Today’s episode of My Two Pence Worth will be on one feud in the World Wrestling Federation that was only done on TV in mid 1991 – Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Earthquake.
This feud began two weeks after WrestleMania 7 (where Jake had defeated “The Model” Rick Martel in a blindfold match, while Earthquake had already finished his mid 1990/early 1991 feud with Hulk Hogan) on the April 6th episode of Superstars, where Jake found out that Earthquake was afraid of snakes, and started scaring him and his manager “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart around ringside and the interview platform with his pet python Damien.
One week later, on the April 14th episode of Wrestling Challenge, Earthquake and Jimmy were guests on Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake’s talk show segment called “The Barber Shop” to talk about Jake, and Beefcake scared Earthquake with a rubber snake.
Ten days later, on April 24th, Jake and Earthquake were set to clash at the 1991 UK Rampage in Sheffield, England, which ended in Earthquake winning by disqualification when Jake tried to unleash Damien on him.
Three more days later, Jake and Earthquake met again in the ring on the April 27th episode of Superstars. As the match got underway, Jimmy tackled referee Earl Hebner, allowing Earthquake to tie Jake up in the ropes and then squash Damien (who was still in his bag) with two Earthquake splashes.
The original broadcast interrupted the footage of Earthquake landing on Damien with cutaway shots to Sean Mooney cringing at the Events Center, while the uncut version of Earthquake landing on Damien was shown on the April 30th episode of Prime Time Wrestling the following week. In reality, the snake bag that Earthquake flattened actually contained pantyhose stuffed with hamburger meat. After Earthquake did his two splashes and then left ringside with Jimmy, Jake opened the bag, flipped out, and was absolutely devastated over the death of his pet.
Afterwards, Earthquake served “Quakeburgers” on Prime Time Wrestling. But they were actually snakeburgers as Earthquake’s way of rubbing salt in Jake’s wounds!
Eventually, after a brief encounter in a battle royal at the April 27th 1991 edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event, Jake went on the Barber Shop on the May 12th episode of Wrestling Challenge (taped on April 16th) to unveil Damien’s big brother Lucifer to torment Earthquake throughout the summer.
Meanwhile, around the same time this feud was starting, “The 8th Wonder of the World” Andre the Giant had been considering a return to the ring (his last WWF match was at WrestleMania 6 in 1990 where he and Haku dropped the Tag-Team Championship to Demolition), and was approached by various heel managers to join forces with them, only for Andre to turn them down in humiliating ways.
First off, on the March 31st episode of Wrestling Challenge, Andre’s former manager Bobby “The Brain” Heenan tried to bury the hatchet with Andre after accidentally slapping him the year before, and they shook hands…
…only for Andre to crush Heenan’s hand, and then stand on it with his large foot.
Next, Andre was at a bar with Pat Patterson and Arnold Skaaland when “Sensational” Sherri Martel, who was managing “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase at the time, showed up and convinced Andre to let her be his manager…
…but Andre refused, bent Scary Sherri over the bar, and started spanking her until she ran off, allowing Andre to resume his drinking with Patterson and Skaaland.
Third, which I don’t have screenshots for, involved “The Doctor of Style” Slick buying Andre a new car and getting throw into the boot.
Fourth, Mr. Fuji had a go by offering Andre a big cake at a restaurant…
…and Andre pushed Fuji’s face into the cake.
Finally, the last manager to try his luck at recruiting Andre was Jimmy Hart. On the June 1st episode of Superstars, Jimmy told “Mean” Gene Okerlund and the whole world that he had succeeded at signing Andre to team with Earthquake.
But when Andre denied the claims, Earthquake attacked him from behind, injuring Andre’s knee in the process! In reality, Andre’s body was still growing due to the gigantism that he had since childhood, so this angle was written as an excuse for him to get around on crutches.
Two weeks later, on the June 15th episode of Superstars, Earthquake teamed with the then-Tag-Team Champions The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) against Tugboat (who was Hulk Hogan’s (kayfabe) then-best mate) and The Bushwhackers (Butch & Luke), where Tugboat betrayed the Kiwis and sided with Earthquake, Jimmy, and the Nasties. Two days later on the June 17th episode of Prime Time Wrestling, Jimmy announced that Tugboat was now known as Typhoon, as well as formed a new tag-team with Earthquake called The Natural Disasters.
And so, on July 1st at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, Jake and Earthquake faced off once again, but this time, Jake had formed a new alliance with Andre since they had feuded nearly three years earlier in late 1988 (their blow-off had occurred at WrestleMania 5). Jake managed to defeat Earthquake by pinfall with the DDT, and then scare him off with Lucifer.
The Jake/Earthquake feud ended with a fizzle on the August 5th episode of Prime Time Wrestling, where Jake defeated Typhoon by disqualification when Earthquake interefered, only for Andre to make the save. According to the August 1991 issue of WWF Magazine, there was a big tag-team match planned for SummerSlam 1991, which would’ve involved Jake and Andre teaming up against the Disasters. That sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? But, since Andre’s immobility was getting worse and worse, that match was never going to happen. So, the feud was quietly dropped, and the Disasters ended up squashing the Bushwhackers at SummerSlam before moving on to feud with The Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal), while Andre left the WWF at the end of 1991, and Jake got involved in another feud which I will discuss next time.