As previously noted, WWE Hall Of Famer Jake 'The Snake' Roberts was recently a guest on Talk Is Jericho with professional wrestling legend Chris Jericho. Among many other things, Roberts talked about WWE Hall Of Famer 'Macho Man' Randy Savage being bitten by a cobra on WWE television. Roberts, who recently made his AEW debut, said long term feuds are still possible in today's professional wrestling and talked about the art of pro wrestling promos.
According to Roberts, Savage was concerned that he was being tricked into being bitten by a venomous snake on WWF Superstars back in 1991. Consequently, Savage wanted Roberts to be bitten by the cobra to prove that the snake's venom sacks had in fact been emptied.
"[Imitating Savage] 'let me say this: you need to let that snake bite you first.' 'f--k you, man!' Yeah, I'm like, 'f--k you,' in a nice way, not being disrespectful. 'Dude, I ain't doing that s--t.' He goes, 'if you're not going to do that, then you and I are going to have to do a little fighting right now!' And this guy starts ripping his s--t off, and he's squaring up on me, and I'm like, 'are you serious?' 'Goddamn right I am!' Now he picks up a chair and swings it. 'Come on!' 'You're a psycho.' So I went over, and I got the bag out, and I pulled my pant leg up. I slapped the snake a little bit. I stuck my leg out there and he bit my leg, so he bites it and I jerk him off of it. Randy's like, 'don't you dare move! Don't take no elixirs! Don't take no antidotes! Don't take nothing! Don't take no pills! Don't touch nothing! I'm going to sit right here and watch you f--king die!' After about 20 minutes, he goes, 'did that screw with your head?' I said, 'yeah, but not nearly as much as you are!'"
Roberts recalled, "[Savage]'s like, 'well I guess that's okay then.'"
During the interview, Jericho mentioned that Roberts' feud with the late great 'Ravishing' Rick Rude lasted for over a year. In response, Roberts suggested that long term feuds can still work in pro wrestling today.
"It can still be done," Roberts professed. "Less is more, okay? You people deserve [to be] and should be entertained. But that doesn't mean I've got to tell you 10 stories. We've got to take time to breathe every now and then. And I'm sure you fans wouldn't mind if these guys took time to breathe a little bit more because here's the bottom line, Chris. And I've argued it with Vince and I've argued it with everybody. If I am connected with these fans emotionally, I own them. I own them. I can make them stand up; I can make them sit down; I can make them bark; I can make them love me; I can make them hate me. Okay? You do that with the psychology of the whole thing and when we rush things, we're cheating [the fans] out of the emotional tie in."
Roberts, who recently weighed in on his biggest pet peeves with pro wrestling promos, talked about the art of the promo. In Roberts' expert view, pro wrestlers should always believe what they are saying on the mic.
"I'm going to let you in on a little secret that's not really a secret, man. To do a promo right, you have to believe what you're saying, okay? So the first thing you never do is you never say something that you can't do in that match. Like, you should never say, 'I'm going to kill you.' Okay, where are you burying your people, asshole? 'I'm going to jerk your eyeballs out and swallow them!' How many have you done so far? I mean, because you destroy that and once you destroy that with the fan, you're mush, okay? So you've got to keep it real. Now, the other thing is you don't look at the camera. You look through it. When you talk to a fan if you're cutting a promo on somebody, you don't look at them. You look through them." Roberts added, "you've got to say it and believe it."
Jericho remembered a time when McMahon called him 'One Take Jake' and noted that the nickname was in honor of Roberts who could regularly cut a promo in one take.
"I did a promo once," Jericho said. "I can't remember what it was for. I did the promo and Vince went, 'one take, done. 'One Take Jake.'' That's from [Roberts]. It took me a while to figure it out. I thought 'One Take Jake,' it rhymed. I'm like, 'what a minute,' a couple of weeks later, 'did you say, 'One Take Jake' because of Jake Roberts?' 'Oh yeah, one take, that's all he needed.' One take!"
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