The Surprising Reason Vince McMahon Denied Hulk Hogan vs Jake Roberts WWE Feud

Why the Hulk Hogan and Jake Roberts Feud Was Scrapped

Hulk Hogan and Jake Roberts in a "Snake Pit" segment on Wrestling Challenge, November 23rd, 1986
Photo Credit: WWE.

In a 2013 interview with Sky News Radio, Hulk Hogan told his side of the story (H/T WrestlingInc):

“There were several guys where there would be a feel in the ring, or you could tell right away. That’s how everything worked with me. I had to hear it and feel it with the instinct thing.

I got into a situation with Jake ‘The Snake’ where he had his [Snake] Pit. It was an interview show. We did something there, which was the beginning of a major storyline for Jake and myself.

We went to Providence, and we worked one night, and that was pretty much it. It was like we were at a funeral.

Clash of Styles

Was Hulk Hogan supposed to be the lead in the 1986 film, "Highlander"?
Photo Credit: WWE.

I just realized that something wasn’t clicking, and we kind of moved on and moved past it. I don’t know what it was.

There was a Hulk Hogan style at the time that was really easy, and there were several trains of thought with probably about six or seven ways to go to make things perfect. For some reason, Jake and I did not fit in any of those categories.

I Want to Dance With Somebody

Photo Credit: WWE.

I tried my best, and he tried his best, but we just couldn’t dance with each other. It wasn’t right.

I just didn’t want to run this thing out for six months to a year when there were so many other people like the ‘Macho Man’ and everybody else, and it was so red-hot. It just didn’t work.”

Jake Roberts Shares His Side of the Story

Photo Credit: WWE.

In an interview with Wrestlescoop.com, Jake Roberts had a different take on the matter.

“The angle was stopped because the people were chanting DDT, and Vince did not want that.

They made that machine up there to take care of Hogan. He was the golden goose.

That’s when they really took me from being a heel to being a babyface, and my job then became getting all the other heels ready to wrestle Hogan.

So, I guess they thought, ‘If we can’t use him as a heel, we’ll just beat him as a babyface…’

Babyface to the People

Photo Credit: WWE.

The people turned me babyface. My mistake as a heel was that I didn’t do enough ‘chicken’ stuff… I would take a beating, but I never cowered off. What happens is that people turn you babyface because if you take a beating but never cower off, people respect you. That was my mistake. If I’d done more chicken stuff, I could have stayed a heel.

But it didn’t matter.

If you’re good enough and go out there and do your job, people don’t remember if you won or lost. They really don’t. They just want to be entertained.”

Fans Didn’t Want the Feud

Photo Credit: WWE.

In a later interview with Title Match in 2017, Roberts took a more introspective look back on the matter while jokingly blaming the fans for why Vince rejected his feud with Hogan.

“They tried to put me with Hogan, but you fans screwed me with that when you guys started chanting, ‘DDT DDT!’ after I dropped him.

Vince looked at me, and he went, ‘Man, that ain’t going to fly.’

And I asked him, ‘What do you mean that’s not going to fly?’

‘Because they’re cheering for you!’

[I told Vince] ‘They’re just happy,’ you know? Whatever.

Feud Failures

Photo Credit: WWE.

We tried it in two towns, we sold out those cities and turned people away, and I said [to Vince], ‘There! You can’t beat that.’

Vince: ‘It’s not gonna happen.’

‘Why?’

Vince: ‘Because they’re chanting for you!’

‘Does it f***ing matter who they’re cheering for? The seats are sold out!’

Vince: ‘That’s going to screw with our marketing.’

So that was the end of that.

On to the Next Match

Photo Credit: WWE.

My job became getting the next bad guy ready for Hogan. If Hogan were in Los Angeles, I would be in San Francisco getting beat by what would be in the next car Hogan versus this guy who just beat me.

It was a lucrative job. I hated the job that I was never given the belt, but that was a lot of my fault because of my addictions.

What Could Have Been

Photo Credit: WWE.

I want to say this. I never meant to cheat the fans out of a good match, even when I was high or hungover. In those instances, I would wind up going out there, giving you twice the time because I was so angry with myself that I allowed myself to be not in proper shape at the time.

I often wonder how well it would have gone had I not had problems. Sometimes when you have problems, you learn a lot. I sure have learned that [adult beverages] and [substance abuse] aren’t good for you and that it can hurt your career and hurt your family. And that’s what I care about.”

Hogan vs Jake Roberts, Providence Civic Center, Rhode Island, December 30th, 1986

Photo Credit: WWE.

This was one of two times Hulk Hogan and Jake Roberts would ever meet in the ring. Was the crowd dead like at a funeral, as Hogan described? Would you have enjoyed seeing this feud take place? Sound off on social media!

Click here to watch a clip from the match

Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake: Troubled Beginnings

Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake go back to the 1970s. This image comes from a Classic Memphis Wrestling TV appearance on July 21st, 1979.
Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake go back to the 1970s. This image comes from a Classic Memphis Wrestling TV appearance on July 21st, 1979.

"It wasn’t worth it.”

Hulk Hogan and Brutus The Barber Beefcake have a long and varied history in professional wrestling. And as these shocking tales show, their start was anything but smooth!

Uncovering the Facts About the Musical Past of Hulk Hogan

'70s Florida-based rock band Ruckus featured the future Hulk Hogan on bass.
Photo Credit: Hulk Hogan, Ruckus.

“Chills were running up and down my spine!”

Before finding his calling in wrestling as Hulk Hogan, Terry Bollea was a long-haired bass player in a band called Ruckus. Little did he realize how much his life would change after playing a gig in Daytona!

Read Uncovering the Facts About the Musical Past of Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant – Their 8-Year Rivalry On and Off-Camera

While the iconic showdown between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant at the Pontiac Silverdome in front of 93,173* screaming fans (brother) was a unique attraction, it was certainly not their first rodeo. And outside of the ring, Andre hardly made it easy for Hogan. This is the story of their storied 8-year feud.

HULK HOGAN: “Andre beat me up every day for the first eight years. I was so nervous I used to puke on the way to the building!”

Although Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant forever changed the professional wrestling landscape at WrestleMania 3, it was certainly not their first rodeo. And outside of the ring, Andre hardly made it easy for Hogan. Learn the surprising story behind their legendary 8-year feud!

Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin Match Was Planned: Why It Fell Through

HULK HOGAN: “Was there some legitimate heat between Steve Austin and I? There was.”

Vince McMahon planned for the dream match between Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin to take place, yet it never came to fruition. Learn the surprising reasons behind why!

The Fingerpoke of Doom!

Hulk Hogan pokes Kevin Nash in the chest on the January 4th, 1999 episode of WCW Monday Nitro. It is a moment that has since been remembered as the infamous Fingerpoke of Doom.
Photo Credit: WWE.

HULK HOGAN: “It happened so fast. We really didn’t know enough about the business back then to take care of it.”

Ten days removed from WCW Starrcade 1998 (where Kevin Nash ended the infamous undefeated streak of Bill Goldberg), two significant blunders occurred: one involving Tony Schiavone and another involving Hulk Hogan, which led to the infamous Fingerpoke of Doom.

It is a moment forever burned in the minds of wrestling fans and considered by many the beginning of the end for WCW.

Learn more: Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and the Fingerpoke of Doom!

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