Jake Roberts has revealed that former rival Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat is currently struggling with some health issues.
After arriving in the World Wrestling Federation in March 1986, Jake Roberts made his pay-per-view debut at WrestleMania II where defeated George Wells.
Following the win, Roberts entered into a feud with Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. It was a rivalry that fully kicked into gear at at Saturday Night’s Main Event VI in May, where Roberts hit a DDT on Steamboat on the concrete floor.
Speaking on the latest episode of his DDP Snake Pit podcast with Diamond Dallas Page, Jake Roberts recalled that he was against the spot as he felt it couldn’t be done safely. Despite his reservations, Roberts explained that he was talked into it by others, including Ricky Steamboat himself.
“Bottom line is you cannot be down on a hard surface,” Roberts said. “If it’s a hard surface, you’re going to splatter your brains. Back in my drinking days I did it a few times in bars and other stuff. I got in trouble in there. And they didn’t get up. Even when I did it to Hogan on a platform, which has a lot of give, but it didn’t have enough because it split Hogan’s skull.
“I’m not going to tell you the guys who suggested it to me. I was told by these guys to pick somebody out of the locker room and DDT them on the concrete, intentionally, in hopes of killing. I was like ‘what?’ They were like ‘dude, you’ll be the most over heel ever.’ ‘I don’t want to kill somebody, what are you talking about?’ They encouraged me to do it, but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it.
“Doing Steamboat, I argued in the back ‘no, it cannot be done.’ And Steamboat had the affiliation with George Scott, who had been the booker in Mid Atlantic and gave Steamboat his big break. And George went to Steamboat with that idea, of me dropping him on the concrete. And Steamboat argued me ‘please man, do it for me. I can block it, I can get my hands down in time.’ ‘No you won’t, it won’t work.’
Despite his insistence that he could take the move safely, Steamboat’s head smacked the concrete and he was knocked unconscious. Jake Roberts recalled the terrifying moment that Steamboat connected with the floor, initially fearing that he had killed his rival.
“And it didn’t work. When I dropped Steamboat, I thought he was dead, I really did. Picking up, it was like ‘holy sh*t.’ I herniated myself getting him into the ring. If you watch that film, you’ll see me pointing at Steamboat and point at George Scott, because George Scott had come down and gotten in the ring.
“I was like ‘there George, I hope your freakin’ happy because he’s dead.’ I was surprised he wasn’t, because where his head hit, it was a god-awful sound. It was like a watermelon being thrown on concrete. It popped like something broke. It took two weeks for his eyes to turn black. It swelled up four inches.”
Continuing on, Roberts claimed that Steamboat is currently suffering from some health issues, something that he hopes isn’t connected to that infamous DDT in Providence, Rhode Island.
“To be quite honest with you, I know Steamboat’s having issues right now,” Roberts said. “I hope to hell it wasn’t what I did. I really do man, because that haunts me. That’s beginning to haunt me a lot. Ricky, if you’re listening, you know I never meant to do that. I didn’t want to do that. I begged you not to do that. I just pray for you man. He’s a good dude man.”
Ricky Steamboat recently appeared with Major League Wrestling as a matchmaker, while the former Intercontinental Champion last wrestled in 2010, teaming with his son Richie.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.