The Resurrection of Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The Resurrection of Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts

Doc tracks the former pro-wrestling star as he fights back from years of substance abuse

Jake “the Snake” Roberts was one of pro wrestling’s biggest stars in the 1980s and ’90s; he’s also been one of its biggest tragedies — a drug addict and alcoholic who has spent decades sliding into decline. Now Steve Yu’s new film documents Roberts’ struggle to climb out of that hole. In 2012, Roberts reconnects with his old friend and pro wrestler “Diamond” Dallas Paige, who has spent his post-wrestling years as a motivational speaker and health and fitness guru. Paige moves Roberts into his Atlanta home, where he undergoes daily drug tests and workouts. The film is an honest portrayal of what Roberts goes through, both his triumphs and failures. Roberts also works to mend relationships with his family. It occasionally gets a little hokey, but so does life. Roberts comes into this project naked and stripped of the ability to bullshit, and his desire to improve his life is believable. By the end of this film, you’ll hope he does, too.