Rock and rule

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March 04, 2008

Together, Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty collaborated on a unique beat for success in the late 1980s and early '90s. With a lightning-quick, high-flying approach, strong technical mat skills and a knack for unerring accuracy, it's somewhat amazing that despite never capturing tag team gold, The Rockers landed atop of the tandem charts, as WWE.com's No. 9 Greatest Tag Team in sports-entertainment history.

It was at the inaugural SummerSlam, just months after The Rockers stormed into WWE, when a heated rivalry ignited between Michaels & Jannetty and the Brain Busters, Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard. The tension lasted for more than a year, culminating with The Rockers defeating them in a Best of Three Falls Match that led Brain Busters manager, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, to fire his team.

Michaels & Jannetty continued to wreak havoc on WWE's tandem division, awing audiences with never-before-seen maneuvers. Double dropkicks from tag partners became mere child's play as The Rockers managed to execute them off adjacent turnbuckles, using flying fists off each other's shoulders, double flying fist drops from the top rope and, of course, the leg-dropping demolisher known as the  "Rocker Dropper."

With all their exciting methods of rolling past rivals, however, perhaps the most dreaded was the Rocker-Plex. The competition was in for a rough solo ride as Michaels would vertical-suplex an opponent into the top rope, setting up Jannetty for a cross body press.

Many great tag teams have entered the squared circle in WWE's history, but few were so in tune with each other as The Rockers. Michaels & Jannetty had perfect timing, carrying out each high-risk maneuver with excellence. Like twin siblings, they anticipated every move their partner would make, bringing a teamwork aspect to the ring unlike any other.

While The Rockers may never have shared championship gold, they set a solid gold standard for WWE's tag team division that arguably has never been rivaled. The collaboration came to a bittersweet end in December 1991, when Michaels sent Jannetty through the glass window of Brutus Beefcake's "Barber Shop" -- a move that many claim catapulted the legendary career of "The Heartbreak Kid." Nevertheless, the duo's kinship and uncanny ability to read each other's actions goes down in the annals of tag team history.

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