Back in the 80’s and 90’s, it was very common to see some no name wrestler go up against a proven star of a promotion. Whether that be from the WWF, NWA/WCW, AWA or elsewhere, these nomads of professional wrestling were there to make the stars look great. They were known as enhancement talent, preliminary wrestlers or as many fans have come to know them…”jobbers.” While fans were clamoring to see big time match ups, these “squash matches” served a very important purpose. While perhaps not appreciated at the time, they were just as important as the stars themselves.
While watching old wrestling shows, you just never know who is going to pop up as enhancement talent. Men and women who were once or maybe a handful of times used on shows to help “get over” bigger named stars at that particular time. This latest installment takes us back to 1986. It was the debut episode of a WWF show called Wrestling Challenge.
The new show featured numerous squash matches…including a young enhancement talent named Troy Martin taking on ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff. Martin was a skinny kid with ordinary green tights. Orndorff made quick work of Martin using his devastating piledriver maneuver to do it. Ironically, Troy Martin started out his career named Troy Orndorff a kayfabe nephew of Mr. Wonderful.
Of course, Troy Martin would later become ‘The Franchise’ Shane Douglas who would make a name for himself in ECW. Douglas also found success in WCW and back with WWF…but his biggest achievement was being the top guy for ECW. He was considered a big fish in a small pond while in ECW…but no doubt became a star.