Jake Roberts Reflects on Receiving a $1 Million Paycheck from Vince McMahon

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On a recent edition of his “The Snake Pit” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Jake Roberts discussed signing with WWE, his first meeting with Vince McMahon, and more.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On whether he was confident he could go to WWE after leaving Mid-Atlantic: “Yeah, I was. I was real confident with that. Because I’ve been asked before to go there, you know? And I turned him down. That wasn’t real smart. No, whenever they took over Georgia Championship Wrestling, they wanted me to stay with them. And I didn’t. I went to f**kin’ Von Erich territory! Oh my God.”

On his meeting with Vince about working full-time: “Blackjack Lanza came in, and then left. Pat Patterson came in and left, and then it was just Vince and I. And he sat there and told me they had an idea for me. And I’m like, ‘What’s the idea?’ And he’s like, ‘Well, we’re gonna dress you up and neon green or purple tights.’ And I’m like, ‘Tights? I don’t do tights, man. If you’ve watched me, you see what I wear. The karate pads with slip-on boots.’ And he’s like, ‘Well, that’s not what we’re doing. We got a spot, where they’ll wear purple tights or lime green, wear knee-high snakeskin boots.’ And I’m thinking ‘Knee-high snakeskin boots? How long is that gonna take to lace them f**king things up?’ I’m like, ‘Hell no!’ in my mind. And he’s like, ‘And carries a snake,’ but at the same time, he’s writing down some numbers on a piece of paper. And he slides that over to me, and it says ‘a million dollars’ on it.

“And I just went, looked at that million dollars and went, ‘F**k yeah, I’ll look great in lime green man, no problem. Knee-high boots, hell, that’ll probably give me more support on my ankles later. The older I get, it’ll probably a good thing for me. Yeah, great idea, man, great idea. Carry a snake, no f**king problem, man.’ I didn’t care what it was. When somebody throws a million dollars in your face, you’re gonna do something, brother. If you’ve never had a chance to break out and break out on top, this was my opportunity to rise to the top. And I’m gonna do it better than anybody could do it. Because my mind, hell, I was Jake the Snake for years. I’ve already incorporated snake moves and s**t in my gimmick. This was gonna be easy.”

On whether he was concerned McMahon would hurt his gimmick: “No, not at the time. You know, I’ve always believed, you can dress me up and pink or polka dots. Remember, somebody doing polka dots? It didn’t destroy them, brother; he got it over. And that’s the thing with me; my s**t is so tight, you can’t see through it. You know, whatever I do, people believe it. And as long as I kept that going, I wasn’t worried about hurting the character or any of that s**t. Because I knew as long as I went out there and worked my style, nobody could hurt it.”

In a recent episode of his podcast, “The Snake Pit,” WWE Hall of Famer Jake Roberts opened up about his experience signing with WWE, his first meeting with Vince McMahon, and his thoughts on his iconic gimmick. Let’s take a closer look at some of the highlights from the podcast.

When asked if he was confident about joining WWE after leaving Mid-Atlantic, Roberts replied affirmatively. He revealed that he had been approached by WWE before but had turned down the opportunity. However, when they took over Georgia Championship Wrestling, they wanted him to stay with them, but he chose to go to Von Erich territory instead. In hindsight, he admitted that it wasn’t a smart move.

Roberts then shared details about his meeting with Vince McMahon regarding working full-time for WWE. He recalled that after Blackjack Lanza and Pat Patterson left the room, it was just him and Vince. McMahon explained that they had an idea for him, which involved dressing him up in neon green or purple tights. However, Roberts expressed his reluctance to wear tights as he preferred his karate pads with slip-on boots. McMahon then described the concept of wearing knee-high snakeskin boots and carrying a snake. As Roberts contemplated the idea of lacing up knee-high boots, McMahon slid a piece of paper with the words “a million dollars” written on it. Seeing the opportunity to rise to the top and with a million-dollar offer in front of him, Roberts enthusiastically embraced the gimmick, even if it meant wearing lime green tights.

When asked if he was concerned that McMahon might hurt his gimmick, Roberts confidently replied that he wasn’t worried. He believed that no matter how he was dressed or presented, his character was so strong that people would believe in it. He cited examples like someone wearing polka dots and still getting over with the audience. Roberts emphasized that as long as he stayed true to his style and delivered his unique snake-inspired moves, nobody could harm his character.

Throughout the podcast, Roberts displayed his enthusiasm and gratitude for the opportunity to join WWE and become Jake “The Snake” Roberts. He acknowledged that the million-dollar offer and the chance to break out and rise to the top were too good to pass up. Roberts believed in his abilities and was confident that he could make the gimmick work, incorporating his signature snake moves into his performances.

The podcast episode provides a fascinating insight into Jake Roberts’ mindset during his early days in WWE. It showcases his confidence, adaptability, and determination to succeed in the wrestling industry. Roberts’ story serves as a reminder that sometimes taking risks and embracing new opportunities can lead to incredible success.