The Snake Pit

Jake Roberts Snake Pit

The original Piper’s Pit was a phenomenon, sweeping the WWF and catapulting “Rowdy” Roddy Piper to superstardom. The format, in which Piper talked with other wrestlers, insulting the faces and congratulating the heels, has been copied countless times to varying degrees of success. Everyone from Jesse Ventura to Kevin Sullivan have had mini talk shows, so it makes sense that Jake Roberts would have his own as well.

Dubbed the Snake Pit, Roberts woul,d have an opportunity to duplicate the antics of the Rowdy One. While Roberts did his best (and shockingly appeared to be sober on most occasions), several factors contributed to place his version of the Pit squarely into the “also ran” bin. First off, Roberts was playing the part of a tweener, leaning towards being a face. Therefore, the necessary controversy factor was somewhat watered down. He was never that mean to the faces (or the heels, for that matter), and the segments just seemed lacking.

Part of the problem may have been the set itself. It was made up to look like the inside of a cave, with big gray walls to which ivy was attached. It looked really bad, like the backdrop for a grade school play. In the middle of the set was a pillar which housed Damien, Roberts’ pet snake. Roberts would use it from time to time to intimidate his guests.

To be fair, the Snake Pit wasn’t terrible, it was merely boring. Nothing much ever happened on the Snake Pit, and it just seemed to be around as a time filler on the old WWF Challenge show. Roberts did the best he could, but it was obvious that the fans wanted Piper back, which they got when Roddy returned around WrestleMania III. Shortly after this, the Snake Pit became nothing more than a footnote in Jake Roberts’ career.

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