Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only

The significance of a big loss


JerryvonKramer
 Share

Recommended Posts

Some of the bigger egos in the industry, Hogan for example, are well known for not wishing to job if they can possibly help it. This is something I've never quite understood.

 

Why was Hogan always so reticent to lose a match?

 

Can anyone think of any examples where a big loss has significantly damaged someone's career?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 90
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Goldberg to Nash was the only one that I could think of too. The loss itself didn't really hurt him too much, it was more along the lines of one of the stupid mistakes WCW made that led to them falling to the lows that they did. But, between getting screwed out of the title and then screwed out of his rematch, I seem to recall Goldberg getting even more over with the fans.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also think you could make the case that HHH beating Booker (especially the way he did) at Mania really hurt Book. He did eventually have the King Booker run but you get the feeling if he had won that match he would have been a huge player for his whole run rather than a guy who just got shuffled from upper mid-card into main event back and fourth at random

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some argue that Ultimate Warrior winning against Hogan damaged his career, since Hogan pretty much stole the spotlight. Bob Backlund's 8 second loss to Diesel for the WWF Title, pretty much ended Backlund's career as a credible performer, although Backlund's style of performing was pretty much over when Vince brought in guys like Hogan, Savage and Ultimate Warrior. Triple H definetly hurt several careers (although minor) in his 2002-2005 dominance. Insisting on winning against Goldberg, when the fans were just getting into his latest run, pretty much destroyed it before it got off. His series with Randy Orton, where barring a Survivor Series match, was dominated by 'The Game'. Most recently in the E, CM Punk's constant losses to the likes of Orton have severly tarnished him as a performer. Punk isn't quite at the level of Jericho, where it doesn't matter if he loses because his character and ability to deliver in a match is what keeps him over.

 

I think with Hogan's ego, its just that. He's never really seen anyone as being his equal in popularity and that is what the motivation to insist on winning has been when someone has asked him to do a job. On the rare occasions Hogan has been open to losing, its usually because he has a friendship or respects the wrestler going over. With Ultimate Warrior, it was a question of money, Hogan knew there was going to be a big payoff and realised that Warrior was probably not going to last. So with pressure from Vince, Hogan decided to do the job for Warrior and then used his ability to connect with audience to look like he came out the winner. Hogan was more open about losing in his last WWE run in 2002, but if you notice, the only people he lost cleanly to were the ones considered the top guys (Rock, Undertaker and Angle). Bare in mind, also, that Hogan refused to put Steve Austin over when a potential match was brought up, even though the payoff would likely have been huge. Hogan's ego goes beyond money, it would seem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Typically you leave a feud with the babyface stronger/more over and the heel having more heat. Punk didn't even get to fuck Orton over and steal a win in any single one of their matches, it was just Orton beating him clean, over and over at every turn. So Punk didn't gain any heat from the program, and Orton didnt really have anything to overcome/get revenge for as he just kept beating a guy that didn't have any momentum left. Its not the end of the world for Punk but it was a feud that definitely did nothing for either guy moving forward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Punk and Orton only had two matches, both on PPV. Orton beat Punk at Mania, with the buildup that Orton had taken out the rest of Nexus so that Punk had no backup. And then beat Punk at Extreme Rules in the blowoff.

 

It's not like Punk got beaten like a drum, he'd gotten one over on Orton a few times himself during the feud.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of the bigger egos in the industry, Hogan for example, are well known for not wishing to job if they can possibly help it. This is something I've never quite understood.

 

Why was Hogan always so reticent to lose a match?

 

Can anyone think of any examples where a big loss has significantly damaged someone's career?

You answered your question before you asked it, man.

 

Ego.

A desire not to lose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30-40 years ago I think it meant something. Losing the NWA title for example, that is a big, career changing deal. Now the positions of the top wrestlers are pretty much set regardless of wins and losses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hogan comes from a different era, in which big stars didn't do jobs, and that's why they were perceived as such. Hogan didn't had to lose as long as he was super over. Hogan didn't lose. Sammartino didn't lose. Inoki didn't lose. Baba didn't lose. Then things changed. The Rock did more jobs than any big stars at his level, and it never hurt him.

But Goldberg was all about him being invincible and unbeatable. The loss just killed the mystique. Was he still over after the loss ? Sure, but it was not the same thing, he was just another guy who had been screwed and beaten up by the nWo. People forget that after the Fingerpoke of Doom, Goldberg was beat down and screwed by Luger, got handcuffed to the ropes and spraypainted. Like just another guy during the past 2 years and a half. Goldberg mystique was gone. I remember Bobby Heenan saying he would have gone until 3000 - 0. Sure, why not, as long as people weren't tired of Goldy winning, there was zero reasons to beat him, zero. And the more he was invincible, the more people loved him. It killed the aura dead, right there.

 

Another loss that killed any chance of someone being special, is Big Show jobbing clean to Austin on Raw a few weeks afetr he debuted. Stupidest decision ever. Big Show could have been special. After this, he was just another guy beig stunned by Austin. Just a big guy. Hell, I would say the Giant was a lot more special than Big Show at the beginning when he was in the Dungeon of Doom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say 3/4ths the reason no one gets over anymore is because everyone does even-steven booking which means everyone gets their wins back. There's ego involved no doubt, but guys like Hogan or the Road Warriors hardly ever lost and that helped make them big deals. Hell, I think even Goldberg would probably admit he wasn't the best wrestler in the world but when WCW had him come out and destroy people every week he became a big deal.

 

A lot has changed in wrestling, but if you push a guy and don't have him lose half of the time to whoever he beat the week before, it's amazing how often it works to get them over.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This kind of depends on how you define it.

 

HTM losing to Warrior ended his run with the IC Title.

 

It was a squash, which didn't help. But in the end, HTM really was a nothing wrestler without the belt in terms of promotability. He wasn't Savage, who by the time he dropped the IC Title was something really big. HTM was a gimmick guy, pretty small, not terribly exciting to fans, whose primary thing of getting over was his Greatest Of All-Time smack which no one buyed... and once the IC Title was off him (and not coming back), he really was something lesser.

 

There probably are quite a few people like that on a national level: once they pass through their highpoint, they drop quite a bit.

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure if it hurt him as much as simply wandering off, and never fully returning.

 

Steamboat seemed like a guy who could be over without a belt / being in a belt picture. The feuds with Muraco and Jake were pretty strongly focused and over.

 

I suspect he could have come back for a strong feud against HTM... their matches at MSG drew and were over. It's just that he never came back consistently in that period.

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say 3/4ths the reason no one gets over anymore is because everyone does even-steven booking which means everyone gets their wins back.

But that might be an insurmountable problem to fix, just from the nature of modern televised wrestling. Stars wrestle on free TV pretty much every week. Combine that with the rarity of jobber squashes, and you've got a situation where the same guys are destined to wrestle each other over and over again. Which produces two different problems: the "these guys feuded for months and Wrestler #1 always beat Wrestler #2, so it sucked" and "these guys feuded for months and traded wins every week, so it sucked". Walking the fine line between the two is something that's nearly impossible for wrestling writers to do, especially in a climate where Vince changes his mind at least twice per day about the entire direction of the company. The only alternate solutions would be to either go back to the Attitude model of constant fuck finishes (which really isn't an improvement over where we are now), or to change the whole model of the way they tell stories. And I don't see them doing the latter anytime soon.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going in the other direction: Big Win that screwed up a career.

 

Ron Garvin comes to mind.

 

He wasn't a spring chicken at that point: 42 years old. He sort of moved out of his "good utility wrestler" position into "Is He Really The Champ?" position. After dropping the title, it didn't seem like he slid back into the utility wrestler spot: it seemed like folks couldn't get the Champ part out of their mind, and not in a good way.

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going in the other direction: Big Win that screwed up a career.

 

One that immediately comes to mind is Luger winning by countout vs. Yokozuna at Summerslam 93 and celebrating it like he'd just won World War 2 single handedly.

 

I really think that hurt Luger in the long run as a credible main eventer. Still don't really understand how he managed to get another WCW World title reign after that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going in the other direction: Big Win that screwed up a career.

 

Ron Garvin comes to mind.

 

He wasn't a spring chicken at that point: 42 years old. He sort of moved out of his "good utility wrestler" position into "Is He Really The Champ?" position. After dropping the title, it didn't seem like he slid back into the utility wrestler spot: it seemed like folks couldn't get the Champ part out of their mind, and not in a good way.

 

John

He seems really complacent in the 88 stuff I'm watching. It seems like after winning and losing the big belt he had nothing to prove. So he just hangs out with brother Jimmy and fights the Varsity Club. Maybe the heel turn changes things.

 

Another loss that killed any chance of someone being special, is Big Show jobbing clean to Austin on Raw a few weeks afetr he debuted. Stupidest decision ever. Big Show could have been special. After this, he was just another guy beig stunned by Austin. Just a big guy. Hell, I would say the Giant was a lot more special than Big Show at the beginning when he was in the Dungeon of Doom.

Show probably should not of lost. But he did not come out of that match looking weak. He kicked the shit out of Austin for most of the match. in an era when nobody dominated Austin. Even Undertaker and Kane did not dominate him like that at Breakdown. Show looked better losing to Austin than anybody else would winning.

 

Still don't really understand how he managed to get another WCW World title reign after that.

Because he was one of the most over acts in wrestling in 97.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really think that hurt Luger in the long run as a credible main eventer. Still don't really understand how he managed to get another WCW World title reign after that.

Luger beat Yoko by countout in August '93. He won the WCW title in August of '97. Four years is an eternity in pro wrestling. Luger was red-hot as a babyface chasing Hogan that summer. I'd say the title reign was more than deserved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He seems really complacent in the 88 stuff I'm watching. It seems like after winning and losing the big belt he had nothing to prove. So he just hangs out with brother Jimmy and fights the Varsity Club. Maybe the heel turn changes things.

I do think his little feud with Greg Valentine a year later is one of the more underrated ones.

 

As an aside: what the hell did Garvin do after his WWF run? Seems like he more or less disappeared into "the indies" if you read his Wikipedia entry. I mean was he so sick and tired of being jobbed out to Dino Bravo that he couldn't take it any more and just quit wrestling altogether?

 

EDIT: wow, he was around pretty late in 1990. Look at this:

Gets a decent amount of offence vs. Perfect there too. Looked in good shape.

 

Here he is teaming with a pure jobber against Rhythm and Blues: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hFfqM8q3uw

 

RE-EDIT: I just read that on October 13th, 1990 Superstars, Garvin teamed with the pure jobber Major Yates in a loss vs. The Orient Express!!

 

Bloody hell, has anyone else ever been relegated to being THAT low on the roster? I mean Garvin was in SD Jones territory right there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really think that hurt Luger in the long run as a credible main eventer. Still don't really understand how he managed to get another WCW World title reign after that.

Luger beat Yoko by countout in August '93. He won the WCW title in August of '97. Four years is an eternity in pro wrestling. Luger was red-hot as a babyface chasing Hogan that summer. I'd say the title reign was more than deserved.

 

I do think losing the belt back less than a week later hurt him. They did not have much choice since they were still building to Sting/Hogan but Lex ended up looking like a chump.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...