The legendary Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts has recalled a Christmas Day angle that resulted in eight Chris Cringles being beaten up.
There aren’t enough words to justify how legendary a career Jake Roberts has enjoyed since debuting in 1974. Owing to his rather twisted and demented persona over the years, though, the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame inductee has enjoyed his fair share of rowdy crowds, too.
This was the case on Christmas Day in 1982, as Dusty Rhodes fought Kevin Sullivan in St. Petersburg, Florida on a Championship Wrestling From Florida card. Contested as a Lights Out Steel Cage match, the stipulation was that whoever lost the contest would be forced to leave town for sixty days. Here, Jake Roberts worked the entire show dressed as Santa Claus.
“All night long, I go up and down those aisles and hand out the candy to the kids and they take pictures with Santa and all sorts of stuff, and Dusty and he gets in the ring and the cage. And at the right time, Santa makes it down to ringside and he’s handing out toys, and stuff, and candy, and he steps over the barricade, and at the right time, he slips Kevin Sullivan something, and he hits Dusty with it.
Dusty goes down, cover, one, two, three. Now, they done told me in the back, ‘Jake, expect everything to happen. But don’t leave the area until Kevin gets out of the cage. You guys come back together’. ‘Okay, okay, okay, I got it. We’ll find our way back, okay’.”
Continuing, ‘The Snake’ explained how he got assaulted by the wild audience that evening, who demanded to see Saint Nick. Some fans, however, took the situation to heart, with Jake Roberts finding out the following day that several Santa Clauses had been attacked in the Tampa Bay area:
“Anyway, this is a water tower moment for me, because I’m in the locker room and we can hear the people outside chanting, ‘we want Santa’. It’s Christmas night, you know, and the police come in and say, ‘we’ve never seen anything like this. There’s got to be 400 people outside waiting for you’. I’m like, ‘well, they’re not going to get what they want’.
You know, and to hear those people chanting, ‘we want Santa’ and, ‘eff you Santa’, and all that stuff. And then to go home that night, and the next day I get up and pick up a Tampa paper and read that eight Santa Clauses had gotten beat up the night before on the streets.”
Having appeared in every major promotion throughout his career, Jake Roberts currently resides in All Elite Wrestling, where he’s the manager of recent AEW World Championship contender, Lance Archer. The master of the DDT debuted in March 2020 following the inaugural Revolution pay-per-view.