Jake 'The Snake' Roberts is a second-generation professional wrestler best known for his years with the WWE in the late eighties and early nineties when he feuded with their top tier talent, including Stone Cold Steve Austin, Andre The Giant, Randy Savage, The Undertaker, and Sid Justice. He was notable for his mic work, cutting dark, cerebral promos, for bringing his live, pet snakes into the ring, and for innovating the 'DDT' maneuver. Unfortunately, years of family troubles and drug abuse (and his resulting in-ring behavior) have made him notorious, and he has had trouble maintaining employment with any of the large companies, though he has worked continually on the road as an independent since his WWE days.Stone Cold Steve Austin, who had been on the cusp of breaking out and just needed a really good catchphrase, defeated Jake to win the King of the Ring Tournament in 1996. In Austin's victory promo, in re the supposed born-again Christian Jake having referenced John 3:16, Austin struck gold with the following.
AUSTIN: "You say your prayers and you thump your Bible and it didn't get you anywhere. You talk about your Psalms, you talk about your 'John 3:16,' well Austin 3:16 says I just whooped your ass!"
Child by Rape: Jake's father raped the 13 year old daughter of a woman he was dating. Jake was the result.
This story has been challenged by some, though.
Digital Bikini: Inversion—Roberts was feuding with lady-killer "Ravishing" Rick Rude and Rude began to wear tights with a portrait of Roberts' wife on them, claiming they had been together. Roberts made good on his promise to rip the tights off Rude if he ever wore them again, leaving Rude running from the arena trying to cover his blurred crotch, despite the fact that he was actually wearing flesh-colored underwear.
Finishing Move: The DDT, which he innovated, which has since become a standard move in every wrestler's repertoire. It is unknown whether the name refers to the illegal pesticide or some now-forgotten acronym.
One of the theories says it stands for "Damien's Dinner Time", perhaps because anybody on the receiving end of it would be in no condition to stop Jake's pet python Damien from eating him. Another story says it stands for "Drop Dead Twice." When Roberts was asked for its meaning, he simply (and famously) replied: "The end."
Never Work with Children or Animals: WCW booked a match between Sting and Jake where the finish was for Jake to sic a (real, but devenomed) cobra on Sting, only to have it turn on him. But Jake couldn't get the snake to bite him, so he ended up holding it to his face while it flailed stupidly.
"I was never able to tell the difference between Jake Roberts the performer and Jake Roberts the person, because frankly I never knew which one I was talking to. I don't know that they're not the same." -Vince McMahon in Beyond The Mat
Temporary Blindness: Lasting several months, after 'The Model' Rick Martel sprayed him in the face with cologne—eventually leading to a 'blindfold match'.
Throw It In: Roberts stated that the DDT was invented accidentally when, in a match with Len Denton, he had Denton in a front facelock and literally tripped over the man's feet, falling backwards and driving him into the mat. It looked completely brutal (and, if not done correctly by either man, can lead to serious head or neck injuries), so instead of saying "Dammit, Jake, don't trip in the ring!" it was decided he would do it every time he would win a match.
Unrelated Brothers: Jake's brother was wrestler Sam Houston, and their sister was Women's Champion Rockin' Robin, though neither relationship was ever acknowledged.
Prior to that, Jake was originally planned to feud with Hulk Hogan for the WWE Championship in the 80's, but as Jake himself put it: "I DDT Hogan on the stage, the crowd starts chanting Jake The Snake, and Vince immediately pulled the plug".
Wrestling Psychology: Jake is widely considered to be one of the finest practitioners of wrestling psychology, to the point where younger wrestlers are often sent to him for an education in the art. Despite having a pot belly, skinny legs and a quite limited moveset, Jake was always massively over with the fans due to a combination of his classic promos and uncanny knack to always do the right thing in the ring, when it was the right time to do it. Even modern day stars like Randy Orton have been schooled by Jake in the art of Psychology.