Okay, one of my not-so-secret guilty pleasures has been my unabashed love for pro wrestling. Since I was seven years old, I have loved the spectacle, the sport, the commentary, the pathos. Wrestling was a jock soap opera, and the surprises and twists and turns always kept my friends and me captivated.
Times, sadly, have changed. My appreciation for their talents is still there, but the feeling is not the same as an adult.
Kayfabe is gone, probably forever. Internet spoilers ruin the returns and surprises that used to be fodder for an entire school week. And my biggest peeve is that there just aren't any quality gimmicks anymore. We used to see snakes and birds. There were dancing white men from "deepest darkest Africa," tax men, birdmen, all men it seemed.
Now, there are a bunch of monochrome stiffs who would've never been within 50 feet of a microphone 20 years ago. They would have had managers do their talking. Pay-per-views were built up for two to three months instead of four weeks. And that is where the genesis for this write-up brought me: I miss the wrestling jobber.
Understand, I'm not talking about a Santino Marella, who still gets a real ring introduction replete with pyrotechnics and music. I'm talking about a guy who was already in the ring, wore a cheap satin jacket and hailed from locations like "Schenectady, New York" or "Scranton, Pennsylvania." The more ridiculous the hair and mustache combination the better. And bonus points for being as pale as the paint on your bathroom walls.
So without further ado, let's give props to the greatest jobbers in my lifetime. The guys who not only made main-event quality wrestlers look great, but elevated abject scrubs like Big Bully Busick, Max Moon, Glacier and, of course, The Shockmaster.