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Jake Roberts Details Horrific Drug Spiking Culture During 1980s WWE

Jake Roberts

WWE Hall Of Famer Jake Roberts has spoken candidly about the drug spiking culture that permeated the wrestling business during the 1980s.

Speaking on the DDP Snake Pit podcast Jake Roberts opened up about the drug abuse culture that was rife in wrestling in the eighties. Roberts’ own issues with drugs and alcohol are well known and he began by explaining how stars of the day would turn to pills to help them get some sleep:

“The number of pills that were being handed out at the WWE, at the time, was mind-boggling. There was a doctor that would meet us in Hershey Park and he walked in with six or seven suitcases full of pills and steroids.”

“That was a big foul-up because you could go in there and ask him for Valium, Halcion, steroids, pain pills, whatever your heart desired. And then what you do is you would try to find out what would get you from day-to-day. Because it was hard from day to day.”

“When you’re only getting five or six hours of sleep a night, you can’t go from the ring to a hotel room, lay down, and go to sleep. I don’t give a damn who you are. Nobody in the world can do that, because you’ve got such an adrenaline high going.”

“So if you go to your hotel at say midnight, you need to eat something. Okay, there is another hour. It’s 1:00 AM. ‘Okay. I need to lay down.’ You still can’t lay down. So, what do you do? You take a pill. The pill, you gotta get up at seven. That’s six hours. You were lucky you got six hours.”

Jake Roberts then discussed how many wrestlers knew exactly what pills they needed to take to get some sleep but the risk of spiking grew among the wrestling community:

“Most of us had this down to where we would break Halcions up and just take bits and pieces because we knew if we took a half of one, we would sleep for three hours. And the good thing about Halcion was there was no after effect. If you took a Valium, you’re like ‘blah blah blah’ and it was horrible. But you could take a Halcion and three hours later you wake up and you’re ready to go.”

“But what happened was people started taking too many of them and then you had some clowns that thought it was really funny if they snuck a couple of Halcion on you and you’d be knocked out on a plane and they can’t wake you up. Well, something is wrong with this guy.”

“Next thing you know, they’re putting you on a gurney, taking you to the hospital to find out what the hell is wrong with you. Or they do it to him in a bar and God knows what will happen. There were so many incidents in bars where guys will throw them in somebody’s beer and people would drop them.”

H/T Wrestling Inc.

Roberts then explained the harrowing details of how some wrestlers, rather than spiking each other would spike women’s drinks with the sleeping pills:

“There were guys taking advantage of girls by throwing them in their beers. They would pass out and when they woke up, if they were lucky, the only thing that happened to them was sex. But usually, somebody wanted to be funny and they’d cut off all their hair or they’d paint their face with a magic marker or they’d do some horrible sh*t to them, pass them around guy to guy to guy.”

“I was never a part of that. Never. I’ve never doped anybody, I guess because I was just too damn selfish. I wanted to save it all for myself. That’s what I think. I just couldn’t see that. But some guys were so bad and they are so lucky they didn’t kill anybody.”

“They called it a rib instead of attempted murder, you know? It’s what it was. I mean, Outback Jack, it cost him his job. It got so out of control. I don’t know how WWE got through it without people, well, people did die on the road. There were a few that died, in hotel rooms. And you wonder, did anyone help them die or did they do it themselves? I don’t know. I don’t know.”

According to Jake Roberts, his high profile made him a marked man among his peers as the mentality was that someone was always looking for an opportunity to take your spot in the company:

“I just know that it was out of control. Usually, there were a couple of guys, especially bad, if I see them at a bar, I went to a different bar. I didn’t want to take that chance because I knew I was a marked man. The further up the ladder you were, the more marked you were. Their thinking was ‘if I can take that guy out, then maybe there’s a spot for me.’”

Jake The Snake contends that is what happened when he was fired from WWE for failing a drug test. Roberts contends a fellow wrestler set up him and Chavo Guerrero Sr. to fail the tests by taking cocaine:

“Oh, it was intentional. Sure it was. They were trying to cost you your job. I was set up with cocaine. A guy set me up with cocaine and told me that there was a way to beat the test, and here’s what I had to do. I said ‘man, I don’t know about that.’ He said ‘dude, I’m telling you. I’m going to do some. Watch and see.’ So he did some. ‘Ah man, I don’t know.’ He did some more. Goddamn. Now got this sh*t out in front of me and I’m, oh my God, I want to do it and he said ‘I’ve got the thing that beats the test.’”

“So he did some more and I finally said ‘to the hell with it’ and I did it. The next day, there was a drug test. Isn’t that weird? And I’ll be damned if he kept putting off taking his drug test, putting it off, and then he went out and wrestled and he had an eye injury that he had to be rushed to the hospital with. And he didn’t take the test. I lost my job. I got popped. And so did Chavo Guerrero at the time. But that guy, the one that got us to do it? He skated free.”