Wrestler of the Day – July 2: Jake Roberts

This one is good. Trust me. It’s Jake Roberts.

We’ll start things off in Stampede with Jake defending the North American Title against Sylvester Ritter in what might be the first ladder match in wrestling history. From July 1, 1979.

North American Heavyweight Title: Jake Roberts vs. Big Daddy Ritter

Jake is defending the promotion’s top title and this is joined in progress because it’s Stampede. In a bonus, there’s money in the bag as well so Jake can actually win something. Roberts puts the ladder (which just leans against a structure and doesn’t fold open, though there is someone helping hold it up) up and tries to climb but Ritter makes a save. They do the same sequence with the roles reversed and we’re about six minutes in according to commentary.

Ritter knocks him down again and hits a headbutt before throwing Jake into the ladder which doesn’t move at all. Jake makes a save and hits Ritter with….I think Ritter’s boot but Ritter grabs his foot to stop a climb. Ritter is sent face first into the steel but easily pulls the champion down the ladder. Big Daddy gets his boot back and lays Jake out, only to climb too slowly and get hit in the back with the boot again. Jake is sent to the apron and gets his feet tied in the ropes, allowing Ritter to climb up and win the title.

Rating: D+. You have to give them a bit of a break here as they may have literally never had anything to go off here. They actually did use the ladder as a weapon a few times so it wasn’t just there in the background. Not a good or memorable match but it’s certainly historic, which is why it’s on a WWE DVD.

We’ll jump ahead a few years to Mid-Atlantic on May 12, 1982.

Next up was Jake’s LONG feud with Ronnie Garvin. Here’s a match between them from December 1983.

TV Title: Ronnie Garvin vs. Jake Roberts

Roberts is defending and this is a special sixty minute time limit. Jake takes him down with an armbar but Garvin nails him with a forearm to the chest. Jake punches his way out of a rollup before hiding in the corner like a true villain should. Garvin cranks on an armbar of his own and we take a break.

Back with Jake making the rope and kicking at the leg to take over. He wraps it around the ropes but Garvin goes right back to the arm. They hit the mat but Garvin takes another shot to the leg to give the champion control. He pulls on Ronnie’s leg before nailing a knee crusher. Back to the leg lock but Garvin starts cranking on Jake’s foot to break the hold. Jake lets go and Ronnie hammers away, sending Roberts out to the apron.

We take a break and come back with Garvin backdropping Jake for two. Back up and Roberts elbows Garvin in the corner and getting two of his own off a belly to back suplex. Some knees to the ribs have Garvin in trouble but he fights back with a series of punches. In a pretty weak ending, Jake slams him down and his manager Paul Ellering holds Garvin’s foot for the pin.

Rating: D+. These teams feuded for the better part of ever and the story was much more interesting than the matches. Garvin was a guy that got over because of being the common man that never stopped fighting and Roberts was awesome at holding the title over his head, even making Garvin mortgage his house for a title shot. Not a great match though.

Here’s a match from Mid-South in I believe 1984. You’ve probably heard of the names.

Jake Roberts/Steve Williams vs. Shawn Michaels/Private Terry Daniels

Williams puts Shawn in a headlock to start before we hit the crisscross. Shawn gets two off an O’Connor Roll before everything we get a four man standoff. Off to Roberts and Daniels with Terry running Jake over with a shoulder. Jake comes right back with a clothesline before Williams comes in to keep up the beating. Terry finally rolls over for the hot tag to Shawn but Williams blocks a monkey flip. The DDT ends Shawn a few seconds later.

Rating: D. Total squash here with some big names in there for a change. Shawn would of course get a lot better in the future but the match here wasn’t much to see. Daniels would become a very low level name in the WWF a few years later and I think you know the rest of the guys.

Jake would head to the WWF in 1986 and have one of his first major matches at Wrestlemania II.

Jake Roberts vs. George Wells

Wells is a former football player who never did another thing of note in wrestling other than be in this match. Jake is brand new at this point and is promptly run over and backdropped down in the first ten seconds. A flying shoulder takes Jake down and there’s a headbutt for good measure. Wells hits a decent flying headscissors followed by a slam for no cover. A knee lift has Jake draped in the ropes and a powerslam gets two. Roberts comes back with a poke to the eyes and a knee lift followed by the DDT for the fast pin. This was pretty much domination until the last ten seconds.

Roberts’ first big feud in the WWF was against Ricky Steamboat. The two would meet in a Snakepit match at the Big Event.

Jake Roberts vs. Ricky Steamboat

This is a Snakepit Match meaning anything goes. Roberts had DDTed Steamboat on the floor at a SNME and nearly killed him to ignite this feud which was the second biggest of the summer. Dragon had busted out a Komodo Dragon to counter Damien but neither are here tonight due to customs issues. The two commentators that talk say that the Canadian flag has an oak leaf on it.

Dragon dominates until we hit the floor where Jake takes over after a low blow. Steamboat gets a few chair shots in and that just was weird to type. Dragon just beats the tar out of him for awhile but gets reversed and goes over the top to the floor. Valiant thinks Roberts is a champion for some reason. Roberts is one of those guys that was supposed to be a heel but more or less became a face through just pure fan support.

Dragon starts bleeding after going into the post but fights out of the DDT. Jake is dominating now and getting face pops for it. And then he sits on Dragon’s chest and holds his arm up and you know the rest. They would have another match in a few weeks on SNME with the animals that I reviewed last night to close out the feud.

Rating: B. This was a very intense match. Street fights and the like simply didn’t happen in this era so this was insane at the time. Both guys were great workers so this worked out very well. Steamboat was about to have his throat messed up by Savage and you know the aftermath of that.

Jake would turn face after this and take part in a pretty well known match at Wrestlemania III.

Honky Tonk Man vs. Jake Roberts

This is one of the matches that is there to give us a breather between the masterpiece and the main event. Jake pounds away to start and hits a knee lift to send Honky out to the floor. Honky still can’t get his ring suit off so Jake rips it off for him. Jake follows him to the floor and slams Honky down before heading back inside. Back in and Jake charges into a knee to the face to shift momentum.

Honky drops a pair of knees to Jake’s back but misses a punch and walks into the short clothesline. The grease in Honky’s hair allows him to escape the DDT and we head outside again. Jake is sent into the post and the barricade so Honky can dance a bit. Back in and a middle rope punch puts Jake in even more trouble. There’s a knee drop to the Snake and a pair of elbows for no cover.

The Shake Rattle and Roll (swinging neckbreaker) is countered by Jake and there’s an atomic drop for the eternally funny selling by Honky. Jake punches him to the apron and Honky gets caught in between the ropes, meaning he bounces back up every time Jake punches him. The DDT is countered again and after a Jimmy interference, Honky grabs a rollup and the top rope for the upset pin.

Rating: C. You could see the Honky Tonk Man character coming on here as Jake was way better but got cheated at the end. Honky would ride that one idea for the next year and a half, drawing WAY more money and heat than he had any right to earn. Jake would feud with various heels for the next few months while being one of the many challengers to chase Honky. He finally got with Rick Rude for an awesome string of matches.

Here’s a match from Saturday Night’s Main Event XIV.

Jake Roberts vs. Sika

Sika is a former Wild Samoan who apparently likes sandwiches. Ok then. Something tells me this is going to be short. Jake was one of the hottest things in wrestling at this time so this should be nothing short of a squash. Sika looks a good bit like Umaga. It’s actually Sika in control here.

That’s the beauty of the DDT. It can change things so fast and get Jake the win. That’s very rare indeed. I hate the nerve hold. I truly do. After Fuji interferes, Jake wins with a rollup actually instead of the DDT. Most interesting. Fuji takes the DDT to get the crowd very happy. Vince calls Fuji a fat walrus. That’s hilarious.

Rating: D. Not much here as it was too short to be anything of note but too long to be unrateable. Jake was clearly going to go over here and I like him not winning with the DDT as it makes you think he’s even more dangerous. Sika was a good choice for a monster who could get beaten down by someone like Roberts.

Roberts would next feud with Rick Rude after Rude tried to kiss Jake’s wife Cheryl as part of a gimmick he was doing at the time. From Wrestlefest 1988.

Jake Roberts vs. Rick Rude

This is more fallout over the Cheryl Roberts kiss that didn’t happen thing which was a big time angle back in the day and was incredibly well received. Naturally the fans pop very well for this so they got that part right for sure. Jake comes running out and beats up Rude to start us off very fast. Why do we keep getting shots of Rude’s tights going down? Is there a strange fetish thing going on there?

Something tells me this is going to be long. They had a 15 minute draw at Mania so they’ll likely do something similar this time around. We hit the chinlock and something tells me we’re going to be here for a good while. I’m glad I was wrong there. Rude kicks him in the balls and no one seems to care. We hit the chinlock again to kill more time. This is going to last awhile.

How can someone live for that long with an arm around their neck like that? I just ask because Jake has been in this for about three minutes so far and is still alive. The announcers try as hard as they can to make this interesting and just can’t do it. The hold is broken and Jake gets knocked to the floor just to continue this torture. Rude gets crotched on the top rope and Jake makes his comeback.

The camera work in this match is making my head hurt. They’re doing FAR too many closeups. Jake goes for the DDT but Rude shoves the referee down so that he lands on him, cushioning the blow. I keep forgetting how tall Jake is. The referee is back up and Rude is leaving. Jake follows and say it with me: DOUBLE COUNT OUT. I watched 17 minutes for that finish. I hate my life. The snake gets on Rude post match and wraps around his throat in a cool visual.

Rating: D. This was just BORING. They fought that long and nothing of note happened. It was just bland filler that never went anywhere at all. These two had a white hot feud and yet nothing ever came of it. Also Rude pulling the referee down isn’t a DQ? This was just bad and really brings the show down.

Jake would have the second biggest match at Wrestlemania V as part of his long feud with Wrestlemania V.

Andre the Giant vs. Jake Roberts

Big John Studd is referee and comes out to what would become Jim Duggan’s music. This was supposed to set up Andre vs. Studd but Studd left before it went anywhere. Sometime before the match, Andre and Heenan get the turnbuckle pad off and Jake goes face first into the steel. Ventura and Gorilla talk about David vs. Goliath (Jesse: “He used a foreign object.”) as Jake reaches for the snake bag. That goes nowhere so Studd crushes him in the corner.

Andre looks so different than he did two years ago. In Detroit he looked like a killing machine but here he looks like a lumbering oaf. Giant steps on Jake a few times but Roberts comes back with some strikes. He knocks Andre into the ropes and chokes away, only to see Andre get his arm loose and choke Jake right back.

In a moment that I’ve never seen explained, Andre fires some shoulders into Jake in the corner, only to stagger backwards. I’m guessing Jake was supposed to knee him (the announcers suggested he did) but Jake’s legs never moved. Either way, Roberts pounds away a bit before being knocked to the floor. Studd and Andre get in a shoving match as Ted DiBiase runs out to steal the snake. Andre chokes Studd until Jake chases DiBiase down and gets the snake back. He slides Damien in and the giant runs from the smaller referee giant, giving Jake the DQ win.

Rating: D. ANOTHER match that didn’t go anywhere here as it was hard to buy Jake as being a threat to Andre while at the same time it was hard to be intimidated by the Giant due to how old and banged up he was. Nothing match here which was supposed to set up Andre vs. Studd, but instead Studd retired so Andre got a tag title reign instead.

Let’s combine a few feuds with this match from June 2, 1989.

Jim Duggan/Jake Roberts vs. Rick Rude/Andre the Giant

It’s in 89 so this isn’t going to be pretty from Andre’s perspective. This is from a Wrestling Challenge taping which would be equal to Superstars today. Andre chokes on Duggan to start which was the majority of his offense at this point. Rude looks odd in blue. A middle rope punch misses and here’s Jake. Andre is tied in the ropes and Rude is used as a battering ram/spear.

The heels take over once Andre is freed. I have a feeling this isn’t going to be an incredibly innovative match. Rude works on a chinlock which Jake seemingly was always in. Rude goes up and is crotched, providing us with by far the funniest moment on this tape. He and Honky had the funniest sells of that spot as anyone ever. Andre comes in and does the crush in the corner spot.

Jake escapes one of them and it’s the hot tag to Duggan, who is in black boots for some reason. Could this be a heel foreshadowing? Nah, only an idiot would do that. I mean what could you do anyway, make him a Canadian sympathizer or something? What a stupid idea. Anyway Duggan gets taken down by Rude and Andre won’t tag back in for some reason. Rude, who enjoys having his head attached, doesn’t argue.

There’s the hip swivel which Hayes doesn’t approve of. Duggan fights back and they collide, putting both guys down. Rude goes to the wrong corner and Jake knocks him back down. Andre chops Duggan down to make sure everything is fair. There’s the hot tag to Jake anyway as Duggan more or less no sells Andre’s chop. Roberts sets for the DDT but Andre breaks it up. Everything breaks down and Duggan whacks Rude in the ribs with the board so Jake can get the pin.

Rating: C-. Not terrible but pretty meh overall. I still like the idea of having two feuds in a single match like this and it usually works pretty well. Not a great match or anything but for a house show, this was fine. A DDT would have pulled things up a little bit because it was the most popular move on the planet at the time.

We’ll jump ahead a bit and skip a feud with Ted DiBiase to get to a match at Summerslam 1990 over which was over a snake vs. rats.

Jake Roberts vs. Bad News Brown

Big Bossman is guest referee for no apparent reason. Brown jumps Jake before Bossman is in the ring but has to bail out of a DDT attempt. Back in and Bad News tosses Jake down and gets two off a legdrop. Jake tries the DDT a second time but Brown bails to the floor again. Roberts follows him out and gets hit in the ribs with a chair which isn’t a DQ for some reason. Back in and Bad News pounds away as Piper asks if Vince has ever smelled Brown. Jake avoids a middle rope elbow and hits the short clothesline but Brown backdrops out of the DDT. Another chair shot to Jake is good for the lame DQ.

Rating: D+. This didn’t have time to go anywhere and I’m still not sure why Boss Man was in here at all. Jake and Brown didn’t do anything else after this and Brown didn’t go after Boss Man after the feud, so I guess he was there as an enforcer for reasons not important enough to explain. The match was just ok.

Jake would then get blinded by Rick Martel, leading to a blindfold match at Wrestlemania VII.

Jake Roberts vs. Rick Martel

In short, they’re both in hoods and neither guy can see. So the match starts and both guys point across the ring while trying to find where the other is. Martel gets down on the mat and crawls around, only to give us some stupid comedy spots with both guys tripping over the other. Rick tries a backdrop but Jake runs off to the side, showing that he can clearly see if you’re thinking about this.

They miss each other in the corner a few times until Martel finally grabs him for a slam, only to miss an elbow drop. Martel gets the referee in the corner, only to realize he’s grabbing a shirt. Jake uses the crowd for help by pointing and listening to the crowd cheer as he points at Martel. This continues on for awhile until Martel nearly grabs the snake bag.

The announcers continue a running joke where they can’t hear each other which isn’t funny. Jake gets knocked to the floor so Martel follows. He grabs a chair and pokes around with it but only hits the post. Back in and Martel takes Jake down and hooks the Boston Crab, only to have it broken quickly. Roberts grabs the DDT a second later for the pin.

Rating: F. This wasn’t wrestling. It was a stupid idea with both guys wandering around and making no contact for about seven and a half minutes before both guys hit their finishers. Thankfully this feud was done after this as I don’t think the fans could stand any more of it. Oh and on top of that, Martel didn’t cheat once by looking under the mask. Nice heel work there.

Then Roberts would turn all evil and going after Randy Savage. This led to Savage coming out of retirement and a showdown between the two of them at This Tuesday In Texas. I’ll throw in the awesome post match stuff as well.

Jake Roberts vs. Randy Savage

Savage jumps Jake in the aisle and we’re off. The crowd isn’t cheering so much as roaring. I mean they’re hardcore here. The thing is it’s kind of hard to take Savage seriously here as he’s got a feather on his hat that’s at the very least a foot and a half tall. That’s just freaking huge. Ok good it’s gone now. As for why this feud is happening, Savage had gotten married but Jake wasn’t invited to the bachelor party because he was a heel. Well if nothing else that’s creative.

That led to Savage coming out of retirement to fight him, but one day on I think Superstars, Jake beat down Savage and put his (devenomized) cobra onto Savage’s arm, but it held on too long and the bite was worse than expected. Jake also shoved Liz, which made him the biggest heel in forever. They were supposed to be opposing captains in the Survivor Series main event but due to the cobra attack, Savage was deemed too hurt to fight so we got this instead.

Jake goes kind of low to break the momentum. Savage’s arm is screwed up because of the snake bite injury too. In a nice little touch, Jake rips the bandage off of the arm and there’s blood under the tape. His arm was fine, but they thought about it here enough to make it look like he’s injured worse than he really is. Since the arm is so hurt Roberts is beating the heck out of Savage. Just as I say that, Savage gets a quick shot in and within 30 seconds he gets Jake down and hits the elbow for the win in a match that felt like it had 3 minutes cut out.

Rating: C+. The match is a fast paced mess but the angle is just completely awesome. The problem was there was never the big match that these guys so desperately needed where Savage could destroy Jake with like 5 elbows or something because Flair came in and changed everything around.

Now we get to the important part though. Savage gets the bell but the referee stops him, allowing Jake to get a quick DDT. Savage is down but Jake is still hurt too so Savage actually beats him to his feet. A second DDT puts Savage out cold though and Jake is up now. After faking leaving, Jake comes back and goes under the ring to pull out a little bag. This doesn’t sound like much but it’s an absolutely INSANE reaction for every tiny movement.

Liz comes running down and is FREAKING on Roberts. Jake is feeding on her fears here and it’s amazing stuff. Savage kind of gets up and he takes an unprecedented third DDT. No one had ever taken more than one before this so that was completely insane. He puts the cobra handler glove on and Liz just completely loses it. Jake slips the glove off and says that Liz better beg if she wants to save him.

They stand up and Jake secures his place in the 7th circle of BY PUNCHING LIZ. Jack Tunney comes out to glare at Jake and suspend him for having a snake with him until he points out there was no snake in the bag, which confuses Tunney to no end, which is impressive for him as asking his name confuses him more than likely.

In the back, Jake says that when he hit Liz, it was the best feeling he’s ever had and he would pay to be able to do that again. He ends it by saying that Savage can come back again, but to bring his wife again because Jake can make her into something even he would want. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but this was one of the best heel promos I’ve ever seen in my life.

This led to a match with the now face Undertaker at Wrestlemania VIII.

Jake Roberts vs. Undertaker

A right hand to the face has no effect on Taker so Jake pounds away so more. Heenan is already freaking out about how Taker can’t be hurt as is his custom. Jake knocks him to the floor but Undertaker lands on his feet. Roberts is pulled to the floor as well and rammed into the post to give the dead man control. Heenan cracks jokes and says he thinks he has two brilliant minds. Gorilla: “I’m in big trouble.”

As Heenan talks about Bearer earning the Urn, Taker chokes away in the corner and pounds on Jake for a bit. An elbow drop keeps Jake down and there’s the jumping clothesline for good measure. Out of NOWHERE, Jake hits the DDT to put Taker down but he sits up a few seconds later and grabs Jake by the throat. A second DDT puts Taker down again but Jake goes after Bearer instead. There’s the sit up and Undertaker follows Jake outside, hitting a tombstone on the FLOOR to end Jake and make Undertaker 2-0.

Rating: C-. The problem with these early Wrestlemania matches for Undertaker is that they didn’t have a ton of story or drama to them. Jake was in his last match for the company here before he went to WCW for a cup of coffee, so he didn’t seem to be giving it his all out there. The kicking out of the DDTs was impressive as was the Tombstone, but that’s about it.

Jake would head to WCW soon after this and have one major match at Halloween Havoc 1992.

Sting vs. Jake Roberts

Coal Miner’s Glove match, which means there’s a loaded glove on a pole. Jake uses some VERY generic rock music which would later be used by Big Bubba and had previously been used by Austin. This is non-sanctioned and Sting is just MAD over. The story here is Roberts jumped him and laid Sting out so this is revenge. Sting controls early as Roberts stalls. Sting misses a dropkick and Jake goes after the back.

They go to the floor and Jake’s arm goes into the post. Sting goes for the glove (which is about 12 feet above the ring) but Jake makes the save and hits a suplex. Jake sends him to the floor but his attempt at getting the glove results in him being crotched. Sting works on the injured arm for a bit and they head outside again. Jake hits him in the back with a chair and chokes with tape back in the ring.

This match really isn’t working either as they’re basically having a regular match, albeit very rushed. That doesn’t make me think this is a blood feud or all about revenge or anything close to it really. Jake misses a running knee lift but the Stinger Splash misses too. Jake uses the bad arm for the DDT but Sting comes as close to no selling as you can while still selling. Sting does a cool move where he swings around the pole to knock Jack down. Cactus runs out with Jake’s cobra as Sting gets the glove. Sting knocks the snake onto Jake’s face where it “bites” him, allowing Sting to get the win.

Rating: F. As I said, the glove meant nothing here as it had to be the dumbest possible gimmick they could have gone with. Jake would basically be gone after this and wouldn’t be seen in mainstream American wrestling again until 1996. This was absolutely awful though and the ending was so stupid that I can’t really believe I saw it. Keep this in mind when you’re at work: someone was paid to think of this idea. To give you an idea of how REAL that bite is, Jake pulls the snake away, looks at it, and puts it right back to where it was “biting” him. That’s like something out of a parody of a bad horror movie. Jake is “poisoned”.

Jake would head to Smoky Mountain Wrestling soon after this and win the Heavyweight Title. Here’s a match from May 21, 1994.

SMW Heavyweight Title: Jake Roberts vs. Dirty White Boy

This is the main event from Volunteer Slam. Joined in progress again as Roberts goes after the eye. Jake toys with him now as he lays on the mat and kind of stares at White Boy. They go to the floor and White Boy rams the arm into the post a few times. We’re told this is 15 minutes in. They go back in but Roberts tosses him out again. That doesn’t work as White Boy grabs the arm.

Roberts pulls the referee into a shot and Mark Curtis is down. Jake takes the tape off his wrist and ties him to the ropes. Jake’s bag is brought in and I think a fan runs in so Jake clotheslines him. Dirty White Girl tries to make the save but Jake shoves her down and eventually DDTs her. The match has been stopped pretty much. He goes to put the snake on her but the locker room makes the save. Not enough to rate but the match looked like a typical match from a territory with no ending. Think Memphis.

Jake would head back to the WWF in 1996 and make it to the finals of the 1996 King of the Ring.

King of the Ring Finals: Steve Austin vs. Jake Roberts

The IWC explodes as Pillman and Austin pass each other in the aisle and pause for a second. Good night they were a great team in the time they had. Austin apparently went to the emergency room to fix his tongue. I think that’s legit actually. Jake’s music is just made of awesome. Austin jumps him to the shock of no one. This is all Austin as Roberts is barely even able to move let alone fight.

Here’s his token comeback as it’s fairly obvious that Austin is winning here. Vince says Austin is being a coward for attacking the injured ribs. Owen says Austin is smart to do so, which at least makes sense. Monsoon is out here now and Vince is more or less saying Austin doesn’t deserve to win. It’s not his fault that Vader beat up Roberts.

With Monsoon checking on Roberts it lets him breathe a bit and he beats on Austin for a bit but Austin counters with corner shoulder blocks of all things. Geez Austin was a different kind of wrestler back then. Austin hits the academic stunner to get the win and the crown.

Rating: N/A. It was 4 and a half minutes which includes Monsoon coming down.

His main feud in this run was against Jerry Lawler, including this match at Summerslam 1996.

Jerry Lawler vs. Jake Roberts

Before the match we have the debut of a new Olympian who will be getting in the ring soon: Mark Henry. Lawler brings his own bag with him along with something in his pocket. He’s also wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey (the beloved Cleveland Browns had recently moved to Baltimore and become the Ravens) because Lawler knows how to rile up a crowd like few others ever could. Henry thinks it’s hilarious despite being a face.

Lawler pulls out two bottles of Jim Beam to be Roberts’ partners tonight and says Roberts’ wife only looks good after a six pack. Henry is so stupid that if he won a gold medal he’d have it bronzed. Once Roberts uses his bar stool as a walker to get out here, Lawler is going to knock him sideways so everyone can recognize him. It’s very impressive how easily Lawler can have a crowd eating out of the palm of his hand like this.

Roberts finally comes out so Lawler pulls a huge bottle of booze from the bag. Jake pulls the snake out of his own bag to scare Lawler to the floor and the bell finally rings. Lawler looks for a microphone but Jake sends him face first into the steps and hammers away back inside. Back to the floor with Lawler being sent into various hard objects until he steals a drink from a fan to blind Jake. Henry: “So what is the fan going to drink?” Lawler gets one of the bottles from ringside but has to block a DDT attempt. Another DDT is countered and Jerry hits him in the throat with the bottle for the pin.

Rating: D. This was much more of an angle than a match with Lawler giving a great lesson in how to fire up a crowd. Roberts wouldn’t be around much longer before heading to ECW and the indies. This would lead to Henry’s first mini feud against Lawler which started got his career going in slow motion.

We’ll wrap it up with a match from 2002 at the World Wrestling Legends reunion show.

Kamala vs. Jake Roberts

Oh dear. This needs to be very careful. I’m having flashbacks to Heroes of Wrestling. Jake’s eyes are squinting, he’s hunched over, he’s in an undershirt, he’s almost bald and his shirt is all stained. Thank goodness he’s fine. Kamala has a Kim Chee knockoff named Friday here. Jake crosses his heart to the referee that he won’t do anything wrong. Probably more like he solemnly swears he is up to no good.

Jim: Friday wishes it was Thursday. Somehow that makes sense. Nothing of note at all as they’ve barely made contact. Jim makes penis jokes to crack up the other two guys. The fans are all behind Jake here of course. Those racists. They finally make contact with Jake landing some punches. We hear about Kamala’s musical career which kind of kills the whole mystique of him but that kind of happened when he became a trained wrestler I think.

Kamala takes over with his awesome offense of chops and choking. We get a Missing Link and Jack Brisco comparison which for those of you that don’t know, is like comparing Shawn Michaels to Santino. Long nerve hold here that gets us as far as any other nerve hold would get us. This one is special though as Kamala is grabbing Jake under the arm. Did I mention these matches aren’t very good at all?

He hits the splash which goes nowhere of course. Did he ever beat a non jobber with that EVER? Friday steals the snake bag and Kamala tries to splash it, which would have worked had his stomach and not his thighs been the part that would have hit it. DDT to Friday and there’s the snake. Thankfully the reptile and not the anatomical one this time. Apparently Jake wins by DQ.

Rating: D. Yeah this was of course bad but the fans were way into it so there’s that going for it. Jake was at least coherent here and while fat and out of shape we got a DDT at least which the fans popped hard for. Jake is old but he still has his old characteristics working for him here. Decent match all things considered. Kamala is exactly the same.

Jake Roberts has long been recognized as a master of psychology. This covers a lot of different things. First of all, it was stuff like the slithering into the ring and the mind games he would play when talking. Having a snake around all the time is just freaky and messes with people’s minds. He was clearly a thinking wrestler rather than just someone who came in and had his match. That’s far more interesting than a lot of guys and it made him a lot more fun to watch. Oh and the DDT is pretty awesome.

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1 comment

  1. ted says:

    I think he could have had a run with the world title. That said Jake is awesome.