WWE Hall Of Famer Jake Roberts has recalled the first time he ever met WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and says he was ready to say no to being ‘Jake The Snake.’
Jake Roberts has built a wrestling career for himself like no other, making his WWF debut in 1986, making his WrestleMania debut just a month later, wrapping his prized snake Damien around his opponent’s head.
Memorable feuds with the Honky Tonk Man, Ultimate Warrior, and The Undertaker followed and his WrestleMania VIII match saw Roberts become the second victim of The Undertaker’s WrestleMania Streak and was also Roberts’ last match in the company until his comeback in 1996.
That comeback began at the 1996 Royal Rumble but is best remembered for Roberts’ role in the birth of Austin 3:16 at that year’s King Of The Ring. As the star began to struggle with his well-documented drug and alcohol issues once again, Roberts was released from his deal in February 1997.
Now Jake Roberts is part of AEW where he can be seen at the side of former IWGP United States Champion Lance Archer. Roberts has also begun his own DDT Snake Pit podcast and on the first episode, he discussed his first meeting with Vince McMahon.
According to Jake Roberts, he didn’t like the sound of any of McMahon’s ideas for him to be ‘Jake The Snake’ until he saw just how much money was on offer:
“So I flew up there and walk in the room and I sit down, and he lets you sit there and stew. He knows how to play, he’s the greatest manipulator of all. Oh my God, but he comes in, he goes, ‘Jake, we’ve got this idea. We’re going to dress you in purple and lime green spandex tights’. And I’m like, ‘wait a minute man, I’ve got skinny legs, I ain’t gonna bullsh*t you, you know and spandex isn’t something I do’.”
“Of course, I didn’t say this out loud, I ain’t stupid, I’m gonna hear the whole thing out, but in my mind, I’m going, ‘that ain’t happening’. ‘And we’re going to put you with lace-up, snakeskin boots up to your knees’. I’m like ‘lace-ups?’, And I’m thinking to myself, cause I actually figured out this one time, that’s the reason I went to pull ons. In a career, 20 years, you would spend about four and a half months of your life lacing up boots.”
“Now to me, that’s pretty damn stupid. So I went to pull ons. Simple. Why spend 25 minutes a day putting on the gear that you’ll wear every day? Again, thinking to myself, ‘let him finish his story.’ And just about the time I’m about to tell him, ‘this is stupid, I ain’t doing that sh*t, he starts to write on a piece of paper, ‘and we want you to carry a 15-foot python’.”
“And before I could scream and say no, he handed the paper over to me, and I looked down and then I went one, two, three, four, five, six zeros. Wait, that means, holy sh*t’. I went, ‘are you serious?’ And he went, ‘Yeah’. ‘You know the lace-up boots, they’ll probably save my ankles. I started justifying it, see, and if you can wear like green and purple, you got to be one tough son of a b*tch, ’cause people gonna make fun of you, so I like that idea too. As far as that snake goes, man, I ain’t got no problem with snakes, I’m ready.”