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Jake 'The Snake' Roberts is a second-generation professional wrestler best known for his years with the WWE in the late eighties and early nineties when he feuded with their top fleer talent, including Stone Cold Steve Austin, Andre the Giant, Randy Savage, The Undertaker, and Sid Justice. He was notable for his mic work, cutting dark, cerebral promos, for bringing his live, pet snakes into the ring, and for innovating the 'DDT' maneuver. Unfortunately, years of family troubles and drug abuse (and his resulting in-ring behavior) have made him notorious, and he has had trouble maintaining employment with any of the large companies, though he has worked continually on the road as an independent since his WWE days.
It was during a feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin that Roberts mentioned the biblical passage John 3:16, prompting Austin's career-defining response: "Well, Austin 3:16 says 'I just whupped your ass!' ".
You can read more extensively on his career at The Other Wiki.
Tropes associated with Jake 'The Snake' Roberts include:
- Animal Motifs:
- Badass Grandpa: At 64, Jake's mic skills and mastery of mind games has been an attraction even in All Elite Wrestling.
- Broken Ace: Jake Roberts is a legend in the wrestling ring. Let's not forget the guy had a horrible upbringing as well as struggles with alcohol and drugs, and it took twenty years for the guy to get back to his feet and defined the odds.
- Digital Bikini: Inversion--Roberts was feuding with lady-killer 'Ravishing' Rick Rude and Rude began to wear tights with a portrait of Roberts' wife on them, claiming they had been together. Roberts made good on his promise to rip the tights off Rude if he ever wore them again, leaving Rude running from the arena trying to cover his blurred crotch, despite the fact that he was actually wearing flesh-colored underwear.
- Evil Old Folks: In AEW, all while being Lance Archer's manager.
- Feather Boa Constrictor
- Finishing Move: The DDT, which he innovated, which has since become a standard move in every wrestler's repertoire. It is unknown whether the name refers to the illegal pesticide or some now-forgotten acronym.
- One of the theories says it stands for "Damien's Dinner Time", perhaps because anybody on the receiving end of it would be in no condition to stop Jake's pet python Damien from eating him. Another story says it stands for "Drop Dead Twice." When Roberts was asked for its meaning, he simply (and famously) replied: "The end."
- Five Moves of Doom: jab, jab, jab, haymaker/clothesline, short-arm clothesline, DDT.
- Grandfather Clause: Though the DDT is now a common move, Roberts (who invented it) and a few others (Tommy Dreamer, Raven) still use it as a finisher, since they were doing it before it was cool.
- Immune to Drugs: He's not exactly in a good place in terms of health, finances or professional standing, the fact that he should, by rights, be dead by now might count.
- Instrument of Murder: Honky Tonk Man once hit Jake with a real guitar instead of a breakaway prop, legitimately injuring him and leading to a serious painkiller addiction.
- Kick the Dog: Jake's attempt to take a steel chair to Ms. Elizabeth, The Macho Man's valet. Luckily, somebody stopped Jake.
- Knight of Cerebus: Jake was already a terrifying force as a Heel back in the early days. But, his (and by extension, Lance Archer's) appearance in AEW proves he's a serious threat to Cody Rhodes, not unlike MJF and/or Chris Jericho (and the Inner Circle). On top of that, none of the members of The Elite or his brother Dustin could come and save Cody's ass from Roberts and Archer.
- Morality Pet: The Kayfabe death of his favorite snake, Damian, prefigured a very serious Face Heel Turn, and though it wasn't stated outright as the reason for the change, it makes for a logical Start of Darkness.
- Never Work with Children or Animals: WCW booked a match between Sting and Jake where the finish was for Jake to sic a (real, but devenomed) cobra on Sting, only to have it turn on him. But Jake couldn't get the snake to bite him, so he ended up holding it to his face while it flailed stupidly.
- Off the Wagon
- Older and Wiser: After twenty years of cleaning himself, Roberts has becoming this. This is even made prevalent in his AEW promos.
- Psycho for Hire
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent
- Recurring Character: He appears mostly in the first season of Dark Side of the Ring.
- Secret Identity Identity:
- "I was never able to tell the difference between Jake Roberts the performer and Jake Roberts the person, because frankly I never knew which one I was talking to. I don't know that they're not the same." -Vince McMahon in 'Beyond The Mat'
- Smug Snake
- Temporary Blindness: Lasting several months, after 'The Model' Rick Martel sprayed him in the face with cologne--eventually leading to a 'blindfold match'.
- Unrelated Brothers: Jake's brother was wrestler Sam Houston, and their sister was Women's Champion Rockin' Robin, though neither relationship was ever acknowledged.
- Wedding Smashers: Jake's notorious attempted steel chair attack on Ms. Elizabeth occurred at the reception of her wedding to Randy Savage.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: a psych-out technique he used on many wrestlers, most notably Andre the Giant and Kamala.
- Wild Card: A Chaotic Evil version who could still be good for as long as he needed to.
- Would Hit a Girl: Slapped Macho Man's valet, Elizabeth, hard across the face, and later tried to attack her with a steel chair.
- Wrestling Psychology: Jake is widely considered to be one of the finest practitioners of wrestling psychology, to the point where younger wrestlers are often sent to him for an education in the art. Despite having a pot belly, skinny legs and a quite limited moveset, Jake was always massively over with the fans due to a combination of his classic promos and uncanny knack to always do the right thing in the ring, when it was the right time to do it. Even modern day stars like Randy Orton have been schooled by Jake in the art of Psychology.
- Zen Survivor: Having mentored by DDP, who in gratitude became Jake's sponsor years later, saving his life.