Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels reunited as The Rockers in 2006, nearly 15-years after the pair broke up in one of the most explosive scenes in WWE history. Since then, the pair have reunited multiple times on TV, although due to various reasons, Jannetty was fired from his job at WWE before they could have a sustained run in the company.
Marty Jannetty returned to the WWE in 2005, and almost had a full-time in both 2005 and 2006. However, his own personal issues stopped him from succeeding in one last run in the WWE, before one final match against The Miz showed fans why WWE did not want Marty Jannetty back.
Marty Jannetty & Shawn Michaels Broke Up In 1992
The Rockers break-up is one of the most infamous in WWE history. The image of Shawn Michaels tossing Marty Jannetty through the barbershop window has remained burned into the minds of millions of fans, and has quickly become one of the most iconic moments in wrestling history.
The break-up came due to the lack of success Michaels and Jannetty had as a duo up to this point. Despite being one of the most innovative teams in history, the pair never won tag team gold in the WWE. Despite being former AWA Tag Team Champions, the duo never managed to hold the WWE Tag Team Championships.
The Rockers did beat The Hart Foundation to win the titles in 1990, but the ring broke during the match, so Vince McMahon decided to not air the match and refuse to acknowledge the title change. Jannetty then cost Shawn Michaels matches against Ric Flair, then during the Survivor Series match in 1991, causing the Heart Break Kid to turn on his partner.
After losing a title match to The Legion of Doom in December 1991, The Rockers went on Brutus Beefcakes talk show, “The Barber Shop” to settle their differences. It was here that Shawn Michaels superkicked Marty Jannetty before throwing him through a window, ending their tag team in the WWE for the next few decades.
The duo would feud over the Intercontinental Championship in the future, although Jannetty was fired by the company three times over the next few years. His tumultuous career seemed to have ended in 1997, but he made a return to the WWE in 2005 that shocked everyone with the incredible quality of his performance.
The Rocker’s Reunited In 2006 During HBK’s Feud With Kurt Angle
In the run-up to Shawn Michael’s match with Kurt Angle at WrestleMania 21, Marty Jannetty returned for one-week only to reunite The Rocker’s on the March 14th, 2005 episode of Monday Night Raw.
There was little reason for his return, with the WWE certainly not planning on making him a regular partner of Michaels going forward. The Rockers hadn’t teamed together for more than a decade at this point, and Jannetty’s inclusion was simply a way for them to move on the storyline rivalry between Angle and Michaels.
Marty Jannetty picked up the win for The Rockers in their return match in WWE. Facing off with La Resistance on Raw, Jannetty hit the Rocker Dropper after coming out to the pair’s classic entrance music. The same week on Smackdown, Jannetty answered Kurt Angle’s open challenge and wrestled a singles match against the Olympic Gold Medalist.
Nobody expected much from Jannetty. Angle cited the match as just a showcase for him, and wanting Jannetty to teach him to tap out to the Ankle Lock. However, he put on a fantastic performance against Angle, wrestling for over twenty-minutes and keeping up with one of the best wrestlers in the world. The Rocker rolled back to the years and looked as good as he ever did, even in defeat.
This prompted the WWE to offer Jannetty a new contract, although he was arrested before he could begin work, leading to his deal being cancelled. The same thing happened with his 2006 return, when he was meant to reform The Rockers with Shawn Michaels against The Spirit Squad. He was re-signed to the WWE for some months, but due to a court order that prevented him from travelling, he was let go by the company yet again.
Marty Jannetty’s Last WWE Match Was Against The Miz
While many people remember Marty Jannetty’s match with Kurt Angle as his last big match in the WWE, he actually wrestled twice more for the company in the year’s following,
In 2007, Shawn Michaels was embroiled in a rivalry with the Wisconsin Loudmouth, Mr Kennedy (Kennedy!). The pair traded wins on multiple occasions, wrestling at Armageddon 2007 and on multiple episodes of Raw, giving Kennedy some of the biggest victories of his WWE career.
However, Kennedy brought Michaels’ former partner Marty Jannetty back into the WWE fold in this feud. He first brought in impersonators of Shawn Michaels’ friends and former partners, including Jannetty, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. This segment ended with The Heart Break Kid superkicking everybody involved, but this was not the end of the feud.
The week after, which was the 15th Anniversary episode of Money Night Raw, Marty Jannetty wrestled his first match in three years in the main event of the show against Mr Kennedy. Jannetty appeared alongside Michaels earlier in the show, with Shawn Michaels wanting to see how Jannetty did against his rival.
In a short match that didn’t cover Marty Jannetty in glory, he lost to Mr Kennedy in just over five minutes, than to a Mic Check by Kennedy. This came a year after Jannetty was fired by the WWE (twice in two years, in fact), and showed that he had clearly slowed down a lot since his bout with Kurt Angle.
However, his last match came two years later, on an episode of Raw. The Miz was his final opponent, after year’s of bickering with John Morrison over who was “The Jannetty” of their team – alluding to the idea that, in any one tag team, one member will go on to be a singles success (“The Shawn Michaels”) while the other will go on to achieve very little (“The Jannetty”).
The match, on the 19th October, 2009 episode of Raw, was thankfully very short. Marty Jannetty looked terrible throughout the bout. He struggled to lift his leg high enough to kick a bent-over Miz in the face, while also botching a basic bodyslam and overshooting a flapjack, nearly jumping straight over the top rope.
Thanfully, The Miz put him away in two-minutes with a Skull Crushing Finale, mercifully ending the WWE career of Marty Jannetty. WWE neglected to bring him back again, likely due to the numerous controversies that he has been a part of in later years – including wanting to have sex with his own daughter, and admitting to committing murder.
Marty Jannetty is one of the most glaring omissions from the WWE Hall of Fame. The Rockers are one of the most iconic tag teams in WWE history, and should be honored by Vince McMahon by being inducted into the WWE Hall of Famer.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.