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Former WWF wrestler from Stone Mountain, Georgia. Real name is Aurelian Smith, Jr. A fan favorite, Roberts would bring his snake Damien (and later, Lucifer) to the ring in a burlap bag. After knocking his opponent unconscious with his finishing move, the DDT, Roberts would then drape the snake over his fallen opponent in a celebration of victory.

Roberts had a number of long-running feuds, most memorably one with Ravishing Rick Rude, and another with Andre The Giant, who was (supposedly) deathly afraid of snakes.

Jake "The Snake" Roberts, real name Aurelius Smith, was one of the World Wrestling Federation's best performers in the 1980s. A babyface for many, many years, he lived his character.

Never one of the greatest technical wrestlers, he made up for those flaws with fresh and captivating interviews which would often legitimately spook out opponents--and if that didn't, Damien (his pet snake) definitely would. It was so drugged it could barely move, but watching his opponents recoil in mortal fear was always good for a chuckle.

He turned heel in the early 1990s, and that more than anything else absolutely killed his career. Fans had always dug him as a spooky babyface, but becoming a heel--without really changing his character much--the crowd really just didn't care about him. Being stuck in retarded angles like his feud with Andre the Giant, where the premise of the entire feud was that Andre was deathly afraid of snakes, didn't help matters much either.

He had a short run with World Championship Wrestling after leaving the WWF, but the resurfacing of his lifelong drinking problem (among other substances) led to his release in 1993.

He turned to Christianity, leading church tours in the name of religion and giving up his evil ways. He made a briefreturn to the WWF in 1996 playing that sort of "born again" character, a run most notable for creating a monster of another sort entirely: After Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Roberts in the finals of the 1996 King of the Ring tournament, Austin gave the following diatribe in his acceptance speech:

"Talk about your psalms, talk about your John 3:16; those things didn't get you anywhere. Well, Austin 3:16 says I just whooped your ass!"

That catchphrase was the catalyst for Austin's meteoric rise to fame, and the destruction of Jake "The Snake" Roberts laid the groundwork for it.

Roberts left the WWF soon afterwards, falling back into depression and alcoholism. He still wrestles occasionally on the independent circuit--when he's sober enough to remember to show up.

He was one of the main subjects of the Barry Blaustein's 1999 documentary on professional wrestling, entitled "Beyond the Mat". Blaustein accompanies Roberts on the road to several indy wrestling shows, along with an afternoon with his estranged father (wrestler "Grizzly" Smith) and a reunion with his oldest daughter. Blaustein reports that after the difficult meeting with his daughter--who he hadn't seen in several years--Roberts disappeared for a few hours. When Balustein finally caught back up with him, he was high on heroin.

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