2. Shawn Michaels turns on Marty Jannetty
Probably the most historic backstab on this list, the split of The Rockers will be remembered for years to come. This moment created the term “Shawn Michaels of the team” due to the fallout of “The Barber Shop Incident.” Just when Michaels had convinced everyone that he was still with The Rockers, he turned and hit his tag partner Marty Jannetty with Sweet Chin Music.
Shawn followed up by grabbing his tag team partner and ramming him headfirst through the glass barbershop window. Michaels verified that there was no future with The Rockers as he ripped apart a picture of the team. The commentary of Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon sold the moment as we were witnessing the birth of “The Heartbreak Kid”.
Jannetty was left bleeding and heartbroken. The aftermath of this moment witnessed Michaels grow into one of the greatest of all-time. Unfortunately for Jannetty, he would never break out like his former partner. He would go on to win tag gold with 1-2-3 Kid and won the Intercontinental Championship once from Michaels.
Michaels went on to have a legendary career leading to becoming a two-time Hall of Famer. It is hard to imagine what wrestling would look like without Michaels turning on Jannetty. It would have been a completely different look if Michaels would have never gone solo.
Despite issues between Michaels and Jannetty, they would reconcile years later. The Rockers would eventually reunite for a short period of time in 2005 and 2006. Rumor has it that The Rockers were meant to reunite to face The McMahons. However, nothing ever came of it and Shawn was reunited with Triple H instead.
1. Tommaso Ciampa turns on Johnny Gargano
When it comes to emotions, this backstab was the most emotional that I have ever witnessed. Just when the watermark appeared to give fans a sigh of relief, Tommaso Ciampa grabbed his partner Johnny Gargano and tossed him into the Titantron. The rumors had been circulating but nobody wanted to believe it was possible.
The crowd was caught off guard and were shocked and appalled by what they were witnessing. The team was known as #DIY were no more. The moment was emotional because everyone knows Ciampa and Gargano were more than best friends: they were as close as brothers. However, greed and jealousy started to infect Ciampa’s head.
Ciampa felt like he was carrying the team and was tired of doing so. Ciampa was so hungry for power and recognition, he stabbed his best friend right in front of his face. Gargano was beaten and left looking confused more than anything else. He couldn’t fathom why his best friend could do such a thing. Since then, the war between Ciampa and Gargano has become a lengthy story.
Over the past few years, it is hard to think about NXT without thinking of the feud between these two. They have been through absolute wars with each other only to find themselves back on the same page toward the end of 2019. Just when you thought that things were back to normal in the world, Gargano gave Ciampa a taste of his own medicine, as Gargano stabbed him in the back as Ciampa did him several years prior.
At this point in time, Ciampa and Gargano’s paths have led away from each other. However, both men are loyal to the NXT brand and you can expect that their paths will cross again soon enough. Whether they are working as a team or battling each other, this relationship has become one of the best stories that WWE has told.
As far as backstabs go, this one really sold the moment best in my opinion. The war between two best friends that can’t stay on the same page has been hellacious. Unlike many feuds and matches that grow stale, I could have at least one more match between Ciampa and Gargano.