Jake “The Snake” Roberts: Pick Your Poison

Jake Roberts

DVD Release Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2005

~DISC 1~

MATCH #1: Snake Pit Match – Jake Roberts vs. Ricky Steamboat, The Big Event, 8.28.86

A “Snake Pit Match” is basically a no-holds-barred, no disqualification match. Roberts tries to Pearl Harbor Steamboat on the way in but that doesn’t work, as Steamboat is ready for him and he hits a back body drop that sends Roberts to the floor. Back in the ring Steamboat assumes control and starts working over the arm. He also uses chops to wear “the Snake” down. They take it to the floor and Steamboat continues the assault. Roberts is able to grab Steamboat for a scoop slam right on the floor. He tries to use a steel chair but Steamboat blocks it and uses the chair on Roberts! Back in the ring Steamboat goes up top and hits a huge knife edge chop for a two-count. Steamboat wisely goes back to work on the arm. He tries a whip into the corner but Roberts reverses it and Steamboat sails over the ropes and crashes hard to the floor. Roberts follows Steamboat out and slingshots him into the ring post, busting Steamboat’s head open. Back in the ring Roberts is in total control. Roberts gets a little too cocky and covers Steamboat with his knees, and Steamboat cleverly rolls him into a sunset flip to score the flash pin at 10:17. These two were natural enemies and made for great opponents. This match progressed nicely and both guys played to their strengths. Everyone wins when that happens.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #2: Jake Roberts vs. Honky Tonk Man, WrestleMania III, 3.29.87

Honky has Jimmy Hart in his corner. Jake of course has Damien, as well as Alice Cooper. Honky isn’t even able to get in the ring before Jake goes after him. Jake is a house afire and he sends Honky to the floor. Honky wasn’t even able to get his Elvis jumpsuit off, but Jake is happy to help him with that. Back in the ring Jake charges into the corner and Honky gets his boot up. That gives Honky the advantage but Jake quickly cuts him off and hits the Short Clothesline. They head back to the floor and Honky is once again and to claim the advantage. Honky takes Jake back in the ring and works him over with his basic offensive attack. He tries the Shake Rattle N’ Roll Neckbreaker but Jake backdrops his way out of it. Jake hits an inverted atomic drop and follows up with punches. He hits another back body drop and more punches. Jake goes for the DDT but Honky avoids it. Hart grabs Jake’s leg, and Honky capitalizes with a rollup and a handful of top rope to get the pin at 7:05. That was pretty basic but they had a good feud going so the crowd was into it.
Rating: **

Honky bails to the back right away, leaving his manager to get double-teamed by Roberts and Cooper, who introduce Hart to Damien up close and personally. Hart quickly slips out under the bottom rope and Honky comes back to help Hart get away.

MATCH #3: Jake Roberts vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude, WWF on MSG Network, 10.24.88

The winner of this match will be the first man to hit his respective finishing move. Rude has Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in his corner, while Roberts has his wife Cheryl. Roberts is fired up in the early going, and he attacks Rude’s arm with ferocity. He goes for an early DDT and Rude bails. Rude attacks the eyes and goes on the attack. Roberts responds by also going to the eyes. He goes for the short-arm clothesline but Rude ducks and hits his own clothesline to take control. Rude foolishly goes outside the ring and gets in Cheryl’s face, angering Roberts, obviously. Back in the ring Rude hits an inverted atomic drop. Roberts rolls to the floor. Rude follows him out and pulls him into the ring post. Back in the ring Rude continues to wear Roberts down. Roberts fights back and whips Rude into the corner, but then runs right into a hard knee to the face. Back on their feet Rude is able to snap Roberts’ neck off the top rope. They go back to the floor and Rude tries to pull Roberts into the post, but Roberts reverses the momentum and Rude eats the post. Roberts slams Rude on the floor and then throws him back in the ring. He hits the gutbuster and a knee lift. Roberts tries a DDT but they’re too close to the ropes and Rude holds on. Rude tries to go to the floor, but Roberts pulls him back by the tights and the crowd gets a full moon. Roberts hits the short-arm clothesline. He goes for the DDT but Rude shoves him back into the corner. Roberts goes for the knee lift again but Rude avoids it and sweeps Roberts’ legs out from under him. Rude goes up top and hits a fist drop. He puts his hands on Cheryl and then nothing happens.Rude goes for a bodyslam but Roberts slips out and hits the DDT! That’s enough to get the pin at 12:24. I thought you just had to hit the finisher to win, not pin the guy as well. Either way this was a solid match between two well matched opponents in the mdist of a great feud. I miss feuds like this.
Rating: ***

~DISC 2~

MATCH #4: Jake Roberts & Ricky Steamboat vs. Jim Nelson & Mike Miller, Mid-Atlantic, 9.9.81

Steamboat starts it off and easily gets the better of both Nelson and Miller. Roberts tags in and picks up right where Steamboat left off, easily controlling both of his opponents. Steamboat and Roberts focus on Miller’s leg for a bit, but it doesn’t really go anywhere. Miller is able to take control and he and Nelson try to isolate Steamboat from his partner. It doesn’t last too long before Miller misses a chop and Steamboat fires up. Roberts tags in and unleashes a flurry of jabs. Steamboat and Roberts show some impressive double-team maneuvers and the crowd eats them up. Roberts finishes Nelson off with a belly-to-back suplex at 5:45. That was more or less a squash, but it’s really fun to see Steamboat and Roberts so early in their careers.
Rating: *½

MATCH #5: World Television Championship Match – Jake Roberts vs. Ronnie Garvin, Georgia Championship Wrestling, 12.3.83

Roberts has been Champion since 11.6.83. He has Paul Ellering in his corner. They start off slowly, as this has been a long-running feud so they know each other quite well. Garvin strikes first with a hard right hand to the head that gets a two-count. He’s got hands of stone! Roberts takes a powder. Back in the ring they take it to the mat, and Garvin controls with a front face lock. This goes on for approximately forever. Garvin continues to keep Roberts down as we head to commercial. When we come back Roberts is on offense, working over Garvin’s leg. Roberts continues the abuse and sends Garvin to the floor. Garvin gets up to the apron and rams Roberts into the turnbuckles, and then comes back in with a high cross body from the top rope for two. Roberts slides to the floor to take a breather. Back in the ring Garvin is fired up, and he throws Roberts around and drops a few knees for a two-count. Roberts goes outside the ring yet again. He slithers back in and looks fired up, which helps him take Garvin down with a series of punches. Garvin responds in kind with right hands and a kick to the face. He rolls Roberts up for a two-count. Garvin gets an inside cradle for another near-fall. Roberts hits an inverted atomic drop for two. They roll around a bit and Garvin seems to be taking control but time expires at 11:19 (shown). They obviously had heat between them, but it just didn’t translate to the match for whatever reason. It was okay.
Rating: **½

MATCH #6: Jake Roberts vs. “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, WWF on MSG Network, 3.16.86

This is Jake’s MSG debut, immortalized with a Poffo poem. Poffo takes the early control, landing a couple of dropkicks that send Roberts to the floor. Back in the ring Roberts targets Poffo’s arm. Poffo shows some impressive athleticism in escaping Roberts’ armbar and applying one of his own. He hits a high cross body block for two and then goes right back to the arm. Roberts fights back with an Irish whip into a shoulder tackle, and then a gutbuster. He uses his size and leverage advantage to keep Poffo grounded. Roberts drops his head for a back body drop and Poffo kicks him. Poffo unleashes a flurry, including his own back body drop. Roberts slides to the floor and Poffo tries to follow him out with a springboard dive (in 1986???) but he unfortunately trips on the top rope and almost kills himself. Back in the ring Roberts throws Poffo right back out and hits a hard biel. Poffo struggles his way back to the ring and walks right into a DDT. Roberts gets the pin at 6:49. A solid debut for Roberts, as Poffo certainly made him look good. Too bad about that springboard dive.
Rating: **

MATCH #7: Jake Roberts vs. Earthquake, Superstars, 4.27.91

Earthquake has Jimmy Hart in his corner of course. Roberts slides under the bottom rope and Earthquake attacks him right away. Vince McMahon on commentary isn’t sure if the match is official, but I swear I heard the bell ring. Roberts hits a knee lift and a clothesline and then brings Damien out of the bag! Earthquake and Hart high-tail it, wanting nothing to do with the python. A second referee comes out and tries to force Earthquake back to the ring. He also tells Roberts to put the snake back in the bag. This takes a while to complete, and finally Hart distracts Roberts long enough for Earthquake to attack him from behind. Earthquake throws the snake bag in the ring and ties Roberts up in the ropes. Hart holds the referee down and that’s a DQ at 4:23. Earthquake doesn’t care though, as he squashes Roberts’ beloved snake Damien with two Earthquake splashes. Luckily the camera cuts to Sean Mooney so we don’t have to see the carnage. After Earthquake and Hart leave, Roberts checks inside the bag and does not like what he sees. Obviously this was hardly a match and more of an angle, but it was definitely an effective one.
Rating: ¼*

MATCH #8: Jake Roberts vs. Bob Werner, Superstars, 11.23.91

Roberts has his cobra handling glove on, which looks menacing. He destroys the poor jobber and hits a quick DDT to get the pin at 0:44. Squash city.
Rating: DUD

After the match, Roberts talks trash to Randy Savage, who is sitting at the commentator’s table, awaiting reinstatement after losing a Retirement Match to the Ultimate Warrior back at WrestleMania VII. Savage tries to get in the ring and a referee tries to hold him back, which gives Roberts the chance to attack. Roberts ties Savage up in the ropes and sics a King Cobra on his arm! The snake gnaws on Savage’s arm, which positively petrified me as a kid. Officials, Roddy Piper, and Miss Elizabeth come down to free Savage from the ropes. Savage gets free and tries to fight back but he’s just flailing wildly while Elizabeth cries. This was an amazing segment and put an insane amount of heat on the Savage/Roberts feud.

MATCH #9: Coal Miner’s Glove Match – Jake Roberts vs. Sting, Halloween Havoc, 10.25.92

This is a match in which a Coal Miner’s Glove (whatever that is) hangs from a pole and if you get it, you get to use it. Roberts tries to go for the Glove right away but Sting stops that and throws Roberts around a little bit. Sting goes for the Glove and Roberts stops him. They go back and forth a bit and then head to the floor. Sting uses the steel ring post to abuse Roberts’ left shoulder. That gives Sting enough time to climb the pole but Roberts stops him before he can reach the glove. Roberts hits a belly-to-back suplex and then sells the shoulder because he’s a pro. In fact Roberts is hurt so badly that Sting is able to go right back on offense. Sting works the shoulder for a while until Roberts hiptosses him to the floor. Roberts goes for the glove but can’t retrieve it. Sting works the shoulder some more and Roberts throws him outside again. Roberts grabs a chair and cracks it across Sting’s back. He uses his wrist tape to choke Sting, and then they manage to blow a knee lift spot. Sting tries a Stinger Splash but there’s no water in the pool. Roberts hits the Short Clothesline but that hurts his injured shoulder. Even so, Roberts hits a DDT and further injures himself. Sting is out. Roberts goes up for the Glove but Sting pulls him down, and then whips himself around the ring post to hit Roberts with a back elbow. Sting grabs the Glove, but while he was up there Cactus Jack brought Roberts a snake handler’s glove and a cobra. I kid you not, at this point Sting weakly punches Roberts in the kidney and Roberts falls back while obviously holding the snake on his face (as if the snake was gnawing at his face) and Sting gets the pin at 10:29. When WWE did the snake gimmick with Macho Man’s arm, as a 31-year-old I still bought that. In this match in did not look legit at all. The match is also doesn’t help itself by being frightfully boring and feeling twice as long as it was. For crying out loud, the Coal Miner’s Glove barely helped anything, so what was the point of even having that gimmick?
Rating: *

MATCH #10: Smoky Mountain Heavyweight Championship Match – Jake Roberts vs. Dirty White Boy, SMW TV #120, 5.14.94

DWB has been the champion since 2.13.94, and this is his fifteenth defense. They stall a bit at the start, and then Roberts sores the first knockdown. Roberts continues to dominate the Champion, frustrating the DWB. DWB has a patch over his left eye, and Roberts takes advantage of that in a number of ways early on. Roberts gets a little too cocky so DWB decks him with a right hand that sends the challenger to the floor. When Roberts gets back to the ring DWB works an armbar. DWB scores a shoulderblock and then goes back to the arm. Roberts escapes with a chinbreaker and then knocks DWB to the floor with two shoulder tackles. The Samurai sneaks in from out of nowhere and rips DWB’s patch off! Good thing Tracy Smothers and Bobby Blaze are there to take care of the Samurai. Roberts has a pronounced advantage now, and he looks extremely confident. He hits a big knee lift. Roberts covers DWB with his knees for two, and DWB counters that to a sunset flip for his own two-count. Roberts hits an inverted atomic drop for another two-count. He continues to press the advantage and throws DWB back to the floor. Roberts goes outside and taunts the fans while beating up their Champion. Back in the ring DWB takes advantage of Roberts’ cockiness and unleashes a flurry of offense. Roberts goes to the floor and kicks the ringside photographer and then steals his camera. He then takes a picture right in DWB’s injured eye! I love it. Back in the ring Roberts hits the DDT to get the pin and win the title at 13:39. That was a good summation of SMW style. I enjoyed the old school feel of this, and the unique finish.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #11: Tournament Final – Jake Roberts vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, King of the Ring, 6.23.96

Roberts got here by defeating Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw, and Vader, while Austin beat Bob Holly, Savio Vega, and Marc Mero on his route to the finals. Vader injured Roberts’ ribs after their match earlier this evening, so Austin has a decided advantage that he goes after even before the bell rings. Austin goes right after the ribs and just slaughters Roberts with no mercy. The referee continually checks on Roberts as Austin picks him apart. Roberts tries to fight back but his ribs are so hurt that every move he makes is painful for him. WWF President Gorilla Monsoon comes down to check on Roberts and tries to stop the match but Roberts won’t hear it. Roberts fights up and delivers some punches. He signals for the DDT but Austin backs him into a corner and destroys his ribs. Austin hits a Stunner to change wrestling history at 4:37. That was a total squash, but given Austin’s promo after the match I’d say it’s just about the most significant squash in the history.
Rating: ½*

MATCH #12: Jake Roberts vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler, SummerSlam, 8.18.96

Lawler mocks Roberts with a huge bottle of wine, so Roberts sets his snake “Revelations” on the King. The crowd appreciates that, and it sends Lawler running towarsd the back. Eventually the match starts proper via the bell, and Lawler goes right to the floor and talks more trash. Robets gets tired of waiting in the ring and surprises Lawler on the floor, slamming his head off the ring steps. Back in the ring Roberts unloads with punches and the like. They head back to the floor and Roberts hits a bodyslam. Roberts throws Lawler into the ring post repeatedly. Lawler counters by throwing a glas of beer in Roberts’ face. He then ties Roberts up in the ropes and tries to pour alcohol down his throat. Roberts fights up and tries the DDT but Lawler counters with a back body drop. The persistent Roberts hits the Short Clothesline and signals for the DDT but Lawler hangs on to the official. While Roberts and the referee argue, Lawler grabs one of the booze bottles and strikes Roberts in the throat with it, pretty much right in front of the referee. Lawler grabs a handful of tights and scores the pin at 4:09. There wasn’t much action in the match, and what was there wasn’t particularly inspiring. After the match Lawler humiliates Roberts by pouring liquor on him. Why the last two matches would be featured on a Jake Roberts DVD, I have no idea. Mark Henry, who was on commentary, has to come to the rescue and run Lawler off.
Rating: ¼*

Run-in during Tommy Dreamer vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler, ECW Hardcore Heaven, 8.17.97

This is joined in progress for some reason. A bloody Dreamer goes for a piledriver on Lawler and the lights go out. When they come back on Roberts is in the ring and he hits Dreamer with a clothesline. Roberts hits Dreamer with a DDT. Lawler tries to shake Roberts’ hand, but Roberts hits him with a Short-Arm Clothesline as well. That dropped Lawler right on top of Dreamer, and the referee crawls over for the count but only gets two! That’s all we get to see.

MATCH #13: Jake Roberts & Tommy Dreamer vs. Justin Credible & Jack Victory, November 2 Remember, 11.1.98

Roberts and Dreamer start the match by running Victory and Credible down the aisle and heaving them into the ring. They dominate, and Roberts sends both opponents to the floor with back body drops. Dreamer then wipes out their entire entourage with a pescado. Nicole Bass is roaming around ringside for some reason. Dreamer and Credible get into the ring but they don’t stay long, as this match is all kinds of chaotic. Credible drops Dreamer nuts-first on the guardrail, because Dreamer loves taking that bump. The match settles down to a basic tag team match, with Credible and Victory isolating Dreamer and working him over. Credible hits the drop toe hold onto a steel chair. Dreamer comes back and pulls Credible’s nuts into the ring post. Back in the ring Dreamer hits the Dreamer Driver and finally makes the tag. Roberts is a house afire, all over everybody. He signals for the DDT but One Man Gang and some guy in Zubaz come out to attack him and Dreamer. Gang squashes both Dreamer and Roberts with 747 Splashes. The New Jack and Kronus run out to make the save with a bunch of weapons. A bunch of crazy stuff happens, and the referee tries to count a Kronus cover, even though he’s not in the match. Some blond chick gets in the ring and Dreamer hits her with a piledriver. Nicole Bass then gets in the ring and Robets hits her with a low blow and a DDT. Eventually Roberts hits Credible with a DDT on a ladder and he and Dreamer cover to get the pin at 13:18. That was 100 percent chaos all the time, and if you weren’t following ECW at the time I dare you to try and explain what issue all of the people involved in that match had. Typical ECW garbage match here.
Rating: ¾*

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About Jake Ziegler

I've been in love with the movies for almost 20 years. I follow the Oscars obsessively, and try to see as many movies a year as I can. I'll watch anything good bad or otherwise, and my life long dream job has always been to be a bona fide film critic. View all posts by Jake Ziegler

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