With a career which took him round the world, Jake Roberts has explained why Japan was one of his least favourite places to visit.
When you accumulate the time spent in wrestling by Jake Roberts and Diamond Dallas Page, their careers have meant that they’ve seen and done it all. Despite now not actively competing, both are still involved in the industry including ‘The Snake’ working as a manager in AEW.
During their time, both learned how to garner a reaction from different audiences, which included travelling around the world and adapting to the requirements of where they were.
Speaking on a recent episode of their DDP Snake Pit podcast, Jake Roberts and DDP discussed the time they spent in Japan, with Roberts not remembering it fondly.
Roberts explained how he felt the crowd were reserved compared to other audiences, meaning you’d get a polite clap for the same action which would get a much bigger reaction elsewhere.
Yeah, they are different. I don’t enjoy the Japanese audiences at all, man. They’re very reserved. You go out and bust your ass, you want some type of reaction out of these people. But they’re very reserved and very inside. And you might get (clap noise) and that’s it. ‘Now wait a f*cking minute, come on! Is that it?’ I believe I was wrestling Boss Man (when that happened), I think.
DDP went on to explain that he feels the crowds have changed since then, as he recalled travelling to the country on tour in 2002.
What’s interesting about that is it just shows you what American culture and wrestling, how it changes the way people are. We were there in 2002, WWE, and I was on that card. And Shane McMahon, he was the one who was coordinating everything of that trip. And I’d seen all the quiet clapping and ‘oooh’ and no big pops.
Well now we’re there, and I’m hearing what sounds like, kind of like what our crowds would be. And we went out there and I said, ‘hey, on the way out there, Shane, let me do my thing. Let me go out there, grab the mic, and let’s see what the people do.’ And he goes, ‘sure, go for it.’ I went out there and they hit all of the catchphrases, ‘it’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing.’ I was like, ‘wow. They know those words.’
You’d think they don’t speak any English. They could speak it. It’s like learning a song. And really, it’s changed a lot over the years. That was still 20 years ago. Today, and I look at the way some of their guys work today, they’re still stiff as hell. But those guys, they tell stories too, their stories.
Japanese wrestling has once again risen to even more prominence in the United States with the announcement of the Forbidden Door show in collaboration with AEW and NJPW.
With thanks to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.