Jake Roberts discusses why he teamed up with Dallas Page, bouncing back from a setback, how he wants to say goodbye to his fans
Wrestle Shark interview with Jake Roberts
Hosts: Simon Cassidy and David Thomson
Interview available at Facebook.com/BigWrestlesharkShow.
On his personal problems and past injuries: "I had two discs removed from my neck, hip replacement, part of my left foot removed, compound fracture in my right arm, wrist reconstruction, broken sternum splice. Other than that, I was in horrible shape…I had a well publicized, by my own admissions, a career with alcohol and drugs did not help my situation. I had become so depressed that, not that I would have ever done it… I may have tried a couple of times…but suicide was something I thought about a lot.
"So depressed that I had blown my career…I could have been so much more than I was. Gone through three marriages, fathered eight children but wasn’t a dad to any of them, I was too busy wrestling or being high. You start looking at yourself at that point and you hate yourself…I had a lot of shame, a lot of anger, a lot of freakin’ anger, basically I had given up. I didn’t want to live. I had no hope. I had no dreams. I hope nobody out there gets to that point, but when you quit dreaming, when you quit having hope, it’s a pretty god dam horrible place to be. You don’t care if you breath. You don’t care about anything."
On his recent "Resurrection" through DDPYoga: "Dallas called me, asked how I was doing, I bullshitted and I lied, said I was getting through it, and he said, ‘Man…you don’t sound right?’ Well, man, it is what it is, I just don’t give a shit anymore. I buried my father, my mother was in poor health, a whole bunch of reasons to use and I sure took advantage of them. I’d drink…because that was the only time I could forget where I was at. He said he wanted come see me and to send me some yoga stuff and I was like ‘are you f---ing kidding me? Right, Jake ‘The Snake’ is doing yoga! I may have been screwed up enough to play a snake, but I ain’t doing yoga dude.’
"He said, if you’ll try…and you start losing weight…there might be something I can do for you, and it would be long term and would be an opportunity…to try something different since the bullshit I was doing obviously wasn’t working…so I did the food thing for like ten 11 days, didn’t really think a whole lot about it, then one day I got on the scale and was like ‘holy shit I’ve lost 14 lbs, what the hell’s wrong with me? I must be dying!’ That was the first time I thought this might actually work…a couple weeks later he came down…and was like, ok ‘keep doing the good work, when you get down to 30 lbs, we’ll move you down to Atlanta, and we’ll get serious on this shit’…at that point I was still drinking too much, but we’ll get to that in a minute."
On his recent inebriated appearance at an indy event: "When I got down to Atlanta, DDP was like ‘OK, the first thing we need to talk about is your drinking…why do you drink?’ and I was just like ‘Well, I like it’…so I’m like OK,OK,OK I’ll play your silly f*cking game and I said well how about a couple of beers? So he agreed, we’ll try sticking to two beers. Well that lasted about a week…
"I went out on an autograph thing on Rhode Island. Did really well, didn’t drink for a two or three days during the signing, and I spoke to a lot of people and they were just patting me on the back, saying how much better I looked with all the weight I had lost, saying ‘damn Jake you haven’t looked this good in years, keep up the good work’…well, you shouldn’t tell a drunk or an addict these things. Like everything else in life, I use whatever situation I am in to get drunk or get high. In this instance it was ‘man you deserve a reward’.
"Man, I’m not a god damn dog that did a trick, but that’s the way I treated myself. The next thing I know, I’m getting off a plane in Atlanta…and Dallas is there, I don’t know why Dallas is there. We get back to the house and I find out I had been pretty stupid and ridiculous, and basically had gone through a four hour blackout. Blacked out. Didn’t know what I had done, what I had said, who I had offended…thank god I wasn’t in jail. I think if Dallas hadn’t been at the airport I would have ended up in there.
"Next morning, we get up and Dallas is saying ‘last week you did really well, then you go out this week and totally screw up…so here’s the new deal. Absolutely no alcohol. And at that point I’m like, you are absolutely right…because the shit isn’t doing you any good. Then he was like ‘you should go back to A.A…so two days later I went back…but then I went to Dallas and was like ‘I agree with the no drinking thing, but you’re gonna have to help me’…so we went to a doctor and got set up with something called anti-buse. Brother, if you drink alcohol with that stuff it will drop you like a gunshot. It will make you so violently ill, that you will not think about drinking. But it’s a crutch for me. It’s a safety line, and being here with Dallas, he’s making me change my way of thinking about things."
On his ambitions for the future: "I’ve got a life man…I’m dreaming again…it might take more than 24 hours to fix this shit, so I just need to shut up, get in the car and go for the ride with [Dallas]…I have unlimited dreams. I’m thinking about building furniture again, because I loved to build furniture. For the first time I got on a computer…here I am 57 years old and I don’t even know how to turn a computer on. But now I want to do it, I want to accomplish these goals. Before I never wanted to do it…my mind is clicking again man.
"I’m happy, I feel good about myself. Yeah I’ve got a long way, but brother, I’ve already been a long way…I’ve already been a long way man. I never thought I would be in the shape I’m in now, much less where I’m going. I’m calling my children, I’m developing relationships, I’m calling my mother again… I’m gonna do this. I want to do this, I need to do this, because I know I’m a good human being, I’ve always been a good human being, I’ve just been a disturbed human being. I’m not letting the demons beat my ass anymore. Those demons have not got a chance.
"There is nobody that could hang with me in the ring in my heyday, can you imagine if I hadn’t been screwed up? I would have left them so far behind, but that’s OK man. You know, I retired from the ring two years ago. But you know what, I’m going to go back in…for a short run. Just a few matches. That way, I can say goodbye the way I wanted to. Not 310 lbs, couldn’t hardly get in the ring and look like shit. I deserve more than that! I wanna get in there and stand with my head held high and say ‘I am the f---ing man’ and I’m a good man. That’s how I want to say goodbye to my fans."
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