WWE Hall of Famer Jake “The Snake” Roberts recently spoke with Interactive Wrestling Radio to promote his “Dirty Details” one-man show on Tuesday, May 21 from Club Red in Mesa, Arizona. You can listen to the full interview by downloading the MP3. They also sent us highlights from the interview.
Regarding All Elite Wrestling, Jake said the birth of the company is huge and AEW competing with Vince McMahon is the best thing that could happen. Jake also said AEW could suffer from talent-related issues because there’s not a huge top talent pool like there used to be.
“Oh, huge,” Jake said when asked about AEW. “They needed to create a buzz to kick it off and make a splash. They’re going to do it. They’re going to make that splash. How they follow it up is going to be key. If they don’t follow it up with something good, then it is over. They’re spending big money and the guy has got deep pockets so the hope is they’ll bring wrestling back around and become competition with McMahon. That would be the best thing that could happen.
“But, the problem is the talent. There isn’t a huge talent pool like there used to be. A lot of guys today are cookie cutter types. They’re not characters. They don’t know how to do it yet. That is the bad part about Vince’s machine. His machine creates new talent all the time. But, the talent never gets to grow and become something to where they’re unique. They’re all built at that Performance Center. The guys learn a bunch of moves and that’s it. As far as doing interviews, they don’t do their own interviews. It is all written and scripted stuff.
“When you’re doing scripted stuff, the character is not there and the people see through it. They realize these guys are just reading. The fans want more. They deserve more. But, whenever Vince started this whole thing up and killed all the territories, that was the breeding ground for the talent. So, there it went. It is hard to learn how to wrestle working once or twice a week. You can’t do it. You’ve got to go out there 5, 6, and 7 nights a week to polish it, to get it where it is second nature. That is what these guys are missing.”
Jake also gave credit to McMahon and the WWE Network for helping with the popularity of classic wrestling stars. Jake said the Network has given him another career.
“I think with VInce putting it out there all the itme with the (WWE) Network, it creates new fans of that era,” Roberts said. “I go to Comic Cons all the time and there are kids there that are 8 and 9 years old and they want my autograph and I say, ‘Wait a minute, you weren’t even born yet when I was wrestling.’ They’re like, ‘Yeah, but we watched you do this and you on that.’ I’m really grateful for it (The Network) man. It’s given me another career.”