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Ah, Barry Horowitz.

Growing up in the 80s and early 90s, turning on the television set at noon on any given Saturday or Sunday to Channel 5 meant that the World Wrestling Federation had a show on. And that meant, without a shadow of a doubt, that you were guaranteed to see Barry Horowitz wrestle.

You see, in the afternoon shows of that era, be it WWF Superstars or WWF Wrestling Challenge, you never saw a good match. Every match was a superstar against a jobber--a nobody. Basically, jobbers were stiffs that the WWF (along with other promotions) kept on hire to lose, and lose bad. Their jobs were to make the promotion's stars look powerful and unbeatable.

And, to save financially, the WWF kept only about 10 jobbers on payroll while having over 60 real stars. So, while the stars would come and go, you'd see the same losers on TV, week in and week out.

Barry was the best of them, which is to say that he was the worst of them. He subtly broke almost every rule of being a jobber. He had a design on his tights--a Star of David. He regularly got offense in. He talked trash. He patted himself on the back after doing good moves. And somehow, it made the superstars seem that much more unbeatable when they pummeled poor Barry into oblivion.

Somehow, that struck a resonant chord in the fanbase--he started being cheered. It was ignored by the WWF for years. There were strict rules--as strong as taboo--about jobbers winning matches. It just didn't happen. Ever. Barry kept plugging along, losing match after match, with the fans smiling and knowing that he never would win but rooting for the underdog nonetheless.

Finally, in 1995, the WWF rewarded him for almost a decade of hard work. Barry was moved into a feud with Skip of The Bodydonnas (who you might know better as Chris Candido) after he got a fluke win against him (giving birth to Jim Ross' legendary "HOROWITZ WINS! HOROWITZ WINS!" play-by-play line), and he had his first and only Pay-Per-View match at SummerSlam 95 against Skip. Barry won that match as well, but the push was aborted soon afterwards and Barry faded back into oblivion. It was purely a reward for hard work and loyalty; they had no intentions of actually making a star out of poor Barry.

Oh, his record after winning that first fluke match against Skip? One win, SEVEN HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SEVEN LOSSES.

He finally left the WWF in 1997, joining World Championship Wrestling. He remained a jobber, although he had a spiffy new nickname--"Bad" Barry Horowitz. He left WCW in 1999 and still wrestles as on the independent circuit.

And I still root for him.

You can visit Barry's OFFICIAL webpage at http://horowitz.sphosting.com/ ...and believe it or not, there are some fan pages out there too if you dig deeply enough.

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