Posted by Chris Surrency
I should be focusing on a much loftier writing goal at the moment, but last night the twelve-year-old version of me got to live again for a brief moment as Raw went off the air, and I STILL can’t focus on anything else. I’ve said it many times; one of my all-time favorite workers in wrestling has been Jake Roberts. I still feel there’s nobody better at cutting a promo, past or present. My cousin pointed out last night that so many people have tried his approach over the last ten years without anyone coming close. He never had to yell; in fact, he went the opposite direction, speaking quietly so that you almost had to lean in to catch his words at times. His facial expressions, the way he worked his eyes as the words came out, that was where everything came together. When Jake talked about beating someone, hurting someone, you believed it and you felt that it was actually going to happen. Hearing the music last night, then seeing him walk out again, with the bag thrown over his shoulder, it took me back. It’s one thing for me to see Undertaker every so often, but seeing The Snake after all this time, finally seeming to be back in the good graces of WWE, it was an awesome moment. The only thing that could have capped that moment was him hitting a DDT on someone.
Jake has said many times that he would like a spot in the Royal Rumble, and while nobody expects him to actually win the match, I would love to see it just for the sake of watching him school some of the young guns in the ring. Bringing back The Snake could be a huge benefit for WWE, especially now that he seems to be living clean. If there’s one man who could tell you all about the pitfalls of the business and what it means to hit rock bottom, well that would be Scott Hall, but aside from him you have Jake Roberts. The man is a legend, and I’ve felt (sure, it’s a bit biased, but too damn bad) he deserved a spot in the Hall of Fame a LONG time ago. Now that he’s got things going in a good direction, he my finally get that final push and get his ring. It’s still insane to think that this is a man who never held a title of any kind during his WWE career, but he’s still an icon and still one of the most over workers that WWE has had in their history. If Triple H and Vince don’t find a way to turn this into a positive and get him in the fold in some way, helping shape the future, they will have failed at a massive business opportunity. There are so many different options that could keep Jake as a WWE name, and keep him in the company helping to grow the newcomers; you can’t just let this slip away. One way to utilize his talents would be having him as a manager, it would be a great move, and could lead to the DDT coming back as a dominant finisher.
There are plenty of newer workers who could be paired with The Snake, and while thinking it over all day today I’ve made up my mind of the person I would prefer in this position. I’ve floated multiple ideas for getting Drew McIntyre over; I would love to see Jake take him under his wing. While I don’t think that McIntyre really needs the mouthpiece, using the most over legend WWE has floated out in years as his mentor could easily elevate him to main event level. Hell, I could see Jake with his own stable, while I would like to see him aligned with Bray Wyatt, I think Bray does a good enough job on the mic and is building his own legacy through a creepy character. Maybe, in the hopes of turning them around, Jake Roberts takes all of 3MB under his wing and brings out an aggressive nature from the group, Slater and Mahal become the tag team standouts with McIntyre taking over the “star pupil” role. McIntyre has the voice to be an intimidating character like The Snake, just let him get the slow burn promo going and he’ll be in the top of the card in no time. I know, it’s a bit out there, and I’ll admit it’s pretty greedy; I would just love to get Jake Roberts back on WWE television in a productive manner.
There are people advocating a match in Jake’s future, and I’m not just talking about a potential spot in the Royal Rumble. I would be happy just to see him in the Rumble, hitting a few DDT’s, maybe getting a couple shots here and there, then being eliminated and taking a bow as he walks to the back. That being said, there are people who are saying that Jake should face Undertaker at WrestleMania 30, while this would pair two of my all-time favorites against one another in a rematch from ages ago. I don’t know if Jake is up for that type of match at the moment and we know that Undertaker may not be able to do Mania this year due to hip surgery. One thing I could see doing would be having Ambrose start a feud with him, those two facing off in the Rumble, then going into a feud for the US title. It would be nice to see him finally get WWE gold around his waist, then he could retire the title. It’s amazing that someone so talented and such an iconic name never once held a championship in WWE, not even the Intercontinental or Tag Team titles. I would like to say he should be given a short (even one-night) run with the WWE title, but that does seem a bit far-fetched currently. Although, I will admit, seeing Jake walk down the aisle with the WWE title over his shoulder instead of a snake, even for one night would be an awesome sight.
Anyone who grew up watching wrestling in the eighties and nineties would give an arm, leg, hell one of their nuts for that matter, to just take the place of Dean Ambrose last night. Seeing the smile on his face said it all, the respect that Jake Roberts gets is off the charts, and more than well deserved. Much like Scott Hall, there were plenty of moments when fans would sit back and almost start the countdown to when Jake Roberts would just be another ghost of wrestling past, in the literal sense of the word, seeing him come full circle last night; it was nothing short of amazing. I’m such a fan of this man and his work, I actually watched a TNA PPV just to see the man as a guest referee in a match, this was in the earlier days when I had zero interest in the company, that’s some hardcore drawing power. I marked out like a son of a bitch last night, hearing the music, then seeing Jake walk out the RAW logo with the bag over his shoulder. Part of it was nostalgia of course, the majority was adulation at this man who’s been to the bottom of the barrel and is now back clean and back where he belongs, on top of the world. I can only hope that this article somehow gets back to Jake himself, as a fan I would like nothing more than to be able to thank him for all the memories, and those to come. Also, I would like to welcome him back to where he belongs; hopefully we’ll finally get that Hall of Fame induction this year as well.
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