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Roberts, Jake "The Snake" (1955—)

Roberts, Jake "The Snake" (1955—)

Part of a professional wrestling family, Jake Roberts (who was born Aurlian Smith, Jr.) was known for bringing a pet snake into the ring and for inventing the wrestling finishing hold called "the DDT." Roberts started wrestling in 1975, but achieved his greatest success after entering the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1986. Although never the star of the promotion, Roberts' interview skills, ring psychology, and pet snake gimmick kept him near the top of the card. Roberts, whose career was hampered by substance abuse problems, left the WWF after Wrestlemania VIII in 1992 for a brief stint in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Retired, he was "born again," and could soon be seen on Christian TV stations talking about his substance abuse. Roberts' short 1996 comeback in the WWF was most notable for his loss to Stone Cold Steve Austin in a match that helped Austin win over WWF fans.

—Patrick Jones

Further Reading:

Lentz, Harris M. Biographical Dictionary of Professional Wrestling. Jefferson, North Carolina, McFarland & Company, 1997.

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