WWE Legend Recalls The Horrors Of Working With Jake The Snake’s Python

Jake The Snake Roberts' snake Damien in the ring.
(Image credit: WWE)

The history of wrestling is filled with more than its share of animals. The British Bulldogs had, of course, a bulldog. Koko B Ware had a bird. Torrie Wilson had a dog. Hell, Scott Steiner once even brought a live tiger to the ring with him, but of all the animals in the squared circle, the most famous and well-remembered has to be Jake The Snake Roberts’ python Damien. He was involved in some of the most memorable storylines in the history of WWE, but it turns out he wasn’t exactly a joy to work with.

WWE legend Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake recently sat down for an extensive chat with Wrestling Shoot Interviews, courtesy of Appalachian Championship Wrestling, to discuss his career and some wild road stories (like Andre The Giant pooping on a plane). During the conversation, the subject of wrestling animals came up, and he was asked which was the worst to work with. He instantly answered Jake Roberts’ snake, who would apparently just crawl around in the locker room shower until he was needed. Here’s an excerpt of Beefcake explaining the reptilian nightmare of working with Damien, who was played at various times by different snakes…

They’d have to feed these snakes, really really feed them so that they weren’t aggressive. They get aggressive when they’re hungry. So, (the handlers) would feed the snakes to pacify them, and then they’d bring them to Jake. Jake would take the snakes and throw them into the shower rooms, on the floor and out of the bag. You’d come walking into the shower, and here’s this 12 foot python (crawling) up the wall… You’d go hauling ass out of there.

Encountering a snake slithering around a locker room shower is terrifying from a physical safety standpoint, but apparently worries about being bitten weren’t the only issue (though the snake famously bit Randy Savage). Perhaps because they had to feed the snakes so much to keep them safe and docile, they apparently sometimes had to use the bathroom in the shower. The result was a disgusting yellow mess that makes me unwilling to consider ever owning a snake. Here’s how Brutus Beefcake continued…

Sometimes the snake would shit all over the place, not just in the big. It would go in the shower and shit this yellow stuff that stunk so bad. It would stink up the whole (locker room). You’d have to go into a different dressing room to the shower to shower. Jake had (beef) with a lot of people over that.

Beefcake went on to mention Andre The Giant, Kamala and Cowboy Bob Orton specifically as three guys in the locker room who wanted no part of interacting with the snake. It should be noted, however, that Andre The Giant and Jake Roberts were actually very friendly and worked programs together from the mid-1970s onward. Most of them just didn’t involve Andre having to interact with the snake at all.

Jake Roberts remains one of the most popular and well-like wrestlers of the 1980s and early 1990s. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and still gets an extremely nice pop whenever he does occasional appearances in WWE or AEW. 

WWE is obviously still going strong with plenty of new and exciting characters, though some of the premium live events are still the same including the recently reformatted Survivor Series and Royal Rumble, both of which have been going strong since Roberts' heyday. 

Mack Rawden
Editor In Chief

Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.