Jake Roberts‘ return to WWE in 2014 proved to be a pivotal moment in the life of the legendary wrestler.
Roberts returned to WWE on the ‘Old School Raw’ in January 2014 in his first appearance for the promotion in nearly nine years.
For his segment, Roberts confronted the Shield, and after Deam Ambrose was laid out with CM Punk‘s GTS, Jake placed a snake on the future Blackpool Combat Club member.
Before the Return
Roberts’ problem with substances has been well-documented, and by the time of his return, the legend had only recently begun working with ‘Diamond’ Dallas Page.
Speaking on his Snake Pit podcast, Roberts recalled the dark place he was in prior to his Raw appearance.
“You’ve got to remember as to where I was at. I was hating myself. I was still in the hate mode with myself because I was getting in shape and I’d look at myself and I’d think “why didn’t you f***ing take care of yourself? Why didn’t you do this Jake? No instead you had to smoke crack and f***ing drink and f***ing take pills.’”
During his WWE Hall of Fame speech that March, Roberts would mention DDP as a key influence on his life.
Roberts got the call a few weeks prior to Raw and spoke to now-former WWE talent liaison Mark Carrano about the plans for his return.
Speaking about the day of his return, Roberts joked that his waiting backstage was hardly that becoming of a legend.
“They brought me in, and they wanted it to be a surprise, not only for the fans but for everybody. So they snuck me into town, and snuck me into a bus. And I just sat in the bus for what must have been eight hours, by myself, twiddling my thumbs. About once every four hours, they’d send someone in to check on me. See if I needed anything. Like a gun to blow my brains out (laughs.).”
Addressing his return on TV, Roberts recalled a moment between Punk and Ambrose that he has never forgotten.
“CM Punk tells Mox ‘the snake’s s**t on your chest.’ And Mox is just f**ing bursting. He’s grinning from ear to ear. He couldn’t hold it.”
While Ambrose was supposed to be unconscious for the placing of the snake, the Shield member can be seen grinning, as he had been a huge fan of Roberts since childhood.
Roberts’ return to WWE had not been reported anywhere prior to his appearance, which made his comeback even more special.
After everything he had been through, Roberts was grateful that he was able to have a moment like this after years of struggle.
It was great. What a great moment for me. Walking down that damn ramp. The people were screaming so loud, it was deafening. What a rush I got. It felt like my hair was growing. It felt like my skin was on fire.
“I had come back. I had come back from the gates of hell.”
“It took my breath away. You see me walking down there, I should have been more serious but I couldn’t. There was so much joy that was flooding me because I had come back. I had come back from the gates of hell.”
Speaking about what happened backstage after, Roberts recalled meeting Vince McMahon and the bittersweet moment.
“[Our meeting was] just a handshake. ‘I’m glad to have you back home. That’s what I got… It was kind of sad in a way because a lot of the guys had already left. That was the last match and they wanted to get out of the building before they got out with the crowd. Ted DiBiase had left, but Dallas was still there.”
Roberts would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame that year and would make sporadic appearances for the company prior to signing with AEW.
For use of these quotes please give a h/t to SEScoops.