WWE Vintage Collection TV report - Tribute to Jake Roberts



'WWE Vintage’ TV Report #302 – March 16th, 2014

Shown on Sky Sports in the U.K.

By Stephen Lyon.

This week's theme: Tribute to Jake Roberts. Matches featured included: Jake Roberts vs George Wells (WWF Wrestlemania 2 ppv, April 1986); Jake Roberts vs Ricky Steamboat in a Snake Pit match (WWF Saturday Nights Main Event, October 1986); Jake Roberts vs Ravishing Rick Rude (WWF Saturday Nights Main Event, October 1989); Jake Roberts vs Andre the Giant (WWF Wrestlemania 5 ppv, April 1989); and Macho Man Randy Savage vs Jake Roberts (WWF This Tuesday in Texas ppv, December 1991).

Show was hosted by Gene Okerlund & Renee Young.

Show opened with the Jake Roberts 2014 WWE Hall of Fame induction video.

1) Jake Roberts defeated George Wells. This match took place at the 'WWF Wrestlemania 2' pay-per-view event, held in Long Island, New York on April 7th, 1986. Announcers for this match were Vince McMahon & Susan St James. The closing moments of this match aired, which was largely a brawl around the ringside area. Roberts pinned Wells after a DDT, then placed his snake on Wells prone body in the ring, as the announcers acted disgusted.

Clips aired of a Jake Roberts vs Ricky Steamboat non-match on the May 3rd, 1986 edition of 'WWF Saturday Night's Main Event'. Roberts attacked Steamboat before the match, culminating in a DDT and Damian the snake being placed on Steamboat's body. Steamboat ended up doing a stretcher job. Steamboat later returned with a Komodo Dragon (a large lizard) in his corner, to combat Roberts' snake.

2) Ricky Steamboat defeated Jake Roberts in a Snake Pit match. This match took place on the October 4th, 1986 edition of 'WWF Saturday Night's Main Event' on NBC, taped in Richfield, Ohio on September 13th, 1986. Announcers for this match were Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura. Roberts dominated the match, but Steamboat was eventually victorious with a roll up. After the match, Roberts grabbed Damian, and Steamboat grabbed his Komodo Dragon, and the pair basically had a 'reptile off', where eventually Roberts backed down and left. 

3) Jake Roberts defeated Ravishing Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan in his corner) via D.Q. This match took place on the October 29th, 1988 edition of 'WWF Saturday Night's Main Event' on NBC, taped in Baltimore, Maryland on October 25th, 1988. Announcers for this match were Vince McMahon & Jesse Ventura. Rude had the face of Roberts' then-wife Cheryl airbrushed on to the front and back of his wrestling tights. Roberts blocked Rude's attempts to hit the Rude Awakening, and delivered a DDT of his own. However, rather than try to score the pinfall win, Roberts attempted to tear off Rude's offending tights. Bobby Heenan entered the ring and put the boots to Jake for the disqualification. Andre the Giant came out as a reinforcement for the Heenan Family. Andre entered the ring, but it suddenly became apparent that Andre was terrified of Jake's snake, which Jake exploited, dumping Damian on top of the giant. Andre clutched his chest, as if he was having a heart attack, as the crowd went nuts.

4) Jake Roberts defeated Andre the Giant (w/Bobby Heenan in his corner) via D.Q. This match took place at the 'WWF Wrestlemania 5' pay-per-view event, held in Atlantic City, New Jersey on April 2nd, 1989. Announcers for this match were Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura. Big John Studd was the special guest referee for this match. Andre chopped Jake, causing him to fall to the outside. Andre got into a shoving match with Studd, providing a distraction. Ted DiBiase ran out and stole the bag containing Jake's snake, Damian. Roberts chased DiBiase up the aisle and managed to retrieve the bag and Damian. Andre began choking Studd, before Roberts made the save.

A 'Vintage Versus' segment pitted Jake Roberts vs Randy Orton.

A big angle featuring Jake Roberts and Earthquake aired, from the April 27th, 1991 edition of 'WWF Superstars'. Earthquake attacked Roberts, tied him up in the ropes, then did his sit down splash on the bag supposedly containing Damian the snake, 'killing' the snake. A distraught Roberts cried after the incident.

A clip aired from the May 12th, 1991 edition of 'WWF Wrestling Challenge', where Jake Roberts appeared on the Barber Shop interview segment and unveiled his new sake, Damian's 'big brother', Lucifer.

A video package briefly touched on Roberts embracing the dark side, supposedly attempting to help Ultimate Warrior get ready to face the Undertake in matches, through a bizarre series of backstage initiation vignettes. These concluded on the August 17th, 1991 edition of 'WWF Superstars', where Ultimate Warrior was locked in a room with a cobra snake that bit him, then it was revealed that Roberts had been in cahoots with the Undertaker and Paul Bearer all along.

A clip aired of Macho Man Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth's wedding reception, post-Summerslam, where Elizabeth opened a gift box containing a cobra, causing mass panic. Undertaker entered the scene and attacked Savage, whilst Roberts terrorised Elizabeth with a snake. Sid Justice ran in brandishing a chair, making the save.

An extremely brief clip of the famous snake bite angle aired, with Roberts' snake Lucifer biting Savage on the arm in one of the most memorable angles of the 1990s. They didn't even show this in freeze frame, cutting out before point of contact.

5) Macho Man Randy Savage defeated Jake Roberts. This match took place at the 'WWF This Tuesday in Texas 1991' pay-per-view event, held in San Antonio, Texas on December 3rd, 1991. Announcers for this match were Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan. Savage pinned Roberts after a top rope elebow drop. Savage teased attacking Roberts further by using the ring bell, however, Roberts laid out Savage after the match, delivering several DDTs. Roberts brought a bag supposedly containing a cobra into the ring (snakes had been banned from the ring since the snake bite angle). This brought out a hysterical Miss Elizabeth, who tried to protect Savage. Roberts responded by DDTing Savage for a third time. Infuriatingly, they cut off the end of the angle, where Roberts slapped Miss Elizabeth, again, a highly memorable angle. They didn't even refer to the slap as having taken place.

The show closed, bizarrely, with a brief clip of Roberts' ill-fated return to the WWF in 1996, at the Royal Rumble, where it was said that Roberts 'started his long road back to redemption' here. Given that this was a good 13 years or so before Roberts finally got clean and sober, I'm not sure that was really when his recovery started. It seemed a real stretch to say it began here.

Closing thoughts: A very rare disappointing edition of this show. Jake Roberts is a worthy Hall of Famer, and this show started off great. But then they rushed through so many angles and incidents, barely touching on the nuances, which is so unlike this show. The ending was bizarre, as there was also no mention of Roberts' memorable feud with the Undertaker in 1992, which was his final feud before his original departure from the company. There was enough material here (and just from the 1986 to 1992 time period) for a two part show on Jake Roberts, yet they seemed to rush through so much stuff in one show that it ended up being an unsatisfying show. A rare miss for WWE Vintage, which is a shame.   

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Match Results:

1) Jake Roberts defeated George Wells ('WWF Wrestlemania 2' pay-per-view event - Long Island, New York: 07/04/86).

2) Ricky Steamboat defeated Jake Roberts in a Snake Pit match ('WWF Saturday Night's Main Event on NBC' - Richfield, Ohio: taped on 13/09/86, aired on 04/10/86).

3) Jake Roberts defeated Ravishing Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan in his corner) via D.Q. ('WWF Saturday Night's Main Event on NBC' - Baltimore, Maryland: taped on 25/10/88, aired on 29/10/88).

4) Jake Roberts defeated Andre the Giant (w/Bobby Heenan in his corner) via D.Q. ('WWF Wrestlemania 5' pay-per-view event - Atlantic City, New Jersey: 02/04/89).

5) Macho Man Randy Savage defeated Jake Roberts ('WWF This Tuesday in Texas 1991' pay-per-view event - San Antonio, Texas: 03/12/91).

Please note: I DO NOT sell DVDs or tapes of any of these shows. Sorry!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s report. For other reports like this one, be sure to check it out my website archive at http://www.classicwrestlingreports.com .

It’s no longer updated, but this website carries all of my previous WWE Classics tv reports that have been featured on the old WrestlingObserver.com website.

 

As always your questions, comments and thoughts are always welcomed, and you can contact me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Until next week, have a good week.

Stephen Lyon,
St Helens, England, U.K.