While Jake Roberts won the “World Championship” for a number of independent promotions, he never captured the gold in either WWE or WCW.
In that respect, Roberts is often lumped into the same category as stars such as Vader who also never won the WWE Title. However, Vader did enjoy greater success away from the sports entertainment giant with three reigns each as IWGP and WCW World Champion.
By the time Vader arrived in the then-WWF at the 1996 Royal Rumble, he was already something of a veteran having started his career back in 1985.
The legendary Super-Heavyweight was initially featured heavily on television and challenged Shawn Michaels for the WWF Championship at SummerSlam. Their rivalry was originally scheduled to extend all of the way to Survivor Series but was reportedly scrapped at the behest of Michaels.
However, a little over a year later the star had begun to slide down the card and eventually left WWE in October 1998.
Not that this was the end of his career, Vader continued to wrestle on a regular basis until 2017. Sadly, The Mastodon passed away on June 18th, 2018, before being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame four years later.
During an episode of his Snake Pit podcast, Jake Roberts addressed why he believed Vader was never WWE/WWF Champion. Incredibly, Roberts claimed it was because he “smelled too bad.” When it was suggested this was due to his ring gear, Roberts added, “Ring gear my ass, it was him. Yeah, big smelly man.”
Jake Roberts Blasts Vince McMahon As A “Grudge-Holding Son Of A B*tch”
At the 1996 Royal Rumble, Jake Roberts was making his own return to WWE, but his comeback didn’t go nearly to plan.
Roberts was famously defeated in the finals of the King of the Ring tournament by Steve Austin, before entering into a feud with Jerry Lawler.
As the rivalry progressed, Lawler repeatedly took aim at Roberts over his new-found faith and very real addiction issues. This involved the announcer pouring whiskey over his face and down his throat, despite his well-known battle with alcoholism.
Roberts recently claimed that the incident was McMahon’s way of getting back at him for leaving the company in 1992.
H/t to Wrestling Inc