In the 1980s, Hulk Hogan was the biggest star in wrestling and was gearing up to take on WWE Hall of Famer Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Hulk Hogan vs Jake Roberts was gearing up to be one of the biggest feuds of the decade as the pair were to face off for the WWF Championship.
Roberts was a supreme heel, with a command on the microphone that few in the history of wrestling could match. Fans hung on every one of his quietly whispered words, dying to hear what he was going to say next, as his pet snake Damian was draped over his shoulders.
However, as WWE began teasing the feud it was dropped all of a sudden. Some said it was because Jake Roberts was being cheered over the Hulk Hogan, which was not the reaction WWE were going for. Others claim Hogan did not want to work his Roberts and his snake.
However, on the latest edition of the DDP Snake Pit podcast, Jake Roberts revealed all on why Vince McMahon dropped the Hulk Hogan vs Jake Roberts match in the 1980s.
Hulk Hogan vs Jake Roberts
Roberts on Vince McMahon dropping the match
“I walk off the set to the back, Vince grabs me and hugs me, ‘oh Jake this is going to be magnificent! Oh God, the money you guys are going to make.’” Roberts said,
“And I’m sitting there going, ‘finally, finally my dream man, it’s happening, thank you, Jesus. I’m pissing myself. I’m so happy. He says, ‘stay right here with me’. I go, ‘what for?’ He goes, ‘the people, they’ll start chanting Hulk, Hulk Hulk. He’s going to come to his feet, he’ll rip his t-shirt off, he’ll scream, beat his chest, and he’ll come looking for you.”
“We’re talking about going straight to the bank with all of this. Jake, thank you.’ And he shakes my hand. We stand there and we stand there. Then Vince starts to look around like what the hell is going on. He looks out, Hogan’s waiting for the people to start chanting. The people did. They started chanting, ‘DDT, DDT’. And Vince went, ‘you’re screwed’. ‘What do you mean I’m screwed?’ He goes, ‘that’s not what we want.”
Jake Roberts on his live matches with Hulk Hogan selling out
“So they gave us a couple of shots, they sent us to Portland, Maine, sold out, set the record. Went to Montreal, sold out when it hadn’t been sold out in years there before. Sold it out, turned them away, no cameras.”
Here’s what happened in the matches. ‘DDT, DDT’. Vince says, ‘that’s it, no more’. ‘What do you mean no more, we’re sold out, we turned away people’. He goes, ‘I don’t give a d-mm, that’s not what it’s about’. How much better can you get than a sell out?”
“The WWE didn’t care about sell outs. It’s all about marketing, that’s where the money’s at. Vince used to say he didn’t give a sh-t how many people came to the building.”
Sadly, Roberts never got his huge match against Hulk Hogan on TV or Pay Per View. Despite being one of the biggest stars at the time, personal and drug issues caused his decline and made him one of the best wrestlers to never win the WWE Championship.