After a very up-and-down career with WWE, former WWE Tag Team Champion and WWE Intercontinental Champion Marty Jannetty spoke to The Hannibal TV regarding his match against Shawn Michaels at the 1993 WWE Royal Rumble, as well as his firing shortly after.
On an evening in Sacramento that saw Bret Hart defeat Razor Ramon to defend his WWE Championship and Yokozuna winning the Royal Rumble Match, Jannetty outlined how he and Michaels prepared for the matchup.
“We went around for three days ahead of the Rumble getting the match down,” Jannetty said. “We really, when they first started doing that, weren’t comfortable with it because these people in Denver just saw us do that match, Salt Lake City, 12-15,000 people saw us do that match.”
After having three days to prepare for the match come the Rumble, Jannetty felt very confident that it would possibly steal the show that night at the ARCO Arena.
“We went and got that match down so good with three days ahead,” Jannetty said. “That night in Denver, which was Shawn and I’s town, we had that match down so good… we never slowed down and we went for 20 minutes.”
One agent at the time, Blackjack Lanza, reported the match to Vince McMahon with nothing but high praise. Jannetty recalls hearing his conversation with McMahon, claiming the match should be a main event.
“I hear Blackjack Lanza going to Vince ‘I’m telling you, put this match on the main event’,” Jannetty said. “It’s the best match we’re ever gonna see.”
Following the match, universal acclaim was given to the two superstars from fans and critics alike, but McMahon was not so keen on the final product. Shortly after the match, rumors would swirl that Jannetty had been under the influence during the match, preventing it from being even better than it was. Jannetty would then be released from the WWE shortly after.
“Vince, the next day at TV, called me into his office and said ‘I heard you had been drinking and just wasn’t there for that match’,” Jannetty said. “‘I have to let you go’ and boy that broke my heart.”
Jannetty was under the impression that the quality of the match led to his release and defended the match, believing that it was better than some of the other matches on the card that night.
Two months later, “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig was able to get him back with the company, and a match against Michaels on RAW for the Intercontinental Championship, which he was victorious.
“I hate to say I won the IC title because of punishment to Shawn, but Vince had me come back and beat him,” Jannetty said.
Jannetty would make a few more appearances in the WWE, most recently on Oct. 19, 2009 in a losing effort to The Miz on Monday Night RAW.