Jake Roberts Recalls Time Snake Choked Him Out

Jake Roberts holding his signature snake.

Jake Roberts has recounted an occasion when living up to his moniker went horribly wrong, and his signature snake managed to choke him out in the ring.

Competing for the likes of Mid-South Wrestling, Mid-Atlantic Wrestling and Georgia Championship Wrestling during the early part of his career, Jake “The Snake” Roberts ended up signing for WWE in 1986.

It was at this point Roberts started bringing a snake to the ring, originally a Burmese Python although that did change throughout his time with the company.

However, whilst the snake was designed to intimidate his opponents there was one occasion where it decided to turn the tables on its owner.

Speaking on a recent episode of his DDP Sake Pit podcast, Jake Roberts gave details of the time he was having a match with Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, and his snake managed to choke him out mid-match and his opponent, despite his fear of snakes, came to the rescue.

Ricky Steamboat had to pull one off of me in Indianapolis that choked me out in the match.

I collapsed, went down, and Steamboat’s seeing that the snake was around my throat and that I was turning and he knew to unwind the snake. You can’t break the snake’s grip because what happens when you lay across their scales like this, their scales interlock You can’t break that lock. So you have to either get the head or the tail and unravel them. Well, Steamboat unravelled it then let go because Steamboat is afraid of snakes too.

As I come to, the snake is going into the fourth row and the tail, luckily, is still in the ring. And I lunge and grab the tail and I whip it all back in. It’s about a 17 footer. Because the people were starting the red sea movement where they’re all running and screaming. It was pretty incredible.

Jake Roberts went on to remember the next time he returned to Indianapolis where the incident took place, and how at one point he feared he was going to be arrested over the incident.

We went back to Indianapolis about three months later. As soon as I got there, I thought I was fixing to be arrested because the police were coming and the building manager and I’m like, ‘What have I done?’ They’re like, ‘Did you bring the same snake?’ I’m like, ‘Why?’ ‘Because, man, everyone called wanting to know if it’s the same snake because they want to watch that son-of-a-b*tch kill you’. I’m like, ‘Oh I love my fans’.

The WWE Hall Of Famer also recently spoke on the podcast about how he once intentionally injured an opponent who had been working too stiff with him in matches.

With thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.