In the matter of only a few weeks, Jake “The Snake” Roberts will travel to New Orleans and take part in the festivities as one of the members of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014. The tall, lanky man billed from the deep Southern city of Stone Mountain, Georgia was well-known by fans worldwide for just about every reason a person who calls their profession wrestling can be remembered.
The highly memorable and striking music that lead Roberts to the ring is still considered a standard-bearer against all that have come after it. An unusual and stalking in-ring style brought fans to the edge of their seat in an anticipation of anything being possible each and every time Roberts stepped through the ropes. Every fan in every arena would stand and marvel as Jake reached into his trusty bag at ringside and extract the python named Damien to torture what unfortunate opponent laid prone in the ring.
Perhaps, though, the most indelible aspect of Roberts persona was his dark and haunting promos. All those who huddled around their television to take in the colorful and over the top personalities of the World Wrestling Federation knew when Jake Roberts flashed onto their screen that they were in for something wildly different. “The Snake” would without fail take the listener on a journey through the muck and despair of the twisted world inside his head and relish the pleasure in doing so. These cerebral and deep promos are not going to be what we deal with here though. Instead, we will look at a couple of Robert’s more bizarre and puzzling times behind the microphone.
YOU DO WHAT, EXACTLY??
Roberts: The DDT on the concrete floor, you have to admit, was an awesome thing. When I turned you over and I seen your face already starting to swell, I have to tell you the truth, man, it made me feel good inside. Chills ran up my spine as I drug you into that ring and laid that snake on you. And do you know why I do that? Because I get off on it, Steamboat.
Umm…Ok, Jake. We have to assume that every time Ricky Steamboat stepped into the ring with “The Snake” after this promo he had to be wondering whether there was actually any truth behind those blunt words. The image of Steamboat pointing worriedly at Roberts and shouting, “The only snake I see better be coming out of that burlap bag,” is something we very much hope happened on several occasions. Of course, Jake’s reply to that would most probably have been along the lines of, “Well, Ricky, the snake you don’t see is my favorite snake of all.” Or something like that.
THE UNDERTAKER IS A HELL-BOUND BABY SEAL
Okerlund: You know, Jake Roberts, I’m well aware that you’re familiar with the dark side, but are you familiar with the inside of a casket?
Roberts: Oh, that’s real funny, Gene. You know, what a wicked web we can weave, when first we labor to deceive. Now, what I’m telling you is this: I’ve always said I was on the other side of the fence, and I asked you. And, oh yeah, that’s where you were at too, you were right with me. You can’t ride the edge, brother, like I can. That razor’s too sharp for you. So, you think about this: Wrestlemania, I’m gonna get what I want.
Okerlund: You know, I was absolutely appalled, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, when, during the course of The Funeral Parlour with Paul Bearer, all of a sudden you took that steel chair and continued time and time again to pummel the back of The Undertaker.
Roberts: Let’s don’t forget the fun part. Now, the fun part was slamming his hand in that casket and locking it. You see, right there, you’re a big rat caught in a big trap. Now, as far as me hammering you with that chair, brother, oh yeah I raised that chair up high and I cranked it. And you know something? It felt good. It felt real good. Almost as good as slapping Elizabeth. Almost. But you see, that’s simple foreplay, man. Look at this, watch it now. Time and time and time again, it’s like teasing, you know? Hanging the meat out in front of the animal. That’s all I was doing. I tasted it, but I didn’t finish it. I will finish it when the time is right. Nothing premature here, I’m waiting. I’m waiting for the right time, and the right time is the Hoosier Dome. That’s where it all comes apart. So, crushing you with that chair was just child’s play for me. Because, you comes to Wrestlemania, I don’t play, brother. I will not play. So, when the time is right, I will hook that DDT, and I’ll crack your skull. The same way they would on National Geographic, Gene, nothing different. If there was a medal awarded in the Olympics for crushing seals heads, baby seals on the ice, I would take the gold. I would take the gold. Why? It’s a job that has to be done. It is a job that has to be done. And you are a job that has to be done, Undertaker. So, when the time is right, yes, I’m going to hook the head and drive it straight through the mat. Big circle, big dot, that’s going through. Then, what will I do? Put you on the funeral pyre, brother, and turn up the gas. And if you say you know Satan so well, then you won’t mind burning in hell.
Although Jake lays on the innuendo pretty thick with this interview as well, the most attention grabbing element in this promo is the surreal image of Jake in his wrestling attire swinging a club wildly against the skull of some poor seal on an ice floe somewhere in the Arctic. PETA’s favorite wrestler never made any qualms about offending anyone, and that is one of the many reasons he is one of our favorite performers to ever grace the squared circle. Still, the mention of baby seals in the midst of such badass lines about riding the razor’s edge and turning up the funeral pyre is odd even for Jake, the Patron Saint of strange.