WHEN YOU WANT TO GAMBLE, THE MAIN THING YOU MUST DO IS THIS: YOU MUST ACCEPT LOSING.
I haven't watched wrestling for years and I hardly ever frequent the wrestling folders here, but I did somehow meander into a link in the General Wrestling folder that detailed that Jake Roberts, once again, arrived at a card loaded and unable to perform. It is, of course, no news at all that Roberts (a favorite of mine, back when I had an interest in the business) is a cracked shell of humanity. What is concerning to me is the reaction that everybody always has to the unfortunate regularity of these kind of reports.
When they're not papering over the inherent tragedy in Jake's downfall with half-assed jokes, everybody keeps implying that it would be such a boon to the wrestling industry "if Jake were to somehow get his shit together", all while having a fundamental misunderstanding about what exactly has driven Roberts through this steady descent into oblivion. Why are you even bothering with any sort of optimism for Jake Roberts?
His self-destructive behavior comes about through a symbiotic relationship to professional wrestling; any possibility for humility is long gone, as there will always be some cheap-ass indie promoter, looking to score a buck, that will be more than happy to simply pay Roberts (in cash or in drugs, whatever's easier to procure) to headline their booking. Whether Roberts' addiction and depression are suitably indulged are of no consequence to them, as long as there's even a remote possibility that he works on their night. The sheer possibility of an appearance is somehow worthwhile because, despite what happened at Heroes of Wrestling, despite all of the constant no-shows and general instability...Jake "The Snake" Roberts still has some marketability to wrestling fandom, either out of hope for a glimpse at the brilliant performer of the past or out of morbid curiosity for the walking car crash that stumbles from town to no-horse town today.
There's no denying that Jake has the addiction here, likely spurred by an all-too-conscious self-loathing and a sordid past that no one would want to go through. But the industry, as a whole, has an addiction to Jake Roberts as well, always willing to bring him in for a quick jolt, a quick cash-in of nostalgia, with more regard for the icon rather than the human being that's no longer able to carry his fractured legacy. As much as I want Roberts to recover from his broken life, I know better than to expect him, or those that are content to bleed him dry, to find an opportunity. There Is No Hope Here.