The following are interview highlights with WWE legend Jake “The Snake” Roberts:
On WrestleReunion 7: “Well, you can expect everything. You can expect the unexpected from me. It’s just a great moment for the fans ‘cause you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the guy, and , to me, that’s the best part about it…to give back a little bit what they’ve given me over the years; give them a moment.”
On WWE Hall Of Fame: “There’s been a lot of guys go in that belong there, and—I’ll say it again—I think there are some who shouldn’t be in there, but who the hell am I? Hell, I’m not in there, so what the hell. Maybe someday when they put some more guys in there, maybe I’ll go in. I would love to go in, not so much for me but for my kids, man. It’s part of my legacy. I put so much into wrestling; 37 years of it. Why I’m not there, I’m sure somebody’s got a reason.”
On Alice Cooper: “It was a real hoot, man! I remember going to do a photo shoot at some hotel in New York City with Alice Cooper getting ready for Wrestlemania. I remember going up to his room with all the camera guys and stuff. We knocked on the door and this guy lets us in. And of course it’s not just a room; it’s a damn big suite.
Alice comes in and what he does is like—I don’t know if you ever seen the commercial where the two people are running up the hill towards each other in slow motion?—coming closer. All of a sudden he’s being the fan, and here I am It’s my turn to be the fan, asshole! He’s saying, “Come here, man! Come in!” I’m like, “No wait, man! I listened to you when I was in high school! ‘School’s Out for Summer’, that was hot when I was 17.” To be there with him was just unbelievable, and of course doing a match out there with him was unbelievable too.
They took us up on our scissor-lifts way up in the air where it came to the curtain. From ninety-four thousand people… it took your breath away. You felt like your hair was growing, man! And as we’re getting closer to the ring, I feel his fingernails sliding down my damn side and arm and I’m What the hell is that?! And I look, and Cooper is sliding down. I’m like, “What’s wrong?” And he’s like, “Too much rush.” And I’m like, “What the eff are you talkin’ about?!” And he’s like, “I’m alone!” And if you think about it, I understand where he’s coming from. In his world, he’d come out on the stage, he’d have his band around him, had all his stuff ready to go, and he knew where he was going. But in my world, he was having to stand there on his own two feet with no guitar, no microphone, and he was running the show.
We get to the ring and the match starts, and of course The Honky Tonk Man—being the prick that he is—he’s really screwin’ with Alice. He’s like: “You little faggot bitch! I’m gonna make you my horny woman!” And Cooper is starting to fire up, and Honky Tonk (once he sees him getting mad) he just keeps going: “C’mon you little queer! Why they call you Alice, you little bitch?!” And he just keeps riding Alice, y’know: “Take that jacket off, boy, I’ll whoop your ass too, soon as I get through with Jake!” And Cooper pulls that jacket off, man, and it’s like, Oh my god! Biafra! His arms are about the size of my toe! “
On WWE: “It was different. I certainly see where this is going, which is bringing us into the mainstream, and that’s a positive thing. Y’know, Vince McMahon and the WWF did a hell of a deal turning this into such a monster. His machine is unbeatable. I mean, don’t kid yourself TNA, you’ll always be third stream; there is no second stream. You’ll be third at least because there is no way in hell you’re gonna catch these people, and you might as well forget about it and quit telling the people you are.”
On Gimmicks in Wrestling: “As far as characters…you have a good one and you take care of it, it should last forever. The big thing is you just shouldn’t go out there and destroy your own credibility. If you got two guys out in the ring and you’re clothes-lining each other five times, who’s the tough guy? Maybe one or both of you are lying pricks. Less is more and do the right thing. Don’t do things that are stupid; that’s how you get longevity out of a character. And today there are no characters, I don’t think. They’ve all been just stirred up in a bucket and everybody’s just the same.”
On Undertaker: “I love the guy, number one. Number two, I was there when he first got in there in the WWE. Here’s really quite a story: He comes to me, he says, “Hey I hear you know where all the good strip joints are at.” And I’m like, “In the world, yes. I know them all.” And he’s like, “Well, I’ll travel with you!” And I said, “Oh boy, why don’t you go back to playin’ basketball because you’re not gonna be able to hang with me,” and I said, “I’ll kill ya.” And a few weeks later, I believe he was in pretty bad shape—something about alcohol poisoning. Yeah, it was a chemical world, and I was cheating, man. He didn’t know it. I wasn’t gonna tell him! He rolled with me for quite a while. We’re great friends and I’d like to think that I helped him more. I think if you asked him he’d tell you the same, that he learned a lot from me.”
“That’s what I was all about anyway, man, not only helping my own character, but helping others with theirs. My idea of being a professional wrestler is to make the show better. In other words, everybody must be better. And if I can help this guy lift his thing up a little bit, I’m gonna go help the guy. That’s something I’m proud of. Whether it be Undertaker or Steve Austin, right on down the line. I think if you asked Austin who helped him the most, he’d tell you it was me. Wherever I met Austin, he wasn’t gonna be more than third or fourth match, and I told McMahon, “Try him for third for next superstar, man.” And he said, “I don’t think so.” Well, gee, even Mr. McMahon can be wrong every now and then!”
The Jake Roberts interview was conducted by Doug Mortman and Dave LaGreca of Busted Open radio, which can be head Monday, Wednesday and Friday on SIRIUS 94 and XM 208 from 2-4PM ET.