Years later, 'The Snake Pit' still has it
One of the most-popular items on WWE Match Jukebox for the month of July is Jake Roberts' "Snake Pit" interview with Hulk Hogan in the days before his epic battle against Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III. WWE.com caught up with Jake to ask him why he thinks this footage is still so popular almost 20 years later:
WWE.com: How does it feel to know how popular "The Snake Pit" still is after all these years?
Jake Roberts: It makes me feel good inside to know that people still want that because that tells me that the 32 years I've been in this business weren't wasted. It's a hell of a compliment and I thank all the fans. That makes me feel good on the inside to know that I'm still someone that people still want to see or touch base with or go back to because there was something unique about me — something unique about what I did. And to me, that's all the glory I need.
WWE.com: What comes to mind when you think about "The Snake Pit" from over the years?
Roberts: Well, the shock of having it come about was probably the first thing. It freaked me out. I mean, I had no idea it was coming. After that, it was being able to go out there and play with that show and use my own mind and go in different directions. The ultimate, I guess was when Honky Tonk Man was on there, and he hit me with a guitar. It's never happened that with two people on a set — one a fan-favorite and one disliked — with one swing of a guitar, we both changed positions. I went from being hated to liked and he went from being liked to being hated. That's unique. I had never seen it happen before, and I don't think it'll ever happen again. It was a really unique situation.
WWE.com: Why did it surprise you so much to get the opportunity to do "The Snake Pit?"
Roberts: Well, I guess I've always been the last one to appreciate my talent. I've always taken myself apart, always felt like I could do better, always thought I was cutting things short. When you're a kid, and all your life you're told you're not good enough, all of a sudden you're there (on the big stage), you still don't believe it. And to have Mr. McMahon and WWE decide I was worthy of that just blew me away because there was so much talent there at the time. And to be chosen to do that, it just blew me away.
WWE.com: How do you feel it went looking back on it with that perspective?
Roberts: I think it could have been better had I taken advantage of the vehicle they had given me to drive. I've never been one to be selfish, and sometimes I guess in life you have to be selfish and I have a hard time doing that. Some people are givers and some people are takers; well, I'm a giver. I always strive to make the other guy the Cadillac and I was happy being the Pinto.
WWE.com: Does that mean you used your time in "The Snake Pit" as a forum for the other person on the segment with you?
Roberts: I think absolutely I did. Yeah, I think if I had been more selfish and self-serving, I would have been financially better off, but I wouldn't have been happy. Looking back, I'd probably do it the same damn way again because that's just the way I am.
WWE.com: So, that being said, what do you think about the way Carlito conducts the "Cabana" and Chris Jericho conducts "The Highlight Reel" interview segments?
Roberts: Recently, they're just taking care of themselves. You can't do that.
For the most part, though, I do think Carlito's doing well with his segment. I love the hair. I wish I had some of it. It just seems so different being in the ring for interviews. To me, the ring has always been for wrestling. With interview segments in the ring, things are much more out of control — more "anything-goes" than we did years ago. But I do appreciate it.
Jericho does a fine job with the microphone. I've always liked his cocky attitude. Things change, times change. There's different ways of doing things, and all changes are good because you have to go from one thing to the next thing. You can just leave it the same old thing and let it get stale.
WWE.com: Have we seen the last of "The Snake Pit?"
CLICK HERE for the complete July Jukebox collection, including The Snake Pit with Hulk Hogan