Jake The Snake Roberts Opens Up About Watching WWE Hall Of Famer Junkyard Dog Decline

As was documented in the recent "Dark Side of the Ring" episodeJunkyard Dog's popularity in the '80s rivaled that of just about anyone else, so much so that Bill Watts built his Mid-South promotion around the Black wrestler and had plans to make him the company's World Champion before he jumped ship to WWE. Unfortunately, JYD's fall from grace happened just as quickly as his meteoric rise, with the wrestler falling trap to the perils of drug addiction like many of his peers. 


Jake Roberts, who closely observed JYD's rise to prominence in Mid-South and later WWE, is still in disbelief over how much suffering his late friend endured during his final few years. 

"He just wasn't there anymore," Roberts said of JYD on his "The Snake Pit" podcast. "You try to have a conversation with him and it's just nothing. [It] was really sad. It really makes me sick, man, when I look back on it. I should have done something, said something, or tried something, but there was no reaching him at that time. You just couldn't reach him. I tried several times to reach out to him but I got nothing." 

When asked if he saw the signs of JYD's deterioration during the end of his run in Mid-South, Roberts responded in the affirmative and admitted that his friend was "already beginning" to go downhill. But he couldn't do anything to prevent the same, and Roberts was dealing with demons of his own.   


JYD died in a car accident in June 1998 while driving home from his daughter LaToya's high school graduation in North Carolina. He was only 45. In 2004, the late wrestler was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.