Last Sunday, Newsday.com reported that 57-year-old Jake "The Snake" Roberts was preparing for another pro wrestling comeback, despite his age, injuries and substance abuse problems.
Not only is this one last shot at redemption, but also an opportunity to help out an old friend and get some positive publicity for himself. That's because he's moving in to live with Diamond Dallas Page for several weeks, who will teach him yoga and get him back in shape, while cameras roll for a planned documentary, which will likely serve as an infomercial for Page to push his "Yoga for Regular Guys Workout" books and DVDs.
This isn't a carny stunt by a snake oil salesman, as Page's yoga does seem to work, with many current WWE wrestlers following his program, due to the belief that it strengthens their backs and can help heal nagging injuries. Most notably, Chris Jericho has publicly advocated Page's ideas, claiming that yoga allowed him to make his latest WWE comeback ten months ago after thinking his career was over upon suffering a herniated disc while shooting Dancing with the Stars in April, 2011. But Page has likely bitten off more than he can chew here.
Part of the reality show gimmick is that Page will teach the old fuddy-duddy how to use Facebook and Twitter, with the idea being social media will manage to keep him occupied and thereby away from all the booze and pills:
"That house, I reached out to a couple of my friends, and asked, ‘What are we going to call my new crib?' And we came up with ‘Accountability Crib,' you're accountable for everything."
To that end, Page and Yu said that Roberts will be drug-tested while he's in the home.
"If he does that [stuff] one time while he's with me, he's gone," Page said.
I think anyone whose aware of the alleged presence of the Nefarious Wrestling Twitter Hacker that strikes late at night against vulnerable wrestling personalities would realise that social media is not the answer to anyone's drug addiction problems.
Unfortunately, it doesn't seem Page's clean living philosophy has rubbed off on the old Snake. According to WrestlingInc.com, the day before Newsday's article was published, Roberts apparently showed up drunk at an indy event he was wrestling on and caused a scene:
"Roberts was booked for an independent show in La Marque, Texas on Saturday night for the Coastal Wrestling Federation where he was set to face a wrestler named Johnny Blade. According to fans in attendance, Roberts had been drinking and got upset when he felt his opponent was getting too much attention, more than Roberts himself.
Roberts reportedly confronted Blade during a mid-show promo in the ring. The story goes that Roberts ordered a confused referee to the ring, hit Blade in the head and then fell on top of him for a quick, sloppy pin. Roberts then reportedly walked straight from the ring to his car and left."
Unsurprisingly, Roberts disputed the accounts and had a dubious explanation for what went down:
"I spoke with Jake this week, who denied being intoxicated at the event, although admitted to having two beers in the locker room. According to Jake, he had a disagreement with the promoter earlier in the day when he was presented a three foot snake to accompany him to the ring. Jake noted that it would look ridiculous, and refused.
He also admitted to having the match moved up to earlier in the show, stating that he wanted to return early to Atlanta to see his kids. He also said that the reason he went to the ring early during a mid-show promo by Blade was because that Blade was calling him out during a promo. He said that he told the promoter that he hasn't wrestled in a long time, and it was agreed beforehand to be a short match. Roberts said he hit the ring, nailed Blade with a couple of punches before hitting him with a short clothesline to end the match."
The problem with this scenario is Jake is a well-known alcoholic, so it's hard to imagine he could stick to just two beers. Really though, the promoter is to blame for what occurred; as soon as he saw Jake drinking, he should have pulled him from the card and thrown him out of the locker room.
Roberts just needs to retire, he's in no fit shape to wrestle and can't handle being in an environment where intoxicating substances are so prevalent. He can do as much of DDP's yoga as he wants, but it won't fix the latter problem. His latest wrestling comeback seems doomed to end like all the rest, borne down by the weight of his own personal demons.