Jake “The Snake” Roberts is one of the most intriguing personalities to ever grace the world of professional wrestling.
Now I know I have a tendency to rely on that adjective an awful lot, but rarely has its use been more applicable than in the case of Roberts.
His intrigue is one that spans both his personal life and his professional life. The latter part of his career has been marred by depression, addiction and all manner of vices. But in his earlier days, he created one of the most mesmerising characters that the industry has ever seen.
Which is why Jake “The Snake” Roberts was recently announced as the second inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
And after much speculation, details of who exactly will be inducting the second-generation superstar into the Hall of Fame itself have now been finally revealed. As reported by WrestleZone.com:
In a press release issued today promoting DDP's Yoga event taking place during WrestleMania weekend, it was revealed that DDP will be inducting Jake "The Snake" Roberts into this year's WWE Hall of Fame.
This news isn’t necessarily the greatest of surprises. DDP, with his critically acclaimed Yoga program, has helped Roberts ditch the drink, get back in shape and turn his life around. Thus, it seems only fitting that he be the one to help Jake celebrate his most recent achievement.
Furthermore, two of the other candidates for the job are unfortunately no longer with us.
His storyline with the late, great Rick Rude was arguably his best in the WWE. The pair feuded in the summer of 1988, with Roberts’ real-life wife Cheryl playing a major role in the on-screen rivalry. It was an angle that in all honesty wouldn’t have felt out of place in the Attitude era, with some believing it to be a precursor to one of the company’s most popular epochs.
Beyond Rude, Roberts was famed for setting his King cobra on Randy Savage in the midst of their 1991 program. The iconic image of Savage entwined in the bottom rope with the snake’s jock locked around his arm furthered Roberts’ reputation as one of the WWE’s darker characters.
Other potential inductees include the likes of Ricky Steamboat, with whom Roberts had one of the greatest matches of his career, and the Undertaker, who ensured Roberts would go down as No. 2 on the Deadman’s long list of fallen WrestleMania opponents.
But still, none of these men's professional affiliations with Roberts can compare with the personal influence that DDP has had. A report by Jon Robinson on the ESPN website claims that Roberts has even gone as far as saying that “if it wasn’t for DDP, if I wouldn’t be dead right now, I'd be asking to die.”
Of course, despite overcoming his demons and turning his life around, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for Roberts. In a devastatingly cruel turn of events, it was reported on Feb. 23 that Jake “The Snake” Roberts had been diagnosed with cancer.
It was then revealed by Bill Apter that two additional smaller growths were found during a five-and-a-half-hour surgery procedure.
But buoyed by his other recoveries, Roberts has stayed strong in the face of adversity. He recently tweeted that the surgery “went well” and that along with his doctor he remains optimistic.
One thing that Roberts has proved in recent months, though, is that he’s a fighter. He remains defiant, and as the man himself says, “if the devil can’t defeat me, cancer doesn’t stand a chance.”
As I said previously, the life of Roberts is certainly an intriguing one. Given where he has come from and where he is now, there are arguably few men that deserve the recognition that Roberts will gain at this year’s Hall of Fame ceremony. It will be a true pleasure to see DDP bestow that honor upon him.
And regarding his longer-term future; something tells me that Jake still has plenty left in the tank yet.