Jake The Snake Roberts -- (born May 30, 1955, as Aurelian Jake Smith Jr. in Gainesville, TX) is a retired wrestler, best known for his work in the World Wrestling Federation, his finishing move the once-infamous DDT (which is utilized by almost every wrestler today), and his pet python Damien which he brought to the ring with him throughout his most popular years. Jake Roberts also worked in World Championship Wrestling, ECW, TNA, AAA, and several independent promotions, as well as a co-starring role in the 1999 documentary Beyond The Mat.
Jake Roberts is a second-generation wrestler whose father "Grizzly Smith" achieved moderate fame in various territorial regions. Allegedly, Grizzly Smith never smartened up his son to the business as a work.
Throughout his career he was known for intense and cerebral interviews, his dark charisma, and his extensive use of psychology in his matches. When he first arrived to the WWF, he feuded with fan favorites like Ricky The Dragon Steamboat until a match on Saturday Night's Main Event against Randy Macho Man Savage started the wheels in motion for a turn. The WWF naturally assumed the fans' response to Jake Roberts was due to respect, so they immediately booked him in a high-profile angle with Hulk Hogan, in which Jake Roberts DDT'd Hogan on the set of The Snake Pit. However, when the fans chanted "D-D-T" instead of supporting Hogan, the WWF scrapped the feud and turned Jake Roberts into a babyface in a double-turn with Honky Tonk Man.
Jake Roberts continued feuding with several top heels, including Ravishing Rick Rude, Andre The Giant, Ted DiBiase, Bad News Brown, Rick The Model Marte., and Earthquake, before he turned heel again at the expense of The Ultimate Warrior. When Warrior abruptly left the WWF, Jake feuded with Randy Savage, which led into a brief feud with The Undertaker before Jake Roberts demanded his release before his match at WrestleMania VIII.
Upon his release from the WWF, Jake Roberts moved to WCW to feud with Sting. Allegedly, Jake's move to WCW was supposed to result in booking abilities for the promotion but because WCW's management was constantly in flux, the opportunity expired before he was able to assume the role. He left WCW after the conclusion of his feud with Sting.
Jake Roberts was invited to compete in the 1996 Royal Rumble, for which he received such a positive response that the WWF hired him back onto the roster. During this stint, Jake Roberts consistantly preached Christian values, even naming his new albino Burmese python "Revelations," and he aired the darker details of his prior stint in the WWF (which was also heavily covered in Beyond The Mat). Jake Roberts had pay-per-view matches with Vader, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and King Jerry Lawler in 1996, but he was released in early 1997.
Jake The Snake Roberts fell out of the national wrestling scene in 1997 (strangely, at the rising heights of the Monday Night Wars). Since then, he has had numerous projects and guest spots with WWE, most noteably receiving the RKO from Randy Orton during the build for WrestleMania 21. He has made guest appearances on TNA broadcasts as well. In 2005, WWE released a DVD entitled Pick Your Poison on the career of Jake The Snake Roberts. He is still awaiting induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.