Why It Ended – Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts
Release Date: 01/22/19
Running time: 1:17
Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo
On today’s show, Robert and Matt welcome Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts.
-Jake is spending time with his sons and their families. He is getting ready to move from Vegas to Texas to be closer to his grandkids. He says the best part of living is your children.
-As you get older, even though your heart and mind want to do things, your body can’t and you can watch your kids and grandkids do those things
-Jake’s father was Grizzly Smith, who was a professional wrestler. Jake idolized him at first because he was never around. Jake’s mother never talked about him but he wishes she did warn them about him because he was a pedophile who raped a 12 year old girl which is how Jake was born. Despite the horrible things Grizzly did, he still loved his father.
-Jake wanted to be an architect when he got out of high school but got no support from his father. Grizzly never told Jake he was proud of him which made him angry
-One night, while watching a wrestling show Grizzly was on, Jake decided to go down and challenge one of the wrestlers, which he thought would make his dad proud.
-Jake got stretched badly and his father said Jake was gutless and would never amount to anything. Because of that, Jake decided to become a wrestler to prove he would be better than his father
Vancouver And Calgary
-While working in Kansas City, Buck Robley told Jake he had to go somewhere where nobody knew who he was and to forget who he was. Jake was intimidated by everyone because his dad knew all the guys. Wrestlers that didn’t like Jake’s father would beat him up and guys that did like his father would mess with him.
-Buck sent him to Vancouver which was about a 2,000 mile drive and made Jake think about who he wanted to be in the ring. He said Jake should pu all the past behind him and be someone. Vancouver was a place you went when you couldn’t get a job. They didn’t pay much but would wrestle every night.
-He went to Japan afterwards then went to Calgary where he got to wrestle main events against Sylvester Ritter (Junkyard Dog) wrestling as a babyface. He also got to wrestle 60 minute broadways against Harley Race during the Calgary Stampede.
-After Calgary, he went to Louisiana where his father was and got to work with Ernie Ladd.
-During a match, Ernie broke Jake’s arm.
-While in a cast and healing, Bill Watts (the booker) told Jake if he couldn’t get back the next week, he would give his spot to someone else.
-Jake cut off the cast and started wrestling which led to a compound fracture and put him down for 7 months. His doctor was upset and put the arm together but didn’t put a cast back on to teach him a lesson.
-Jake went to Charlotte, which was being booked by Ole Anderson, but only stayed for four months as he didn’t see eye to eye with Ole. There was a lot of talent in the territory like Wahoo McDaniel, Blackjack Mulligan, Steamboat and Flair but Ole didn’t know what to do with them.
-Jake went to Florida, tagging with Kevin Sullivan and finally got a taste of working as a heel which was something he loved. He had a great time in the territory working against Dusty and Barry Windham.
-On a card on Christmas, Dusty wrestled Kevin Sullivan in a loser leaves town match inside a cage to keep Jake out. Jake dressed up as Santa and went around the building throwing candy to kids throughout the night. During the match, Jake went to ringside and handed Kevin a foreign object to beat Dusty. The fans realized it was Jake and he got the crap beat out of him by the crowd as he made his way to the back. The cops came in and told them to take their time getting out as they were trying to clear the building. The crowd was also chanting ‘kill Santa’ which was a blast and one of the most wonderful feelings as a heel.
-Jake also went to Georgia feuding with Ronnie Garvin and went to World Class
-Jake has never been someone to be in a clique because he thinks they’re bad for business. In World Class, you knew it was all about the Von Erichs.
-Jake spent a lot of time working with Mike Von Erich. He also says wrestling Kevin and Kerry was never a dull moment because you never knew what they were going to do…and neither did they.
-Jake says Mike never wanted to be a wrestler.
-Gino Hernandez was a good guy and did some things that got away from him. He was into an alternative lifestyle and associating with some heavy people. Jake wasn’t there when Gino passed.
-Gino had some pull in Houston with Paul Boesch and Jake says Gino was Paul’s illegitimate son.
-Jake says Chris Adams had issue with abusing women. Additionally, when Chris drank, he would get mean.
-Bill Watt’s was much smarter than Fritz Von Erich. Bill knew talent and how to get people over. He learned from Eddie Graham who was a great finish guy.
-Bill would motivate talent through fear. He got away with a lot and according to Jake was racist. He would call Ernie Ladd names but Ernie wouldn’t say anything because Ladd wanted to keep his job.
Going To The WWE
-When Jake told Bill he was heading to the WWE, Dusty pulled a rib on Bill Watts and sent Terry Taylor to Mid-South as GM. Jake says Terry knew how to play politics.
-JYD had left and Jake was drawing the houses. At the time, Ted DiBiase and Steve Williams were coming back from Japan as babyfaces, Duggan was a babyface and so was Jake. He asked Bill where he would fit in and Terry Taylor jumped in saying Ted and Steve were going to be the tag team, Duggan would be the main event and Jake would be under Terry in the pecking order.
-Jake told Terry to finish him up in two weeks and decided to go to the WWE.
-Jake and Vince had a little history. Jake was the booker of Georgia Championship Wrestling when the WWE took over.
-When Jake came to Georgia, the top three babyfaces of the company left. At the time, the Sawyer brothers were beating the Road Warriors so they created the Legion of Doom and started rebuilding the Road Warriors. They also booked an angle with King Kong Bundy potentially joining the Legion Of Doom but Paul Ellering ranted against Bundy who ended up coming out and bumping Paul Ellering and the Road Warriors which set Bundy up as a babyface.
-When Jake met Vince in Georgia, he knew he was the man (with due respect to Becky of course) but Jake was team NWA. Jake liked being a booker and felt Vince was taking that away. There’s no greater feeling in the world than being a booker and building a territory.
-When Jake took over Georgia Championship Wrestling, he stopped run-ins which were happening a lot. He also told the top guys they were going to get beat on national T.V. and he did it first losing to Ronnie Garvin. Ted DiBiase also got beat in an angle with Tommy Rich in a mask calling himself Mr. R.
-When Jake came into the WWE, his first PPV match was a squash match against George Wells.
-Jake says the DDT to Steamboat on the concrete was Steamboat’s idea who owed George Scott a favor. When Jake did the DDT, he yelled at George Scott and blamed him for Steamboat’s injury. He was genuinely upset he hurt Rick and never wanted to do anything like that to anyone plus he liked Steamboat.
-Jake says fans cheered for him because they didn’t want to fear him so they sided with him.
-Jake said a guy from the office told Jake he was going to be doing the Snake Pit segment that night. He wasn’t given any direction which was frustrating. He liked doing it but it’s not something he wouldn’t have done as it wasn’t dark enough.
During one Snake Pit segment, he had Hogan as a guest and attacked him however, the crowd cheered for Jake and the program between Hogan and Jake was cancelled.
-When Jake dropped Hogan with the DDT and went to the back, Vince told him to wait for the Hogan chants however, the fans started chanting DDT. Vince was mad it didn’t work.
-Hogan and Jake wrestled twice to sell out crowds but Vince didn’t want it to happen because the crowds were split. Hogan has stated he and Jake didn’t click but Jake says it was because Hogan was lazy and didn’t want to work.
-Wrestlers in the WWE would want to wrestle the same match every night but Jake wanted to go out and create. That’s one of the things he hated about working in the WWE.
-When Jake does promos, he doesn’t consider what the fans want because the fans eat what you feed them. He believes in subliminal thoughts and tries to say things you’ve heard many times before because when he says it, without knowing your brain accepts it which makes the audience believe in your character. He stole a lot of his material from Pink Floyd or the Rolling Stones.
-Jake says Vince promised him the writing position when Pat Patterson left but didn’t get it. He wanted that opportunity to create. Later on he did get into creative and helped create Steve Austin.
-Jake did a favor for the Undertaker (at Wrestlemania) but the day after he left the WWE.
Jake is currently doing a stand up tour called the Dirty Details Tour talking about his time in pro wrestling. Check out www.jakethesnakeroberts.com for more details on what Jake’s up to and they sign off.
Rating – 8/10
Another great podcast from Matt and Robert who are on a roll as of late. Jake was one of the wrestlers I grew up with and not just from the WWE but from before that in the Charlotte and Georgia territories. He has a bunch of great stories and knows how to tell them. The stuff about his dad was tough to listen to but fascinating at the same time. I cannot wait for the second part of this interview. Definite recommend on this one.
Joe is a long time wrestling fan from Toronto. He is a co-host on the Pull Apart Podcast with Jeff Rush and Caitlin Lavelle as well as a contributor to www.pwpodcasts.com. One of his life goals is to be a guest host on one of Wade Keller’s post-show podcasts. He doesn’t consider himself any sort of expert, he just likes wrestling. Check him out on Twitter and Instagram @ja113.