Monday, March 5, 2007

WCW: Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Part 3

After successful surgery, Roberts returned and feuded with DiBiase throughout the end of 1989 into 1990, including a point where Roberts stole Dibiase's Million Dollar Belt, daring him or Virgil to reach into the canvas sack to retrive it. The culmination of their feud took place at WrestleMania VI, where in a match where the Million Dollar Belt was on the line, DiBiase gained a count-out victory over Roberts, thus regaining the non-sanctioned title. After the match, Roberts, to the delight of his fans at the packed SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario, mounted an offensive against DiBiase and Virgil, and began giving away DiBiase's "money". One of the recipients was actress Mary Tyler Moore, who was seated at ringside.

Following a brief feud with Bad News Brown in the summer of 1990, Roberts feuded with "The Model" Rick Martel throughout late 1990 into early 1991, after Martel blinded Roberts (kayfabe) by spraying cologne into his eyes. Roberts went so far as to wear white contact lenses to 'prove' his blindness. After several months, the feud culminated in a match at WrestleMania VII, in which both contestents were blindfolded. The bout ended after Roberts vanquished his rival with the DDT.

In early to mid-1991, Roberts engaged in a bitter feud with Earthquake after his 450-pound body "squashed" Damien (in actuality, it was hamburger stuffed in pantyhose with a small motor to make it look like a live snake was in the bag), and then used Damien's "carcass" to make "Quakeburgers", which he fed to on-air commentator Lord Alfred Hayes.

Jake would appear on Brutus "the Barber" Beefcake's interview segment "The Barbershop" and stated that "you could do two things: Roll over and die, or get yourself a bigger snake", in which he revealed that his new snake was a larger python, a reticulated python whom he named "Lucifer"- the supposed big brother of Damien and "the devil himself."

In mid-1991 Jake Roberts turned heel once again. For weeks, he was the one the Ultimate Warrior turned to in his feud with The Undertaker. The angle involved Roberts telling the Warrior that he would have the knowledge of the dark side necessary to defeat his adversary after passing three tests, which would be shown on WWF TV in consecutive weeks. The first was to be locked inside of a coffin, repeating an incident that occurred on The Funeral Parlor (which was hosted by 'Taker's manager Paul Bearer), a few months prior. The second test had Roberts "bury" the Warrior alive in dirt and walk offscreen. The third test involved Warrior entering a room full of snakes to and having to walk through them to find "the answer" in a chest in the middle of the room. When the Warrior opened the chest, he was alarmed to find a king cobra, which (kayfabe) bit him in the face; in actuality, the snake was devenomized and in fact, never actually bit him. As Warrior "weakened" from the "effects" of the cobra's strike, Roberts was joined by The Undertaker and Paul Bearer, revealing the three were in cahoots all along with Roberts telling Warrior "Never trust a snake".

Although beautifully planned out, the two were set for what WWF hoped would be one of the hottest feuds of 1991 after SummerSlam 1991, but, due to a financial dispute that the Warrior had with the WWF around this same period, the match never materialized. Warrior was fired after the event, but WWE still struck while the iron was hot and turned a negative (losing one of their biggest stars and, with it, the money grossing potential the feud had) into a positive.

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