WWE Icon Jake "The Snake" Roberts On A Sober Life Beyond The Ring

By Paul Gaita 12/07/18

Jake "The Snake" Roberts credits his close work with Diamond Dallas Page as a crucial factor in finally becoming sober after decades of addiction.

WWE Icon Jake "The Snake" Roberts discusses being sober
Photo via YouTube

The rise, fall and rise again of Jake "The Snake" Roberts has played out in live arenas and on film and television screens for the better part of the last three decades. Roberts and his trademark python were among the most popular and colorful figures in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in the late '80s and early '90s, but alcohol and drug dependency – showcased in the 1999 documentary Beyond the Mat – led to his dismissal and a lengthy descent that nearly ended Roberts' life. 

With the help of fellow wrestler turned fitness guru Diamond Dallas Page, Roberts returned to health and sobriety – as chronicled in the The Resurrection of Jake the Snake (2015) – and has embarked on a variety of ventures, including acting roles and the "Dirty Details Tour," in which he shares the wildest stories from his WWE days with a live audience. In a conversation with the Asbury Park Press, Roberts discussed his health and sobriety as well as his desire to help others struggling with dependency.

Roberts describes his "Dirty Details" appearances as a catalog of "the crazy stuff" that he and fellow WWE wrestlers got into while touring the WWE circuit. "Whether they happened in a hotel or it happened in a strip joint, you're going to hear it," he said. "They're all true stories . . . and the best thing about it is the statute of limitations has run out on all of them, so I'm good there." Roberts added that stories of classic WWE heels and babyfaces, from André the Giant to the Undertaker and Randy "Macho Man" Savage, will also be on the bill.

Roberts is able to talk about the "crazy stuff" in his past because it's no longer an active and toxic part of his existence. He credits his close work with Page as a crucial factor in finally gaining sobriety after decades of dependency. "It was totally up to me to finally (get sober) – it always is," he said. "But I'd been to rehabs and stuff and they hadn't worked. So moving in with Dallas was a different way of attacking the same old problem, and thank God he was able to."

Interacting with fans is a key element of Roberts' appearances, and he hopes that anyone who might be undergoing dependency issues will look to him as a source of support. "I encourage anybody out there that's suffering from any type of addiction or alcoholism: come on out to the show," he said. "Let me know that you want to talk to me after the show, we'll get you some place, sit down and I'll see if I can't help you got on the narrow path. It's a lot more fun – it really is. You can have a good time sober."


Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.