Paul's Memorable Moments in Wrestling

7:19:00 AMPaul

Shawn Micheals betrays Marty Jannetti

Most of my most prevalent memories involve the WWF in the 90's since that's when wrestling was the most real to my brother and I. We were banned from watching anything wrestling related due to the fact that my parents thought it was "stupid" and nothing else. We used to sneak every Sunday morning (which later evolved to Monday nights) with the TV barely audible and finger poised over the "recall" button the remote to quickly jump to an approved channel when my parents would enter the room.

It was then we saw these huge larger than life people perform this elegant and grandiose level of entertaining violence before our young eyes. The wrestlers were our heroes, and watching the story of their conflicts unfold week by week was fascinating to us.

One of our favorites (more Ian than I) was the tag team The Rockers (I was more a Legion of Doom guy). They were a baby face tag team who came out in the neon tights, high energy 80's rock birthed by an overworked synthesizer. Shawn Micheals, and Marty Jannetti used moves not yet seen by the aging tag team division at the time. They did everything in pairs to finish off their opponents, double kick, double drop kick, then the double elbow, in neon swaddled glory. Micheals and Jannetti worked to well together, and compared to the rest of the division they were new, exciting, fast, and innovative.

 Micheals at the time was the clear star of the two who had "the look" and used his then unfathomable agility in the ring to win over the crowd. The Rockers were gaining steam, by squashing opponent after opponent of jabroni's every Sunday morning.  They were beginning to see real action against teams like Demolition, and the Twin Towers. They were ready for the titles, which was currently held by the unbeatable Legion of Doom.

Ian and I were almost sitting on top of the TV set watching the replay of the match (i think the original was on PPV) thinking the Rockers were going to win the title from the Legion of Doom. They were setting up their double elbow drop finisher, with the double kick/dropkick combo. They were seconds away from winning the title, until a botched spot costing The Rockers the match and the title, when Micheals dropkicked Animal on top of Jannetti.

They lost, but as Clemente children we were used to disappointment. Micheals looked very upset with Jannetti and berated the embarrassed and confused Jannetti after the match. We were clearly worried with the stability of our favorite team. The palpable tension ended as quickly as it began, and all was right in our world. Next week would bring happier times, right?

The Rockers were scheduled to be on the interview show "The Barber Shop" hosted by Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake. He was to congratulate The Rockers on a hard fought match, and confirm that the tension between the two friends. What would come next sticks in my head like it happened this morning.

Not seeing (remembering?) something like this before I sat nose touching the screen and mouth wide open, as I looked at Ian with disbelief. I remember Ian's face with general concern for Jannetti's health. Micheals stood there with a smug look on his face, and he evolved into the "HBK" hall of fame persona right before our eyes. 

They committed to the injury for what seemed like a whole year, having stayed off TV for the rest of the year. To us, it was real. 

Jannetti came back when Shawn Micheals was clearly in his own path with the "Sexy Boy" persona, and looking for the Intercontenental title from Bret Hart. Jannetti came from no where and smashed the mirror Shawn's valet Scary Shari was carrying over her head, and Micheals ran away. It was a big deal because the female valets, although sometimes pantomimed danger, were untouchable. 

This lead to quite a few amazing matches between the two for the Intercontenental Title, but the day The Rockers broke up was a day in wrestling I will never forget.

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