Fuego Del Sol’s journey has seen him recover from a jobber and make the most of his losses to gain fandom. AEW signed Fuego after months of defeats and securing a spot on Sammy Guevara’s vlog to win the fan base. The history of wrestling has shown that being an improving talent is not a career death sentence.
Many wrestlers have followed the same path by developing a following while losing. It takes a special wrestler to make that connection when given little time to show off his own skills. The role of a beloved improvement talent can be more of a blessing than receiving a huge boost as an underdog. Fuego represents the spirit of wholesalers who have found themselves in the ungrateful position.
Fuego del Sol
AEW found success and Fuego Del Sol became the fan favorite jober. Fuego has lost dozens of matches on Dark and Elevation as the audience began to rally behind him. The outsider spirit and really great story made him someone to be applauded for.
Fuego’s appearances on Sammy Guevara’s vlog with Cody Rhodes added a lot to his appeal. Cody now even wrestles occasionally in side shows under the moniker Fuego 2 teaming up with the real Fuego to show how great he is now.
WWE signed James Ellsworth after he made a few appearances to recover as a jobber. Ellsworth’s unique look added to the first appearance destroyed by Braun Strowman. Vince McMahon would have appreciated his facial expressions and wanted him to come back.
Ellsworth has become a fan favorite to the point where WWE has placed him in a main event storyline. Ellsworth’s heel turn helped AJ Styles retain the WWE Championship against Dean Ambrose. Ellsworth turning on his heel ended the run as a beloved jobber.
The New Generation Era mainly featured improvement matches on TV due to the nature of the business at the time. Barry Horowitz was a full time wrestler in WWE who was specifically used to bring up bigger names.
Horowitz’s losing streak made him more popular with the public in hopes he would secure a victory. Horowitz scoring an upset against Skip was a great time for him as fans treated him like a big deal.
WWE hasn’t signed many Japanese wrestlers in eras past, which made Yoshi Tatsu’s prominence more important than expected. The Japanese wrestling scene was picking up again, but Tatsu wasn’t considered one of the best workers when WWE signed him.
A likeable personality helped Yoshi get rid of ECW brand fans. Tatsu’s losses were designed to make him an underdog and fans would cheer him on. WWE never elevated Yoshi beyond jobber status, but he had the public on his side.
The brand’s division in 2016 led to names like Curt Hawkins joining the company in lower card roles. Hawkins was specifically on the list to help bring in the new talent pushed on their respective brands.
WWE unwittingly set up a huge losing streak scenario for Hawkins that made audiences want to see him win. Hawkins and Zack Ryder’s team reunited and defeated The Revival on the WrestleMania 35 before the show to end the streak by winning the gold medal.
Duane Gill was a longtime talent trying to get signed to the Independent Tour. WWE hired Duane and ultimately put him in the comedic role of Gillberg intended to parody Goldberg of WCW at the time.
Fans loved the hilarity behind it during the Monday Night Wars for Gillberg to have a short stint on TV most weeks. Crowd support would pay off when Gillberg represented the JOB Squad faction to shock the light heavyweight championship.
Randy Savage’s brother, Lanny Poffo, has enjoyed his greatest success playing the character of The Genius. The heel work of The Genius has often seen him crush the intelligence of the crowd between recitations of his original written poems.
Longtime fans have developed a fandom of The Genius due to its entertainment despite only participating in wasted efforts. Randy, who has achieved such a place in the company, helped his brother get signed to WWE and WCW without any real pressure coming to him.
Leva Bates is currently a backstage employee for AEW, but many fans still remember her for NXT’s stint as Blue Pants. The former NXT crowd developed sympathy for her by singing ironically for her “blue pants” in support of the biggest names.
Blue Pants became Leva’s name with her constant comebacks on NXT recordings, gaining more fans. The peak of Blue Pants arrived at the first NXT Takeover: Brooklyn event by helping the Vaudevillans defeat Blake and Murphy for the NXT Tag Team Championship.
The Brooklyn Brawler is perhaps the greatest achievement of how being a jobber can make you forget the fans. WWE had Brawler on the roster for years in the late ’80s and’ 90s to replace other talent. Even a stint in the backstage world would see Brawler make an occasional appearance in the ring.
WWE ended up playing in fan support for Brawler a few times by having him try to rock his heels. There was even a local battle royale in 1997 where Brawler won to receive a WWE Championship match against Shawn Michaels in front of a hot crowd at the MSG house show.
The best modern talent to embrace the role of a jobber and develop a fan base through it was Heath Slater. WWE apparently gave up on considering Slater a future star after the Nexus faction ended and he struggled to find a role.
Slater’s comedic work played a part in WWE’s attempt to make him a beloved jobber. Slater’s rare wins have always elicited a huge crowd response, especially when he won the Smackdown Tag Team Championship with Rhyno to get his job back. WWE releasing Slater sees him play a more serious role in Impact Wrestling today.
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