"I just knew he was going to do that. He don't need Jannetty!" -Bobby Heenan, after Michaels superkicked Jannetty
You've heard it said a million times in wrestling when it comes to tag teams. "[Insert Less Famous Tag Team Partner Here] is the 'Jannetty' of [Insert Tag Team Name Here]." If you asked the average wrestling fan, they'd probably define a 'Jannetty' as:
Jannetty [noun]: A Tag Team Wrestler Who Reaches Considerably Lower Heights than his Tag Team partner following their team's breakup.
i.e. Matt Hardy will always be the Jannetty of the Hardy Boyz
People, people people. This couldn't be more wrong. The definition of a Jannetty has been dumbed down throughout the years and lost its initial meaning. I'm here to restore what truly belongs to Marty Jannetty: an even shittier reputation.
Let's think about what it REALLY takes to be a Jannetty in the wrestling business. Most obvious, Marty Jannetty has his very own phrase to describe how terrible he was in comparison to Shawn Michaels. But as great as Michaels was, why isn't the breakout star of a tag team called a Michaels? Simply put, Marty Jannetty is better at being horrible than Shawn Michaels is at being great. Take a quick second to process that.
Any ol' former tag team wrestler can go on to greatness and eventually achieve a Hall of Fame level career (look at someone like Edge). But think about how brain-dead a wrestler must be to travel with someone great, wrestle every night with someone great and practically be brothers with someone great AND TAKE NOTHING from that. Jannetty and Michaels were tag team partners for 7 years! The talent it takes to travel for 7 years with the future Mr. Wrestlemania and learn NOTHING is earth-shattering. Matt Hardy had Version 1. Christian had his Peep Show and a NWA Heavyweight title. Hell, Ron Simmons (who didn't even have a post-APA singles career) had DAMN! Marty Jannetty had....keep thinking. Even as an Intercontinental Champion (when the title actually mattered), Jannetty believed he was only made champion to punish Shawn Michaels. Marty Jannetty can't even catch a break properly.
You know what? I've been a little hard on Marty. Let's look at the positives of the situation. For all his wasted time, the man knew how to do drugs and be irrelevant. You can even say Marty Jannetty is the Shawn Michaels of Fucking Up. Here's a quick summary of his storied singles career:
- 1991: Marty's head going through a plate-glass window will FOREVER be his most famous moment in wrestling. Outside of his feuds with Shawn, his singles career peaked in 2 minutes.
- Late 1991-Early 1992: Marty was suppose to have a Wrestlemania VII match with Shawn Michaels, but received six months of house arrest after attacking a cop.
- 1993: During the Michaels/Jannetty match at the 1993 Royal Rumble, it was rumored that Jannetty was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs throughout the contest. Only rumored.
- 1996: Marty is paired with Leif Cassidy (Al Snow) to formed the New Rockers. That's like hosting a NWO reunion and the only people who show up are Buff Bagwell and Virgil.
- 2005 After a match with Kurt Angle, WWE decided to sign Marty to a contract but he was later released for getting arrested for a domestic incident.
But here is my favorite Marty Jannetty moment of all time. In 2006, while Vince McMahon was feuding with Shawn Michaels after their Wrestlemania 22 match, WWE scheduled a match that was supposed to be Shane and Vince McMahon vs the reunited Rockers at Backlash. When Marty Jannetty decided it was time to do his best Marty Jannetty impression, WWE replaced him with the only man worthy. God. They replaced Marty Jannetty with GOD! Imagine being at a Nickleback concert (stay with me here) and instead of Chad Kroeger, you got Lemmy from Motörhead. Granted, Lemmy didn't know any words to the songs, didn't play any guitar and didn't even show up to the arena for that matter, but, in theory, it's better. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the greatness of Marty Jannetty. He was replaced by a metaphor for Shawn Michael's newfound faith. The man is replaceable via metaphor...
So, when you hear the names Matt Hardy, Christian, Faarooq, Stevie Ray, Rick Steiner or Jim Neidhart, don't DARE lump them with Marty Jannetty. When you hear the term 'Jannetty,' don't think of a lousy singles wrestler with a more famous partner, but instead think:
Jannetty [noun]: A person who proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that it's harder to be a complete waste of talent than an amazing HOF wrestler.
i.e. Impact Wrestling is a line of cocaine away from being the Jannetty of Professional Wrestling
Finally, as a special treat, here is a match between the New Rockers and The Hardy Boyz. Marty Jannetty has obviously influenced the life, career and drugs of Jeff and Matt Hardy.