Fredrick Marty Jannetty (February 3, 1960) is an American professional wrestler, best known for his time in the World Wrestling Federation as part of tag team The Rockers with partner Shawn Michaels, and later as a singles competitor. While in the WWF, he became a one time Intercontinental Champion and a one time Tag Team Champion with the 1-2-3 Kid, and headlined Survivor Series 1989. With Michaels, The Rockers became two time World Tag Team Champions in the American Wrestling Association. Most recently Jannetty has competed for the New Jersey-based UWA Elite company where he held their iChampionship.
Professional wrestling career
National Wrestling Alliance (1984–1986)
Jannetty began his wrestling career in April 1984, wrestling in the National Wrestling Alliance's Central States division. He wrestled in singles and tag team competition with various partners, including "Bulldog" Bob Brown and Dave Peterson and with 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. 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 World Tag Team Championship twice, first defeating Buddy Rose and Doug Somers and then Original Midnight Express for their second and final reign. They also won the Southern Tag Team Championship twice after defeating the Rock 'n' Roll RPMs on two separate occasions before jumping to the World Wrestling Federation in 1988.
World Wrestling Federation (1988–1992)
Now called simply The Rockers, Jannetty and Michaels popularity carried over from their stint in the AWA and the team was often called "tag team specialists" by commentator Gorilla Monsoon. They made their WWF debut at a television taping on June 18, 1988 and they faced tag teams such as Demolition, The Hart Foundation, and the Brain Busters for the rest of 1989.
Despite their previous success, The Rockers never officially won the Tag Team Championship during their three-year run together in the WWF. In October 1990, The Rockers were scheduled to win the titles from The Hart Foundation due to Jim Neidhart, one-half of the championship team, being 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 stop-gap 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 television. 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 1990, Jannetty executed his Rocker Dropper finishing 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. Austin was severely injured and sued Jannetty, Michaels, and Titan Sports. When the case finally came to court in early 1994, Charles Austin was awarded $26.7M.
End of The Rockers and departure
In a 1991 angle, Michaels was "accidentally" kicked in the face during a maneuver initiated by Jannetty on one of The Nasty Boys, which clipped Shawn in the face and resulting in an elimination at 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 Sweet Chin Music 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 Championship at the 1992 Royal Rumble, before returning to start a feud which would culminate at WrestleMania VIII. However, six months of house arrest after attacking a police officer would prevent this, and Jannetty was released from the company in March 1992.
Return to the WWF (1992–1994)
Jannetty returned in October 1992, challenging Michaels to a match at the 1993 Royal Rumble. Jannetty lost after interference by Sensational Sherri backfired. It was planned for the two to continue their feud, but Jannetty was released again after rumors circulated stating that he had been under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the match, leading to its comparably low quality. Jannetty to this day denies having been intoxicated at the event, but explains having been rather tired because of lack of sleep, and that the rumor had been started by Shawn Michaels.
Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion
Jannetty returned once again in May 1993, challenging Michaels for the Intercontinental Championship after appearing out of the crowd on Monday Night Raw. Jannetty won the title that night, but lost it back to Michaels just a few weeks later due to interference from Michaels' bodyguard Diesel. According to Jannetty it was Curt Hennig who brought him back to the WWF, who was on good terms with Vince McMahon and convinced him that the bad performance at the Royal Rumble was indeed Shawn Michaels´ fault. Jannetty believes that consequently his own title win was meant as punishment for Shawn Michaels. Throughout the summer of 1993, Jannetty feuded with Doink the Clown, eventually winning the program with a final best of three falls match on Monday Night Raw. Jannetty then formed a tag team with the 1-2-3 Kid, with the two being the winners and survivors of their match at Survivor Series.
Jannetty won the Tag Team Championship with the 1-2-3 Kid from The Quebecers (Jacques and Pierre) on the January 10 episode of Monday Night Raw. However, they lost it back a week later at Madison Square Garden at a non-televised event when 1-2-3 Kid was pinned following an assisted senton. A clip of the finish of the match aired on the 1994 Royal Rumble video.
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.
Return to the WWF (1995–1996)
Later that year, just months after Michaels made a shocking face turn that got him over, Jannetty returned to the WWF in September 1995. He continued to wrestle as a face, despite bad blood between him 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.
Following this, Jannetty turned heel in 1996 by joining Leif Cassidy to form "The New Rockers". However, The New Rockers were unsuccessful in their attempts to win the Tag Team Championship. Jannetty interfered unsuccessfully in a singles match between Michaels and Cassidy, then faced Michaels in a non-title match, with Michaels emerging victorious. Jannetty left the WWF following Survivor Series after asking for his release, as he was unhappy with the team's lack of success and management's refusal to split them up.
After his run with the World Wrestling Federation, Jannetty joined the New York-based independent promotion Ultimate Championship Wrestling in 1997 along with other WWF alumni. He resurfaced in World Championship Wrestling in January 1998, where he competed in its cruiserweight division before being released in March 1999 by Eric Bischoff, while Jannetty was recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered during a match with Konnan.
Return to WWE (2005–2007, 2009)
On the March 14 episode of Raw, Jannetty returned for a one-time only reunion with his former tag team partner Shawn Michaels, once again billed as The Rockers and performing their traditional entrance with their original music, against La Résistance (Sylvain Grenier and Rob Conway). Jannetty scored the win for his team after he used his signature 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, 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, but 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 episode of Raw, Shawn Michaels was pitted against four of the five members of the Spirit Squad in their in-ring debut. After he had used 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. McMahon added a stipulation, however, as Jannetty had to join Mr. McMahon's "Kiss My Ass Club" the following week on Raw.
Jannetty refused, and 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) hit Jannetty with a low blow. Unable to break it, he was only released from the hold 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 episode of Raw and instead Triple H and Shawn Michaels reunited as D-Generation X. 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 Brad Armstrong and Rodney Mack, 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 29. Jannetty himself countered this rumor on his Myspace page, stating it was untrue. The January 2007 issue of WWE Magazine, however, stated that Jannetty had indeed 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 and 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 due to a court order in Florida preventing him from traveling on the road.
On the December 3 episode of Raw, Mr. Kennedy, who was feuding with Shawn Michaels at the time, 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. On October 19, 2009, Jannetty made an appearance on Raw and losing in a match against The Miz.
On October 22, 2011 it was announced that Jannetty had signed with Chikara as a trainer and as a wrestler. His debut match for the promotion was booked for October 29 against Tursas, but the show was eventually cancelled. He then made his official debut on November 13 at High Noon, Chikara's inaugural internet pay-per-view, by accompanying The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) to the ring. Jannetty made his Chikara in-ring debut on August 12, 2012, when he teamed with Green Ant in a tag team match, where they were defeated by Los Ice Creams (El Hijo del Ice Cream and Ice Cream, Jr.). Jannetty returned on September 16, 2012, when he and the 1-2-3 Kid won the annual tag team gauntlet match at the 2012 King of Trios. When Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid also defeated the Heart Throbs (Antonio Thomas and Romeo Roselli) on November 18, they earned their third point, or third back-to-back win, and a future shot at the Chikara Campeonatos de Parejas. Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid received their title shot on December 2 at the Under the Hood internet pay-per-view, where they were defeated by the defending champions, The Young Bucks.
UWA Elite (2011–present)
Marty Jannetty made his first UWA Elite appearance on the November 8, 2012 edition of UWA Elite Action Zone officially challenging UWA Elite iChampion Hedges to a Championship Match. Two days later, Jannetty defeated him for the Championship at UWA Elite Last Breath at the SMG SportsPlex in Metuchen, NJ. The following month, Jannetty teamed with UWA Elite Champion "The Beast" Kyle Winant to defeated UWA Elite Tag Team Champions "Swag Mean" (Vin Grayson & Robbie Roller) in a special non-title "Champions vs. Champions" Match at UWA Elite Christmas Chaos.
Jannetty held the UWA Elite iChampionship until March 20, 2013 when he was stripped of the Championship because of injuries sustain in a parking lot attack during the March 15th edition of UWA Elite Action Zone. The attacker has yet to be discovered at press time.
- Finishing and signature moves
- Flying Fistdrop
- Rocker Dropper
- "The Rocker"
- Tag teams and stables
- Wrestlers trained
- Theme music
Championships and accomplishments
- MTW Heavyweight Champion (1 time)