Jake “The Snake” Roberts is coming to the City of Brotherly Love the night before Royal Rumble.
As part of “Icons After Dark” this Saturday, the WWE Hall of Famer will be performing his one-man show at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. Expect the unexpected when The Snake yields a live mic, sharing road stories, dirty jokes and who knows what else.
Afterward, giving fans enough time that are coming from NXT TakeOver, Bruce Prichard and Conrad Thompson present Something to Wrestle With LIVE. The award-winning podcast comes to life on stage as Bruce shares stories unsuitable for the airwaves. Plus, you can ask all your burning questions to the Alabama Dream and Brother Love. Well, you know…
Jake The Snake takes the stage at 8 p.m. Prichard and Thompson follow after NXT.
For tickets and more information, visit www.thecollectorfest.com.
Roberts spoke with The Wrestling Estate this week to give fans a taste of what to expect during his one-man show.
On Twitter, you picked the Vikings and Jaguars for the Super Bowl. Why didn’t you pick the Eagles?
Jake Roberts: “Well, I knew I was coming to Philly so I wanted to piss everybody off. How’d I do? (laughs)”
You did good!
Roberts: “Good, I try to needle the people so they fire back on my ass.”
(laughs) What did you think of the games?
Roberts: “I thought the games sucked. It was great if you’re a Philly fan. I don’t have anything against Philly. I used to be a Cowboys fan, but I gave up on them. I turned over to the Raiders because I’m living in Vegas. But I thought both games stunk. Jacksonville just gave it away. They can say what they want about the officiating, but they got Patriotized. The Patriots are bigger than life, man. It seems like when the money is on the line, they’re going to come through. Better coaching.”
Do you think they’ll beat the Birds at the Super Bowl?
Roberts: “I hope not. Of course, everybody wishes Carson was playing. I hope Philly comes through, man. The whole world does. Once you get up there like the Patriots, everybody hates. But I can definitely see the Patriots getting beat.”
Well, you couldn’t be coming to Philly at a better time. You’ll be bringing your one-man show to the ECW Arena ahead of Something To Wrestle With’s live show. Have you listened to that podcast?
Roberts: “No, I haven’t.”
I recommend it, even though you probably know the stories from working with Bruce Prichard for years.
Roberts: “Yeah, well, you know, it will be interesting. It’ll be a great show and I’m going to have a great time. Philly was always a hotspot for me so it will be interesting. I’m sure nobody will walk away unhappy, I guarantee you that.”
What can fans expect?
Roberts: “My stuff isn’t really comedy. It’s me telling things that happened, you know? Maybe Andre sitting on me and farting for 40 seconds, which was amazing. It’s unbelievable that anybody can fart that long., It was rude, it was crude, I’m just grateful I lived through it. That’s just very, very mild for what I go for. I go for the most insane stuff that would happen. There were some crazy things going on back in the day. I didn’t help the situation much with that damn snake around all the time, always getting me in trouble. It would show up in the craziest places, whether it be the shower, strip joint or whatever.
The good thing is I have 38 years to pull from. There are a lot of stories to be told. A lot.”
Do you miss it?
Roberts: “Yeah, I do. Of course I do. I miss the wrestling. That’s what happens when you have a passion for something, man, it never goes away, even when you can’t do it anymore. God, I wish I could. I just got through coming off a 21-day trip in Canada of all damn places. That’s something I’ll never do again in the winter time. Oh man, it was so frigging cold up there, bro. Four days it was colder there then it was in the North Pole. That’s just wrong. Then one day, it was actually colder there then on the planet Mars. 55 below zero. I was there 21 days and the best temperature I got was 8 below.
Yeah, I was on the road and they were wrestling every night. It was interesting to see my moods and how they went, and how involved I got. Even though I was telling myself ‘no, don’t get involved, you can’t be in the ring,’ then the next minute I was in the ring DDTing somebody and doing all the things I shouldn’t be doing at 62 years old. But I can’t put it down, man.
I’d go out and do it and three hours later, the pain would start coming and I’d be like, oh man, what did I do that for? But I wouldn’t trade the moment. In all the years I was in the ring, I always loved it. That will never go away. You know, I may get frustrated today when I watch the current product because I don’t agree with some of it, okay? Nothing wrong with that. Some people like vanilla, some people like strawberry, I just want the real ice cream. That’s all I want.
(laughs) Yeah, you’re not alone.
Roberts: “So I keep moving and have a lot of things going on. My book is just about done and it will be hopefully coming out just before WrestleMania. I’m trying really hard, but I don’t know if I’m going to make it. It’s going to challenge a lot of people. It’s going to wake up a lot of people as to what we did and what we went through and what was going on. I don’t attack anybody else – I just tell the truth about myself, which is very odd because nobody does a book like that anymore. Normally, they want to spill the beans on everybody or talk crap on everybody. It seems like my name is mentioned in more books than anybody else’s is. I guess they don’t have much going on, but there you go.”
That’s awesome. I didn’t know you were working on a book.
Roberts: “Oh yeah, I have been for several years. I’ve been going at my own pace and I haven’t rushed it because it’s a labor of love. It’s not so much let’s hurry up and get this out to bank a buck off it. I’m doing it all on my own. I’m going to publish the thing myself and go on about my business. If you want to buy it, you have to come to me.”
Roberts: “Yeah it’s going to be awesome. Six hundred pages of Jake, and that doesn’t even cover my whole career. There will be a second book coming.”
Speaking of your career, I don’t know if you saw, but WWE recently added a bunch of Mid-Atlantic territory footage. You’re all over it.
Roberts: “Oh yeah? Cool. I remember those days. I certainly do. Me and Steamboat tagged a little bit, tagged with Barry Windham a little bit. For me, Mid-Atlantic was really a waste of time.”
Roberts: “Yeah, he didn’t have a clue what was going on. They didn’t have a booker. No doubt. Ole Anderson was not a booker. Then they gave it to Wahoo, and Wahoo was certainly not a booker. Everybody just kind of tread water and waited for somebody to plug them in. Business went to crap there for a time, so I split and went to Florida with Kevin Sullivan for a while. I went back a second time after being promised things would be different this time. They weren’t.”
Who would you consider to be some of the really good bookers?
Roberts: “The best was probably Buck Robley. He was unbelievable, man. Dusty could book Dusty. I thought he was pretty damn good. Booking is a small start, man. It’s not easily done. A lot of guys will get in there and start booking, and the next thing you know, they’re the only thing going. That’s not a booker’s job. A booker’s job is to make the whole thing work.
I loved booking. I thought I did a very, very good job in Georgia Championship Wrestling. And I did a lot for Bill Watts and I did a lot in WWE, too. There have been some that backed into something and got lucky. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky then it is to be good.”
How about in WWE, would you be working closely with Pat Patterson as booker or Vince himself?
Roberts: “When I was there, we had like six people who we’d sit down and go over things. Bottom line is it all goes through Vince, anyway. But you could talk to Vince. He would listen to a point. We got along well when I was booking with him, quite well. Pat was just a tremendous talent. The only problem I had with Pat was that he liked to go with comedy too much. I feel like if people wanted comedy, they’d watch a comedy show. This is wrestling, let’s see some wrestling. But to each his own. You can’t knock Vince too much because he’s still rolling.”
When you mentioned not liking the current product, do you mean there’s too much comedy out there?
Roberts: “I think so. It’s my own feeling. But they’re doing a three-hour show and I’m sure it’s very taxing trying to keep it going. I guess there is a need for some comedy, but again, I just think they put too much out there. I don’t think they pay enough attention to heat for heels. Of course, there are no heels and babyfaces anymore. Everybody does the same stuff. I don’t like that either. There should be a clear line as to good guy and bad guy. I think that’s what the people really want. Maybe I’m wrong, hell, I’ve been wrong before.”
Do you think some of the fans force that, though? They get behind some of these heels and now they have to turn.
Roberts: “No. Maybe it’s a lack of confidence. They don’t believe. You do what you’re asked to do. So, there you go. If Vince demanded something, he would get it. Wouldn’t he?”
Absolutely. Aside from feeling sore after those DDTs, how are you feeling overall?
Roberts: “Pretty damn good, man. I’m happy and I’ve got a lot going on. I’m busy, busy, busy and I appreciate that very much, and I enjoy it very much. Back in the day, I didn’t enjoy it a whole lot because I was too busy dealing with addiction and other problems. These days I don’t have to worry about that. I’m six-and-a-half years sober now and doing really awesome. I don’t have to run from it and it doesn’t bother me at all.”
That’s incredible. I actually met you when you premiered “The Resurrection of Jake the Snake” in Philly and it was an amazing documentary.
Roberts: “I appreciate that.”
I get the impression that you like helping people who are going through addiction.
Roberts: “Yeah, I do. I like helping others, man. It’s my new high. When I help somebody else, it helps me. Bottom line. There’s nothing better than getting a text from somebody because daddy moved back in. Thanks for helping my daddy. I know how much I’m enjoying my new life, and to be able to turn that on for somebody else is incredible.”
How about the Nature Boy? Have you talked to him about having to quit drinking?
Roberts: “I sent a message to him, and unfortunately, he didn’t want any help from me. I’ll just leave it at that.”
To each his own.
Roberts: “Yeah, I guess. I hope he makes it. For me, it was about being open and out there, surrounding yourself with the right people. I just hope he does the same thing because if he doesn’t, he’ll bust his ass, man.”
— Italo Santana (@BulletClubItal) January 6, 2018
With the 25th anniversary of Raw in the air, do you have any favorite Raw moments?
Roberts: “Naw man, I loved it all. It’s just hard to believe it’s been going on that long.”
Well for me, I loved when you came back and dropped the snake on Dean Ambrose.
Roberts: “Yeah, that was fun.”
If you’re dropping DDTs, will we see you in the Royal Rumble?
Roberts: “I’d love to, but I doubt it will happen. They choose what they want and I guess I’m not the right flavor right now.”
Well, you’re still our flavor in Philly.
Roberts: “We’ll have a great time. Bring your memorabilia and stuff. I’ll sign that stuff up. Be ready to take some photos. I want you to bring me your Jake moment. I want to hear what was going on in your life at that time. Man, I love hearing stories from people about how me and grandpa used to watch you on Saturday mornings. I love all that stuff.”