sound good, but they don't really deserve it. Eddie has charisma and talent, which got people to love him, and he should be a contender for another run as Champion or at least U.S champ again. Benoit isn't a charismatic wrestler, but he is a pure wrestler and has the look of intensity and determination to beat his opponent, and that should be enough. Hell, that got him to Wrestlemania 20, not being a showboater with a mike like Rock or Austin, but a pure wrestling talent. The tag champs of RAW and SmackDown!, William Regal and Tajiri and the Bashams, are stuck being jobbers, while their belts are trying to say they are the BEST TEAM OF THEIR BRAND! with no effect. There are also more people who got a shot and run with a title and never got another chance for fame, but I've got to get to my main point.

As I said first, my choice for an undeserving jobber was Shane Helms from RAW, and I'll explain. Shane was in WCW as a member of 3 Count with Shannon Moore and Evan Karagas. They were in a feud with the Jung Dragons and it was massive. After being CO-holders of the Hardcore Title, Shane separated with 3 Count and fought for and won the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. In fact, he was the last WCW champion when the company folded. During the beginning of the Invasion, Shane came in as the Cruiserweight champ but lost it to former WCW worker Billy Kidman. After being stuck without a place, Shane created the Hurricane gimmick, which he uses to this day. He went on to win the European Championship from Matt Hardy and win the WWE Cruiserweight championship from Tajiri and Kidman in a 3-Way match. After dropping it to Jaime Noble and being stuck in tag matches with former tag partner Shannon Moore, Shane left for RAW and teamed with Kane upon his arrival to win the Tag titles on September 23, 2002. Notice the date, since it was Shane's last championship held as of this date. Shane teamed with Kane to a nice mix team of speed and strength, but eventually losing to Chris Jericho and Christian for the belts 3 weeks later. Shane was stuck in tag matches until March of 2003 when, with help from Stone Cold, defeated the Rock on RAW. After seemingly being on a push and teaming with Booker T to defeat Flair and Triple H, actually pinning Flair in the match, Shane was taken away from the push by getting beaten repeatedly in the following weeks by Evolution and La Resistance. After being on HEAT and mid card matches on RAW, along with a surprising win at Backlash 2003 with some help from Eugene, Shane didn't fight in another PPV or at least on camera on a PPV, being mostly used in dark matches and HEAT. He was in the Royal Rumble of 2004 and 2005, but got eliminated early in both. With being beaten by Simon Dean at his debut match on December 6 and being squashed to hell again by Triple H 2 weeks ago, Shane is stuck with the jobbers and other wrestlers not given any push, with the only good point is him beating Chris Masters, but in a dark match.

There are many factors that can be blamed for all this. Too much talent on the roster, backstage politics and pushing away wrestlers for a Divas skit. Personally, all are to blame to some extent. I know that you can't give time to everyone, but to completely ignore most of your wrestling talent for a soap opera show is so wrong that it should be criminal.

Some solutions come to mind. Some wrestlers, most noticeably the lighter wrestlers, are being misused on RAW. Either bring back the Light Heavyweight Title for RAW (which probably will never happen) or send them to SmackDown! to fight with their element. On the reverse side, send some SmackDown! wrestlers to RAW, like Haas and Jindrak. Reform WGTT with Haas and Benjamin and actually push a Jindrak/Cade team. Bring some veterans over for RAW and get rid of the Diva search losers, since there's already too much of them, or make them managers for the actual wrestlers. The WWE needs to focus on the mid-carders more than storylines or main event pushes or Divas. WWE is not wrestling anymore, it's entertainment and that is something that needs to change if wrestling itself wants to survive another generation.

by Michael Coello ..


Angela Kruse, wrote:
I totally agree with you, the Hurricane has proven over and over again that he deserves more than the jobber position he's stuck in. When he started with the Hurricane gimmick he cut some really good promos. He took a gimmick that could've been career suicide and made it work. It was funny and entertaining without being ridiculous. His mic skills and mat technique match and/or surpass a lot of the guys that are getting major build-ups i.e Simon Dean, Sylvain Grenier. etc. Unfortunately he's joined the countless other wrestlers stuck in the WWE locker room.
USC0Dave wrote:
While I agree with most everything said in this column, I don't know that there is much that can be done about it. WWE is always going to split its focus between storytelling and wrestling, which is something that people just have to accept. You have to at least aknowledge that WWE isn't being two-faced about this--they present themselves as entertainment and call themselves entertainment. Thusly, that means that WWE's enormous surplus of talent is going to be largely unused or incorrectly used. And besides that fact, it's not like this is a new trend. WWE's style has always been to push those with good mic skills / promo skills over those who are purely in-ring talent. I tried to make a list of Hulk Hogan's moves the other day, and outside of his finisher, all I could come up with was "punch." Just look at past WWE mid-carders and skilled ring performers who never got a run with the Heavyweight Title--Jake the Snake, Ted Dibiase, and Mr. Perfect spring immediately to my mind.

The problem of having too much talent on the roster to give adequate TV time to all of them won't be remedied until some wrestling promotion emerges as a serious threat to WWE, and lures away enough talent so that WWE is forced to re-form it's roster, and focus its creative energy on a smaller pool of wrestlers. Yes, I am sick of seeing Charlie Haas and The Hurricane wasted as jobbers, and sick of seeing the Intercontinental and Tag Belts on Raw completely ignored. I would go one step further and dissolve the Raw Tag Belts, move Hurricane, Maven, and La Resistance to Smackdown, re-form the original La Resistance with the two French guys, and maybe also move Kane and Christian to Smackdown, which to me clearly doesn't have all that much going on when all of JBL's promos these days take up like 30 minutes of screen time. The only real omission in your article is the Women's Division, which I personally have always been a fan of and wish it would get more screen time. Trish, Molly, Lita, and Victoria all are extremely talented and work hard on their ring performance, in my opinion. I really objected to the firing of Nidia, Jazz, and Gail Kim in favor of the damn diva search contest. However, even if you cut out all the gravy bowl and bra and panties matches, which Raw has done, it's still hard to generate respect for the women's division when you have Jerry Lawler making comments like, "HAHA! LOOK AT THAT!! I WISH I WAS A TURNBUCKLE RIGHT NOW, J.R.!!" during every women's match. And what the hell happened to Ivory!!
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