WWE Hall Of Famer Jake “The Snake” Roberts isn’t a fan of the in-ring style being used by many of today’s professional wrestling talents, sharing a sentiment from many from Roberts’ era who often say the same thing.
The 63-year-old is an instructor at the Snake Pit Pro Wrestling Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada, and recently spoke to Sports Illustrated. Roberts said in today’s industry someone can get to the main event within a year, as opposed to the old territorial days where you were battle-tested and forced to grow before reaching the top.
He also suggested the aggressive style of today’s wrestlers could affect the longevity of the talent:
“That’s what I don’t get about the young talent today,” said Roberts. “So many matches are the same. Don’t they get bored? It’s ridiculous what they waste, and they don’t even know they’re wasting it. I blame that on the new way of wrestling; if you come up now, you can be in the main event within a year. In my day, you had to learn.
“We had the territories that forced us to constantly grow and change. Another problem is this, everybody wants to get to the top and they have no problem sacrificing their life to do it. It doesn’t take a great wrestler to jump off the top of a cage. How many times can you do that before you miss? How many times can you do that before you’re crippled? Longevity is a key to success.”
Roberts argued that a match isn’t defined by how many different moves a performer can do – using himself as an example, admitting he only had six moves but he executed them perfectly and made them believable:
“I had six moves,” said Roberts. “I knew when to do them and I did them absolutely perfectly, and people believed them. Teaching this class, I’m going to make people think differently. The truth is in what you’ve done and where you’ve been, and there are not many people who have done more than I have.”