After Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels famously broke up as tag partners, the two settled their differences in a match at Royal Rumble 1993. Despite being highly regarded by fans, Vince McMahon was reportedly furious about how it turned out and Jannetty was fired shortly thereafter. In an interview with The Hannibal TV, the former “Rocker” explained what happened.
Practicing before the Royal Rumble:
For three days before the Rumble, we went around getting the match down. I guess they still do [this] but I’m not there now. This is when they first started it and we weren’t comfortable with it at first. Because we had 15,000 in Denver just saw us do that match and then 12,000 in Salt Lake City, but they wanted you to get it down pat since the pay-per-view was the whole world [watching]. They wanted the world to see the perfected product.
We got that match down so good. On the third day in Denver, Colorado, which is always Shawn and I’s town, we had it down so good. We did a jumpstart, so it’s bang-bang-bang right at the get-go and we never slowed down for 20 minutes. You always hear about the thin air in Denver, but we never felt it. We felt it that day, though, since we never stopped. People were on their feet for 20 minutes and when the match was over they cheered both of us since they appreciated what we just did.
I remember going through the curtain, and the best accolade you can get in this business is for the boys to be there at the curtain and getting a standing ovation. We came through and the boys were clapping. I was embarrassed since [I was breathing so heavy]. The agents call Vince every night, and Blackjack Lanza was telling Vince, “You’ve got to put this in the main event. It’s the best match you’re ever going to see. I have never seen anything like it.” That was the best match I’ve ever had. I can’t speak for [Shawn], but that was the best [in my career].
Sherri Martel getting added in:
The next day is the Royal Rumble and they interject Sherri. Changed the whole rhythm of the match. Everything was different. Why didn’t you do that for the last three days? We got this match down and then it completely changed everything. Shawn kept forgetting things.
Vince’s disappointment with the match:
Vince had heard such great things, and he was like, “That’s the greatest match ever?” When we came back from the match, we were used to him complimenting us. “Great match! Knew you’d come through.” We were used to that. First time ever he goes, “Guys, I need to talk to you.” We’re thinking we were about to get complimented but it was like, “Very disappointed. I expected you all to steal the show and this was far from it.”
The importance of the first match on a pay-per-view:
The first match is supposed to steal the show. It’s gotta be good since it kicks off the whole thing. It’s not an insult to be the first match of a pay-per-view, it’s the thing that gets it going.
The allegations of him being drunk during the match:
I was hurt to hear Vince say that. Shawn was feeling that same thing. I didn’t even think to say, “Hey, you stuck Sherri in there and changed the whole match.” I just walked away thinking it hurt. I heard Shawn stay in the back and found out later that he told Vince that, “I had to lead him around by the nose. He didn’t know what he was doing. I think he was messed up in there.” He put it all on me when he was the one dead lost a couple times. I hate to be telling this but I’d rather the truth be out there. I love you Shawn, but the truth is that he got messed up on Somas the night before and passed out in his food. They had to call 911.
How Mr. Perfect got him hired again:
Curt Hennig was the one that saw [Michaels get messed up]. He called me one night, “Marty, I got your job back.” I was depressed as hell. We used to rib each other. I said, “Curt, that isn’t funny.” He’s like, “No. I got your job back. I’m sitting in a limo with Vince.” He told him the story that Shawn passed out in his food. It really pissed him off and that’s how I won the IC title as a punishment for Shawn. It worked too. [Michaels] got so upset about this.
Transcription by WrestleZone.com Senior Editor Tyler Treese.