The Resurrection of Jake the Snake Roberts
Release Date: January 23, 2016
Director: Steve Yu
“The Resurrection of Jake the Snake Roberts” was a bone-chilling, real life experience; capped off with the end-goal: the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame.
The movie follows DDP’s timeline, but more importantly Jake’s, and as you’ll come to find out in the movie, many others as well as Scott Hall’s. Backed by interviews with wrestling legends such as Steve Austin, Edge, Chris Jericho, Gene Okerlund, and other luminaries; the recovery path is aided with facts about Jake as this documentary is an easy watch for someone who is a contrarian to those that know who Jake is and what he’s accomplished, being wrestling fans.
Steve Yu put this documentary together as director, and was involved in the assistance of Jake’s recovery (not only documenting the recovery, but being there at the house and quite frankly being there for Jake as a helping hand). Yu seemingly perfected the balance scale of interview clips, timeline hops, actual wrestling clips, as well as overall documentation. As aforementioned, this movie was an extremely easy watch aided by everything that was interpreted into the documentations’ vision. Clocking in at just under an hour and a half, there’s no excuse to embark on this journey.
You best believe there were massive ups-and-downs within the rough timeline of 2012-2014. With backstory of Jake’s slump, as well as Scott’s, there were incidents shown at indie shows (notably the 2008 event where Jake was too out of his mind to work, and coincidentally lost a match within 30 seconds, refusing to take commands from another worker to give a DDT).
Indie shows weren’t the only destinations where incidents occurred. Throughout the tale of Snake’s recovery, there were more than multiple hiccups; only showcasing how hard it is to cope with an addiction that’s been haunting you for a long time. Within the first week, Jake was found at the ATL airport wasted to no end, breaking the recovery house set-rule that there would be absolutely no drinking or substance usage. Jake continued to battle his ‘need’ for alcohol at points, to where in a climatic situation, Page screamed at Jake begging for him to just quit it. From there on out, Jake seemed alright.
Family is arguably the most important theme cut-across the path, and arguably the fuel that eventually led Jake to stop his substance issues period. Page is family, Scott who was right there with him, living minutes away from the house training Cody Hall, is family. His two sons jumped back into his recovering life and so did others. People were finally talking to Jake days at a time and no blank communication spaces happened.
After losing 50+ pounds, as well as finally putting the addiction to rest, which was battled with in the beginning/middle parts of the film; the rest of the documentary was sweet, compelling, and a whole buggy of emotions. It was time for all the awards and praise the man deserves for recovery.
First up was the CAC (Cauliflower Alley Club), as Jake officially became a member of the club, being put in with such peers as Paul Bearer and Molly Holly in 2013. Then came the incredible Old School RAW moment, where Dean Ambrose (whilst marking out) was victimized by Damien and hit with a Jake the Snake DDT as CM Punk & The New Age Outlaws looked on. That was an amazing moment to see live on television, and with the backstory behind it now documented in the movie; it just makes you feel even better. Everyone gathered at the house to watch the moment unfold, with some not even knowing if Jake would be on the show. The fact that Jake got to shake Vince’s hand in gorilla, seemingly sealing the deal on that future HOF induction because of cleanliness, then got to go out and close an important RAW; was one of the end-goals and a turning point in what was to come in the future for him.
Then came WrestleMania 30 weekend, and the greatness that was Scott Hall’s, DDP’s and last but definitely not least, Jake The Snake’s verbiage throughout their speeches. It was the perfect ending for a documentation, as both of the guys came into DDP’s place needing the Yoga help; on the verge of killing themselves with their issues. Scott couldn’t even walk upon entry into the recovery house, and now is on the stage killing it with his vintage one-liners and verbiage that only Razor Ramon could emit. Seeing Jake up on that stage once again just feels so much more important after watching the entire transformation unfold. As Y2J said it best, the man walked into DDP’s world with a 300+ pound weight, and an entire addiction weight resting on his shoulders, and turned it around to the point where WWE accepted him as a CLEAN legend, weighing in at around 250 pounds.
I’m so glad I watched this documentary. To see the transformation and build towards the already special 2014 HOF was an experience unlike anything else I’ve seen in the form of a wrestling documentary. The film was made so that whether or not you’re a fan, you can understand and take part in the interactive, emotionally draining transformation of the man that deserved a helluva lot more than what was given to him for all of his work in the business (mostly speaking titles). The Scott Hall portions, even if not highlighted enough in the review, were excellent although overshadowed by the highlighted subject. To see those three guys interact in mostly positive ways, and all of the family intertwined (DDP’s interns were even considered as such) is something that just makes you happy. I can’t recommend this film enough, and although I wish it could have been a little longer, it still delivered on all fronts.