Iconic AEW Segment Left TBS Furious

AEW logo over blurred Leva Bates

AEW and its key decision-makers have found themselves in hot water with broadcasters several times before. There were quite a few controversies during the three-years-and-counting history of AEW.

The Domino’s pizza ad airing during a hardcore bloodbath involving an actual pizza cutter and the multiple instances of unacceptable foul language getting past the network’s censors are the two that come to mind first.

But there was one segment that, according to Roberts, left TBS, TNT’s parent company, “furious”.

Jake Roberts and AEW got in trouble with TBS over snake segment

The segment in question took place during the COVID era when crowds were significantly reduced. A match took place between Lance Archer and QT Marshall, with Archer’s manager Roberts at the commentary table and Marshall’s manager Brandi cheering him on from ringside.

After Archer won the match, Britt Baker attacked Brandi from behind and laid her out in the ring. Then, Roberts came to the ring carrying a snake (not one of the giants from his past but a much smaller and less harmful boa constrictor or ball python) and places the snake atop an unconscious Brandi.

Roberts then proceeded to mock Brandi for her helplessness as the commentators lambasted him for his actions.

As it turns out, that particular segment infuriated TBS, to the point that, according to Jake Roberts on his Snake Pit Podcast, AEW was banned from ever using live snakes going forward.

“They’re not going to let a snake back in the ring, period. They were really pissed off that we used the snake. I guess they told us that wasn’t going to be allowed but we tried to do it anyway, they came down hard.”

At one point, Roberts pitched a workaround to this problem to AEW’s creative team by suggesting they use an animatronic snake instead. That plan was scuttled due to the cost associated with such an endeavor.

h/t WrestlingInc for the transcription