I think I speak for a lot of wrestling fans when I say that we've seen far too many wrestlers suffer once their in-ring careers are over, and in some cases they die young, too.
It's the worst and most difficult thing about being a wrestling fan.
It pains us to see it happen because we feel like we know these larger-than-life characters, even though we're really just fans watching them on television. The bad stories get too much attention. That's how society is. Too many people kick others when they are down. That's not we're here for, though.
There are good stories.
That's why I'm here to tell you about the amazing story of wrestling legend Jake "The Snake" Roberts and the help he has received from his friend, fellow wrestling legend Diamond Dallas Page.
Before I get to the great news about Roberts, it needs to be stated that Roberts was a wrestler who made a lot of impact on wrestling in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He started in the World Wrestling Federation in 1986, and his main run there lasted until 1992. He was mostly a during that run, but it was his heel work that made him stand out to me.
His promos were among the best in the business. They were so good that they legitimately scared the hell out of me when I was 11 or 12 years old. In recent years I can remember seeking out Roberts' promos because I remembered how much of an impact they made on me when I was a kid. Not surprisingly, they were as great as I remembered.
In the ring, Roberts was also a great storyteller. As a , he always found a way to keep the fans emotionally invested in his matches and was great at making that heroic comeback. As a heel, he wrestled at a methodical pace, used mind games and found creative ways to get out of there with the victory no matter what he had to do.
What people remember most about his finishing career was his finishing move, the DDT. With his opponents head tucked under his arm, he would drive his other hand into the back of his opponent and send their head crashing into the mat below.
It's a move that lives on because so many wrestlers use variations of it, but there's no question that Roberts is considered to be the one who really made that move famous.
Here's a promo from Roberts before his match at VI with Ted. Listen to how he delivered the promo without raising his voice, yet he had such a masterful way of telling his story and getting his point across that it worked as well as any talker in the history of wrestling.
I also think did a great job of shooting a close-up on his face as he talked, because his eyes made you fear him. He had mastered the art of the promo.
That was Roberts. Here is the heel storyline that Roberts was most famous for: his snake biting the arm of Randy Savage. This was in the fall of 1991. I was 11 years old and Randy Savage was my favorite wrestler. Believe me when I tell you that this was the saddest day ever for this Savage fan, or at least it was up there with Randy's "retirement" earlier in the year.