Bruce Prichard On Jake Roberts’ WWE Return In 1996, Jake’s Character, Owen Hart’s Chemistry With Shawn Michaels

In a recent edition of Something to Wrestle, Bruce Prichard discussed Jake Roberts’ WWE return in 1996, Owen Hart’s chemistry with Shawn Michaels, and much more. You can read his comments below.

Bruce Prichard on Jake Roberts’ return to WWE in 1996: “Everybody knew that Jake wasn’t in shape to go out and have matches of old, however, the attraction of Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts still held water. Jake was still able to cut some of the most compelling promos in the business. We thought if we could get there and make Jake an attraction, there might be something. But putting Jake regularly in matches – not the greatest idea in the world.

On the reason for changing Jake’s character: “I think that most people kind of saw Jake in that one way. It was an opportunity, from Jake’s point of view, that Jake felt very strongly about or at least outwardly felt strongly about getting that message out. So, we wanted to try it. We don’t like doing politics or religion, but in this case, it was a message of, ‘Hey kids, don’t do drugs. Look what can happen to you’ and Jake wanting to do a positive spin on things. Later on, we had what we called a No BS tour where you took guys like Bradshaw and Farooq and different guys and guys that lived a hard life and made mistakes, and go out and give kids the no-bullshit message. This was the precursor to that, and this was Jake going out and telling his story of, ‘Hey man, I was a drug addict. I was an alcoholic. You can get your life back on track.’ That was the idea behind it.

On Owen Hart’s match against Shawn Michaels at In Your House 6 and their chemistry together: “Owen was just so great at everything he did. It was effortless on Owen’s part. Owen knew where to be and when to be there and was able to tell a great story in any situation that you put him in. This was a prime example. Owen knew what he was out there to do. Owen was out there to make Shawn look like the guy that could be the next champion, and in that, Shawn was in there to make Owen so that he beat somebody. It was just a clinic for anybody that wants to go back and learn why the guys do the things they do in the ring and why some things make sense and some things don’t make sense. This would be a match to go back and watch. These two guys made beautiful music together.”

On Owen and Shawn’s relationship: “Everybody liked Owen, so it was kind of hard to not like him and be adversarial in any way, shape, or form. I would say that Owen worked hard to have good relationships, but he really didn’t. He just had to be himself in so many ways. Owen was professional, and as far as family, Owen is gonna back up family and stand behind them. But at the same time, when it’s time to do business, Owen is gonna do business and do what’s right for business. That’s the kind of person that he was, so it was pretty straightforward with that. I think they had a good relationship.

If using any of the above quotes, please credit Something to Wrestle with an h/t to for the transcription.

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