Jake "The Snake" Roberts has one of those names that is synonymous with the sport of professional wrestling. His rhyming name was used as comic fodder on many classic TV shows, including an episode of Punky Brewster. The classic name belonged to a classy wrestler. He was born into greatness, as the son of Grizzly Smith. And Jake Roberts proved that despite being a second generation wrestler, he could make a name for himself. This is a list of Jake "The Snake" Roberts greatest matches of all time.
7. Jake The Snake vs Earthquake
One of the riskiest things the WWF did in 1991 was an angle between the mighty Earthquake and Jake "The Snake" Roberts. On an episode of their syndicated program Superstars. Earthquake, a 400 lb former sumo wrestler who was afraid of snakes, wrestled our hero Jake "The Snake" Roberts. The match itself wasn't much. It consisted of a few punches and a knee to the face. The reason the match is so great, is because of the devastating end. After Earthquake got back in the ring, he was able to tie Jake "The Snake" up in the ropes. With Jake unable to protect his pet snake Damien, Earthquake got the snake and put him in the middle of the ring. He then trampled the snake several times, ultimately killing the snake. Kids in the audience were crying. Heck, parents in the audience were crying. It was a very risky storyline for its time, and easily one of the most memorable.
6. Jake The Snake vs Stone Cold Steve Austin
Jake "The Snake" Roberts received a decent push upon his return to the World Wrestling Federation in 1996. He had completed rehab for drug and alcohol addiction, and was trying to re-establish himself as a major player. He made it to the finals of the King Of The Ring pay per view in June 1996. And standing on the opposite of the ring was a relative newcomer to the WWF, Steve Austin. This match is one of Jake's greatest matches because it was the beginning of the "Stone Cold" Steve Austin persona that would later bring the wrestling world into a stratosphere of success. Despite the match being no more than 6 minutes in length, it gave birth the the "Austin 3:16" catchphrase, which tore into mainstream America like wild fire. The short battle was very significant in the history of professional wrestling.
5. Jake The Snake vs Rick "The Model" Martel
Jake "The Snake" Roberts was a good wrestler, but he was by no means the best. Another one of his greatest matches is with Rick Martel at Wrestlemania 7. And again, this match is great, not because of the action, but because of it's significance in wrestling history. The match between Jake and Martel was a "blindfold match." Both wrestlers wore black hoods over their heads so they couldn't see. This came about because earlier in the year, Martel sprayed cologne is Jake's eyes, which caused Jake to become blind in one eye. So, to get even, Jake challenged Martel to a blindfold match. The match was decent considering the participants presumably couldn't see each other. The crowd was really into the match though, and wanted to see Jake get his revenge. And he certainly did, as Jake hit his patented DDT to finish Martel off and end their feud. To this day, it is the only blindfold match ever on a WWF/ WWE pay per view.
4. Jake The Snake vs Rick Rude
"Ravishing" Rick Rude, much like Jake, was one of a kind. The man could have a good match with a wooden broom. Luckily, Jake was not a wooden broom. Jake was a tremendous athlete in his own right. On an episode of WWF programming, Rude had a picture of Robert's wife Cheryl painted on his tights. Obviously upset, Roberts attacked Rude. And thus, the feud began. And in October 1988, the two met in the squared circle. The 20 minute match started off with some great chain wrestling, with Roberts working over Rude's chiseled arm. Rude paid an effective bad guy. At one point he even ties Jake up in the ropes and chases after Cheryl, who was at ringside. The two wrestlers keep the match fairly basic. But the crowd remained with it, and the match told a fantastic story. Jake got the pin after a quick roll up, leaving Rude embarrassed for the loss.
3. Jake The Snake vs The Undertaker
On April 5Th 1992, Jake "The Snake" Roberts became the 2ND man in the long lineage of opponents who lost to The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. As friends, the two ruined Randy Savage's wedding party at Summerslam 91. However, The Undertaker had a change of heart and refused to help Roberts continue his reign of terror in the WWF. The match was decent and Jake proved a formidable opponent for The Dead Man. Jake hit his finishing maneuver, The DDT, two times on The Undertaker that night. But it wasn't enough to keep him down for the pin. In an anti-climatic finish, The Undertaker approached Roberts on the outside and gave him a Tombstone Piledriver. Roberts head was noticeably inches from the ground. The match is one of Jake's greatest due to it's significance. This was Jake "The Snake" Roberts last WWF match for almost 4 years.
2. Jake The Snake vs Macho Man Randy Savage
In 1992, WWF aired it's first Saturday Nights Main Event on the upstart broadcast network FOX. And one of the featured matches was Macho Man Randy Savage versus Jake Roberts. This was the culmination of a feud that started back at Summerslam 91. During the feud, Roberts would harass Miss Elizabeth, Savages wife. He also attacked Savage with a King Cobra, which resulted in a nasty snake bite to Savages arm. The 8 minute brawl on Saturday Nights Main Event was a heated back and forth melee between the two grizzled veterans. They took the action to the outside several times, with Savage eventually dropping a devastating double ax handle from the top rope, sending Jake into the steel guard rail. Even after Savage won the fight, he continued the onslaught on Roberts, getting his revenge on The Snake for messing with him and his beautiful wife Elizabeth.
1. Jake The Snake vs Ricky Steamboat
Roberts will be remembered for his babyface run in the World Wrestling Federation. However, the character was a very effective heel as well. And that quality shows no better than in his match with Ricky Steamboat on June 27Th 1986 at The Boston Garden. The packed crowd was solidly behind Steamboat, and Jake immediately starts hammering Ricky with hard rights. Jake "The Snake" Roberts had some of the best punches in the wrestling industry. Add that to Steamboat's tremendous selling, and you've got a match that would make the most cold hearted fan care. The two went back and forth for the better part of 20 minutes, with Jake taking the more aggressive role. The match ended with Steamboat being counted out, which was just a way for the WWF to continue the feud between the two superstars.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts was one of the greatest workers in pro wrestling history. Unfortunately, Jake had his personal demons. Addiction to drugs and alcohol has turned Jake into a shadow of his former self. Despite this, Jake's wealth of influence on the industry will not be forgotten. His greatest matches of all time will be studied forever.
mike peterson on March 13, 2017:
jake Roberts was one of the greatest that didn't get an shot at an title.
Alex deCourville on May 29, 2016:
Good list - I recently watched The Big Event, and I was wondering where Jake vs. Steamboat would be.