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Woobie / Pro Wrestling

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  • Kevin Von Erich. The poor guy lost all his brothers, 3 committed suicide, one died in an accident and the other to an alleged drug overdose. On top of that, his father even said to him that he's only alive because he didn't have the guts his brother did to kill himself. He's the last of his family now.
  • ECW in general is seen as the woobie of the professional wrestling brands.
  • Though it may seem strange at first, the IWC thinks of Kane as a woobie for all of the terrible feuds he's been put in.
    • Ditto for Chavo Guerrero Jr., despite being a very skilled third generation wrestler, he's been stuck in jobber level angles for years, reaching its nadir in a rivalry with a midget dressed as a leprechaun.
      • Watch the interviews of him after both Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit died. Note that he was the person who discovered that Eddie died and was one of the last people Benoit had spoken to before committing suicide. Also note how close Eddie and Chavo had been their entire lives and how the reportedly private Benoit must have felt about Chavo if he let him stay at his home and would call him before committing suicide.
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  • Jeff Hardy, during the recent rivalry with his brother, Matt, he was definitely this. Matt's use of mixing real life events into the situation to help sell the angle made it all the more powerful.
  • Some see Vickie Guerrero as a Jerkass woobie, her husband's death, mixed with playing the queen bitch heel of WWE made a lot of people feel sorry for her; made all the worse by her very noticeable weight gain becoming an angle for mockery.
    • However, some see her as despicable, because she never should have agreed to enter the WWE for the Eddiesploitation money.
    • Most people however acknowledge that Vickie was simply trying to provide for her family. Face it, if you had bills to pay and young daughters to raise you wouldn't say no to a relatively easy and well-paying job from Vince. Although the constant references to Eddie were distasteful, Vickie has worked hard at her character to the point where she's a mega heel in her own right.
      • Lampshaded by Edge during his retirement speech. As he was thanking the people in the back for helping with his career, Vickie's name came up. As if on instinct, the crowd erupts in loud boos. Edge just smiled and mentioned that even when being spoken of out of kayfabe, the fact she can get the crowd to boo her is a testiment to how well she played her heel character.
  • The Knockouts division of TNA has become this in the eyes of the IWC. What used to be a dead sexy division of Action Girls has become the poor mans version of the WWE Divas, the irony in TNA making fun of WWE for their treatment of the Divas is undeniable.
    • Awesome Kong became one to the fandom on reports she got fired for beating up Bubba the Love Sponge, ''even though Bubba's sucked TNA dry with his paycheck demands, and many were offended by his infamous "Fuck Haiti" comment. (She was actually left because of less ring time and not enough pay check to cover health needs related to wrestling)
  • Poor, poor little Funaki. Seems he exists only to be pummeled by the likes of The Undertaker, Big Show and Great Khali.
  • Plenty of people are surprised by how they're feeling for John Cena being forced to be part of (also the bitch of) The Nexus.
  • Molly Holly. In real life, she's a devout Christian and refused to be a glorified stripper like many of the other Divas, wanting to be a good role model for young girls. So what did WWE do? As a punishment for not conforming to their ideas of what a Diva should be, she was put in a 2002 storyline where she was unmercifully ridiculed by everyone in the company over the alleged size of her derriere. In her shoot interview, she talked about how depressed she got during this time period.
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  • Bret Hart. In his lifetime, lost three brothers, one of whom was in a tragic accident that Bret could have prevented had he not left WWE the previous year, lost his brother in law, who he was close to, got a career ending concussion and a stroke a few years later, lost his 13 year old nephew to a viral infection sustained in Bret's homemade ring, as well as three close friends within a short span of time, Brian Pillman, Rick Rude and Mr Perfect; Curt Hennig and was the recipient of the Montreal Screwjob.
  • What, no love for Rhino here? His contract was due to run out so he was forced to make a deal with Eric Bischoff because his so-called friends in EV2.0 didn't seem to care about his impending job loss and he wanted to care for his daughter. Since then, he has lost all his friends, the fans have turned on him, and due to his inability to defeat Tommy Dreamer or Rob Van Dam, he didn't get his contract renewed anyway, making the entire exercise pointless.
  • Admit it, you wanted to give Kelly Kelly a hug after Vickie fired her for helping Edge retain his title.
    • Kelly was WWE's biggest Woobie long before that. From managing asshole boyfriend Mike Knox, to falling in love with Balls Mahoney only to see the Miz squash that, and to the fact she usually loses her matches (even getting pinned by Vickie Guerrero).
      • It even extends outside the ring. She dated Andrew "Test" Martin until he passed away in March 2009.
  • Mike Awesome. He took a lot of heat for leaving ECW for WCW as World Champion,went from one of the most talked about wrestlers at that time to a low level wrestler who was given with numerous terrible gimmicks such as "That '70s Guy" and was basically driven out of the WWE for political reasons. After that passed, he retired from wrestling to spend time with his family. Then his family left him. He didn't take it well, at all
  • AJ Lee when she got eliminated from NXT. Here was a girl who had dreamed of being a diva for most of her life and was stuck with an unlikeable gimmick in the early part of the show. And just minutes before her elimination she was in one of the best matches we'd ever seen from the divas. Hell even the critics who hated the show were calling her elimination a "miscarriage of justice". And yes, there were tears.
    • And then, when she was brought up to the main roster, she was promptly betrayed by her mentor Natalya for no other reason than that she was a "cute, perky little princess".
    • Not to mention her recent appearance on Smackdown, post-injury, cowering away from Big Show, even stopping his fast with her tiny little hand... made this Troper want to hug her and take it all away.
    • Even more of a woobie now after Daniel Bryan crossed the line by chewing her up and spitting her out on the April 6th 2012 edition of WWE SmackDown! just for giving him a good luck kiss before Sheamus beat him in 18 seconds at WrestleMania 28.
  • The talented and unfortunate Christian. Spent many years of his career jobbing to the bigger names, and only received recognition when he teamed up with best friend Edge. He clawed in vain to get a main event status push, working his whole career towards it, and it finally came because Edge had to retire, so Christian would replace him to take on Alberto Del Rio for the WHC. When he won, he reportedly went up to Vince McMahon, hugged him, and said "Thank you!" So what does Vince do next? Make Christian lose the WHC to Randy Orton, someone who has had a shorter career and more title shots/wins, not two days later at Smackdown. What makes it worse is at their rematch at Over the Limit, Christian lost yet again. BUT WAIT, there's more! On top of that, it's reported at the latest Smackdown taping that there was a match to determine who would be #1 contender for the WHC between Christian, Mark Henry, and Sheamus. Sheamus won. With all these factors, it wouldn't be surprising to see Christian pull a Face–Heel Turn in the coming months.
    • He did, and was shortly turned into a whiny heel who constantly begged for one more title shot. Fans were infuriated by the whole thing.
  • Lita anyone? Remember when Matt Hardy came onto Raw and said there was a question he wanted to ask her? Sounded like he was going to propose right? Then they were in a match with Lita's job on the line. Matt cost her the match and broke up with her, resulting in her being fired. Christian got her her job back but the poor girl was a convincing crier.
    • From the same story, you wanted to give Trish Stratus a hug when she overheard Christian and Chris Jericho talking about a bet to see who could sleep with her or Lita first.
  • George "The Animal" Steele, during his 1985-1988 face run in the WWF. Steele's character was that of a neanderthal who could only grunt a few words ("Duh, 'Lizabeth! Cute! Love her!"), and gave fans the cutest puppy dog-eyed look during his ring entrances, promos, etc.; he was also well known for breaking open the ring turnbuckles and throwing the stuffing in his opponents' faces. His crush on Elizabeth (note the line earlier in this entry) sparked his best-known feud, with Randy "Macho Man" Savage (a heel whose valet was Elizabeth, and whose character was that of "you'd better not even so much as glance at her or else I'll kill you"). Later, Steele was known to carry a hand puppet called "Mine" to the ring (that is, until André the Giant ripped it up and stuffed its remnants down Steele's throat during one particularly brutal match ... OK, just kidding about that one.) Steele, by the way, was actually William James Meyers, a quite intelligent man who played the "neanderthal" type to perfection, and had successful runs in the WWF as both a villian (prior to 1985) and as a face.
  • I'm surprised no one's mentioned Vince McMahon yet. He had a terrible childhood with an abusive step-father, and has go on to say that had he not died, Vince would've killed him himself.
    • Probably because, as much as his childhood was hell, he hasn't exactly endeared himself very well to his company's fanbase. He's more of Jerkass Woobie.
      • He's also dyslexic (and not just with his step-father, but possibly his mother abused him as well) and his father refused to let him achieve his dream of actually becoming a wrestler. You feel for the guy.
    • Mick Foley revealed that the reason Vince tries so hard to put on the front he does is because he is so traumatized by his childhood that (at least until 2001, when Foley is Good was written) he would privately cry like a baby. If that doesn't excuse most if not all the messed up things Vince does what would?
  • Bill and Randy Mulkey were a tag-team in Jim Crockett Promotions that developed a cult following as quite possibly the most sympathetic pair of jobbers of all time. The Mulkey Brothers were beaten and humiliated without getting so much as a single offensive move on a weekly basis. To rub salt in the wound their abysmal win-loss record was featured on NWA television each week when they wrestled. Shortly after they reached a record of 0-180, the team earned their first and only victory earning them entry in the Jim Crocket Cup and their own Moment of Awesome.
  • Oh my goodness, Rey Mysterio Jr.. Where to start? He's often picked on by other much bigger wrestlers (kayfabe) for simply being the underdog, and with his small stature, it's easy to see why. He was also hit particularly hard by Eddie Guerrero's death, and Chavo Guerrero turning on him a few months later costing him the World Championship didn't help much either. And then there's the issue with CM Punk going after his family...
  • Tammy Lynn Sytch, after the untimely death of Chris Candido.
  • Dean Ambrose
  • Randi Rah Rah, in the short-lived but loved by its audience WOW Women of Wrestling promotion in late 2000-early 2001 (it was brought back in late 2012, however). Her Team Spirit tag team partner Patti Pep did the promotion's big heel turn, siding with evil blonde Hollywood wannabe Lana Star, who changed Patti's name to Patti Pizazz. Oh, and Lana broke her mirror over Randi's eye.
  • What, no sympathy for Matthew "Tensai" Bloom? This is a guy who started with the terrible Prince Albert tattoo artist gimmick, got a decent run with Test as T&A, then ended up basically in purgatory until he became A-Train. His monster push failed, he got released, and went to Japan, where his run was decent enough for WWE to get him back. Earn Your Happy Ending? Nope. His push failed due to fans mocking him with "Albert" chants, and he became a jobber, before forming a joke team with Brodus Clay.
  • Dean Malenko. Lost his two best friends (Guerrero and Benoit) in just over a year-and-a-half, which must have been a terrible time for him.
  • An unlikely choice given his original role as a hated Foreign Wrestling monster heel, but, "The Russian Nightmare" Nikita Koloff belongs on here. In late 1988, he walked away from wrestling to care for his wife Mandy, who was dying, and ultimately did die, of cancer. From 1984 until Magnum T.A.'s (there's another one) career-ending car accident, Koloff was one of Crockett's hottest heels, able to get the fans at TV tapings to cheer for the promotion's Big Bad Ric Flair. Once he turned face and allied himself with Dusty Rhodes, Koloff became hugely popular. He'd have runs with WCW in 1991 and 1992 before retiring but never regained the momentum he once had.
  • Mikey Whipwreck's whole character was originally built on this. He would take incredible beatings and, as Paul Heyman acknowledged on the Rise & Fall of ECW DVD, "he had such sympathy."
  • Virgil, if this infamous photo isn't evidence enough.
  • Cody Rhodes has been like this for much of his WWE career. On the September 2nd, 2013 episode of Monday Night RAW, Rhodes was "fired" by Triple H after Rhodes lost to Randy Orton (one of Triple H's friends).. He and Goldust were later rehired and were tag team champions until losing to The New Age Outlaws (another of Triple H's friends) during the Royal Rumble pre-show. Rhodes has since been used as filler as of late. He finally realized the writing was on the wall and requested his release in 2016, which was granted.
  • Brie of The Bella Twins. She's been stabbed in the back by Nikki (She defeated Brie at Hell in a Cell 2014 and now Brie has no choice but to be Nikki's personal assistant/slave for 30 days) and tormented verbally and physically by Stephanie McMahon plus her husband Bryan Danielson has been out with a Game-Breaking Injury.
    • Subverted as of Survivor Series 2014 with Brie willingly assisting Nikki in her title match against AJ Lee
    • Daniel Bryan himself, having been the main victim of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon since the formation of The Authority. Between having him assaulted by the heels constantly, costing him well-earned championship matches, and belittling him by referring to him as a "B Plus Player" on a regular basis, you definitely feel his pain. By the time Bryan fought back and held Raw hostage by occupying the ring with over 100 of his fans, you definitely felt absolutely no sympathy for The Authority.
  • Kamala became this after becoming a double amputee, having lost one leg to diabetes in late 2011 and losing the other leg a few months later. This 2014 article chronicles the struggles he went through after that time, which continued until his death in 2020.
  • Marty Jannetty, once thought to be equal in charisma and talent as his former Rocker partner Shawn Michaels (who went on to be a multi-time World Champion and had a truly excellent match against The Undertaker as his final match), but due to ill-timed injuries, Shawn lying, and that party lifestyle (aside from an Intercontinental Title reign and a tag team championship reign with Sean Waltman), he never hit close to the level of success Shawn did. On the bright side, he still works decent matches and is fairly active on the indie scene.
  • It's not hard to feel sorry for Johnny Gargano, especially on NXT. By the tail end of 2016, he and Tommaso Ciampa were tag-team champions after having put up a MOTY Candidate match against The Revival, and got Happily Married to Candice LeRae. The good times wouldn't last long however as he and Ciampa would lose the tag team titles to the Authors of Pain at Takeover: San Antonio, would fail to capture them back at Takeover: Orlando and by Takeover: Chicago, would be heartlessly stabbed in the back by none other than Ciampa himself, requiring medical assistance to leave. Later on, he'd try to reinvent himself as a solo wrestler while Ciampa was injured, but a string of losses and psychological torment from DIY's breakup put him in a slump.

    He'd get his chance back at glory when he challenged Andrade "Cien" Almas for the NXT Title, and despite putting up another MOTY Quality match, would fail to capture the title. If that wasn't enough Ciampa would come back, once more letting another Takeover end with him being attacked. Out of frustration, he put up his career on the line for one more shot at Almas' title, but once again Ciampa would ruin his moment and force him out of NXT. Undeterred, Gargano would stalk Full Sail just to taunt and attack Ciampa, culminating in a brutal Unsanctioned Match at Takeover: New Orleans, thus putting him back in NXT. Was this finally his happy ending? Not quite as being back on the roster only made Ciampa's attacks even more brutal, which would lead to a rematch at Chicago II (in the same arena where the betrayal happened) where despite giving everything he had especially when Ciampa took his wedding ring and spat on it would end with him losing. The psychosis would get to him as he'd end up inadvertently help Ciampa defeat Aleister Black for the NXT Title with Black calling him out on it the following week. Initially a triple-thread match was in place between Ciampa, Black and Gargano, but after Black was attacked the match would become Gargano vs. Ciampa. Once more, Ciampa would come out victorious and Gargano would be called "Johnny Failure" by various heels.

    Despite being revealed as Black's mystery attacker it's arguable this only amplified his Woobieness if not outright made him a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, due to him wanting Ciampa to himself thus attacking Black, and deluding his mind into thinking that he's still the lovable underdog who looks out for others.

Alternative Title(s): Professional Wrestling


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