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What Is He Thinking?! Volume 5 - Marty Jannetty, WCW 1998

by Scrooge McSuck

Marty Jannetty

- What better way to celebrate Halloween Havok than with an edition of What Is He Thinking dedicated to one of the scariest topics ever put to text... an entire article dedicated to Marty Jannetty (waits for the screaming and cussing to stop). In WCW (crickets chirping). In 1998. (crickets stop chirping... deathly silent). OK, so maybe Marty Jannetty's WCW run, hell, scratch it, ANY run since 1993, has been pretty forgetable. But nothing more than when he decided to show up on WCW television. To the shock of absolutely no one, he did nothing memorable, lost a bunch of times, and disappeared by years end, falling off the face of the earth until appearing on the ever-infamous Heroes of Wrestling PPV. There's a review that I need to clean up for Da' Site if ever one deserved it. Maybe do a special edition version commenting on how truely painful it was to finish... but I digress.

Marty Jannetty vs. Chris Benoit:

From the January 19th, 1998 episode of Monday Nitro. Listening to Mike Tenay on commentary, talking about the nWo... it sounds so wooden. Benoit is set to battle Raven at WCW Souled Out on SATURDAY, an hour later than usual at 8pm. Lockup into the corner, and Benoit quickly unloads on him. Whip to the ropes, and Jannetty takes Benoit down with a head scissors, then connects with the weakest super-kick ever seen. Into the corner, and they trade chops/slaps. Jannetty with a snapmare, followed by a jumping fist drop. Whip to the corner, and Jannetty meets the boots on a charge. Benoit charges with a clothesline, complete with the inside-out sell. Whip to the ropes, and a vicious charging elbow allows Jannetty more over-selling opprotunities. Benoit stomps away in the corner, then Jannetty turns it around, unloading with rights. Whip to the ropes, Jannetty with a fist to the midsection and a running knee lift for a two count. Suplex attempt is blocked, and Benoit takes him over with a snap version of his own for a two count. Benoit with a boot to the midsection, then dumps Jannetty to the floor. Jannetty surprises Benoit with a hang-up across the top rope. Whip to the ropes, Jannetty slams Benoit face-first into the canvas. Suddenly, Raven and his Flock show up. Benoit surprises Jannetty with the Crossface, and he taps faster than the speed of light at 4:11. The Flock runs in, but Benoit cleans everyones clock until Raven creates a distraction. Jannetty helps makes the save for Benoit, and the dismantling of the Flock continues, complete with a Swan Dive headbutt to Lodi. Match was good enough for the short time, but a hot finish.

Marty Jannetty vs. Raven:

From the January 29th, 1998 episode of WCW Thunder. Raven informs us this match will be "anything goes", or Raven rules, as the term would better be known when concerning Raven. This has to be high on everyones Dream Match list... Jannetty vs. Raven. Come on. Lockup into the corner, and Jannetty rocks Raven with rights. Whip to the corners, and he follows in with clotheslines. Jannetty with a running dropkick, sending Raven to the floor. Jannetty with a baseball slide, but a trip to the floor leads to an unplanned visit into the ring post. Back in the ring, Raven sets up a chair, and drop toe holds Jannetty face-first into it. Jannetty catches Raven coming with an elbow, then takes him down with a bulldog. Raven practically no-sells, then gets slammed down three times with a handful of hair for a two count. Mounted punches in the corner as Schiavone speculates Raven has one leg longer than the other. Jannetty avoids a charge and rolls him up for two. Superkick connects, but he chooses to go to the top than cover. He takes forever, but still hits the fist drop for a two count. Raven shoves Jannetty back into the corner, then dropkicks the chair back into his face. Raven with the DDT, and that's more than enough for the three count at 3:58. This was OK, but the crowd really didn't give too much of a crap for Jannetty. If Thunder was taped, it's called piping in cheers and boos.

Marty Jannetty vs. Raven (w/ Lodi):

ReMatch! From the February 5th, 1998 episode of WCW Thunder. It was almost four years to the date since these two last wrestled each other on Monday Night Raw... of course, Raven was known as Johnny Polo then, and this tidbit is, in fact, pointless. Jannetty's music is deceptively heel-ish sounding. That's one thing WWE had over anyone... GOOD in-house produced music. I mean, back in the day. The 21st century has a hard time agreeing with that statement. Lodi's sign reads "I can beat Jannetty." Me too. Jannetty attacks Raven in the aisle, pounding with roundhouse rights. Lodi sneaks up and eats a super-kick. Raven takes one, and then Lodi takes a second, because Lodi was a good punching bag. Jannetty trash talks Raven about Lodi and his sign, then finally takes it in the ring. Whip to the ropes, and Jannetty with a diving elbow for two. Cover again for two. Repeat as necessary. Whip to the ropes, and Raven turns him inside out with a clothesline. Raven dumps him to the floor, then does a poor man's Cactus elbow from the apron. The chair gets set up and Raven bulldogs Jannetty across it. Raven applies the Crossface, but lets go before any submission. Jannetty surprises him with a small package for two. They blow a SNAPMARE spot, which leads to Raven splashing the chair by mistake. Raven to the top, but he gets crotched for taking too long. Jannetty with a dropkick, sending Raven back, down to the floor. Lodi is still playing dead, by the way. Jannetty throws Raven into the steel steps, then takes it back in the ring and comes off the top with a fist drop. Rocker Dropper is blocked, and Raven with the DDT out of nowhere for three at 5:37. Another decent match, and it was at least a different match than the week before. I don't know how a match can feel slow when it barely goes 5-minutes, but that's the power of WCW (and WWF's Attitude Era).

Marty Jannetty vs. Brian Adams:

From the March 19th, 1998 episode of WCW Thunder. Brian Adams jumped from WWF shortly after the Montreal Screwjob, and practically showed up on WCW television the next week. That's almost unheard of considering the era of no-compete clause and other forms of contract restrictions. Adams attacks before the bell and sends him to the floor with a headbutt. Adams follows, then press slams Jannetty back into the ring. Whip to the corner, and Adams misses a charge. Jannetty to the second rope, and he jumps into a bearhug. Realy, need a bearhug already? Jannetty goes for a slam, but he's too hurt (WHAT?!), and over-sells a clothesline. Whip to the ropes, and a body press fails. Crush throws him over his head, without falling back with him. Whip to the corner, and more over-selling from Jannetty. Adams with a back breaker. He misses a knee drop, then fails at a suplex. Jannetty with an atomic drop and clothesline to take the big man off his feet. Jannetty to the top, and a missile dropkick connects for two. Sleeper hold applied, but Adams rams him back into the corner. Criss-cross sequence ends with a tilt-o-whirl powerslam, and Adams covers for three at 3:32. This was pretty bad. Adams didn't bother selling anything and this was nothing more than a squash match.

Marty Jannetty vs. Chris Jericho (Cruiserweight Champion):

From the March 30th, 1998 episode of WCW Monday Nitro, and this is Non-Title, considering Jannetty's won maybe one match his entire time in WCW. Jericho was working a program with Dean Malenko around this time, and Jannetty was riding the Job Squad Train. Jericho comes to the ring with a bunch of papers... oh shit, it's THIS match?! Jericho rips up a sign that was pro-him, and throws it back at the kid. BULLY! BULLY! Sorry, anyone that gets hurt feelings for that doesn't belong to be at a wrestling show, ever. Sorry, it actually IS a Title Match. Jericho attacks before the bell and lays into Jannetty with kicks. Whip to the corner, and Jannetty catches him coming with an elbow. Jannetty with a clothesline, followed by a fist drop. Whip to the ropes, and Jannetty with a powerslam for two. Jannetty remains in control, slamming Jericho face-first into the canvas. Rocker Dropper is countered with a back suplex, and the most vicious looking Liontamer wins it at 1:23. Damn, that's a short match. Post-match, Jericho busts out his papers and has a list of the 1,004 holds he can do. Hold #3: The moss-covered three handled family gredunza. Someone in WWF must've liked it, because Saturn's finisher was called that at one point during his run.

Marty Jannetty vs. Saturn (w/ Kidman):

Speaking of Saturn... from the April 28th, 1998 episode of WCW Monday Nitro. It's the battle of the addicts. Remember when Saturn still had hair? He stomps Jannetty down in the corner. Whip across the ring, and he follows in with an elbow. Jannetty with an elbow the second time around, followed by a clothesline. Saturn shoves Jannetty to the ropes, and he takes a bump to the floor for no damn reason. Back inside, and Saturn casually lays him out with a superkick, then drops a leg across the chest. Whip to the ropes, and Saturn with a double-arm overhead suplex. Jannetty blocks a roll up, and connects with a superkick of his own. He goes to the middle rope, and comes off with a fist drop. Saturn pops right up, boots Jannetty, and connects with the Death Valley Driver for the three count at 2:18. Squash match, and completely heat-less.

Marty Jannetty vs. Konnan:

From the August 31st, 1998 episode of WCW Monday Nitro. For the first time in forever, Jannetty FINALLY changes his look... he cut his hair, greased it back, and debuts the most unmanly colored ring attire in pro wrestling history. Bright pink and lime green? REALLY? Couldn't think of two worse color combinations for a wrestler? He also has funky DISCO music, I think. Is Jannetty's Halloween costume "a loser?" Konnan is a member of the nWo Wolfpac. Branching off the nWo... ugh. Worst. Idea. Ever. Lockup, and Jannetty works the arm. Konnan slow motion jogs to the corner, and comes back with an arm drag, followed by his rolling clothesline. Konnan with a snapmare, followed by a basement dropkick. Awkward head scissors by Konnan. This match has already died a slow death. Jannetty fights free, and connects with a superkick. Whip to the ropes, and a diving elbow gets two. Slow-motion snapmare, and Jannetty hooks a chinlock. More nothing happens, so I watch Saturday Morning Slam and Jim Johnston is talking about making entrance music for the WWE Superstars. Jannetty with another snapmare, then back to the chinlock. Did someone no-show or lose the show notes? Why is this getting so much time?! Another snapmare, knee drop, back to the chinlock. My God, how boring can a match be? This match just busted the scale for something from the modern era. Jannetty with a clothesline for a two count. Jannetty bickers with the referee some more... so is he supposed to be the heel? I guess it's better heel work than his New Rocker stuff. Wow, was that bad. End the fucking match, already! This match is so long, we've worked in extensive talk about Warrior's debut, the WarGames at Fall Brawl, and the Arn Anderson/Horsemen saga. Jannetty with a snap suplex and fist drop for two. Konnan finally makes his big comeback, connecting with a terrible X-Factor. The Tequila Sunrise finishes it at 9:01. Who gave this fucking trash THAT much time?! Even on mind-altering drugs, this was a fucking joke.

Marty Jannetty vs. Rick Fuller:

From the September 3rd, 1998 episode of WCW Thunder. That last match sucked so bad, I accidentally typed this in as January. Lockup into the ropes. Fuller goes for a slam, but Jannetty counters with a roll up for two. Jannetty with a drop toe hold, then slaps on a front facelock. Jannetty uses his speed (agility, not drug) to avoid Fuller, then sends him back into the corner with a dropkick. Fuller takes control with some brutally boring offense. Fuller takes him out of the corner with a hip toss. Whip to the ropes, and a back drop gets a two count. You don't see many pin attempts after a back drop. We talk about the Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa home run chase, because this match means nothing. Whip to the corner, Jannetty with the elbow. Whip to the ropes, and Jannetty surprises with the Rocker Dropper for the three count at 3:08. JANNETTY WINS A MATCH! JANNETTY WINS A MATCH! JANNETTY WINS A MATCH! It sucked, and we're done.

Final Thoughts: As expected, the stuff with Benoit and Raven was watchable, but other than that, I didn't realize just how much of a Jobber he was used as in WCW. Barely able to get offense against Brian Adams, Perry Saturn, and Chris Jericho, among others. I've seen other matches against the likes of Scott Steiner where he was equally squashed. Honestly, other than the squash against Rick Fuller to end this thing, the only other matches I can recall Jannetty ever winning was against someone called "El Gato" or something equally lame, and against Vincent on an episode of World Wide. Sadly, the Vincent match no longer exists online, otherwise I would've been all over that in a heart beat. For Jannetty fans, just check out the above mentioned with the usual suspects, but don't disappoint yourself into thinking his whole run was decent. It wasn't. It sucked.

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