They say it's not where you start, but where you finish that really matters. Nowhere is this truer than in the world of professional wrestling. Believe it or not, some of the WWE's greatest Champions once started out as lowly jobbers.
Jobbers, or enhancement talent, have been used throughout wrestling history to make more established WWE stars look like dominant performers. They have also been used as the butt of many a wrestling fans' joke.
In the 1980s and 1990s jobbers were seen on wrestling programs every week, but the rise of competition between the WCW and WWE and demand for established stars in every match during the Monday Night Wars nearly made their careers obsolete.
Not every star enters the WWE on top. Many who received their first shot in the business by putting over a marquee name were never able to erase the jobber stigma from their characters, yet some persevered. Through years of hard work and determination, some were able to shed their losing ways and turn themselves into WWE legends.
At the risk of getting James Ellsworth's hopes up, here are 5 jobbers who became WWE World Champions.
Long before the Charismatic Enigma ever became a WWE star, he was a lowly jobber on Monday Night Raw. Jeff Hardy had his first match in the WWE in 1994, going by the name Keith Davis.
Hardy was basically a "wrestling buddy" for Ramon, getting in absolutely no offense for four minutes before going for the ride with The Razor's Edge.
Hardy would eventually win the WWE Championship in 2009.prevnext
Daniel Bryan was one of the first "indie darlings" to really make it in the WWE, but before he ever got his real shot at WWE fame, the American Dragon got a chance to be a jobber for a young John Cena on WWE Velocity in 2003.
Bryan would get in a surprisingly good amount of offense for a jobber, but the Thuganomics version of Cena and his yellow pants would ultimately come out on top.
Daniel would return to the WWE years later and win the Unified WWE Championship at WrestleMania 30.prevnext
Unlike some of the other jobbers on this list, AJ Styles actually wrestled in the WWE as AJ Styles on an episode of WWF Metal in 2002. The younger AJ showed a lot of poise and skill which drew praise from the Metal announcers, Johnathan Coachman and Kevin Kelly.
AJ was impressive, but not quite Phenomenal enough to defeat Hurricane Helms. It would be 14 years until AJ returned to the WWE and captured the WWE Championship.prevnext
The Dean Ambrose you see every week now may seem like a lunatic, but check out young "Jon Moxley" with his pink hair and dog chain necklace!
Dean's first go at the WWE was as a jobber on 2007 episode Sunday Night Heat facing off against (well past his prime) Val Venis. Dean did get in a good amount of offense, but as the announcers stated, he was no match for Venis.
Thankfully, this version of Dean would not stick around too long and 9 years later he became the WWE Champion.prevnext
The most surprising entrant on this list is none other than the legendary Undertaker. Many fans know that Taker spent time in the WCW as Mean Mark Callous, but few know he actually started by paying his dues as jobber, Texas Red.
In 1984, at the young age of 19, Taker would debut in the World Class Championship Wrestling as a non-descript masked man. Red would lose his first bout, which you can see above, to legendary grappler, Bruiser Brody.0comments
After a few months Taker began to blossom into a mid-carder and eventually left for the NWA (then WCW) and was re-packaged as The Undertaker upon his WWE debut in 1990.
Undertaker would win his first WWE Championship in 1991 by defeating Hulk Hogan.prev