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Jake Roberts Recalls Show Where He Disguised Himself as Santa Claus

March 24, 2022 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Jake Roberts AEW Dynamite Image Credit: AEW

– During this week’s DDP Snake Pit podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Jake Roberts recalled working with Dusty Rhodes earlier in his career. Below are some highlights (via WrestlingInc.com):

Jake Roberts on working with Dusty Rhodes and Kevin Sullivan earlier in his career: “So easy. In the tag matches, it was always Barry and I doing all the work and Kevin Sullivan and Dusty sitting, waiting to come in and steal the show, which they did. We had to put the time in. There was a magic night, my first near-death experience I guess, in the business, in St. Petersburg, Florida. It’s Christmas night and it’s going to be Kevin Sullivan wrestling Dusty Rhodes, loser leaves and can’t come back. So, man, all the marbles are on the line. My previous actions had caused the NWA to ban me from the building in St. Petersburg. Those bastards, how can they do that? I thought I had the night off. But no, I don’t have a night off. I had to go to the SportArtium there in Tampa and they dressed me up in this ridiculous Santa Claus suit, and they take me over to St. Pete and I’m told, ‘just walk through the crowd, anywhere you want to go, up in the cheap seats, and hand out candy. And don’t get recognized because if you do, you might be in some deep sh-t out there alone.’ You know, because they didn’t much care for Kevin and I.”

Jake Roberts on dressing as Santa Claus during a show until it was time to finish a match with Rhodes and Sullivan: “All night long, I go up and down those aisles and hand out the candy to the kids and they take pictures with Santa and all sorts of stuff, and Dusty and he gets in the ring and the cage. And at the right time, Santa makes it down to ringside and he’s handing out toys, and stuff, and candy, and he steps over the barricade, and at the right time, he slips Kevin Sullivan something, and he hits Dusty with it. Dusty goes down, cover, one, two, three. Now, they done told me in the back, ‘Jake, expect everything to happen. But don’t leave the area until Kevin gets out of the cage. You guys come back together.’ ‘Okay, okay, okay, I got it. We’ll find our way back, okay.'”

On how things went down: “I don’t know what I was doing because I was thinking, ‘Kevin’s going to be a big help.’ How wrong was I? Well, let me tell you. We made it around the corner and now we got a straight shot to the back, and I’m getting punched and I’m fighting. And I look and there’s no Kevin around at all. I look up at the back, he’s in the back already. He ducked down and just ran through, like this. I can’t duck down like that. I’m not 5’5, you know? I fought my way back.

“Anyway, this is a water tower moment for me because I’m in the locker room and we can hear the people outside chanting, ‘we want Santa.’ It’s Christmas night, you know, and the police come in and say, ‘we’ve never seen anything like this. There’s got to be 400 people outside waiting for you.’ I’m like, ‘well, they’re not going to get what they want.’ You know, and to hear those people chanting, ‘we want Santa’ and, ‘eff you Santa’, and all that stuff. And then to go home that night, and the next day I get up and pick up a Tampa paper and read that eight Santa Clauses had gotten beat up the night before on the streets.”