Jake Roberts Opens Up On Overcoming Addiction, AEW, & Tony Khan


Jake Roberts is a different man today than the man he once was, and it’s all for the best. He’s healthier. He’s better. And more importantly, he’s happier.

Jake “The Snake” rose through the territories to become one of the biggest stars of the WWE (then known as WWF) in the 1980s and into the early 1990s. Carrying his pal Damien by his side, and knocking opponents out with his signature DDT, crowds roared their approval during his matches. But things began to fall apart for Roberts.


Drug and alcohol addictions began to dictate his life and before long, Roberts was out of wrestling altogether. Roberts has not been a closed book when it comes to battling his demons. Far from it. A documentary was made about his battle with addiction and his path back to recovery entitled The Resurrection of Jake The Snake. He has also discussed his troubles on VICE TV’s Dark Side of the Ring.

Roberts has since resuscitated his career. He was inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame as part of their 2014 class. He joined AEW and became the manager for Lance Archer, and he still remains under contract with Tony Khan’s promotion. He’s also got his own podcast titled The Snake Pit.

In a recent interview, he sat down to discuss all those topics and more. Highlights of his chat with Bleacher Report can be read below:

How his relationships with his family have changed after his past mistakes: “It’s gotten better. My oldest daughter and I are now golden. I have another daughter who’s golden. I have twin boys who are golden. But I do have four other children, who are still holding their ground. I understand it. I’m not trying to shove anything down their throats. Just to show how powerful drugs and alcohol are, I chose drugs and alcohol over a family. How insane is that? I look back now and wonder, ‘What in the hell were you thinking?’ I wasn’t thinking. Once that addiction has you, the only thing that matters is your drug. That’s all.”

His story being an inspiration and helping people: “Currently, I have two or three people that I’m working with—one being Buff Bagwell. We’re trying to get Buff on the straight and narrow. It’s a process, and it’s not easy. It takes time, especially for those who did it long-term. When you do something religiously, 24/7, then you stop, there’s a little thing in your brain that goes crazy and says, ‘Hey, where’s the next drink at? Where’s this?’ It’s a bad habit.

“With me, I went to the top. There was nobody any better than me. They may have had belts and stuff, but that doesn’t mean you’re any better. I was the very best. To go from there—not to the bottom of the barrel, but under it—that’s where I was at. The opportunity to come out of it, I’m forever grateful to Diamond Dallas Page for saving my life. He saved my life by giving me the opportunity to get sober.”

Backstage reaction to him in AEW: “Y’know, the one thing I’m not real happy with is that the younger talent—I don’t know if they’re intimidated by me or what—don’t come to me and ask for advice. They don’t come to me and ask for help. A few have. If the shoe were on the other foot, I’d be right up in the middle of it. That’s what I’m there for. I’m there to help them. That’s my job. And I can help them so much.”

His thoughts on Tony Khan: “I just hope these bad moments don’t sour him. They certainly could. He might eventually get tired of having s–t thrown into his face. He just pushes it off, but I don’t know how long he can do that. I pray that it’s never an issue. As he gets more salt under his feet and gets focused…he has so many things going on. It’s not just AEW. He’s got ROH, the NFL…I don’t know how in the hell he does it. To me, it would be impossible. I wouldn’t even attempt it.”

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