Jamie Noble has had a wild ride in the WWE. Depending on what years of wrestling you look fondly upon, your perspective of Noble likely changes; if you’re an early 2000s mark, you loved his contributions to the Cruiserweight division (Nidia appearances notwithstanding); if you’re more into his non-WWE exploits, you can point to him winning the ROH Championship in 2005; and if you’re a moderately new fan, you appreciate his contributions as a member of J&J Security, flanking then-WWE Champion Seth Rollins.
But Nov. 2 is a bad day in history for him. The year was 2009 and he stepped into the ring with Sheamus, who was on the way up in his early run with the company, and he needed a jobber to squash. Noble’s card was drawn, but it also spelled the end of his in-ring career. There were brief stints afterwards years later, but for all intents and purposes, this was the end, as he ate a hellacious powerbomb on the outside and had to be stretchered off.
Eight years ago to the day, look how far we have come. The guest hosts (remember guest hosts?) of Monday Night Raw that night were Ozzy and Sharon Osborne, which gave us this:
But unfortunately also gave us this:
One of the hottest rivalries at the time was between Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton, who took centerstage throughout the night, while Chris Jericho knocked off John Cena and the Big Show in a Triple Threat Match in the main event.
In other words, it was a forgettable Raw, if not for the fact that Noble nearly was paralyzed. Sheamus would capture the WWE Championship just over a month later, which means mission accomplished for the overall goal, but a full stop for Noble.
This did lead Noble to the next stage in his career, remaining with the company, just in a backstage role. The guy who debuted with the company in June 2002 along with his on-screen girlfriend, Nidia, under a trailer park gimmick, has turned his career into a decade and a half run.
A solid judge of how well a performer can draw in the modern age is how he is received once he’s no longer a member of the WWE. Hitting the independent circuit is no longer a death sentence and it certainly wasn’t for Noble when he left the company in Sept. 2004. He spent time with both New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor, going on to become just the sixth ROH Champion in history.
The list of former ROH World Champions is a who’s who of the WWE’s current and past roster with Samoa Joe, CM Punk, Tyler Black (Seth Rollins), Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan), Kevin Steen (Kevin Owens), Austin Aries, and Roderick Strong, all having been the top guy in the past. Noble joined that list by winning a Fatal 4-Way Match that consisted of Punk, Joe, and Christopher Daniels, all of whom are regarded as three of the best to ever step between the ropes.
Why Noble never caught on to the level he did in ROH remains a mystery, but signs such as his lack of size, or lack of one particular distinctive quality that made him stand out may have hampered him. And in the WWE, where once you have a role, you can easily become pigeonholed into it, Noble seems to have suffered the same fate, destined to help the Cruiserweight division, but never to break through with the big stars.
Since hanging up the boots for good as a former Cruiserweight Champion, Noble’s next biggest role came as a member of J&J Security alongside another former wrestler, Joey Mercury. The two became the cronies for Seth Rollins during his dominant title run following WrestleMania 31, helping to outsmart the competition or simply run interference, since there wasn’t much actual enforcement happening.
In the months alongside Rollins, there were countless moments of humor and intrigue, but nothing quite like the July 6, 2015, episode of Raw when Brock Lesnar came for J&J Security’s red Cadillac. Ultimately, Rollins survived the title defense with his belt a few weeks later, but this ranks highly on the all-time list of car destruction in WWE history.
Since this moment, Noble has rarely been seen. He last appeared as an extra hand in attempting to help Braun Strowman after the ambulance he was in was crashed by Roman Reigns at Great Balls of Fire in July. Eight years after having his in-ring career come to a close, he has adapted his role and survived in the business. That powerbomb on the floor unquestionably hurt like hell, but his tenacity turned the moment into a new opportunity.