January 7, 2013 by Colin Kelly
For a few years he had it all. As Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts he performed in front of tens of thousands of fans at sold out professional wrestling supershows all over the world. It was the golden era of the World Wrestling Federation and Roberts was regarded as among the greatest of them all.
It was his character, the psychology, that dark look in his eyes. It seemed real and as though it came from the very depths of his soul.
Those who know him best say it was hard to tell where the real Jake stopped and the in ring character began. For all his formidable charisma, talents and athleticism there was a horrible inevitability that one day the wheels would come off.
Jake couldn’t adjust as the years advanced and his demons took hold. He hit rock bottom. Then another rock bottom. Then, the actual rock bottom.
He performed drunk, called off shows and let down people he loves. His fall is documented in the brilliant ‘Beyond The Mat’ documentary and while we all have to take responsibility for our actions in life, Jake has had to endure some terrible tragedy and suffering in his.
That’s not to make excuses but simply to provide balance. And since his fall was documented it’s only right that we also document his current progress. If only so it might encourage others that they too don’t have to accept what they’ve become.
Jake is taking part in what’s billed as a ‘revolutionary’ yoga concept devised and delivered by ‘Diamond’ Dallas Page, another former professional wrestler. It’s early days and there have been some blips but there’s also evidence of real, positive change.
He says he wants to succeed, to win this battle and stand in the ring proudly one more time. He’s smart enough to know there’s only so much others can do for him. When push comes to shove, it depends how much he himself wants it and how hard he’s willing to fight.
And while what works for one recovering addict will have zero impact on another, maybe yoga is worthy of more investigation.