Jake "The Snake" Roberts has transitioned to a sober lifestyle with the help of fellow professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page. Page, who developed a yoga program to help remedy injuries he suffered while still competing, said in a 2012 interview with Newsday that he invited Jake "The Snake" to live with him to help him battle his demons in order to make one last run in pro wrestling. Page said to Newsday:
"And I told him, 'If you can really do this -- and you have to prove it to me [by doing the program] for six or eight weeks, I'll freakin' get a place in Atlanta. I'll bring you up, and we'll continue this journey.'"
Roberts, who got his nickname, "The Snake" by bringing his python, Damian to the ring to scare his opponents, was a subject of the documentary on wrestling, Beyond The Mat, which Robert's openly criticized for displaying him in an unflattering light. Roberts was battling substance abuse at the time the film was made and was filmed offscreen apparently smoking crack.
Roberts had ballooned to over 300 pounds at the time he first spoke with Page. He quickly lost 20 pounds within the first 3 1/2 weeks and continued to better himself physically and mentally in order to make his current comeback to wrestling. After beginning work on Page's program Roberts told Newsday: "Damn, I'm thankful, and it's [living healthier] changing the way you look at things because you're walking differently, you're eating differently, you're able to do things you hadn't been able to do in 20 years."
The 58-year-old Roberts is still active as a wrestler in Jersey Championship Wrestling and recently made his return to WWE, which is the organization that made him famous within the industry in the 80's and 90's. Regarding the diagnosis and procedure, Jake "The Snake" told TMZ:
"If the devil can't defeat me, cancer doesn't stand a chance in hell! Pray for sick children who face this horrible disease 'cause The Snake will be just fine."
Roberts will undergo an emergency surgical procedure to remove a tumor that the World Wrestling Entertainment legend learned of on a Feb. 21 doctor visit. TMZ reports that Roberts noticed the growth behind his knee close to a month ago that is now growing into his knee according to his doctors.
The news of Robert's cancer diagnosis comes on the heels of the announcement by WWE that he will be inducted into their Hall of Fame in April. Prefacing an interview that WWE.com did with Jake "The Snake" Roberts after his return to the company, the website stated:
"During the 1980s and '90s, the native of Stone Mountain, Ga., became a household name and his likeness adorned everything from lunchboxes to action figures. The Snake's short-arm clothesline and DDT were as ubiquitous as Hogan's big boot and leg drop. His interviews were the stuff of legend and his rivalries were among the most intense WWE had ever seen."