Jake 'The Snake' Roberts Details Importance Of Historic Championship Milestone In WWE

The wrestling landscape has changed considerably since Jake "the Snake" Roberts' heyday, especially when it comes to racial diversity. On his "Snake Pit" podcast, Roberts looked back at the championship reign of Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson, and how the two men made history in the industry. Recalling the pair's WWF World Tag Team Championship victory, Roberts described how big the moment was.


"It was huge man, it's off-the-charts huge. They did it — was it early '80s or late '70s? Yeah, early '80s, and that color barrier hadn't came down yet. You can say what you want, I know I witnessed it all the time. Black guys didn't get the breaks in the early '80s." Following this, Roberts noted how the Junkyard Dog was the first prominent African American to receive a push in wrestling. "[Junkyard Dog] was the first that really got a big break and he carried it nationwide. Other than that? It didn't happen." Bill Watts was notably the booker who pushed JYD, but Roberts confirmed claims that the veteran was and still is racist.

"Yeah, he is. But when his money was coming in, he didn't mind counting it. That's the only reason, yeah." Unfortunately for Johnson, he never quite reached the heights of fame his son, Dwayne "The Rock Johnson, would years later. Additionally, Roberts also gave his take on why Johnson didn't have a lengthy WWF career. "Because he was just a cartoon. He wasn't serious about anything. He never flipped the switch." 


If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Snake Pit" and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.