Iconic Wrestler Jake Roberts Admits Struggle with Retirement: Couldn't Stop

Roberts stressed he should have retired around 1997 or 1998

by Sead Dedovic
Iconic Wrestler Jake Roberts Admits Struggle with Retirement: Couldn't Stop
© Larry Busacca/Getty Images Entertainment

Jake "The Snake" Roberts discussed his retirement and the moment he realized it was time to retire on his podcast, the Snake Pit podcast. Many wrestlers often misjudge themselves and extend their careers when they should have ended them much earlier, while others prematurely end their careers even though their bodies are still capable. 

Roberts admitted that he belonged to the first category. He knew he should have retired around 1997 or 1998, but his passion and love for wrestling were stronger than anything else. He isn't happy with his decision and approach at that time, but he emphasized that many before him have done the same. There are numerous examples of such wrestlers, so Roberts doesn't feel shame.

 “Yeah. I knew it was time to retire, probably in ’97 or ’98. But I just couldn’t stop, man. You know, I just wanted more. And shame on me for going out there when I couldn’t do what I used to do. But you’ve watched all the guys do it. You know, the old-timers do it, who comes to mind, Hacksaw [Jim Duggan]. You know, Hacksaw does a lot of walking and talking out there in the ring. But he’s not talking bumps, and he’s just a shadow of what he used to be.”- Robert said, as quoted by PwMania!

Roberts explained that despite the belief that he could still perform at a high level, the reality hit hard when he returned to the ring. He discovered that he lacked the physical endurance and strength required to perform at the level he once did. Despite his strong passion for wrestling, his body simply couldn't keep up with the demands of the sport, highlighting the inevitable physical limitations that come with age and wear and tear.

Even though he wanted it and gave his all to be as prepared and authentic version of himself, Roberts simply couldn't endure it all. Such moments can be disappointing and frustrating, but they also indicate that the body has its limits and that it's necessary to give the opportunity to younger wrestlers.

Roberts explained that he initially planned to continue wrestling until he lost interest in it. However, he found that the desire to wrestle never truly fades away. Even now, he still wishes he could step into the ring again for one last match, but he stresses that it's not possible, which frustrates him.

Roberts stated that being involved in wrestling, even in roles like managing or delivering a punch, still provides a sense of satisfaction and excitement. He described the rush of adrenaline that comes with being in the ring, indicating that the experience helps scratch the itch of wanting to be involved in wrestling. 

Roberts has been a part of the wrestling scene since 1974, when he began his career as both a wrestler and a referee. Even then, it was clear that he possessed immense talent and had the potential to make history in the sport. Although he initially encountered some challenges with his character, Roberts decided to seek opportunities in Canada to continue his career and build his reputation there. In 1984, this former wrestler opted to join WCCW. Two years later, Roberts made his debut for the World Wrestling Federation. Many aspects of his character have delighted fans, and many dream of seeing him back on the big stage, dominating once again.

Jake Roberts is currently part of AEW as Lancercher's manager, and in addition he is also a special advisor for AEW's community program, AEW Together.

Jake Roberts wanted to help young wrestlers

Roberts wasn't just an important figure within the company, but also someone who seized every opportunity to assist wrestlers making their way onto the big stage. He helped many wrestlers build successful careers, including The Undertaker. The brilliant Undertaker is a man whose career speaks for itself in terms of success. However, in his podcast a few months ago, The Undertaker had nothing but praise for Jake Roberts.

The Undertaker
The Undertaker© JP Yim/Getty Images Entertainment

The Undertaker discussed his interactions with fellow WWE Hall of Famer Jake Roberts on his Six Feet Under podcast. He shared that traveling with Roberts provided him with invaluable understanding into the wrestling business, including the reasoning behind certain actions and a deeper understanding of the industry. Despite picking up some bad habits, Undertaker emphasized the significant impact of Roberts' wisdom and labeled him a wrestling genius. 

Additionally, Undertaker recounted Roberts' advice on the true beginning of a match, stressing the importance of the wrestler's presence from the moment they step through the curtain. Roberts was of great help to Undertaker and young wrestlers who had just appeared on the wrestling scene.