Marty Jannetty is a well-known American professional wrestler. Throughout his career of over thirty years, he has played for several promotions including World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment, the World Championship Wrestling, as well as the American Wrestling Association. He is mostly known for being part of the tag team ‘The Rockers’ along with Shawn Michaels. During the 1980s, they earned a lot of fame and success. They won several regional titles and also became two-time AWA World Tag Team Championships. The duo split in early1992. Shortly after Jannetty also became a one-time WWF Intercontinental Champion, after defeating his former partner. Later, he also competed for the UWA Elite Company based in New Jersey. Jannetty courted controversy in 2016, when he was part of a class action lawsuit which was filed against WWE. It alleged that during their tenure, the wrestlers incur injuries to their brain that cause severe trauma. However, the lawsuit was dismissed by Vanessa Lynne Bryant, US District Judge, after two years.
Childhood & Early Life
Marty Jannetty was born on 3 February 1960 in Columbus, Georgia. He was interested in wrestling from quite an early age. He started boxing while he was still in high school, and also won in several Golden Gloves Events, as well. During his final years at high school, he qualified for the state championship tournament as well.
After finishing his schooling, he went on to Auburn University where he wanted to wrestle, but later learnt that they would drop their wrestling program. Later, Jerry Oates convinced him to try professional wrestling.
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Martin Jannetty’s wrestling career began in April 1984, for the Central States Wrestling, which was affiliated to National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). He took part in singles as well as tag team competitions, with various partners such as Tommy Rogers and Dave Peterson.
Eventually in late 1985, he teamed up with Shawn Michaels, as ‘The Midnight Rockers’, and within a short time, they defeated the Batten Twins to win the NWA Central States Tag Team Championship. During his time with the CSW, Jannetty also had a match with Ric Flair, for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
In 1986, both Jannetty and his partner Michaels decided to leave CSW and join the American Wrestling Association. Within a short span of time, they managed to gain the attention of the audience, and also won the World Tag Team Championship twice. They also defeated the ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll RPMs’ twice, and won the Southern Tag Team Championship as well.
Jannetty and Michaels eventually made their debut in World Wrestling Federation in 1988. By then, they were called ‘The Rockers’. They faced tag teams such as The Hart Foundation, Demolition and the Brain Busters. Despite their multiple victories earlier, they couldn’t win the Tag Team Championship during their three years in the WWF.
In 1992, Jannetty also missed a chance to win the vacant WWF Championship at the 1992 Royal Rumble. He eventually left WWF to join the United States Wrestling the same year, though he returned shortly after. He challenged his former partner Michaels for the Intercontinental Championship, but lost.
On May 1993, he appeared once more and challenged Michaels again. Michaels initially tried to back out of fighting. Eventually, the duo fought and Jannetty emerged victorious as the new WWF Intercontinental Champion. However, Jannetty lost the title again to Michaels, after just a few weeks.
Shortly after, Jannetty formed a tag team with Sean Michael Waltman, also known professionally as the 1-2-3 Kid. They took part in the Survivor Series, and became the winners and survivors. The duo also managed to win the Tag Team Championship from the Quebecers. However, they lost it to them again, after just one week. Jannetty debuted at the Extreme Championship Wrestling in 1995, though he made his return again to the WWF after some time.
In 1996, he united with Leif Cassidy to form ‘The New Rockers’, and they attempted to win the Tag Team Championship, though they remain unsuccessful. He also lost to Michaels in a WWF Championship match held in May. He eventually decided to split the team, and leave WWF again due to the team’s lack of success.
Shortly after, he joined Ultimate Championship Wrestling in 1997, an independent wrestling promotion based in New York. He also signed with World Wrestling Championship in 1998.
After several years in 2005, he returned to the WWF, for a one-time reunion with Shawn Michaels, his former partner. They faced La Resistance, with Sylvain Grenier and Rob Conway and managed to turn out victorious. Jannetty scored the win using Rocker Dropper, his signature move.
Between 2011 and 2013, he worked with the wrestling promotion Chikara, as a trainer as well as wrestler.
Family & Personal Life
Marty Jannetty married Jessica Barnes in 2010.
In 2016, he was part of a lawsuit which was filed against WWE. It alleged that the company concealed the facts that wrestlers used to face traumatic brain injuries. However, the lawsuit was eventually dismissed in September 2018, by US District Judge Vanessa Lynne Bryant.