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Jake Roberts

Interview - Jake "The Snake" Roberts


I/V: Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Wrestling Legend & Trainer: 3rd June 2003

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Wrestling Wrestling Legends

Jake "The Snake" Roberts is a true living legend of professional wrestling. Jake has done it all in and out of the ring.

Jake is currently residing in the UK where he is training young wrestlers, and is in the process of making a documentary of pro wrestling.

Jake is also writing a book: Beneath The Bullshit: The Life and Times of Jake "The Snake" Roberts. Jake speaks with Greg Tingle via telephone in Sydney. (The interview will be posted in audio at a later date).

Below are some of the highlights of the interview:

G'day Jake. What's the key attribute that dictates if someone can make it in the world of pro wrestling?

Knowledge. Knowledge is the key. They know 19,000 fuckin' moves but they don't do any of them right. You don't get up from a sledgehammer!

How and why did you get into the business?

How long have we got.....I haven't got much time...

Ok, give me the short version

I wanted to shove the business up my fathers arse.

What did you think about that documentary (Beyond The Mat) was done?

That was bullshit. Lies....I thought Piper and Foley were my friends. They made millions off that. Me, I didn't make a dime.

An 18 year old guy does not buy a fuckin' t-shirt of a doll. Young kids is what buys. It's a joke.

You have called at the right time!

There will be a series of tapes; Beyond the Bullshit - The Life and Death Story of Jake "The Snake" Roberts.

Nothing stays the same for ever.

Life is different every day man.

...end.

*Greg Tingle is currently in the process of typing up the interview and the audio interview will be available as soon as possible.

Part 2 of audio interview

We will be aiming to interview Jake Roberts again, to continue on with this amazing interview.

Media Man Australia wishes Jake well in all of his endeavors.

Links:

Jake "The Snake" Roberts official website www.jakethesnakeroberts.tv

Wrestling Tribute: Jake "The Snake" Roberts (by Greg Tingle)

Jake "The Snake" Roberts: Internet Movie Database profile

Beyond The Mat: Internet Movie Database

Beyond The Mat: Pop Matters.com

 

More interviews (audio) with Jake "The Snake" Roberts (credit to New Era of Wrestling)

Interview 1

Interview 2

Interview 3


Transcript #3 : Jake "The Snake" Roberts, interviewed by Chris Yandek, New Era of Wrestling

If you read my columns on a usual basis then you would have read two great interviews with Jake Roberts. In round 3, Jake discusses his Wrestling School, the passing of the British Bulldog, and one of the times when a wrestling fan got too excited or Jake was just doing his job too well, and actually tried to kill him, and so much more.


First off. how are you since we last talked?

"I'm just wonderful. It feels good to punish others, especially since they are paying for it, and I can feel good, because I'm doing it to teach and without a television audience."

How was your Wrestling Tour in Scotland?

"Scotland was wonderful, beautiful and the scenery so different. I enjoyed it very much. But Scotland is really no different, in fact no where you look in this Universe there's nothing quite like a Promoter. You can talk about all the horrible things wrestlers do, but Promoters are still the biggest trip of all. Scotland probably has some of the greatest fans on this planet, so hungry for an opportunity to see "Stars" that they nearly all accept what is called a 'Tribute Show.' 'Tribute' means imitating likenesses moves, attire, interview, catchphrases and anything else that can be copied about the character and sold to public. At first, I was upset with the athletes, but they are simply doing a job for the Promoter, who has required it. In Aberdeen I was the only Star there in person. One thing I must say, is seeing 'Stone Cold' at 160 lbs was quite odd. I would like to talk more about this, but in the situation I find myself in, I must bite my tongue in half. Not to save job, but to harm the possibility of work permit renewal. Besides talking about it does nothing, does it? Maybe that's why I opened a School to teach others to create not imitate, to lead not follow.

How is the Wrestling School going?

"It's going good. Jake Roberts is really good at wrestling. Jake Roberts is really good at doing promo's. Jake Roberts has a mind for doing promo's, but Jake Roberts is not a good arranger of a building, or Business suit stuff. I really don't do well at that part, but fortunately I ran into a couple of Guys that are from the Service and they have been a great support to me, and they also support me in other things too man. They help me to do what I want to do, and not want to do. It is really good because we've built a great ring, and it was a 'hands-on' thing for me, where I am getting greasy and nasty. Also, just to make it extra tough, we built the ring upstairs and will have to carry it downstairs, just for fun. It is a 20 foot ring made out of metal with a five inch post. The Ring is very beautiful, and you would be jealous if you felt how good this ring feels. This ring is the Buckingham Palace of wrestling rings. The School itself, I have a couple of hundred kids who want it so bad. There are no qualifications, because it is not my right to choose your dream Chris. If you come in a wheelchair, that's cool, and I will teach you everything that I know, because it is my damn job. It is my duty and honor to pass on, what I received in technique, knowledge and psychology from all the Great Ones - Graham, Malenko, Sweetan's and others. I have one kid with Spina Bifida, one with Cerebal Palsy, and I dig those kids as much as I dig anyone else. The one with Cerebal Palsey, I will say right now, has more growing talent than some of the talent the WWE has. Just have fun and that is what it's about man.

What is your opinion of the name change from WWF to WWE, and how will it affect the Company?

"Well, somebody will probably misspell it, and other than that it doesn't matter. If it smells like shit, tastes like shit, looks like shit, it must be shit. I am not saying that the WWF is shit, there ya go...WWE I'm already lost.

When you did 'The Snake Pit' talk show for the WWF, How do you think you did with the broadcast announcing?

"I never liked broadcasting. The reasons why, are because it takes team work, and Jake Roberts was never a tag team thing. Tag Team wrestling takes special men to do that, and broadcasting takes special men too. When you work with somebody, you're gonna have to revolve around them and work in conjunction with them, and it takes a well-oiled machine to do that. That is why there are not that many great tag teams - period. It is a special marriage if you like, when you have Bobby Heenan and the late Gorilla Monsoon together. I am not a broadcast man and my voice just does not do it. I am too opinionated, too callous of what I see and what I believe, and I speak my mind. It can get you in trouble, and it's not good sometimes, and sometimes I need to back off because I know what I know and it took years to achieve it. I think what bothers me the most, is what they are doing out there now and making mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes, and I know I do ever day. When you don't respect, and don't feel like you should apologize for your mistakes when you're wrong, I really have no right to judge anyone.

God Bless The British Bulldog, we had some rough times, and you know what I am saying. There were some bad jokes played along the way, and I don't dig that. Davey Boy, wherever you are brother, I do forgive you and hope that you forgive me. I hope your children both benefit and learn from our mistakes because it is not my right to judge anyone. If God can forgive me, then who am I not to forgive anyone else? That's what I wanted to say and really needed to. I had some bitter feelings, and he was one of the few. I appreciate the opportunity to do that, but again broadcasting is special men doing special art. I am not a broadcaster, but Raven is good."

Sources have said Raven does not enjoy doing broadcasting.

"He hates it. I told Raven a few years ago, leave there and go and wrestle. If you're not happy with it then don't do it. For Christ's sake if you're doing it for a bang for a buck, you're a 'ho.' He left Johnny Polo behind and went to WCW and enjoyed himself. What is going to save wrestling today, is not Vince McMahon, Ted Turner or Jake Roberts. When it drops to dead bottom and nobody wants it on TV because it has gone too far, the only guys doing it will be the ones who enjoy it, and they are not interested in the $14 to $20 they are going to make that night. Then you're gonna have men who love it, enjoy it and perfect it again. That is sad, but true. It's like penicillin. They guy who made it, did not just wake up and say let's do something with it. There is a need for it and he hungered for that answer and passion. It is not because there are gonna be millions made off of it in the future, but that was not the reason he did it. He did it because he had a need and hunger to do it. That is what made him beautiful."

Back in your WCW days a fan in the crowd had a gun and took two shots at you, and some fan tackled him down. Was this stuff semi common back when you were a drawing heel?

"Yea, it was in Dallas, Texas. It wasn't common for sure, and the funniest thing about it and there is actually something funny about it. The first funny thing was Sting was saying ' What the hell are you doing outside the ring Jake, and I am under the damn ring. The second funny thing was when the Police came to the back, they were asking 'Do you want to press charges?' I looked at them and said 'No, reload that son of a bitch and put him a bit closer.' In years gone by and today if you know your art. Undertaker is gone catch some of that, and I am so proud of him. A lot of people say why did you change and why did you dump the Undertaker thing man. He got bored with it. He is turning the heat up, and I am so proud of him man. He did take that extra step, and is enjoying himself. I am really happy for him, because it would have been too easy, and because the Kevin Nash's of this world would have rode that roller coaster till it died."

How do you think the Montreal Screw Job impacted or changed wrestling?

"I don't think it changed anything, but I think it was a necessity, unfortunately. When you have a business, own this business these men should honor and do their job. I never questioned if Vince McMahon came to me, and said Jake we want Jerry Lawler to call you a stinking drunk, and an alcoholic. I didn't let my personal feelings get involved, and I went out and made money with it. Vince McMahon said hey Jake, we're gonna have Bad News Brown come out with a sewer rat, that is actually gonna be a possum painted black. We'll put you down South and everyone will think you are stupid, because they know what it is, but we want you to go out there and make money with it...and I did. When the Inmates try to run the asylum, it's not good, and I was around for some of this when I was doing the bookings, and there had to be a three hour conversation while you smooth and kiss somebody's ass to do the damn job. Shawn Michael's should have his ass kicked for faking a knee injury, and the retirement thing because he didn't want to drop the belt to Bret. They both should have their asses kicked, as I am ashamed of both of them. I used to live with Bret, and I thought I taught Shawn a little better. Man, somebody else needs his haircut or something up his ass. Yeah Shawn, I said it. There is no reason for that - go do your job man. If you're a pro, you will do what you are told, and there are guys out there playing games and not doing their job. Professional in the dictionary, means going out and doing more than expected, when you are at your physical and mental worst. Not failing to do your job. Real pro's go beyond what is expected and needed and often surpassing expectations set by all. I have always given it everything I could man."

Legendary wrestlers Lou Thesz and Wahoo McDaniel have both passed on. What are your memories of both of them, and how did they influence you?

"Wahoo influenced me the first time he hit me with one of his chops. He was a man and a hard working one. He gave it 100 per cent man, all his life. Lou Thesz, I am not gonna even say a word. That son of a bitch could come out of the ground and kick my ass. He was, where do you there man - A true gentleman."

Very early in your career you had a feud with the late Junk Yard Dog between 1978 and 1979. Tell me how he influenced the business during the time as a heel.

"Him and I met in the parking lot of Nick Gulas's office. Folks yes, I am saying it. We did both smoke joints that day and both got fired. We worked for this guy who promised us the world and we are making $10 to $14 a night. The trip alone cost us $40 to $50. Junk Yard Dog wanted to learn. I ran into him in Calgary, and Junk Yard Dog was not a great technician, but he had great charisma. Charisma is something you are born with and you can't buy it, pass it on or imitate it. When I left Calgary to go to Louisiana I told B.A. (fat,sorry,thieving,lying, racist) Watts, that this Dude has something going and the South being mostly black in the Louisiana/Mississippi Area. The people we needed as Fans. He worked very stiff, and I have scars on my head that should not be there, but they are there. He was everything and he was was very simple. The people loved him and I still do."

What did you learn and what are your greatest memories from World Class Championship Wrestling?

"To leave yourself open anytime Kevin and Kerry came after you. I was raised 60 miles from there man, and I know more than l want to talk about. It was unfortunate because they were good kids, and they were not mean or ugly. They were sweet. I hope God is smiling at them. Kerry is probably doing curls or shoulder presses. It was just a bad situation, with expectations set by someone else which is not right.

Any final comments?

"Expect some exciting stuff and the Promoters over here, watch out because I am going to give it all to Europe and the Fans."

P.S. WWE Talent - Do not mistake your talent with your ego......


Other:

Media Man Australia says, Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Chris Yandek are amongst the best at what they do.

Check out their websites:

Jake "The Snake" Roberts official website

New Era of Wrestling: Chris Yandek

 

 

Media Man "Putting your name out there!"