This week for some strange reason, my wrestling mind began to wander to the past. Two areas of the wrestling business which crossed my mind have focused my attention on the main reason why as a kid I loved (and still love) wrestling. Those are territories and jobbers, yes wrestling pals, territories and jobbers are the reason why I fell in love with wrestling. I remember as kid watching WWF, the old WWE for those who don’t know, and seeing the superstars beat up on some local schlep who they gave a couple of bucks and tossed him some gear. Then, while clicking through the UHF dial (you know, the dusty one underneath the BIG ONE that moved smoother with less options), you ran into a station in New York City called U68. This public access channel played music videos but also TERRITORY WRESTLING! AWA, NWA, SMW, and WCCW played at 7pm during the week and I was glued to my old, fuzzy, wire hanger transmitted black and white TV, and they TOO had jobbers. For jobbers, you were able to see your favorite wrestlers beat up on a ham and egger and wonder what it would finally be like to see the top wrestlers face each other. With territories, you would wonder if that promotion’s champion could beat another promotion’s champion. These two areas and traditions are long gone because there are only three notable promotions out today, and fans want to see more of the superstars rather than the buildup. This week, I dedicate this article to the wrestling enthusiast of years past who appreciates what pro-wrestling was built from, well, that and cheesy 80’s music, So, this week I bring to you…
Heel Jobber of the Week Territories
Face of the Territories: Jerry Lawler
This was possibly the toughest decision I had to make since I began writing this column. The Face of the Territories could have been any number of wrestlers from the Golden Age to the Modern Era. “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race, Bruiser Brody, Ernie “Big Cat” Ladd, and a few others could have easily been recognized as the force which tore through territory to territory. But without a shadow of doubt, I must place “The King” Jerry Lawler as the man who went into ANY TERRITORY and drew money. Be it from the most hated heel to terrorize the Memphis circuit to being the target of Andy Kaufman’s insane attempt to enter the world of wrestling, Jerry Lawler was the man and the king of wrestling. Who else do you know in wrestling that accomplished the phenomenal feat of winning 168 championships, I repeat, 168 CHAMPIONSHIPS! The irony of having held all those championships is that Jerry has never won a championship in the WWE/WWF. But regardless of his comedic commentary, his battles amongst the best in the eras, and surviving an on-air heart attack, Jerry Lawler has the respect of the masses and is the example of being the king and face of promotions across the country.Source: https://all-wwewrestlers.blogspot.com
Jobber of the Territories: Barry Horowitz
After doing some studying of the individuals we have labeled “jobbers”, I have come to the realization that one does not enter pro-wrestling as a “jobber” but rather a “jobber” is created. Many jobbers had successful starts of their careers and were on their way to big things. “Iron” Mike Sharpe won a number of singles and tag team championships. R.T. Reynolds won championships across the country and was even successful in Japan. Even Steve Lombardi was able to be successful in a number of gimmicks, although he laid on his back for three counts for most of his career. But, the jobber of all jobbers, Barry Horowitz, had the most interesting career of all the ham and eggers combined. Mr. Horowitz has been able to capture 18 championships in a career which spanned over 20 years. But in the mid to late 80’s if you saw Horowitz on WWF Superstars or WWF Challenge, you knew an ice cube had a better chance of surviving Hades than this man in suspenders had in winning a match. In fact, it is believed that Horowitz had the longest losing streak in the history of WWE/WWF until he was able to get a win over The Bodydonna’s Skip. So for Barry, the underdog can enjoy the sweet smell of victory. But don’t get use to it, you’re still a jobber.