Defrost Reviews – Shawn Michaels vs. Marty Jannetty

December 31, 2020 0 By JohnValbyNation

Cain and Abel. The North and the South. Ernest Hemingway and his favorite shotgun. Once united then the most mortal of enemies. That is also the story of the Rockers nee Midnight Rockers. Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty had done it all. Won the AWA Tag Team Titles. Were former Southern Tag Team Champions. In an alternative universe, were even WWF Tag Team Champions.

This all came crashing down when Shawn Michaels, in all of his hubris, superkicked Marty through the window of the Barbershop. Well that isn’t how Marty went through the window, but it is the way everyone describes it so why bother to argue? Or it all came crashing down when Marty decided to give notice and call up WCW without talking to Shawn first. One or the other. What is the moral of the story? That is what we’ll seek to find out in this edition of DRS2EBRaSAGG.

Royal Rumble 1993 (ARCO Arena)
World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels vs Marty Jannetty

Raw 5/17/93 (Manhattan Center)
World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels vs Marty Jannetty

Raw 7/19/93 (Manhattan Center)
World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels vs Marty Jannetty

Raw 7/1/96 (Brown County Expo)
WWF Heavyweight Champion Shawn Michaels vs Marty Jannetty

The moral of the story is to never put your head down nor rush into the corner. Well at least that is the moral of the story you’d get from these matches. Every time someone put their head down for a back bodydrop or tried to rush their opponent in a corner it was met with disastrous results never ever learning the lesson. Hell in the first match Marty puts his head down allowing Shawn to gab him and whip him into the ropes. Now you’d think he’d realize the error he just capitalized on, but no Shawn puts his head down and gets his face driven into the mat.

This first match is the weakest of the four. It starts out great, but drags once Shawn gets the heat. This is something we, the royal we, here at DRS2EBRaSAGG HQ. Pre Wrestlemania X heel Shawn Michaels was not very good while on offense. He always made the babyface look like a million bucks with how amazing of a bumper he was, but the match would just sorta die when he got on offense.

Shawn back then was king of the chinlock, a throne now sat upon by Blandy Orton. In their Rumble match it wasn’t a chinlock so much as arm work that leads to nowhere, and that is the problem. Back then Shawn’s heat was mostly time killing stuff because it was just the point of the match where the heel gets the heat. No real psychology to it. Then once the comeback starts when Shawn did his wacky pirouette before rushing Marty in the corner and posting himself, see told you about those corners, and the match gets good again.

The match on the night Marty returned to Raw does not suffer from this problem quite as badly. Part of the is based on the fact that the match is shorter and there is a commercial in the middle of it. Part of it is based on losing the arm work. Part of it is Marty being on offense for a higher percentage of the match. That makes it a far more exciting match even if it is held back a bit by Shawn’s lack of compelling offense. That is glaring when after Marty tries one head scissor too many and gets throated in an awesome spot Shawn meanders a bit before grabbing a chinlock. So while the problems were less they were still there.

Then there is the fact that Marty still had not learned his lesson when it come to putting his head down. Twice in the match Marty put his head down only to take a kick to the face, and then have the back of his head driven into the mat by his hair. Shawn and the wacky pirouette chronicled in the Shawn vs Bret review appears again. In the third match Marty continues to put his head down, but it seemed to a least work out a bit this time. When he puts his head down Shawn grabs him and lifts him for the powerbomb, but Marty is able to turn it into a hurricanrana for a close 2 count. Too bad he took that dive over the top and got pinned.

Of the IC Title matches the July 1993 Raw match is the best. It flows the best with the rest hold Shawn uses being a front facelock with his feet on the ropes. There is good continuity with the aforementioned head down/corner spots as well as Marty again coming off the top for the fist drop with Shawn moving out of the way. Marty lands on his feet and nails a DDT. Unlike the first two matches that got a three, but Shawn’s foot was on the rope so the match was restarted.

It was also the first time they played up how well the two knew each other with great spots of reversals and ducking moves early on. Also a plus is it was the first match that didn’t end with Marty acting randomly heelish.

Good thing that Marty was a heel in the last match. It was sorta weird that after the ref bump the returning babyface calls in the nefarious heel manager to attack his opponent only for the arrogant ignoble heel to duck having the interference backfire on the babyface and the heel then hitting his move for the clean win. In the second match Shawn hits his superkick, which, while not yet his finisher at the time, was the move he finished Marty with in their first match, then he gets distracted by Mr Perfect allowing Jannetty to roll him up and win the IC Title. A total heel move.

In the fourth match Marty Jannetty is brought out by Jim Cornette, Shawn was feuding with Owen, Bulldog, and Vader at the time, to soften up Shawn prior to International Incident given his knowledge of Shawn. There are some interesting reverse callbacks here. In the match where Marty won the IC Title Marty catches Shawn with his head down again and after a series of Japanese Arm Drags and a head scissor he was in control of the match.

In the 1996 match Shawn catches Marty with his head down and after a series of Japanese Arm Drags sends Marty to the floor with a dropkick. Shawn fakes a crossbody off the second rope which caused Marty to duck so he goes up top and hit it from there which Marty had done in their previous match. Marty even goes with the chinlock. Marty with, let’s say it together, his head down ends up in powerbomb position where he once again takes Shawn over with a hurricanrana, but Shawn turns that into a sunset flip. Finish comes on the fourth time Shawn moves from the flying fist drop, but instead of going for a DDT he goes for a suplex to which Shawn floats behind Marty, nails a perfect piledriver, comes off the top with a flying elbow, sweet chin music, and the win.

This was the best match of the bunch. Shawn in 1996 was in his absolute peak prime. Marty was working super hard here. Maybe he was looking for a way out of his tag team with Al Snow, oh wait I mean Leif Cassidy. So both guys were totally on. Marty was given a good chunk of the match since the story they were telling was how well he knew Shawn, and they told this story the best of any of the matches. Shawn as a babyface having to make a comeback in 1996 was so much better than Shawn as a heel on offense in 1993. So this is probably the least known yet the best.

Random observation time. No idea what the color of the IC Belt was at Royal Rumble 1993. Shawn spiking Marty into the ringpost at the Rumble was awesome. Gorilla and Heenan were great together. The crowds were not particularly hot for the IC Title matches. An amazing transition from a leap frog to a sunset flip in the title switch. Nash was great at the subtle manager stuff.

Results and Ratings

Royal Rumble 1993
WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels defeated Marty Jannetty via pinall at 14:20 with a Superkick. Shawn Michaels retained the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship
Rating: **3/4

Raw 5/17/93
Marty Jannetty defeated WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels via pinall at 11:00 with a small packcage. Marty Jannetty won the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship.
Rating: ***1/2

Raw 7/19/93
WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels defeated Marty Jannetty via pinall at 23:00 after Jannetty missed a pescado. Shawn Michaels retained the World Wrestling Federation Intercontinental Championship.
Rating: ****

Raw 7/1/96
WWF Heavyweight Champion Shawn Michaels defeated Marty Jannetty via pinall at with a Superkick
Rating: ****1/4

Average Rating: ***1/2

And much like Aesop we here at DRS2EBRaSAGG strive to teach you the important lessons in life. We hope you have learned much today. Now it is time to go onwards into that good night and all that as we take another look at the defunct promotion once known as World Championship Wrestling. We take a look at a bright spot in the darkness of a sinking ship where the rats didn’t so much leave as chew more holes in the boat. Next Time: Booker T vs Rick Martel.