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Jake Roberts Recalls Being Choked Out By A Snake

Jake Roberts

Jake Roberts wasn’t called Jake “The Snake” for nothing, but what happens when keeping it real goes wrong?

After beginning his career competing in the likes of Mid-South Wrestling, Mid-Atlantic Wrestling and Georgia Championship Wrestling in the mid 1970’s, Jake Roberts made his way to the WWF in 1986.

Upon arriving in the WWF, Roberts began coming to the ring with a real, live snake. Throughout his career, Roberts would use a number of different snakes, although he initially started out with a Burmese Python.

While the sight of Roberts approaching the ring struck fear into the hearts of fans and his opponents, on occasion not even Roberts was safe.

Speaking on a recent episode of his DDP Sake Pit podcast, with Diamond Dallas Page, Jake Roberts recalled his signature snake going into business for itself. In fact, it was so determined to take centre stage, it choked him out mid-match, with Ricky Steamboat having to come to the rescue. Something more impressive given the fact that Steamboat was afraid of snakes.

After being freed, and regaining consciousness, Roberts opened his eyes to see the 17-foot Python escaping into the crowd.

“Ricky Steamboat had to pull one off of me in Indianapolis that choked me out in the match,” Roberts recalled.

“I collapsed, went down, and Steamboat’s seeing that the snake was around my throat and that I was turning and he knew to unwind the snake. You can’t break the snake’s grip because what happens when you lay across their scales like this, their scales interlock You can’t break that lock. So you have to either get the head or the tail and unravel them. Well, Steamboat unravelled it then let go because Steamboat is afraid of snakes too.

“As I come to, the snake is going into the fourth row and the tail, luckily, is still in the ring,” Roberts continued. “And I lunge and grab the tail and I whip it all back in. It’s about a 17 footer. Because the people were starting the red sea movement where they’re all running and screaming. It was pretty incredible.”

Roberts then recalled going back to Indianapolis three months later and being greeted by police. However, the WWE Hall of Famer wasn’t being arrested, it turned out fans wanted revenge on the snake that had tried to kill him months before.

“We went back to Indianapolis about three months later,” Roberts concluded. “As soon as I got there, I thought I was fixing to be arrested because the police were coming and the building manager and I’m like, ‘What have I done?’ They’re like, ‘Did you bring the same snake?’ I’m like, ‘Why?’ ‘Because, man, everyone called wanting to know if it’s the same snake because they want to watch that son-of-a-b*tch kill you’. I’m like, ‘Oh I love my fans’.”

During another episode of the podcast, Jake Roberts recently gave fans a positive update regarding his long-running health issues. Roberts said that he no longer has to use an oxygen tank, and is free to live a “great life.”

H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.