Known as "Tag Team Specialists" and "Masters of Motion," the Rockers were tireless in their efforts to elevate the importance of teamwork during tag team matches. Although the team bore a striking resemblance to the legendary Rock & Roll Express (much like Demolition resembled the Road Warriors), they were determined to stand out in a crowded field of tag teams.
Although they had quickly established a negative reputation backstage, Shawn & Marty had a try-out opportunity with the WWF in 1987. Unfortunately, they were not accepted by the locker room and Vince McMahon opted not to use them. Shortly after their release, the Young Stallions (Paul Roma & Jim Powers) debuted on WWF-TV.
In the following 12 months, the Rockers managed to hit rock bottom and work their way back up the ranks of AWA and USWA to restore their faded glory, although their reputation for blowing a huge opportunity carried a lasting sting. Luckily, the Rockers were invited back to the WWF in June 1988, and they quickly began working on television shortly thereafter as full-time members of the roster.
The Rockers started at the bottom of the tag team ranks, feuding with the Conquistadors for a few months before they were pitted against season veterans Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard, known as the Brain Busters. Together, the four men raised their teams' respective profiles in the company, and the Brain Busters won the WWF Tag Team Championship by July 1989. The Rockers continued to prosper as well in feuds against the Powers of Pain, Nasty Boys, Power & Glory, and other teams, even beating the Hart Foundation for the WWF Tag Team titles, although the verdict was later overturned, before dissension rose within the partnership.
While their storyline feud was about to evolve, the rift between them entered real life as well and the two men did not get along, even getting into physical altercations on the road. Marty Jannetty was released from the WWF shortly after they filmed a dramatic break-up where Shawn Michaels threw Marty through a paint-glass window of The Barber Shop. After an impressive showing at the 1992 Royal Rumble, Shawn was paired with Sensational Sherri and his singles career started.Not to be forgotten, Marty Jannetty returned to the WWF at the end of 1992 and the former-Rockers were able to start their long-anticipated program over Shawn's newly-won Intercontinental Championship. Their feud appeared to culminate in a match at the 1993 Royal Rumble, but on May 17, 1993, Marty Jannetty returned after months of inactivity on Monday Night Raw to challenge the cocky champion, upsetting him for the championship. Marty's reign lasted four weeks before Shawn Michaels regained the title on the night he introduced his new bodyguard.
The heat between the former partners continued to boil as Shawn MIchaels rose to great heights in the WWF and Marty Jannetty toiled in obscurity. In 1995, Marty Jannetty allegedly coaxed Shawn into giving him another chance with the WWF (claiming Shawn sabotaged his earlier opportunities), which Shawn made happen and Marty used it to prove his own conspiracy theory wrong.
In recent years, Marty Jannetty has had several more opportunities in WWE (including a contract in 2006) but none of them have materialized into full-time appearances. He is often used for one-night appearances to wrestle up-coming guys from the likes of Kurt Angle to Mr. Kennedy and The Miz. In 2006, Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty teamed together for the last time against La Resistance on a live episode of RAW.
From their WWF debut in June 1988 onward, The Rockers were Kay's favorite tag team of all time. His loyalty to The Rockers carried over to Shawn Michaels when he started his singles career. Their popularity also inspired several youngsters into careers in wrestling, including The Hardys, Edge, Chris Jericho, and countless others.