Jake Roberts has boldly taken credit for helping launch the WWE careers of The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
For decades Jake Roberts has been known as one of the shrewdest minds in the wrestling business. Even today, decades past the WWE Hall of Famer’s prime, young stars and fans alike study his matches to learn the secrets behind his knowledge of ring psychology.
Throughout history one of the best places to learn for a young wrestler was on the long car journeys from town to town. It was common place that a young up and comer would try and link up with a veteran in order to sit under the proverbial “learning tree” to help improve and better navigate the business.
Speaking on a recent episode of his DDP Snake Pit podcast, Roberts recalled being joined on these such journeys by The Undertaker shortly after he joined the WWF. However, it was ‘Taker’s desire to learn more about the world’s strip clubs, rather than Roberts’ wrestling acumen that brought them together.
“He first came to me when he first got there and he said, ‘Jake, I’ll be riding with you.’ I’m like, “Well, that’s kind of bold. I’m like, ‘Okay, so you want to get underneath the learning tree? I mean, I appreciate you being bold enough to go up and ask me straight out. Hey, man, I’ll be glad to share anything I know. ‘He goes, ‘That’s great too but I heard you know where all the good strip joints are.’ I said, ‘Worldwide.’ He said, ‘Well, I want to hang with you.”
Roberts went on to recall his role in helping guide the early careers of The Deadman, Steve Austin and even Shawn Michaels.
“Without me, there is no Undertaker. Without me, there is no Steve Austin. I even helped Shawn Michaels as much as I could. Shawn spent some time in my car. I’m the one that came up with the ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we have an urgent message. Shawn has left the building’, which is so cheap, so fu*king bullsh*t. You know? But anyway, the Road Warriors would have never happened without me because they were under my tutelage for quite a while. Yeah, they would have made it eventually but they wouldn’t know what I’ve taught him, and I enjoy teaching.”
The Undertaker and Jake Roberts famously met in the ring at WrestleMania VIII, where the now-AEW star became the second victim of The Streak.
H/t to WrestlingNewsCo for the transcription.