Jake Roberts' Journey to Wrestling: A Prime Example of Human Psychology

Roberts, frustrated by his father's lack of support, decided to start a wrestling career

by Sead Dedovic
Jake Roberts' Journey to Wrestling: A Prime Example of Human Psychology
© Larry Busacca/Getty Images Entertainment

WWE Hall of Famer Jake "The Snake" Roberts had an interesting career filled with various moments. However, what is most important in the whole story is that despite everything, Roberts remained a wrestler whom many respect and remember as one of the greatest. 

In an episode of the Snake Pit podcast, Roberts talked about various topics, focusing on the beginnings of his career. As a child, he did not expect to follow in his father's footsteps and start a wrestling career. Roberts was frustrated as a child by the fact that his father wasn't there, considering that he traveled and worked a lot because of wrestling. Moreover, seeing his father injured is not something a child wants to see.

“Absolutely not. Well you gotta understand, as a kid I blamed wrestling for keeping my father away from me. Because he was never around me, and you know, I thought because of wrestling, that’s the reason he couldn’t see me. So I hated wrestling. And I was prior to seeing him getting hurt, you know. Because he worked as kids to the bone. He really played it up, all the ring injuries he would have, he would play him out at home on us.”- Robert said, as quoted by PwMania.

However, life wouldn't be life if it weren't full of surprises. Many have had moments in their lives when they were sure they didn't want something, and the very next moment, the situation would be completely different. The same happened with Jake Roberts.

When it came to deciding on his career path, Jake Roberts initially had aspirations to pursue architecture after graduating from high school. However, when he shared this with his father, who was involved in wrestling, he received a lukewarm response. His father's lack of support left him feeling a little bit disappointed, especially considering he was the first in his family to graduate from high school with excellent grades. 

This encounter led him to reconsider his plans and ultimately paved the way for his journey into the world of professional wrestling.

His subsequent decisions and actions may very well speak volumes about human psychology and the extent to which upbringing and parental influence can shape one's choices. In those moments, Roberts found himself contemplating deeply, puzzled by his father's lack of a clear reaction. Under the influence of alcohol, Roberts realized that a wrestling career could potentially be a good option. Specifically, he had the desire to step into the ring and engage in combat with someone.

“So I was hurt, I was angry. And we went to a wrestling show and youth, ignorance and alcohol got involved. And after about six or seven beers, it came to my mind that if I wanted my dad to be proud of me, I needed to go get a ring and beat up somebody. That just made all the sense in the world to me. And I wasn’t afraid of nothing."- he said.

Jake Roberts: I had to crawl out of the ring. I couldn’t get up

Jake Roberts decided to step into the ring, but he didn't expect the outcome that occurred. His opponent proved to be tough. The situation became so critical that Roberts began to cry. In those moments, this legendary wrestler felt a mix of emotions. It seems that certain traumas, childhood neglect, and much more came together. In those moments, he cried for his mother, cried for attention.

"So I went to the ringside, and I beat on the mat. I challenged this guy named Billy ‘Bad Boy’ Heinz, and got in the ring with him, and he stressed the * out of me. He had me crying; he had me p* on myself. You know, I’m lucky he knew who I was, because he could hurt me really bad. But he stressed the hell out of me for about 15 minutes, man. Had me crying, you know, crying for mama, everything, man. Oh, it was horrible, to the point that I had to crawl out of the ring. I couldn’t get up.”- he continued.

Jake Roberts
Jake Roberts© null

After Jake Roberts faced his father's harsh words and criticism following his defeat in the ring, he felt deeply hurt and angry. His father's dismissal fueled a burning determination within him to prove himself, not only as a wrestler but as someone who could surpass his father's expectations. 

Despite his father's dramatic stature and intimidating presence, Roberts decided to become a wrestler who would be brilliant, despite any obstacles. This crucial moment led him to make a weighty promise, willing to do whatever it took to succeed, even if it meant turning to unethical tactics. His decision to fight his father's wishes and follow a wrestling career marked the beginning of a journey driven by ambition.

This story is the best indicator of human psychology and how the people around us can influence our entire future.