Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

On Brand Segunda Caida: The Johnny Polo vs. Marty Jannetty Feud!

ER: Raven didn't work many matches during his first WWF stint, and it's a shame because his house show appearances are filled with on paper gold. I'd love to see a 1993/1994 matches like Polo vs. 1-2-3 Kid, Polo vs. Owen, Polo/Jacques Rougeau vs. The Steiners, one of those cool house-only Royal Rumbles, and I don't think we have any of that. He worked exactly two matches that made TV, and both of them were against Marty Jannetty. The two of them later worked a match in ECW, and two more in WCW after that. It's probably one of the few singles matches to have happened in every single major 90s wrestling fed. That's weird, and really cool.

Johnny Polo vs. Marty Jannetty WWE Raw 12/13/93

ER: Polo had been taunting Jannetty for weeks, claiming he could beat 1-2-3 Kid and Jannetty at the same time. Then during a singles match between Kid and Jannetty (or, you know, Marty Confetti and the Snot Nose Kid as he referred to them, while also calling Vince "McMoron", which we can probably flag as the beginning of Vince hating Raven) he interfered against both men, eventually shoving Jannetty out of the way of a Kid tope con giro, meaning Jannetty went into the rail, Kid took a mean Chris Hamrick-style back bump to the floor (that made me wonder if it's actually Chris Hamrick that was taking Waltman-style bumps...), and both were counted out. So, one could argue that Polo did beat both men at once. Polo's ring gear is a zazzy singlet top (think if RVD was designing something for the Steiners), tucked into billowy pleated white pants, which are tucked into black wrestling boots. Was Polo-the-manager put in loose Day-Glo windbreakers to hide his size, because he is much larger than Jannetty here. Also, this match is super fun and kind of weird! Most fans watching would have had no idea at the time that Polo was a wrestler, they'd think of him as a manager, and here was a manager working equally with a guy who had been the IC Champ just a few months prior (on commentary, Jacques amusingly says that Jannetty is now on the downside of his career which, well...). But I don't really care about that as these two match up in fun ways, and Jannetty is a real daredevil during this period. Jannetty crashes to the floor in a big over the top bump, and later his a plancha off the top to take out Quebecer Pierre. Polo did his great "Raven kinda did a pescado" where vaults himself over the top and tumbles to the floor onto Jannetty, and there was a bunch of great stooging from Polo throughout. I really liked Polo missing a punch by a mile to set up an atomic drop, selling the atomic drop with a 0.7 Rick Rude sell, then missing the exact same punch - again by a mile - to set up a Jannetty backdrop suplex. A lot of Jannetty's offense was basically grabbing Polo by his hair and slamming his face or hair into the mat, and Polo is a good guy to tantrum sell that kind of offense. The whole match is filled with several convincing nearfalls, as Polo felt like a guy who could be put down with a school boy or a crossbody, and they kept an exciting pace for the 6 minute run time. Pierre did held hold Polo's hands during the winning roll up, so I guess we're just going to have to run this back in a month!

Johnny Polo vs. Marty Jannetty WWE Raw 1/31/94

ER: Polo has opted for a chambray dad jacket and colorfully striped polo (sleeves cut off) for his ring gear, and this is another fun match to...well, end their feud. Grand opening, grand closing! This was all big bumps from Jannetty, basic offense from Polo (all axe handles, kneelifts, and back rakes baby, and we're better for it!), a fun pace, and a nearly 10 minute run time (which, again, is weird because Polo was not an onscreen wrestler!). Match starts with Jannetty getting the mic from Polo and hitting a lariat with the mic cord, then tying Polo's legs together with the cord. This is extremely excellent bullshit, and gives us an opportunity to see Polo stooging and flopping around for microphone based offense. Jannetty goes back to his plan of grabbing Polo by the head and ramming it into things, getting an enthusiastic 10 count from the crowd after knocking Polo's face into all the turnbuckles, mixing in a heavy crossbody and nice flying back elbow. Early in the match Polo bails to the back, but charges at Jannetty and takes a nice backdrop bump on the floor. But this match has a ton more Polo control than the first match, and that's pretty cool. There was a great moment where Polo ran hard into Jannetty with a kneelift, and Jannetty flew out of the ring hard like he was channeling Buzz Sawyer. Polo had a lot of fun with his control segments and even broke out some sick wedding dancing at one point, getting heat with an electric slide in 1994 in a WWF ring is pure joy. There were a couple weird moments, there's a cross up on a backdrop that sees somebody out of place and Jannetty kind of dangerously and weirdly taking the bump on his own, but they also do a good job of calling back spots, and that's satisfying. Polo had that backdrop earlier, Jannetty turns it into a sunset flip later; Polo hit an axe handle to a kneeling Jannetty earlier, later Jannetty gets the boot up and Polo bounces halfway across the ring. The finish is a really odd one as it comes totally out of nowhere and really looks like one of those moments where they got called to go home and it ended 5 seconds later. That happens, but usually it looks better than this: Polo hits a kneedrop/Bret Hart elbowdrop, and Jannetty just stands up not selling it, and hits the rocker dropper. Oof. Still, match was a ton of fun, and I have no idea why they only had Polo work TV twice during his first WWE run, both times against Marty Jannetty.

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