Jake “The Snake” Roberts returned to WWE in 1996 after a four-year hiatus, and while Roberts made an appearance at that year’s Royal Rumble and the finals of the 1996 King of the Ring, Roberts was nowhere to be found at WrestleMania XII.
“The biggest problem was I was out of shape,” Roberts said on the latest “Snake Pit” episode. “It was all on me. I was 40-50 pounds overweight.” At the time, Roberts was struggling with sobriety, no thanks to storylines like the one that saw Jerry Lawler pour whiskey in Jake’s face.
Roberts’s co-host brought up a story that Roberts had told about wishing he’d asked for six months to get in shape instead of returning at the Royal Rumble, to which Roberts said that he still feels that way.
Roberts was released from WWE in 1997, just over a year after his return. This led to a downward spiral for Roberts which saw him end up on the independent circuit, as well as the infamous Heroes of Wrestling show in 1999, where Roberts languished until rooming with Diamond Dallas Page, becoming something of a pet project for DDP. DDP was able to help the WWE Hall of Famer get sober, a story which was documented in the film “The Resurrection of Jake The Snake,” and later an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Since then Roberts has been a presence in AEW, managing Lance Archer and also being announced as a member of AEW’s community outreach program alongside Mark Henry, Paul Wight, and Shawn Dean.
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