Frederick Marty Jannetty (born on February 3, 1960) is an American professional wrestler. He is best known as one-half of the tag team The Rockers with Shawn Michaels in the mid 1980s and early 1990s.
NWA Central States Wrestling (1984-1986)
Jannetty began his wrestling career in 1984 wrestling in the National Wrestling Alliance
(NWA) Central States division
. He wrestled in singles and tag team competition with various partners, including Tommy Rogers
as the Uptown Boys, until joining forces with fellow rookie Shawn Michaels
in late 1985. The two teamed as The Midnight Rockers
and quickly won the Central States Tag Team Championship from The Batten Twins.
American Wrestling Association (1986-1988)
In 1986, the duo left the NWA for the American Wrestling Association
(AWA). In the AWA, Jannetty and Michaels quickly built a reputation as a talented tag team, performing many acrobatic moves in tandem, and electrifying crowds with their athleticism. The two won the AWA World Tag Team Championship
twice (from Buddy Rose
and Doug Somers
and the Original Midnight Express
). They also won the AWA Southern Tag Team Championship
twice (from the Rock 'n' Roll RPMs
both times) before jumping to the World Wrestling Federation
World Wrestling Federation (First run, 1988-1992)
Now called simply The Rockers
, Jannetty and Michaels were quite popular in the WWF, often called "tag team specialists" by commentator Gorilla Monsoon
. They made their WWF debut at a house show
on June 18
and they faced tag teams such as Demolition
, The Hart Foundation
, and the Brain Busters
for the rest of 1989.
The Rockers never officially
won the WWF World tag team title
during their three-year run. In October, The Rockers were scheduled to win the titles from The Hart Foundation. Jim Neidhart, half of the championship team, was in the process of negotiating his release from the company.
The match was taped with The Rockers fairly winning the belts, but soon after, Neidhart came to a stopgap agreement with management and was rehired. The belts were returned to the Harts a week later, while the change was never broadcast or even acknowledged on TV. When news spread, WWF explained that the original result was void due to a collapsed turnbuckle in the ring during the bout.
Charles Austin controversy
In a Rockers tag team match at the USF Sun Dome
in December, Jannetty executed the finishing "Rocker Dropper" move on jobber
Charles Austin, who had been teaming with Lanny Poffo
. Austin's neck was instantly broken as a result of tucking his head during the move, rather than "pancaking" flat on the mat, and many wrestlers watching backstage thought he had died. Austin was severely injured and sued Jannetty, Michaels, and Titan Sports
(WWF). When the case finally came to court in early 1994, Charles Austin was awarded $26.7M.
In a 1991 angle
, Michaels was "accidentally" kicked in the face, during a maneuver initiated by Marty Jannetty on one of the Nasty Boys, which clipped Shawn in the face resulting in an elimination at the Survivor Series in Detroit, Michigan. Michaels got up after being pinned and began screaming at Jannetty, blaming him for being eliminated. Attempting to help settle their differences, Brutus Beefcake
invited both on his interview segment "The Barbershop." Michaels and Jannetty appeared to reconcile, but then Michaels hit Jannetty with a superkick and soon threw him through the set's plate glass window.
Jannetty was initially meant to "work" the injury (thus missing the opportunity to win the vacant WWF World title
at the 1992 Royal Rumble
) before returning to start a feud which would culminate at WrestleMania VIII
. However, personal issues would prevent this, and Jannetty was released from the company in March of 1992.
World Wrestling Federation (Second run, 1993-1994)
Jannetty returned in late 1992, challenging Michaels to a match at the 1993 Royal Rumble
. Jannetty lost due to botched interference from Sensational Sherri
. It was planned for the two to continue their feud
, but Jannetty was released again after appearing under the influence the following night on Monday Night Raw
Jannetty returned once again in May 1993, challenging Michaels for the Intercontinental title after appearing out of the crowd on Raw. Jannetty won the title that night, but lost it back to Michaels just a few weeks later due to interference from Diesel. Throughout the summer of 1993 Jannetty feuded with Doink the Clown, eventually winning the program with a final best of three falls match on Raw. Jannetty then formed a de facto tag team with the 1-2-3 Kid, with the two being the winners and survivors of their match at Survivor Series 1993.
Jannetty would win the WWF World tag team title with the Kid from The Quebecers
) on the 10th of January on a live edition of Monday Night Raw. However, they lost it back a week later at Madison Square Garden
at a non televised event when the Kid was pinned following the "Tower of Québec
" (a clip of the finish of the match aired on the 1994 Royal Rumble
In the lead up to WrestleMania X, the court case brought forward by Charles Austin was heard. While neither the WWF or Jannetty admitted that it was the outcome of this case which resulted in Jannetty's sudden disappearance from the promotion, it has never been denied either. Jannetty then vanished from the mainstream wrestling scene until mid 1995 when he made several appearances in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).
World Wrestling Federation (Third run, 1995-1996)
Later that year, just months after Michaels made a shocking face turn
that got him over
, Jannetty returned to the WWF. He continued to wrestle as a face, despite bad blood between he and Michaels that had carried over in the storylines. Jannetty teamed with Razor Ramon
during November and December in a feud with Sycho Sid
and the now heel 1-2-3 Kid
. It was a popular, but short lived, feud and once it had ended Jannetty seemed to lose his way.
In 1996, Jannetty made a heel turn by joining Leif Cassidy (a portmanteau
of the names of teen idols Leif Garrett
and David Cassidy
), later known as Al Snow
. The two would form "The New Rockers", but were not successful in gaining the WWF Tag Team Titles. Jannetty interfered unsuccessfully in a singles match between Michaels and Cassidy, then challenged Michaels for the latter's WWF Title with Michaels emerging victorious. Jannetty left the WWF after the Survivor Series
asking for a contract release as he was unhappy with the team's lack of success and management's refusal to split them up.
He resurfaced in World Championship Wrestling
(WCW) in 1998 to little fanfare and success before being released following an injury. Save a brief return to ECW in 2000, he continued working in independent promotions. Jannetty became a born-again Christian
in 2004 when Shawn Michaels shared his faith.
World Wrestling Entertainment (Fourth run, 2005-2006)
On March 14
, Jannetty, who now had short hair, appeared on WWE Raw for a one-time-only reunion with his former tag team partner Shawn Michaels
against La Résistance
and Rob Conway
). Jannetty got the win with the "Rocker Dropper".
This was preparation for Jannetty's match with Kurt Angle on that week's SmackDown!, as Angle had challenged Jannetty prior to his WrestleMania 21 match with Shawn Michaels. Angle claimed that since Jannetty had taught Michaels "everything he knows" while part of the Rockers, he could teach Michaels "how to tap out" by forcing Jannetty to submit on SmackDown!. Angle made good on his promise and forced Jannetty to submit to his ankle lock submission hold, but only after a nearly twenty minute match and an impressive showing for Jannetty which saw him nearly pin the Olympic champion. WWE soon signed him to a new contract. However, due to a domestic incident, he was arrested and unable to meet the commitments of his WWE contract, leading to his release on July 6.
On the February 20
edition of WWE Raw
, Shawn Michaels
was pitted against four of the five members of the Spirit Squad
in their in-ring debut. After he had connected with "Sweet Chin Music", Michaels was attacked by all five members until an unknown man came storming in to the ring to defend Michaels. During the melee, it was revealed that it was Marty Jannetty coming to defend his former tag team partner. Later on Raw
, Vince McMahon came out to mention that he would offer Jannetty a full-time contract. However, Mr. McMahon added a stipulation - Jannetty had to join Mr. McMahon's "Kiss My Ass Club
" the following week on RAW.
Jannetty refused, and Mr. McMahon instead offered Jannetty the possibility of breaking Chris Masters' signature submission hold, the Master Lock. Jannetty appeared to almost break the hold, but Mr. McMahon (who was officiating) delivered a low blow. Unable to break it, he was only released when Michaels ran in to save him. Shortly after Michaels had saved Jannetty, Shane McMahon ran in the ring with a steel chair and knocked out Michaels. The former Rockers were supposed to continue a program with the McMahons, but Jannetty was absent from the next edition of RAW and instead Triple H and Shawn Michaels reunited as DX.
On March 3, WWE announced that it had severed all professional ties with Jannetty without further explanation.
On September 15, it was announced on WWE.com that Jannetty had signed a new contract and would be returning as a veteran to work with younger talent. WWE.com also stated that Jannetty, along with two other veterans, could also be granted a full-time contract pending the success of this initial venture.
However according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Jannetty was rumored to have been released yet again on September 29th. Jannetty himself countered this rumor on his MySpace page, stating it was untrue. However, the January 2007 issue of WWE Magazine stated that Jannetty had been fired.
On December 22, Jannetty replied through his MySpace website, stating that it was The Boogeyman who had been fired and not returned WWE's phone calls. Jannetty insisted that the article in WWE Magazine was false. In a blog on his website, Jim Ross stated that Marty Jannetty was no longer with WWE on December 24.
Marty Jannetty was released from the WWE because he could not travel due to a court order in Florida.
In 2007, Jannetty was a pallbearer at Sherri Martel's funeral.
On the December 3 edition of Raw, then-heel, Mr. Kennedy said that he would speak to three individuals who knew Michaels very well as part of a feud between him and Michaels. The three were imposters dressed as Razor Ramon, Diesel, and Jannetty. Along with a fake Michaels, they were all hit with Sweet Chin Music by the real Michaels. The next week on the 15th anniversary of Raw, Jannetty appeared along with Michaels in an interview. Michaels wanted to see what would happen when Kennedy fought the real Jannetty. In the end, he was defeated by Kennedy.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
Championships and accomplishments
- *AWA World Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Shawn Michaels
- *NWA Central States Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- *NWA Central States Tag Team Championship (4 times) – with Tommy Rogers (2), Bob Brown (1), Shawn Michaels (1)
- *NWA Central States Television Championship (1 time)
- *AWA Southern Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Shawn Michaels (Last)
- Michigan Wrestling Alliance
- *MWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Midwest Territorial Wrestling
- *MTW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- *NBPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Southern Wrestling Alliance
- *SWA Television Championship (1 time)
- *UWC Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Purple Hooter
- World Wide Wrestling Alliance
- *WWWA Intercontinental Championship (1 time)
- *WWF Intercontinental Championship (1 time)
Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels (as "The Rockers") had defeated The Hart Foundation in a title match in October of 1990. However, the win and title reign resulting from the match are not officially recognized by WWE, due to one of the ring ropes breaking during the match
- *WWF Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with the 1-2-3 Kid.
- *PWI ranked him # 13 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1993.
- *PWI Match of the Year award in 1993 – vs. Shawn Michaels on Raw, May 17
- *Tag Team of the Year award in 1989 – with Shawn Michaels