Recent reports explain why Hulk Hogan nixed a feud with Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Well, one of the great mysteries of the 1980s may have been solved for me: Why Hulk Hogan never had a main event program with Jake “The Snake” Roberts.

Roberts played a heel so well that people got into him and started to cheer him, sort of like what happened to Roddy Piper. Where Roberts had the advantage over Piper was that Jake had a killer finishing move, the DDT.

I’ll never forget early into Jake’s original run in the WWF when Mean Gene Okerlund asked him what DDT meant. And Roberts simply said, “The end.”

So why did such a hot heel never challenge Hogan either during a house show series or on pay-per-view? I’ve wondered about that for a long time.

Hogan himself may have lifted the veil during a Q&A session in Montreal that the Wrestling Observer reported on. The Observer said a TV angle was shot between the two that involved Jake giving Hulk a DDT, upon which the crowd cheered Roberts. Based on that reaction, Hogan nixed the angle.

[Hogan] said he didn’t think he versus Roberts would have been money, but now he thinks it would have been big,” the Observer said.

Yup, I agree with Hulk’s assessment.

I doubt Hogan really didn’t think it wouldn’t draw money; he simply didn’t like that Roberts stood the very high chance of getting cheered more than him. In that respect, you’ve got to hand it to John Cena, who seems to relish getting booed even though he’s the lead babyface in the WWE.

The awesome The History of WWE website only lists four matches between Hogan and Roberts in the site’s voluminous records. Two of those occurred at the Providence (RI) Civic Center in December 1986 and January 1987, and I’m quite sad I didn’t make it to those cards.


  1. Anonymous

    Does anyone know of any podcasts, shoots or interviews where anyone from inside the business talks or speculates about this. I’ve no doubt it happened as described and was nixed by Hogan and Vince. I’d love to hear some insiders discussing it.

  2. Jim Agar

    The first one in Providence was taped with a single camera — highly unusual at the time for a house show — and clips of that tape were used to promote the second match (the rematch). Undoubtedly, that tape is somewhere deep in the WWE archives along with the various King of the Ring tournaments that took place in the mid-/late-80s in Foxborough and Providence!

  3. David Johnston

    I was at that Montreal Q & A, and actually asked Hogan the question about his feud with Jake. I have the video of his response. One question still remains- is there ANYONE, ANYWHERE that has footage of Hogan getting DDT’d?? Allegedly, it took place on a ‘Snake Pit’ segment, but was only shown on TV stations that were local to the events where they fought…fellow wrestling fans, please help!!

  4. Pingback: Jake the Snake’s Hall of Fame entry involves the DDT, cool promos, and Damien | Boston Garden Balcony
  5. cowboyography

    There is a new interview out with Jake and he confirmed the rumor that when Hogan and him tried an angle the crowd began chanting DDT and Hogan and Vince wouldn’t have that so they canceled the work. I never understood why Vince went out of his way to find villains like Zues when he could have plugged in real workers like Mr Perfect or Rick Rude into that position as Hogans adversary, we could have had some amazing matches in the late 80’s early 90’s, not that the ones we had were bad but I always like to think about what could have been!

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