Jake (The Snake) Roberts is coming to Nanaimo next week to talk some old-time wrestling.
Roberts, a member of the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame, will be speaking at the Queen’s on Wednesday (Nov. 18) as part of the Unspoken Word Comedy Tour, telling stories.
“All the stories that you wondered about [from] the road, and all the crazy antics the guys pulled on each other, the practical ribs,” he said.
He’ll talk about the old days with Andre the Giant, (Macho Man) Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat and other superstars of the era.
“I just talk about things that happened during those days,” Roberts said. “Some of them are pretty hilarious, and you add in all the snake stories that I have.”
Roberts and his Burmese python Damien were fan favourites in the World Wrestling Federation from the mid 1980s to early ’90s, involved in memorable feuds against the Honky Tonk Man and (Ravishing) Rick Rude.
Pro wrestling has evolved since then, and Roberts doesn’t always agree with the direction it’s heading. He’s actually gotten involved in a new promotion, Classic Wrestling Revolution, which is slated to start in Las Vegas in January and will try to teach 64 young wrestlers “the right way, the old way,” Roberts said.
He prefers shows with more wrestling than talking, and not so much of the “high-flying stuff and ridiculous things” like weapons.
“Let’s take it back to the ring and actually wrestle,” he said. “Let’s have some fun with it, yeah, but let’s create new characters. That’s one thing that’s been forgotten, is how do you make another Jake (The Snake) Roberts? Well, it can be done, but it takes time; it doesn’t happen overnight. I think the problem with today is these kids are being shoved out there in the spotlight way before they’re ready and they can’t carry it. Maybe I’m wrong, but maybe I’m right, so let’s find out.”
Along with his wrestling tales, Roberts will also share more personal stories about the not-so-good ol’ days – his battles with alcoholism and drug addiction.
“I made it through that mess and I’m three years sober now and feeling absolutely wonderful…” Roberts said. “Talking about my addiction and my alcoholism helps me. It makes me feel stronger and that’s really important.”
So there’s no shortage of stories to tell, and Roberts is “having a great time” telling them on his tour.
“I’m meeting the people that have supported me for 30, 40 years,” he said. “Wrestling fans, they’re the best on the planet. They’re so forgiving, they never give up on you and they’re always there when you need them. Wrestling fans are awesome, man.”
BELL TIME … Jake (The Snake) Roberts speaks at the Queen’s on Wednesday (Nov. 18). Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance at Lucid, The Dog’s Ear, Desire Tattoo, The Queen’s, or online at ticketzone.com. Tickets will be $35 at the door. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/gotpopconcerts.