Great work, read every day etc.
In the 20th April 92 edition of the Observer flashbacks you said:-
"The whole hilariously sad story behind this one should be coming soon. Jake REALLY gambled on this one, and it turned out that Bill Watts had 22."
I don’t recall ever getting the full story on this. I’ve read all the recaps and just checked through the half dozen or so after this, and aside from Jake going to WCW, they don’t really delve into what his gamble was. Apologies if I missed it but if not, can you shed any light on what went down?
I don’t think Dave’s getting into the whole thing any time soon in these, but Jake basically burned his bridges on the way out of the WWF, holding up Vince for money before he’d do the job at Wrestlemania. There was a couple of factors, including bitterness on his part over not getting Pat Patterson’s job as promised (since it turned out that Pat was only "fired" as a media smokescreen) and also a huge guaranteed contract with WCW that was brokered by Kip Frey. So Jake basically told Vince to fuck off on the way out the door, and then JUST as he’s ready to sign the WCW contract, Frey gets fired and they bring in Bill Watts. Bill is well known for two things:
1) Being cheap.
2) Hating Jake Roberts.
So one of the first things that Bill does is, I believe literally, tearing up Jake’s huge guaranteed money deal and forcing him to sign a new one at vastly different terms. Unfortunately, the other thing that happened was Watts started instituting actual drug testing, so not only was Jake working for a lot less money, but he also was facing problems if his previous habits came out again, and when he failed a test after Halloween Havoc, Bill was more than happy to immediately fire him and get his money off the books.
Basically, SUCKS to be Jake Roberts in 1992.