According to Jake “The Snake” Roberts, one of WWE’s most controversial storylines was the result of Vince McMahon holding a grudge.
Jake Roberts returned to the WWF in early 1996 under a new gimmick as part of the Royal Rumble Match. The persona mirrored the real-life changes that Roberts had undertaken as he became a born-again Christian as he battled to overcome alcoholism.
During this period, 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.
Speaking on a recent episode of his Snake Pit podcast, Roberts claimed that the storyline was a way of McMahon getting back at him for leaving the company in 1992.
“I didn’t like it. It was Vince taking a shot. When you leave Vince McMahon and he’s not the one firing you and getting rid of you, he doesn’t like it. He holds a grudge. He’s a grudge-holding son of a b**ch and he’ll take his time to get ya’ too.
He’ll start doing little things and then he’ll graduate to maybe Jerry Lawler throwing whiskey in my face and making a joke out of that s**t. You know, they don’t make jokes out of that s**t anymore. It should have never been done. Jerry Lawler himself speaks up about that. And it was horrible to be asked to do it, and especially with where I was coming from. I mean, you’re going to persecute me for being a Christian? Really? Wow, dude,”
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Speaking back in 2022, Roberts revealed that he had resented Jerry Lawler for years for his role in pouring whiskey over his face. Although this changed when he discovered that Lawler didn’t actually want to be involved and was acting under orders from Vince McMahon.
H/t to eWrestlingNews