In professional wrestling, rivalries are often larger than life, but few can match the epic scale of Jake "The Snake" Roberts' confrontation with André The Giant. This legendary feud, which reached its zenith at WrestleMania V, has been etched in the annals of WWE history.
Recently, Roberts offered a candid glimpse into this iconic rivalry on his show, "The Snake Pit." Roberts vividly recalls the moment in 1989 when he first learned he would be squaring off against André. His initial reaction was disbelief: "Are you kidding me?" This doubt was rooted in an earlier encounter with André at a TV taping in Los Angeles, a confrontation that Roberts describes as humbling.
André, with his imposing presence and formidable prowess, had effortlessly dominated him, setting the stage for their much-anticipated clash. The intensity of their rivalry wasn't confined to the ring. Roberts recounts a heated exchange in the locker room following their Los Angeles encounter.
Despite the risk, he confronted André, surprisingly earning the giant's respect. "I went and yelled at him," Roberts said. "He looked at me and went, 'Now, we're okay, boss.' He just wanted to check out if I had balls."
Golden Moment Reflection
Roberts admits he was initially skeptical about the feasibility of the feud due to the stark contrast in their physical statures.
However, as their rivalry unfolded, André's exceptional skill made the improbable seem possible. Roberts pridefully reflects on this period, considering it a "golden moment" in his career. It wasn't just about the physical contest; it was about captivating the audience, making them believe in the impossible – that he could defeat the colossal André.
Their storyline reached a dramatic peak when Roberts' snake, Damien, was used to induce a kayfabe "heart attack" in André. This plot twist added a layer of realism to their feud, further enthralling the audience. In a memorable yet unforeseen incident, André was genuinely bitten by a snake during a house show.
Roberts shares a lighter moment reflecting on this: "When I went to check on him, I thought he'd be angry. But there he was, calm as ever. Rick Rude even pulled out two fangs from André's shoulder, and he didn't even realize he'd been bitten." With its blend of intensity, drama, and unexpected camaraderie, this rivalry remains a testament to the enduring allure of professional wrestling.
It showcases the art of storytelling where athletes like Roberts and André The Giant transcend the boundaries of sport, creating moments that resonate long after the final bell.