The Undertaker & Paul Bearer. In 1987. I had no idea.
I found more Jobber squashes! A combination of stiff squashes, huge botches that go on to be legends (everyone familiar with Triple H knows THIS one), and basic worked ass-kickings combine as we look at some of the bigger squashes you’ll see. I missed Maffew’s requests until I was done writing this one, but I can get to those next week!
So yes, come see one of the most notorious finisher botches around as Hunter Hearst-Helmsely faces Marty Garner! A great squash with scrawny, pasty geek Colin Delaney on WWE’s version of ECW getting annihilated by Bid Daddy V after the funniest “aw golly gee whiz” jobber promo ever! Rick Steiner doing his best to annihilate the big, burly Bubba Howard in WCW! And then it’s an all-time squash as Big Van Vader hits UWF-International in Japan and absolutely murders Tatsuo Nakano in a worked-shoot squash!
Also a rare shot of a JOBBER UNDERTAKER, as Mark Calaway does a rookie gimmick as “Texas Red”, a masked muscleman, as he jobs to Bruiser Brody… and unwisely starts CALLING SPOTS and fighting too rough with the grumpy veteran. And then the time Rick Rude splattered Jim Powers’s face with a flying ass slam
HUNTER HEARST-HELMSELY (w/ Regina Evans) vs. MARTY GARNER:
(WWF Superstars, 6/1/96)
* Another famous botch in this one. HHH at this point was being led to the ring by a different floozie every night (usually a local model, which they always take great care to name on-camera)- this time he actually makes out with her, which I don’t remember seeing much of. Garner is a skinny tanned guy with a ponytail and goatee- I love the pink & white tights, haha. Helmsley at this point was fairly tall and lanky-looking, with a far softer physique than his bloated roid one in later years. This is right around when he started getting punished for his part in the “Curtain Call”, as he’s about to fight Jake Roberts in the King of the Ring tournament on RAW.
Helmsely does some simple chain wrestling to bully the smaller guy, back when he had the mobility to get a bit fancy, and does the trademark formal bow. But he turns his back and earns a dropkick- Garner then clumsily lands on his feet from a hiptoss counter and does his own hiptoss, but runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Helmsely just toys with him instead of getting pissed off over that jobber comeback, hitting European uppercuts and the high knee…
And then, in a moment I will remember forever ever since my friend and I watched this squash on TV at his house 26 years ago, Hunter hits the Pedigree and Garner goes VERTICAL, landing square on the top of his head. Hunter clearly pauses after that and probably checks on him, scoring the easy pin at (3:06).
A pretty basic squash, though I’ll note Hunter has no fire or drive at this point- he’s just casually toying with the guy and taking him apart, even when a jobber comeback is usually a cue to start annihilating someone at a rapid pace. But that Pedigree was something else- Hunter is clearly doing it normal, and Garner is actually horizontal for the majority of the move- but then he just turns completely upside-down for some reason and takes a horrific bump. He was probably thinking it was a piledriver or Tiger Driver and was trying to help with the flip or something, cuz DAMN.
Rating: 1/2* (boring uneventful squash until we watch a man die)
It’s like Adam Cole, except he’s SUPPOSED to look like a scrawny weakling with no definition to his body!
BIG DADDY V (w/ some guy) vs. COLIN DELANEY:
(ECW, Jan. 1st 2008)
* So this Colin Delaney kid was doing a “humble jobber” thing, having gotten destroyed by Shelton Benjamin the week prior, and he cuts the most “uh golly gee whiz I’ve been trying real hard and I like my chances tonight” geek promo while looking like the most amazing jobber ever- skinny, weak-chinned, ultra-pale and in generic black & red tights. Tazz says he likes the kid’s attitude in the in-ring interview… then announces Big Daddy V as his opponent. This was Mabel/Viscera in his final form- a horrific shirtless Monster Heel with tattooed wraparound tits and a scary theme song. This dude was a JTTS years before this and had somehow gained enough credibility to be the C-show’s monster heel.
Delaney is immediately my hero by PUTTING UP HIS DUKES in the wimpiest way possible, but V just ignores his paltry strikes, shoves him over, stands on him, then hits the mother of all press slams, holding him up for an age and just LAUNCHING him face-first to the mat. V laughs at him, then hauls him up for a Samoan drop and finishes with a flourish into a falling elbow at (1:34). Beautiful squash- just gives him nothing and tosses him around like a baby. Delaney did a great job just shitting himself and then being destroyed, looking agonized the entire way.
Rating: 1/4* (nothing much to the match but this stuff makes me miss Big Fat Heels- nothing like seeing a guy job to someone literally twice his body weight)
RICK STEINER vs. BUBBA HOWARD:
(WCW, April 18th 1992)
* Rick, in a neon pink singlet with jaguar print, is taking on a big, burly jobber in like… puce-colored tights of similar design (who vetted that gear?). He’s got a great jobber look, though- big enough that beating him means something.
Ventura makes me laugh immediately by pointing out Rick’s iconic headgear (“like what… cauliflower ears are gonna make him UGLY?”), but Rick fires back from a punch and hits a full German Suplex on this big boy as his first move! Just deadlifted him, too! Rick adds an Argentine backbreaker lift and rams him into the corner, then pulls him off and hits a Steinerline to the jaw. Jesse suggests the Steiners have all the physical tools but not necessarily the minds to take on Arn & Bobby (the tag champs), then points out “there should be an investigation into the University of Michigan. Because if THIS GUY GRADUATED WITH A DEGREE… someone is cheatin’ on grades!”. Bubba is hilariously out on his feet as Rick just stares at him bemusedly before laughing and slugging him down again. Belly to Belly off the second rope finishes it at (1:18). What a glorious ass-kicking. Not overly stiff (though the guy who uploaded the video to YouTube says he knows Bubba and the Steinerline almost legit TKO’d him) and Bubba was great- this big dude just out on his feet and flying around the ring (though that’s just Rick’s pure strength, I feel). Give that man a raise!
Rating: 1/2* (great one-sided squash full of brutality)
LOOK AT THIS MAN’S HEAD. I GODDAMN LOVE JOBBERS.
SUPER VADER vs. TATSUO NAKANO:
(UWF International, 5/6/1993)
* Oh yeah, it’s a UWF-I match! The “fake shoot fight” federation got a great “get” in Big Van Vader, calling him Super Vader and setting him up as a big-time opponent for Ace, Nobuhiko Takada. And of course his first match is an obvious squash against the tiny, pudgy Tatsuo Nakano, whom I’ve read described as a jobber “fighting spirit” guy, beloved for his stick-to-it-iveness despite the frequent ass-kickings. He just has the BEST jobber look, too- plain tights, a bad mullet, a puffy face that looks too small for his head, etc. He legitimately looks like a midget next to his monstrous opponent- he doesn’t even come up to Vader’s collarbone! Vader gets a big reaction for dropping his mask for the “serious” shoot-style promotion. Nakano shoves him from the staredown to sign his death warrant, and we’re off with a “NA-KA-NO!” chant.
Vader just bull-charges Nakano to start and throws bear paws, but Nakano swipes away with kicks at a distance. Every time Vader grazes him Nakano gets knocked back, and his kick is caught- Vader catches him in a half-crab but since it’s “real” he can’t manage it and they crumble to the ground. Vader swats him to stun him and gets back control and hits a release German for a “5” count. Tatsuo gets up like “fight me” with his dukes up and Vader just insta-charges in like an enraged bull, taking out Nakano AND the ref! Haha fuck yes! The crowd boos cuz the ref stops it as they’re in the ropes, and Nakano comes up bleeding from the mouth.
Vader throws more bear paws, but Nakano actually gets back control (a major no-no in martial arts is giving up your back) and the crowd marks out when he trips Vader down and grabs a chinlock. Nakano gives it up to clobber him and throw kicks, but Vader’s up right away, more annoyed than anything- Vader swats him down with a double-tap and Nakano’s down for “5”. Vader teaches him a lesson for getting up with his hands up for a “9” count, and then just grabs him and splats with a falling powerslam. Nakano’s up again, so Vader just crushes his guts with punches and right-hands him to dreamland for the TKO at (3:35). Vader slugs the ring announcer for getting too close to him and talks himself up while they attend to Nakano’s remains- Takada has his superstar opponent.
Haha, such a great squash- shoot-style can be fun for that, because you get all these “fight up and put his hands up even though he’s dying” super-dramatic “battle manga” moments- Nakano gets one single hope spot and the rest is just Vader knocking him down like a grizzly bear. The bull rush move was a terrific moment, and Vader looked like a monster just easily knocking this pudgy dwarf around.
Rating: **1/4 (about as good as a sub-4 minute match is ever going to be)
BRUISER BRODY vs. TEXAS RED (w/ Percy Pringle):
(WCCW, June 26th 1987)
* So this is a match featuring a very young Undertaker (with the future Paul Bearer as his manager!), as a… not quite jobber? I mean, he’s wearing plain-ass black tights and a plain mask but he’s got a manager. Texas Red’s a tad taller than Brody and actually has a much more muscular physique than I’m used to seeing. The way Taker talks about this, he was a rookie and tried calling some spots (“clothesline!”), and Brody put him in his place.
Red backs Brody into the corner off a lock-up and shoves him off (kinda catches him on the chin, as Taker describes), but gets taken down- a running boot and some, uh, snug elbows to the back of the head, then Red gets dumped, slammed on a table and eats a chair to the back (you can see the seat fly off- Taker describes “wood slats” but it looks plain metal to me). The fans chant “Bruiser!” (yup- cheering a cheating monster is not a new concept by smarks). Brody ties Red in Andre Position and throws some running boots, and a regular Big Boot finishes at (2:29). Yeah, OK, he’s a jobber.
Fun little jobber squash, as Texas Red is kind of a weird case where you can’t make a 6’8″ guy a total jabroni… except in cases like this, where Brody is a legend and almost as big, so it fits. Taker’s story is a BIT exaggerative (like all pro wrestler stories are), but he indeed looks like he’s aiming for a clothesline and gets stiffed a bit, then splatted with the chair. He notably doesn’t get a bit of offense after whipping Bruiser to the ropes.
Rating: 1/4* (fine, basic squash against a guy who didn’t know much)
“RAVISHING” RICK RUDE (w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. JIM POWERS:
(WWF Superstars, June 6th 1990)
* This one features a somewhat notable botch in it, as Rude takes on the King of the Jobbers, a generic, smiling Jim Powers. Rude is announced as “the Next World Wrestling Federation Champion!” during his Warrior feud- was he bribing the announcers? Rude’s not as toned as his thin 1980s self, but has the shorter hair and bigger upper body, making him look like more of a star. And hahaha check out the girl with binoculars.
Powers actually wins an International, then lands on his feet from getting dumped and hits his 1980s offense (dropkick, slam, armdrag)- Rude pretty much no-sells it and squares off, slugging Powers to come back. Rude hits a chinlock so Finkel can do an overdub hyping house shows. Rude lands some overhand shots and a slam to set up a Guillotine Legdrop, landing his ass SQUARE across Jim’s face. He hits the Rude Awakening (neckbreaker), clearly whispering something to Powers and getting a response (“It’s alright, I’m fine” I think) as he pins him at (2:37).
Rating: 3/4* (just a basic squash with Powers doing his level best to avoid the passage of time, but mostly notable for Rude splattering him)