A "stretcher job" refers to an event in professional wrestling
one wrestler is carted away on a stretcher.
This can be particularly effective in getting the fans to believe that
the wrestler being stretchered out was so badly injured by his opponent
that they're legitimately injured--moreso in getting the heel who beat
him up over as a monster.
Perhaps the most famous example of a stretcher job came in early 1987, when Randy Savage viciously attacked Ricky
Steamboat with the ring bell, going as far as to hit his top-rope elbow
with the ring bell hitting Steamboat right on the larynx.
It was a total work, of course, but Steamboat did an exceptional job
of selling the injury. He was stretchered out, convulsing and pretending
he couldn't breathe the entire way out of the arena. (He was actually
sued by a fan he accidentally kicked in the head during one of his convulsions.)
In reality, Steamboat just needed some time off. This gave it
But, upon his return, he was more over then he ever had been in the
past--he chased Savage at house shows all around the country, trying
to get revenge for the "dastardly" ring bell attack and leading to a phenomenal
match between the two men at Wrestlemania III. The stretcher job
was largely responsible for the success of the whole angle.