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Sunday, 12 January 2014

Slithering back: Jake "The Snake" Roberts on his triumphant return



No one ever expected to see Jake “The Snake” Roberts in a WWE ring again – including Jake himself. During the 1980s and ’90s, the native of Stone Mountain, Ga., became a household name and his likeness adorned everything from lunchboxes to action figures. The Snake’s short-arm clothesline and DDT were as ubiquitous as Hogan’s big boot and leg drop. His interviews were the stuff of legend and his rivalries were among the most intense WWE had ever seen.  But Jake’s path took a dark turn after his last WWE match 17 years ago.

For decades, one of WWE’s most talented performers battled life’s greatest struggles. Personal tragedies and intense addictions haunted The Snake away from the squared circle, keeping him from a homecoming to the fans that loved to both cheer and boo him. But a little more than one year ago, chatter began to surface that Jake was getting his life back on track thanks to Diamond Dallas Page. And just before the Jan. 6 edition of Raw went off the air, there he was, looking better than ever, snake bag slung over his shoulder, ready to wreak havoc on the roster. It was as triumphant a return as ever before witnessed in the world of sports-entertainment.
Watch Jake's shocking return on Old School Raw

Just days following this emotional comeback, WWE.com spoke with the venerated competitor in an eye-opening, one-on-one conversation to discuss Jake’s darkest days and long journey to recovery. This is a story of heartache, a story of redemption, a story of pride. This is how Jake “The Snake” Roberts rose once again. Trust us.
WWE.COM: How did your return at Old School Raw come about?
JAKE ROBERTS: I got a call from [Diamond] Dallas [Page] on Saturday afternoon saying, “Dude, are you sitting down? Are you alone?” He told me WWE wanted to talk with me about an opportunity. At that point, I went completely blank. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t make sense of what was inside my head. It has been such a journey for me. They told me they were going to play it really old school by keeping it a secret from everybody, which was pretty cool. It brought back a lot of memories.
WWE.COM: How were you kept hidden backstage?
JAKE: They said I was going to fly into a different airport so nobody saw me. I flew into Washington instead of Baltimore. They picked me up there and told me to call when I was 10 minutes away from the building so they could smuggle me in. I went to one of the busses and I stayed on there until about 10 minutes before the whole thing. I had no idea what we were going to do. At about five o’clock, after I had been there for about four or five hours, I was told what was going on. I was told to chill out and they’d bring me food and to call a number if I needed anything. It was a good, because it gave me time to reflect about where I’d been and what got me there.

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