WWE Hall of Famer Jake "The Snake" Roberts was a recent guest on the Grind City Wrestling podcast to discuss his "Dirty Details" comedy tour. Roberts discussed his ring psychology, helping the career of DDP, and more. Roberts stated that one of the most important parts of wrestling is paying attention to your audience to see what is working and what is not. He also stressed how important is it to have a story behind a match.
"A match is a wonderful thing if you take care of it and have fun with it, and tell it like a story instead of going out and emptying your gun in all different places and not aiming at anything," said Roberts. "What are you doing, man? You're just scatter-shooting. You're just taking a handful of crap and throwing it up against the wall and seeing what sticks. That doesn't work for me. I wanna go out there and take those people for a ride. And, the biggest, the hardest thing about doing that is learning to read your audience.
"You gotta go out and read the audience, because they may not be ready to do what you want to do, so you may have to adjust. You may have to change it and go a different direction. But if you don't go out and read the audience and see what they're asking for, then you're just gonna be taken off on a road that nobody's even watching. So, reading the audience is probably the most important thing."
In 1996, Roberts was involved in a feud with Jerry "The King" Lawler that incorporated his real-life problems with alcohol abuse. In one segment, Lawler even poured liquid down his throat to further mock Roberts' alcohol problems. In an August 2017 episode of Dinner with the King, Lawler stated that Roberts allowed WWE to "talk about his personal demons," but he "didn't pour real alcohol down Jake's throat." Still Roberts felt that, in retrospect, this was one of the worst moments of his career.
"It was ridiculous," said Roberts. "That was one of the things I'd wish I had never done. The whole idea behind that was really cheap, I thought. I thought it was disgusting, actually. After everything that I've been through, then you're gonna go out there and bring it up in the front, and that's gonna be your idea? That's the best the writers can come up with? Come on, give me a break. It was ridiculous, man. Not many times in my career I said no, but that's one time I should have said no."
Roberts was also very disapproving of WWE bringing up Jeff Hardy's alcohol problems during his feud with Samoa Joe, as well as using a recently-deceased Jim Neidhart during Natalya's feud with Ruby Riott. "How ridiculous is that," said Roberts.
Source: Grind City Wrestling