Jake “The Snake” Roberts Talks About Staying Drug Free, DDP, Scott Hall, WWE HOF & More
Jake “The Snake” Roberts joined Busted Open with Dave Lagreca and Doug Mortman. Here are some highlights from the interview.
On how he’s doing: “A little sore. It’s three weeks now since the surgery and as usual I’m impatient. That’s the reason I’m not a doctor today, I have no patience. I want to get back at it and I was able to do a few minutes of DDP Yoga yesterday and today and it’s sore. The thing that hurt me was not the bone spurs, although I do have a trophy sized bone spur, the doctor told me I had the biggest bone spur he’d ever seen in his life, they did a thing called micro-fracturing. That’s where they drill lots of holes in the joint itself and let it bleed for a little bit, and then they scrape the arthritis off of it. That seems to be what has really made it tender. The doctor, I went to see him a couple weeks ago, he told me four to six months to rehab it because of the micro-fracturing. It was the left shoulder. The left shoulder is the one you use all those years wrestling. That’s the one that got messed up. It’s something now that’s behind me and I like a lot of things in my life right now. My life right now has never been as nice as it is today.
How he’s doing it drug-free: “If I get anything it’s given to Dallas and he gives it to me when it’s time. I don’t hold onto any of my pills, including the antabuse, which is my choice to take antabuse. Antabuse is my crutch, because if you drink on that stuff it will damn near kill you. Not that I’ve wanted to drink because I haven’t, but you know what, man? At my age, I thought, you know what, why not take the crutch. If you break a leg, chances are you’re going to use a crutch. Its plan B, to protect my ass. I don’t mind doing it. It was my idea, I’ve given all my meds over to him, and it was my idea. I wasn’t really into the pills. I liked cocaine. I have not had one real test on that. I haven’t had cravings, which is a blessing from god, because I’ve tried to quit that stuff before and it used to aggravate the hell out of me. But just the doctors whole attitude of being positive, doing the right thing, waking up in the morning; I’m out of that bed, I’m happy, I feel good other than the aches and pains, and I should have aches and pains, I’ve got a history of aches and pains, 37 years wrestling. To be 65 pounds lighter, I’ve got a little spring in my step. I can move, man, and I feel good. I’m doing squats, I can’t do the upper body yet so I do the lower body. Never say never, man, because I would have never thought that I could have came back from where I was at. I didn’t want to.
“To be back feeling like this and to be excited about life again, to have dreams again. I quit dreaming, I had achieved all my dreams many years ago and I didn’t get any new ones. I destroyed the ones I had, I pissed all over them, screwed them up. But my history is not my destiny, that’s what I live by today. I can’t change what’s behind me.”
On other industry professionals reaching out to him: “Yeah, there’s been several. One being Jerry Brisco. Jerry Brisco, his health was failing and stuff and now he’s doing DDP Yoga. It doesn’t take long for this stuff to get a hold of you and let you know that help is here. DDP to me stands for dedication, desire and positive attitude. Diamond Dallas Page is so positive I want to punch him in the face. It’s like; just shut the F- up, dude. If you ever had a bad day, please shut up and leave me alone. But he’s just positive. It’s the way he lives. It’s working and it’s helped other people and it’s helped me so much. Now we got Scott Hall living with us. He’s 37 days sober now. So the craft works.”
Deciding to work with DDP: “Well, when he got me on the phone and offered me the program, I’ll be straight up with you, he sounded like a woman, I was like, shut the F- up and leave me alone, Dallas. Finally I said, ok, ok, just send the crap to me, I’ll do it just so I can get off the phone and go get my booze and my pills, that’s the truth. And I agreed to try. Then when it got there, I thought that looks pretty simple, I can do this crap. I quit eating gluten, cut off the dairy and within 2 weeks I’d lost 7 or 8 pounds. You know, it had been so long since I had accomplished anything positive. There’s something in my mind that went, man, you could. There was hope. That week, that 10 days, that 8 pounds, lit the fire. It had been so long since I had had a good feeling in my body about wanting to be alive again. I didn’t go out anywhere. I wasn’t out partying, I was strung up in a hole, hiding from everybody because I didn’t want you to see me, I didn’t want you to see what I looked like. Just a horrible way of life. For me to lose that way got me thinking maybe I can. It’s like that little storybook train, yes I can, yes I can, each week a couple more pounds. 5 pounds come off. 10 pounds come off. The next thing you know, I’m 20 pounds down and that’s a big change.”
If he would want to be a part of the WWE Hall of Fame: “Absolutely. In the past, I was angry, I said stuff I shouldn’t have said, blew some things out of proportion and guess what? Nobody’s 100% right all the time and I’ve made some pretty bad remarks about certain people going in that I didn’t think should be in there and I’ve got to learn to shut my mouth. It’s not up to me who goes in. All I will tell you is this; I appreciate the things WWE did for me. I’m ashamed of myself in a way that I threw away opportunities for whatever reason, whether it was the drugs, or whether I got pissed off, or whether they screwed me over, whatever, there is no good reason to throw away the talent that I had. If the lord wants me to, and Vince McMahon wants me to, I’ll go into the Hall of Fame. But if it doesn’t happen, that’s ok too, I’m at a good place in my life and I’ve got a lot of things that I want to accomplish before I leave this planet and one of them would be going into the Hall of Fame, sure. Another one would be to close my career the way I wanted to. To go back out there one last time. I pity the poor fools who get in my way, because that’s what I’m working towards. I’m working towards going out the way I wanted to. I’ve got to get back out there because whenever I quit, I had to quit because I couldn’t hardly walk, my feet were so messed up, my hands were so messed up, I couldn’t straighten them out, my feet or my hands. Now I got that all taken care of. I’m not on the meds anymore for my hands or feet, which is amazing.”
If Scott Hall can get to where he is now: “Yes. I’m watching the guy, he’s walking around with a cane right now. He’s seen what I did, now do you think for one moment that man is going to let me out-do him? He and I are a lot alike. We’re in this house together and we help each other. Scott coming here, I get as much out of it as he does, because there’s those times when things start coming up in your head and I look over and can tell when Scott’s having a bad moment, and he can read me when I’m having a bad moment. He knows what to look for. Diamond Dallas Page does not know what it’s like to go through the crap that we went through. He didn’t have the drug problem or the alcohol problem that we did. He doesn’t know what the head does during those moments. So we’re able to help each other and talk to each other and help each other out.”