In the ‘Remember When?‘ series we take a look at one off or fleeting moments in wrestling history. In this latest piece we head back 26 years, almost to the day, to when The Rockers “won” the WWF tag team titles from The Hart Foundation.
On October 30, 1990 at a TV taping, The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) faced WWF tag team champions The Hart Foundation (Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart) in a two-out-of-three falls match for those tag titles.
This was several months after Hart and Neidhart had won their second set of tag titles from Demolition at that year’s SummerSlam PPV. At the time of this bout, however, the WWF had plans to push Hart as a solo star while rumours suggest that the company were readying themselves to not renew Neidhart’s contract.
As such, the decision was made to have The Rockers win the tag gold. During the course of the match, the turnbuckle broke, creating a noticeable dip in quality during the bout. Even the best editing wouldn’t have been able to make it something that could air without embarrassing the company.
That, coupled with Vince McMahon opting to keep Neidhart and delay Hart’s singles push, resulted in the title change not counting and not being recorded in the history of the gold. Despite the duo defending the titles several days after the “win” against Power & Glory (Hercules and Paul Roma).
Neither the match versus The Hart Foundation or the defence several days later ever aired on TV in the end.
In his book, “HBK” suggests that “The Hitman” politicked his way into having The Rockers be stripped of the gold. However, in Bret Hart’s he states that the decision was made by those higher up than the two teams which fits with the general consensus that McMahon opted to keep Neidhart and thus the switch wasn’t required.
The ‘official’ explanation for the title switch not counting, in the record books if you will, was that due to the ropes snapping the result were nullified and the gold was returned to Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart.
Whatever the reason, The Rockers wore the gold for a few days and even defended it but to this day the company still refused to acknowledge the title switch.
Maybe there were plans, further down the line, to have Shawn and Marty win the tag titles but it never happened with the company opting, instead, to split the team and push Shawn Michaels as a singles star. To be fair, that worked out fairly well in the end. As for Marty Jannetty, well…
You can read all previous ‘Remember When’ pieces here.