WRESTLING WITH HISTORY: Apter and Resnick talk about the challenges of young Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty

Posted on 6/08/121 by VOC Nation

On the most recent edition of Wrestling with History, Bill
Apter and Ken Resnick told early stories about working with
Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty before they hit stardom in
the WWE. Here are some highlights:

Bill Apter on first meeting the Rockers: “At the beginning,
everyone used to compare them to Ricky Morton and Robert
Gibson, the Rock and Roll Express. They used to tell me,
‘we’re going to be better than the Rock and Rolls and maybe
we’re going to feud with the Rock and Rolls one day,’ that
was their goal back then. When I first met them, they were
two wild kids. I didn’t know where they were going to go
because they were really very immature.”

Ken Resnick on the immaturity the pair had in the AWA:
“They lived to party. I think in those days they view the
wrestling as the revenue stream that could pay for their
partying. That’s how they looked at it. But in the early
days of the Midnight Rockers in the AWA, everyone pretty
much thought that Marty Jannetty was going to be the star.
His ringwork was better. Neither one of them were overly
dedicated, but little by little you could see that Shawn
began to embrace wrestling. The partying wouldn’t stop, but
he was able to separate it…even today, Marty was never
really able to separate the partying from the wrestling.”

Resnick on Shawn Michaels having a better head on his
shoulders: “Shawn became more involved in his own wrestling
career, whereas Marty couldn’t wait to get out and start
partying. As their careers progressed, the both of them had
demons to deal with but Shawn was able to conquer a lot of
his demons…that’s why Shawn is the Hall of Famer and the big

Apter on the influences in Shawn’s life that helped him:
“Jose Lothario was a wonderful taskmaster over his students.
He taught Shawn not just how to fine tune his ringwork, but
the psychology and how to handle himself as a person. It
didn’t kick in immediately, but Shawn always had that
respect of Jose Lothario in his brain. Shawn was also very
dedicated to his parents. He was a kid that his parents
absolutely adored, and he tried to make them happy... I
think Shawn kept the values of his trainer and his family
and that’s what was a large separation from the party Shawn
and the Shawn that we all came to love as an athlete and a

Resnick on Verne Gagne’s impression of the Rockers: “I
don’t think he was enthralled, but by the time Shawn and
Marty came to the AWA Verne was already facing (intense
competition from McMahon), so I think Verne (had the idea
that) they were making money for the company, and given
Vince’s assault on his territory, Verne was far more willing
to overlook it then (as opposed to the territory days).”

Resnick on the Rockers’ first failed run in WWE: “While
Verne was willing to overlook some of that because they were
making AWA money and were working on top, Vince had a huge
stable. Vince’s stance was against drugs… Even I had to
take while I was there – I pass them all – three random
urine tests. Vince was just not putting up with (the
immaturity)… It wasn’t my place (to help them); I think
others did but it just fell in one ear and then out the
other. It’s ‘til they make up their own minds, you can talk
to them until you’re blue in the face… I remember on
interview days, there were a few times (they came in) really
hung over.”

Wrestling with History featuring Bill Apter and Ken Resnick
drops every Wednesday at noon ET on the VOC Nation Wrestling
Network Podcast feed.

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