Jake Roberts will be one of the first current or former WWE employees to finish the rehab program the company is currently offering. The program started after the death of wrestling superstar Chris Benoit last year which got mainstream media attention everywhere. It’s been a long road for one of the biggest superstars in the history of professional wrestling, but he in the best shape of his life since 1992 and is motivated to stay that way. Before he leaves rehab at the end of the month, Jake sat down for his first interview since entering rehab and he reflects on the experience and where he is personally now.
Listen to the Jake The Snake Roberts interview:
Chris Yandek: How is everything going?
Jake Roberts: “Well, it’s been wonderful. First off I want to say, thanks to the WWE I have a new lease on life. I feel like I’ve truly exercising the demons I carried for so many reasons. Without the help of Vince McMahon and company I wouldn’t have had it. It’s been very expensive. It’s been very intense. It’s been a whole lot of damn hard work. Truth be known the first time I went to rehab and the second time I went to try to save a job. This time I truly went to save my life.”
CY: Would you say this was a transition period for you I am guessing?
JR: “Oh definitely. This is probably one of the best moments in my life. I am looking at myself now in the mirror. Where I’ve been is my history. Where I am going is my destiny, but my history is not my destiny. It’s up to me now because I am seeing things from a damn near sane person’s point of view. You don’t realize how far you get down till you’ve been there. You don’t realize how sick you are in the mind and body till you’ve been there. You don’t realize how healthy you can be till you go there.”
CY: What does the future hold for Jake Roberts?
JR: “That right there scares the hell out of me. The wrestling world and the rest of the world couldn’t handle Jake Roberts when he was on drugs and alcohol. What the hell are you gonna do with me now? They aint got a prayer. It’s unbelievable how much clearer I think, how much sharper I am. Health wise I am probably in the best shape I’ve been in since 1992. That scares me. I’ve gained some weight, but it’s all in muscle and that’s absolutely drug free steroids and all. I guess I’ve been working hard.”
CY: Would you say you feel like a new person?
JR: “Oh completely. I think back and I have a hard time understanding just where I was mentally. I know there was a lot of anger and pain I’ve had to work through. I’ve worked through it with therapy. It’s been a learning process. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned a lot about the drugs. I’ve learned a lot of stuff about the affects of alcohol and drugs had on my system and my thinking. To step out there fresh like this was a new horizon standing in front of you it’s like ok what’s over the next hill? I Can’t wait to see it you know?”
CY: A lot of people want to know how the program went, but I believe that is something private that the public doesn’t have a right to know. What would you like to say regarding what you feel comfortable sharing?
JR: “Well, I just want anybody and everybody out there to know that I’ve never met anyone in rehab or jail that said when I was a young kid I wanted to grow up and be a drunk or a drug addict. These are things that happen to people for many…many millions of different reasons. I’ve heard in rehab everything from rocket scientists to airline pilots to wrestlers to homeless people. There is no boundaries as far as addiction goes. Addiction is an animal man. It’s a disease. I am thankful I had that disease because if not I just would’ve been a complete asshole because I did a lot of things I wouldn’t have done without this disease. I just urge anyone before you take that first drink, try first drug, just take a little advice from me, if you ever listen to anything I’ve ever said listen to this, don’t do it. Just don’t do it man because it’s a bitch man. It’s a monster that you grab a hold of and the first few rides are a lot of fun because I am not going to lie to you I had a lot of great times drinking and doing drugs, but then one day it all changed. That’s when the addiction process is in you. Once that process is ground there is no turning back until you get some serious damned help. A lot of people die from it man.”
CY: Do you think the former and current WWE employees were surprised by this opportunity to go to rehab?
JR: “I think a lot of people were surprised they offered it. I think it was very big on Vince McMahon’s part who put this out there for those current and past employees to take this opportunity. It shows me a lot of heart in the man I am sure a lot of people didn’t believe he had. The proof is in the pudding. He still has it out there for anybody who needs it. I urge anyone who has worked for the WWE to take advantage of this if you do have a problem and swallow your pride or whatever you want to call it because it is bullshit to hold on to something like this that’s gonna wind up killing you and hurting your family. It was just not me that was suffering, it was my family, my friends, and everybody around me.”
CY: Was the time easier for you in there, I know you still have some time left – because you had the company of Scott Hall and Ron Simmons who were also still there with you?
JR: “Well, they pretty much keep us apart from each other and rightfully so. They’re trying to get us to work on our own stuff. We see each other in between breaks and stuff but that’s about it. I can’t cure Scott Hall or Ron Simmons and they can’t cure me. Just as luck would have it we’re all in there together. I will say it’s great seeing those guys in there because they’re man enough to say I need help too. My addictive mind said Jake you’re a pussy if you can’t beat this on your own. Jake you’re not a man just if you can’t say no. Well, Nancy Reagan can kiss my ass. Just saying no is a bunch of bullshit because it is much more than that when it becomes an addiction and you have to do the things the right way. These people have worked hard very hard with me and very hard with everybody there to open all the doors they need to, to clean up those closets to clean up that mess. Not only does it need cleaning up but show us this mess will grow again if we don’t deal with it and deal with it properly and deal with it daily.”
CY: There are a lot of rumors going around that you’ll be part of this year’s WWE Hall of Fame group. Can you confirm or deny this?
JR: “I have not heard any truth to this at all. It makes me laugh. The times I use to get pissed off by these things then I go on the internet and for Christ sakes I’ve been dead four or five times and gosh I am still here. It bothers me sometimes a little bit more than others. This especially because it’s a special time in my life, need to clean, get right, and the doors are opening. No I have not been contacted in any way by them about anything that’s going on the net. That’s the damn thing about this damn internet. There is a lot of good things on there but there is a whole lot of bullshit on there too.”
CY: Finally, what’s in store for you? You’re open for business after you get out of rehab. Do you want to go in the Hall of Fame also?
JR: “Well, I have to after I become world champion. There is still time for that. No doubt. I don’t see anybody up there that can stop me and anywhere else or anything else that I want. I may quit wrestling and become a journalist for Christ sakes and put you out of business or work together with you. That be wiser on my behalf. I don’t know what I want to do man. I want to wrestle because that’s what I love. I truly want to do it because I’ve worked so damn hard in getting this done. I’ve been in the gym every damn day except for about three or four in the last 90 days. I am not gonna stop that because it’s part of my health. It’s part of me staying clean and sober too, going in there and changing my routine for what I used to do to what I do now. I don’t know. I might pick up dancing. Who knows? I do want to start wrestling again. I am starting again in April. I encourage all the promoters out there if you’re serious get with me. You won’t be disappointed. You may be shocked but you won’t be disappointed. It also will give me an opportunity to go around and see the fans again. Maybe I would like to see them clearer this time.”
You can also send a booking request through Jake Roberts official My Space page at http://www.myspace.com/officialjakeroberts. Any fan messages go through My Space also.