Jake 'The Snake' Roberts' 5 Greatest WWE Moments
Jake The Snake Roberts is about to have what I consider to be his sixth-greatest career moment.
On the weekend of WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans, he'll be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. This moment is extremely deserved and highly anticipated.
Roberts' career has been perhaps the most controversial of anyone in professional wrestling with the level of talent he possesses combined with the demons he's had to fight in the name of drug and alcohol addictions.
Over the past two years, the legendary wrestler began making headlines for positive reasons again as he committed to DDP Yoga and a new lifestyle which has him looking better than he has in over 20 years.
I've always considered him to be one of my top three favorite wrestlers of all time. I've always been captivated by his promos and the way he can play his character. He was in the main event of the first live wrestling event I ever went to.
I got one of the greatest thrills in my life when I was managing one of my good friends on a big independent wrestling show in Georgia that Roberts was also appearing at. The advice and conversation was tremendous.
In honor of his upcoming induction into the Hall of Fame, I've listed what I think to be his five greatest career moments in the order they occurred.
Creating the DDT
In the early part of the 1980s, Roberts was wrestling for the Mid-South wrestling territory. In a match against The Grappler, played by Len Denton, Roberts would create a brand-new move that's become one of the most famous in professional wrestling.
The creation of what became known as a DDT was an accident. We all know the move now as a wrestler standing, tucking his opponent's head in an inverted headlock before driving them down into the mat.
As Roberts recalls the story on his WWE-produced DVD Pick Your Poison, he tripped on Denton's foot, which caused Roberts to fall backwards and Denton to come crashing down to the mat with him. Denton, in the heat of the moment, realized people didn't view what had happened as a mistake. He continued to lay there and sell what had just took place.
It ended up being the blueprint for the motions of what would be turned into the famous move known as the DDT.
Feud with Ricky Steamboat
While it isn't one specific moment, the feud in 1986 with Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat is certainly a career highlight for Jake “The Snake” Roberts.
Everything from the high IQs both men had, to some intense physical moments and the battle of their two characters was excellent.
Steamboat and Roberts had great understandings of wrestling psychology. They knew what to do, when to do it and why. They were very good at the execution of their matches in conjunction with the story being told. This was seen through the several battles they had in the ring.
The feud, as a good one should, contained some intense physical moments. Most notably when Roberts gave the DDT to Steamboat on the outside of the ring, an idea that was pitched by WWE management. Roberts reportedly said it wasn't safe to do, but Steamboat agreed to it. The move would knock Steamboat unconscious and result in a concussion.
WWE also played off of their animal attributes by utilizing a snake, which Roberts became famous for bringing to the ring, and Steamboat having a Komodo dragon in his corner. It added an element of who has who, or what, in their corner that is still memorable 28 years later.
WrestleMania 3 with Alice Cooper
WrestleMania 3 was a record-setting event for WWE. It also featured one the best moments in Roberts' career.
It was the payoff for a feud with The Honky Tonk Man. Playing off of the musical aspect of the match as well as WrestleMania's gimmick of cross-promoting with celebrities, Roberts came to the ring in front of 93,000 people in the Pontiac Silverdome with rock star Alice Cooper by his side.
Roberts has admitted he was a big fan of Cooper's, and Cooper had been an accomplished rock star for many years at that point.
It forever puts Roberts together with an iconic figure in pop culture in the highlight reels. Roberts and Cooper will forever be shown in recaps of one of WWE's most important nights ever.
Snake Bites Macho Man
The most unique of Roberts' career moments would be when his snake would legitimately bite Macho Man Randy Savage.
The two had a heated rivalry which even included Roberts, along with The Undertaker, crashing the “wedding reception” of Savage and Miss Elizabeth.
In one WWE television segment as their feud was in high gear, Roberts had a cobra snake which latched onto the arm of Savage and wouldn't let go.
It brought a new level of reality to Roberts and his intimidating snake gimmick. It fit in perfectly with the reality-type feel their feud had, as it had stretched outside of what you would typically see. For WWE's audience, it was cutting-edge material, ahead of its time.
Macho Man was one of the biggest babyfaces for the company and Roberts was at the peak of his in-ring career in terms of exposure and talent. The two would remain constant rivals until Roberts left WWE in the spring of 1992.
Return on Old-School Raw with an Old-School Look
At the beginning of 2014, Roberts would make his first live appearance on WWE television in years. He hadn't looked so good in so long.
Equipped with bag over his shoulder and all-too-familiar walk to the ring, he came out as a surprise to end the vintage episode of Raw and help get rid of The Shield.
In recent years after improving his health, lifestyle and image, Roberts, along with his fans, have petitioned to see him back on WWE television in some capacity.
His entrance didn't lack a positive reaction, as it was the top story of the night. Other than his hair being short, Roberts contained the same charisma and the same healthy appearance he once had.
It was a great way to reintroduce a legend to the audience just weeks before he would be officially announced as an inductee for the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame class.
Justin LaBar is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He also is the creator of the Chair Shot Reality video talk show and Wrestling Reality radio show. He's been featured by various outlets, including several appearances on NBC Sports, and is recognized as a lead wrestling analyst in the country.