Canadian Wrestling's Elite will make seven stops in Saskatchewan later this month and joining the cast of characters will be WWE Hall of Famer, Jake "the Snake" Roberts.
Roberts conducted his first Saskatchewan interview with paNOW's Nigel Maxwell.
Nigel Maxwell: I know Jake, you are in Las Vegas right now enjoying the heat, but later this month you'll roll into northern Saskatchewan where the weather is a bit different. Have you ever been to Saskatchewan before?
Jake Roberts: (laughs) Hell, you know I've hit Saskatoon and Regina for the Harts, you know back in the day in 1976 and I froze my butt-off up there.
NM: There is a lot of excitement about you coming here. A lot of fans are wondering if you will be bringing a snake with you.
JR: You know snakes don't like cold weather, but you just never know what the hell I'm gonna bring. I don't even know what I'm bringing, I just know that I'm coming and I look forward to running into the fans I had back in the day. I love talking to the fans. I'm really enjoying my life now that I've sobered up and got clean. I had no idea getting clean and sober was this much fun to tell you the truth.
NM: Do you feel you've been given a second chance at life?
JR: I've probably had about 10,000 second chances, but that's the good thing about the good Lord. If you just finally give up, give in, and get right, you've still got one chance left. I took that chance and I am forever grateful to Diamond Dallas Page and DDP Yoga for helping me get through all that. It wasn't easy, it was very hard, but I’m now out touring, helping other people stuck in that bad wheel.
NM: At Wrestlemania XII, you wrestled the Undertaker. What do you remember about the build-up to that match?
JR: I remember all of it, I wrote most of it. Slamming his hand in the coffin that was my idea to do that stuff and when he hit me with the chair twenty damn times, that damn sure was my idea. He wouldn't have thought of it.
NM: What's the best piece of advice you have to give to the younger guys when they come to you?
JR: The best advice is less is more and don't do it if you can't do it right. That's what a lot of guys do, they go out and try things they can't do properly and anytime you destroy your credibility with the fans, then you're done and there's no getting it back.
NM: Your finisher, the DDT (when the wrestler has the opponent in a front facelock or inverted headlock, and falls down or backwards) seems is used by everyone nowadays. What are your thoughts on that?
JR: I think it's pretty funny, because all you're doing is telling people how much better I am than they are. Hell, if I ever hit you with a DDT, you didn't get up - bottom line. You did not get up and if you tried to get up, I'd make damn sure you couldn't get up. They waste a lot today. They want to go out and do 50,000 things and all they're doing is destroying their own credibility.
NM: You are still recognized today for the creepy and mysterious promos you did. What was your inspiration for those?
JR: I had my voice box crushed in 1975 and I can't yell so that made it a lot easier. If I try to yell, nothing comes out. I realized at a very young age if someone is screaming at me I'm not gonna listen to them. But if you whisper in a crowded room, everybody in that damn room will hear what you said.
NM: You were a big part of the Austin era, in fact the phrase Austin 3:16 was born after your match with him at the 1996 King of the Ring. Do you take credit for some of Austin's success?
JR: I was a big part of Steve's success even before that. You know when he first came to WWE, he was the Ringmaster. He had Dibiase talking for him, but that didn't help him at all; Dibiase didn't do great interviews. I saw in Steve, in a very early time in his career, he could be a top guy. Nobody else believed that but Jake Roberts in the beginning. I told Vince McMahon that's gonna be your biggest superstar yet and he laughed at me. Well then I went out and did the Austin 3:16 thing, and I wrestled that match with Steve, and I gave him everything I could give him, and made him a star. I'm not taking credit for it, the man did the damn work, but you know every night when he was on the road he would call me and talk to me about his match.
NM: What can fans expect from you when you come to town?
JR: I'm looking forward to being with the fans, signing autographs, taking pictures. I've got t-shirts to sell so people can keep them for a memory. I want to hear these peoples' favourite memories of Jake the Snake. That's where I get my joy in. But if something happens I don't like, you never know, I might get inside that ring and have one last match, but don't bet on it.
On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell
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