The Resurrection of Jake The Snake Roberts is a documentary directed by Steve Yu, starring Steve Austin, Adam Copeland ‘Edge,’ Ted DiBiase, Jim Duggan, Scott Hall, Gene Okerlund, Dallas Page, Jim Ross, and Aurelian Smith ‘Jake Roberts.’
The documentary did the film festival circuit in 2015 and was released January 12 on demand.
When presented the opportunity to watch a documentary about the life of Aurelian Smith Jr, most would find almost anything else to do rather than subject yourself to that. However, when you change the name from Aurelian Smith Jr to Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, my assumption is that the reaction would be drastically different. Such was the case this past Thursday when a friend of Mr. Smith’s arranged for an opportunity to screen The Resurrection of Jake The Snake Roberts. Now being a child of 80’s, being aware of Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts is not the biggest of a stretch as the WWF dominated programming on Saturday Mornings (Yes, they had a cartoon), Saturday Nights, and their pay-per-views drew record crowds. Who could forget ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund announcing at Wrestlemania Three that they had 93,000 screaming fans jammed into the Pontiac Silver Dome? However, this documentary is much more than a retelling of past glories in the ring. In fact, if someone were to go to watch this documentary expecting to relive Jake’s glory days, they will be vastly disappointed. This film is less about Jake and more about the demons that Aurelian Smith Jr. is still facing to this day. The Resurrection of Jake The Snake Roberts is a raw and unfiltered look at the demons the people face and how they can through hard work overcome them.
The catalyst behind the resurrection was former wrestler Diamond Dallas Page. Mr. Page, who’s since retired from wrestling, has found success with his DDP Yoga plan wanted to reach out to Mr. Smith for no other reason than to pay him back for all the times he had helped Diamond Dallas Page in the ring. When they arrive at his home in Gainesville Texas, we find a Three hundred pound Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts bemoaning how terrible his life currently is and how he feels likes he’s spiraling out of control. He even goes as to admit that he’s dabbled in some crack as recently as a month prior. After some persuasion, Mr. Smith agrees to move in with Diamond and start his road to recovery. Jake’s road to recovery is filled with clean living, clean eating, and tons of DDP Yoga.
Now where this documentary could have gone astray is if this turned into some ‘infomercial’ for DDP Yoga but that wasn’t even remotely the case. As the documentary went on it seems that director Steven Yu pushed the envelope even more as we were able to witness the multiple instances where Jake would relapse and to say it was uncomfortable would be an understatement. Yu should be commended for sticking with those scenes and allowing the audience to go on this journey with Jake even during his rough times. How could you not empathize with Jake’s struggle when they found him intoxicated at the Atlanta Airport? The audience truly gets to see the depths of addiction can affect a person no matter how much they want to change for the better.
Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts has a lot of issues, but those issues seem to be getting under control right from the moment we meet Scott Hall, and Mr. Page invites him to join Jake on the path to recovery and to move in with them. While Scott Hall does factor in this documentary, he does play a significant role in Jake’s recovery because it’s the first time he gets to see a person who’s a reflection of himself. Both Scott and Jake are addicts, and before they moved in with Mr. Page, they probably were headed towards an early death. Seeing Scott, seems to motivate Jake just enough to get him on a permanent track towards happiness.
The shame in all this, The Resurrection of Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts won’t nearly get the respect that it deserves because it will get lost in the shuffle of other films. This documentary wasn’t even on my radar until it was brought to my attention. In a word, this documentary is sensational. It’s an authentic look at a man who’s struggle nearly cost him his life but through the power of determination, he started down the road to recovery. Do yourself a huge favor this weekend and avoid the same regurgitated Hollywood nonsense and order this brilliant documentary on I-Tunes.