Wrestling By The Numbers: Jake Roberts
World Wrestling Entertainment has announced the second inductee into the 2014 WWE Hall Of Fame Class will be Aurelian ‘Jake Roberts’ Smith Jr.. The 58-year-old Gainesville Texas native who’s known as ‘The Snake’, was one the best in-ring psychology masters in the history of the professional wrestling business. In addition to his ability to work an audience in the ring, Smith Jr. also had outstanding promo skills on the microphone and is remembered for his often dark and always intense interview segments throughout his career. Aurelian Smith Jr.’s 39-years in the industry started back in 1975 when he debuted after having been trained by his father Grizzly Smith, Buck Robley and Moose Moroski. Smith Jr. started his career working in the Louisiana area for promoters as both a wrestler and a referee. By the late 1970’s to early 1980’s he already started making a name for himself and was a top attraction in promotions including Mid-South Wrestling, Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and Georgia Championship Wrestling. In 1983 Roberts worked for the National Wrestling Alliance as apart of Paul Ellering’s Legion Of Doom before joining World Class Championship Wrestling in 1984 and teaming Chris Adams and Gino Hernandez in a feud against The Von Erichs in Texas.
Jake Roberts returned to Mid-South Wrestling in 1985 and feuded primarily with Dick Slater before being signed by World Wrestling Entertainment in 1986. Smith Jr.’s first stint with the WWE last 6-years and saw him involved in major feuds with future legends including Ricky Steamboat, Randy Savage, Rick Rude, Andre the Giant, The Undertaker and others. He requested and was granted his release from the company in 1992 shortly after his match at Wrestlemania VIII against The Undertaker. Smith Jr. claims he had been promised a position as a writer/booker from Vince McMahon and after not being offered the job when a position became open the relationship between the two became fractured. World Championship Wrestling signed Jake Roberts in 1992 and he spent a year with the organization feuding with Sting before joining Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion in Mexico for the next 3-years.
He returned to the WWE from 1996 to 1997 and famously was apart of the birth of Austin 316 when he was defeated by the Steve Austin at the 1996 King Of The Ring event. Roberts went on to feud with Jerry Lawler throughout the second half of 1996 and had planned to wind down his in ring career early in 1997. It was planned again that he would take a backstage role with the organization but this time he was released in February of 1997 after on-going problems with drug and alcohol abuse. Smith Jr. then joined Extreme Championship Wrestling and had a brief stint with the company before mainly becoming a performer on the local independent circuits. He also was used by TNA Wrestling with occasional appearances in 2006 and appeared on television for the company in 2008. As impressive as Smith Jr.’s career in professional wrestling has been it has also been plagued with ongoing and often well documented substance abuse problems which were featured in the Barry Blaustein wrestling documentary Beyond The Mat. He joined fellow wrestler Diamond Dallas Page’s sober living program in October of 2012 and has found success not only with his substance abuse issues but has also seen a considerable improvement to his overall health with the introduction of DDP Yoga. It was announced on the January 27th episode of WWE Raw that he would be joining The Ultimate Warrior as the first two inductees announced for the 2014 WWE Hall Of Fame Class.
Below we look at the televised professional wrestling career of Aurelian ‘Jake Roberts’ Smith Jr. by the numbers…
World Wrestling Entertainment:
* 27 Matches on WWE Pay-Per-View.
* 3 Main Event Matches on WWE Pay-Per-View.
* 9 Matches on WWE Raw.
* 4 Main Event Matches on WWE Raw.
* 10 Matches ( 3rd Most All-Time ) on WWE Saturday Night’s Main Event. (First Match: May 3rd 1986 Vs Ricky Steamboat Last Match: February 8th 1992 Vs Randy Savage)
* 1 Main Event Match on WWE Saturday Night’s Main Event.
* 70 Matches ( 25th Most All-Time ) on WWE Prime Time Wrestling. (First Match: March 24th 1986 Vs Lanny Poffo Last Match: March 29th 1992 Vs Jim Powers)
* 11 Main Event Matches on WWE Prime Time Wrestling.
* 76 Matches ( 6th Most All-Time ) on WWE Superstars. (First Match: September 20th 1986 Vs Tony Garea Last Match: December 1st 1996 With Marc Mero & Savio Vega Vs The British Bulldog, Owen Hart & Crush)
* 13 Main Event Matches on WWE Superstars.
* 63 Matches on WWE Wrestling Challenge.
* 8 Main Event Matches on WWE Wrestling Challenge.
* 8 Matches on WWF All-Star Wrestling.
* 1 Main Event Match on WWF All-Star Wrestling.
* 7 Matches on WWF Championship Wrestling.
* 2 Main Event Matches on WWF Championship Wrestling.
* 1 Match on WWF Shotgun Saturday Night.
* 16 Matches on WWF On MSG Network.
* 3 Main Event Matches on WWF On MSG Network.
* 1 Match on WWF On USA Network.
* 9 Matches on WWF On PRISM Network.
* 3 Main Event Matches on WWF On PRISM Network.
* 10 Matches on WWF On NESN.
* 1 Main Event Match on WWF On NESN.
* 4 Matches on WWF On Z Channel.
* 3 Main Event Matches on WWF On Z Channel.
* 1 Match on WWF / AJPW Wrestling Summit.
* 1 Match on WWF Road To Wrestlemania VIII.
World Championship Wrestling:
* 1 Match on WCW Pay-Per-View.
* 1 Main Event Match on WCW Pay-Per-View.
* 4 Matches on WCW Saturday Night.
* 1 Match on WCW Clash Of The Champions.
* 1 Main Event Match on WCW Clash Of The Champions.
* 1 Main Event Match on WCW Saturday Night.
* 2 Matches on WCW Power Hour.
* 2 Main Event Matches on WCW Power Hour.
NWA: Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling:
* 13 Matches on NWA: Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling Television.
* 1 Main Event Match on NWA: Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling Television.
* 3 Matches on NWA: MACW World Wide Wrestling.
NWA: Georgia Championship Wrestling:
* 3 Matches on NWA: Georgia Championship Wrestling Television.
* 1 Match on Mid-South Wrestling Television.
Extreme Championship Wrestling:
* 1 Match on ECW Pay-Per-View.
Smoky Mountain Wrestling:
* 3 Matches on Smoky Mountain Wrestling Television.
* 2 Main Event Matches on Smoky Mountain Wrestling Television.
All Japan Pro Wrestling:
* 1 Match on AJPW / WWF Wrestling Summit.
New Japan Pro Wrestling:
* 1 Match on NJPW G1 Climax.
Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion:
* 2 Matches on AAA On Televisa Deportes.
* 2 Main Event Matches on AAA On Televisa Deportes.
* 6 Matches on AAA Sin Limite.
* 6 Main Event Matches on AAA Sin Limite.
Global Wrestling Federation:
* 1 Match on GWF On ESPN.
* 1 Main Event Match on GWF On ESPN.
Heroes Of Wrestling:
* 1 Match on HOW Pay-Per-View.
* 1 Main Event Match on HOW Pay-Per-View.
World Wrestling Legends:
* 1 Match on WWL Pay-Per-View.