Monday, April 22, 2013

The Original J.O.B. Squad

SD Jones
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Long before Al Snow, Bob Holly, and Duane Gill were part of the WWF's J.O.B. Squad, there were hundreds, maybe thousands of "enhancement talent" in the world of professional wrestling.  There are simply too many to name, but I wanted to share a few of my favorite "jobbers" from the 1980's.  Keep in mind, I'm sticking with that decade, and just looking at a handful that I found to be the most memorable.  Our friends on the My 1-2-3 Cents Facebook page shared plenty of theirs already, so please do the same there or right here on this blog.

Special Delivery Jones may very well be the most memorable jobber to me for various reasons.  There was something about SD Jones that I liked.  He was certainly the underdog, rarely if ever winning on WWF TV.  My first house show, Jones was pinned by the Spoiler in the opening contest.  I can still remember cheering for SD, hoping his luck would be different in person than it was on TV.  I was wrong.  Probably the most memorable experience was his appearance at the first Wrestlemania.  If you listen to the WWF history, they say he was pinned by King Kong Bundy in nine seconds.  The match actually goes a bit longer than that, but none-the-less it burned a memory in my brain.  I also have a fond memory of SD being Andre the Giant's tag team partner the night Big John Studd and Ken Patera slammed the giant and cut his hair.  Jones got knocked out to the floor while the heels did their thing.

Me & SD Jones
He's the only jobber (at least that I define as a jobber) who had an LJN figure made in his likeness.  I still have mine, although I guess one could argue fellas like Ted Arcidi, Outback Jack, and Cpl. Kirchner all had figures too.  Finally, I had a chance to hear SD Jones speak at the 2006 Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  He inducted long time friend Tony Atlas into the hall.  I never realized the two were so close, and had been a tag team years before either had signed with the WWF.  Sadly, SD Jones is no longer with us, but the memories of his matches and the effort he put forth will not be forgotten.

Paul Roma in the early days
Photo courtesy: WWE
Before Paul Roma was pretty or a member of the 4 Horsemen, he was a jobber in the WWF.  His career there started off in 1985.  He found himself on the losing end of most of his matches in those early days.  But Roma had a look about him that set him a part from most jobbers.  Paul was in good shape, athletic, and young.  He just needed a break.

In 1987, he was paired with fellow jobber Jim Powers. The two became known as the Young Stallions and actually made a name for themselves.  If memory serves me correctly, the beat the Hart Foundation either before the Harts won the tag team titles or in a non-title contest.  The Stallions and the Killer Bees were also the surviving teams in the big tag team elimination match at the first Survivor Series.

Roma eventually turned heel and teamed up with Hercules forming the duo Power & Glory.  The tandem was managed by Slick, but only had mild success, picking up perhaps their most notable win over the Rockers at SummerSlam 90.  Roma headed to WCW where he continued to climb the ranks, even becoming a member of the 4 Horsemen.  It was there, Roma would win gold by becoming a tag team champion with Arn Anderson and twice more with Paul Orndorff.  This team, Pretty Wonderful, was probably Roma's most successful run.

I recently saw Roma at WrestleCon in New Jersey.  He looked to be in great shape still.  He's one guy I always wondered why the WWF didn't do more with during his initial run with the company.  But I guess not everyone can be a champion, right?

Iron Mike Sharpe
Photo courtesy: WWE
Iron Mike Sharpe was always up to no good in the WWF.  His leather forearm cover always stood out to me as he tired in vain to hide something in there to get the upper hand.  It never worked though.  I'm trying to recall if I ever saw Sharpe win a match.  He seemed to be the guy who not only jobbed to the Junkyard Dog or George Steele, but also SD Jones and Paul Roma.

Actually, I stand corrected.  I just read some more details on Sharpe's WWF career and he actually pinned Boris Zhukov in the King of the Ring tournament in the late 1980's.  I'd say that's probably his biggest accomplishment in the WWF, but he did win titles in other promotions around the country.  He also comes from a rich linage of wrestling history.

These guys are just a few of the memorable jobbers from my childhood.  Like I said before, someone has to do it.  As Al Snow would say, "pin me, pay me."

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