According to Jake Roberts, Vince McMahon once nixed a major storyline idea due to WWE fans' reaction to a Snake Pit segment.
In the 1980s, Hulk Hogan was marketed as WWE's star attraction. The Hulkster was supposed to feud with the villainous Roberts in 1986, but the main event angle ended after a moment between the two divided fans.
On the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast, Roberts said he stood alongside McMahon after hitting Hogan with a DDT on The Snake Pit. Moments later, fans chanted for Roberts instead of Hogan, prompting McMahon to cancel the story:
"Finally, after about a minute, the fans started chanting all right," Roberts recalled. "They started chanting, 'DDT, DDT, DDT!' and Vince looked at me and he goes, 'F**k that, it'll never happen.' So, it [matches between Hogan and Roberts] happened twice and that was it, and both of them were sell-outs, but the problem being they weren't about to touch the marketing of Hogan, so I was scr*wed." [0:52 – 1:20]
Shortly after the incident, McMahon was left with little choice but to turn Jake Roberts into a good guy. The WWE Hall of Famer did not face Hogan again until they met at an untelevised live event in 1992.
Why WWE fans cheered for Jake Roberts over Hulk Hogan
The DDT is widely viewed as one of the most popular WWE finishers of all time. Jake Roberts' signature move has been replicated by several wrestlers over the years, including Alexa Bliss, The Miz, and The Rock.
Roberts believes the DDT played a key role in fans cheering for him instead of Hogan:
"I think they believed in the DDT. You gotta remember I dropped [Ricky] Steamboat with it – I killed him – and now I've dropped Hogan too. I was the baddest son of a b***h on the planet. And sometimes the last thing the fan wants to do is chant for a guy that's gonna lose. Nobody wants to back a loser. Well, every now and then a guy will come along and you can't see him losing. Well, they're gonna get behind that guy." [2:56 – 3:32]
On a recent episode of his podcast, Roberts said he wishes he headlined WrestleMania with Hogan in the 1980s.
Do you think Vince McMahon should have booked Hulk Hogan vs. Jake Roberts at WrestleMania? Let us know in the comments section below.
Please credit the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling if you use quotes from this article.