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Michael Burnside

What if Marty Janetty wasn't a Janetty?

Rating: 3 votes, 4.33 average.
Sometimes somebody’s name can become a valid word. Charles Cunningham Boycott gave us the word ‘Boycott’ for example. And if you described somebody as a ‘Hitler’ you’ll all know what that person is like.
In wrestling circles, poor Marty Jannetty’s name has come to mean quite a negative thing; The lesser member of the tag team. Or the member who has the less successful singles career. Basically the Zeppo Marx of the team. But how would it be if things were slightly better for Marty? How would (or could) his wrestling path go…?

Alternative universes 4: What if Marty Jannetty wasn’t a ‘Jannetty’?

The Rockers were amongst the greatest tag teams the WWF had in the late 80s and early 90s. It still amazes people to this day that they never got an official reign with the titles. When they spilt, Shawn Michaels became the heel initially, had several Intercontential reigns, 2 rumble wins and a WWF title win at Wrestlemania. Later on he would become a founding member of DX and in the twightlight of his career would become a Hall of Famer and get a classic send off in his final match.
So where did Marty go wrong? Well there’s a few things that needed to be changed. 3 main things in fact.

The gimmick.
When Marty came back a year after the ‘barber shop window’ incident he had the same outfit, music and look as before. It may have worked back in the days of the Rockers but we were entering the early nineties and hair metal and cock rock was being hammered out of fashion by grunge and the other Seattle rock bands. Nobody wanted to see the Poison or Van Halen look.
Marty needed to cut the hair shorter. Maybe not a short back and sides but something different. And maybe a bit of facial hair like a goatee to get rid of that clean cut smiling happy man. This is a man whose friend and partner who betrayed him and assaulted him hence putting him out of action for the best part of the year. (In real life, Marty was actually fired and under house arrest for getting involved with a scuffle with a cop). And the spandex tights have to go as well. In its place, darker street clothes and perhaps a leather jacket as ring attire. In fact, try to imagine Raven’s attire. This would be the perfect ying to the yang of Michael’s flamboyant male stripper gimmick.
Personality wise, Marty would have to be a darker, moodier character. Not quite levels of Undertaker but somebody who wants nothing more than revenge on his former friend. Although a face, his character would have slight traits of a heel, foreshadowing the attitude era.

Behaving Himself.
As mentioned before, Jannetty had a little problem with the police causing him to miss most of 1992. In fact, if you look at Janetty’s WWF/WWE Employment history, you’ll see the constant firing and re-hiring. Some due to getting himself arrested. It is difficult to keep your career on a high if you’re dealing with the law and/or ‘extra curricular activities’

Getting in with the Klik
. During the 90s, five men were considered a powerful political force behind the scenes. Shawn Michaels, Kevin ‘Diesel’ Nash, Scott ‘Razor Ramon’ Hall, Sean ‘1 2 3 Kid’ Waltman and Hunter Hearse Hemsley. If Marty had reason number 2 (Behaving Himself) under control and remained tight with Shawn Michaels, he could have been the 6th man of the group.
He had a meaningless week long tag title reign with the 1 2 3 Kid, but if he was closer in the group then perhaps the team of Janetty and Kid would have more and longer reigns. Potentially there is a Michaels & Diesel/Jannetty & Kid tag team feud (Incidentally if you can find it, there’s a fantastic Michaels& Diesel vs Razor Ramon & 123 Kid tag title match on RAW). Also it would be entirely possible that one of the Michaels/Razor ladder matches that took place at Wrestlemania X and Summerslam 95 would be Michaels/Jannetty...

Then the interesting part. The Klik spilt with Diesel and Razor Ramon heading for WCW to start the nWo angle with Hogan while Michaels and HHH formed DX.
If Jannetty stayed with the WWF, there’d be a strong chance he would have been part of DX. As the Hart family buried the hatchet and joined forces then perhaps Jannetty and Michaels in the storyline could as well.
We would see an interesting feud with the Hart family, perhaps with 6 men tag matches against Bret, Owen and Davey. And they could easily add Chyna and Jim Neidhart to make it 8 men tag.
And maybe when Shawn took his first retirement, Jannetty, rather than HHH, would be the new leader.Or at least, the two could fued over being leader...

Or what if he went with Nash and Hall to WCW? What if it was 3 outsiders instead of just Hall and Nash? The original Bash at the Beach in 1996 ended up being Savage, Luger and Sting vs Hall, Nash and a mystery third man (which turned out to be Hulk Hogan). In this alternative booking it would be an 8 man match with the WCW faces being announced as Savage, Luger, Sting and a returning Hogan against the team of Hall, Nash, Jannetty and a mystery fourth man (heavy rumours would circle around it being one of the four horsemen i.e. Flair). On the night of Bash at the Beach, it would announced via Tony or Bobby Heenan that Hogan had been assaulted in his dressing room and may not be able to join his team. Then later in the night, when Hogan made his way to the ring during the main event, everyone will think he’s down to help his own team. However as we all know, Hogan was the other nWo member and this is where he made his dramatic heel turn. In this alternative booking world, the nWo would start off as a powerful four man team running over WCW. The WCW US championship would end up firmly round the waste of Jannetty while the World and tag team titles would be with Hogan, Nash and Hall.

Conclusion.

It is amazing when you look at old matches of the Rockers and how one of these guys goes on to have an outstanding career while the other fizzles to the lower leagues. It wasn’t like they were drastically different like the way Bret Hart and Jim Anvail were both different types of wrestler.
But lets end it on a positive note. Granted, Marty didn’t have the success Shawn had, and he didn’t end his career at the highest point but he has wrestling experiences that thousands of other wrestlers would kill for.
He was in a tag team that is considered to be legendary in the world of tag teams. He held the WWF IC and Tag Titles, although briefly, but in a time when their value was worth more than it is now. He wrestled in front of crowds of thousands in many different countries. He wrestled on several PPVs for the biggest wrestling company in America and the world (Including being in the main event of the 1989 Survivor Series- along with Andre the Giant and Ultimate Warrior). He had his own action figures and I’m sure he didn’t have a shortage of ladies to keep him company at night.

So maybe being a Jannetty is ok.

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Updated 10-16-2012 at 07:47 AM by Michael Burnside

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Comments

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  1. Pearl River Plunge's Avatar
    love this, good stuff, and a fun read
  2. A.C. Sativa's Avatar
    You know, if you're going to write an article about a guy you should at least take the trouble to find out how to spell his name. It's JANNETTY!
  3. Flyin_Brian's Avatar
    Good read, especially with the "what could've been" in the mid to late 90's. I think you're dead on. It's a shame he let his personal demons get the best of him. He had (and even still has) all the athletic ability in the world and could've had the caliber of matches Shawn did. His only flaw was his mic (or interview) work, but that would've come with time and experience. It's a shame he couldn't get his demons under control. He was and still is one of my all time favorite wrestlers.
  4. Bagg's Avatar
    This is one of the coolest reads in a while, I love stuff like this from the "pre-nwo" 90's. Thanks man. It is too bad he just couldnt get himself in order, it of course would have been Ric Flair-esque as at that time, in the Sherri days especially, michaels was despised by fans everywhere he went. Had Marty even just got a hot little valet to come along to ringside with him and/or do some mixed tag, Marty could have had an easy ride to superstardom. But totally the sting/raven brooding angle wouldve worked magic too, since the barber shop window was one of the most horrific and surprising things in wwe to that point and even until now. thanks again
  5. Thunderlips's Avatar
    Man- very good read- probably one of the best example of what could have been if he didnt self destruct! Top blogging!
  6. Renevious's Avatar
    Hey Burnside, this was awesome. Marty Jannetty has always been one of my all time favorite wrestlers. I even wrote an entire blog about him quite a while back. I focused on highlighting the better moments of his career and proceeded to officially call him the most under rated superstar of all time. But I really like the time and detail you put into the hypothetical path that his career could've taken. It was very intriguing. Anyway, go back and check out my old blog on here if you're interested. And either way, good work my friend.
  7. TheRealOutlaw's Avatar
    I wouldn't mind seeing more blogs about superstars that fizzled out and what could have been.
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