Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts Explained The Accidental Origin Of The DDT

The Resurrection of Jake the Snake is on Netflix now, so if you’d like to watch a thing that made Stone Cold Steve Austin cry half a dozen times, check it out. If you’d like a more lighthearted story from Jake Roberts’ life — maybe one in which he accidentally creates one of the most famous finishing moves in wrestling history — look no further than this promotional interview with Niagara Frontier Publications for the upcoming Niagara Falls Comic Con.

Roberts has told the story of how he created the DDT numerous times, but if you’ve never heard it, it’s today’s TIL. The best part is that it was a complete accident, caused by a clumsy opponent who paid for his mistake by getting dropped on the top of his head. Ladies and gentlemen, the DDT:

JM: It sounds like it. … Here’s the next thing I’m curious about. The DDT. One of the best finishing moves of all time. Whose idea was it for you to do the DDT?

Jake Roberts: I invented it, so it was mine.

JM: You invented it? How did that happen?

Jake Roberts: Yeah, it was an accident. I was in the ring wrestling. I had a front facelock on a guy. He stepped on my feet and we fell backwards. He went on his head. I went on my back. And the fans went “OOOOHH.” I went, “Wait a minute; I’ve got something here.” And I started working on it, and come with it, and named it after the poison that everybody outlawed. I picked up the paper one day, and the front page was “[DDT] outlawed.” I was like, “Wait a minute. Very cool.” They had … “[DDT] poison to the brain.” I said, “Way cool.”

Talk about a happy accident. A happy, dangerous accident.

It’s crazy to think about how different Jake’s career would’ve been without his signature DDT, and how different pro wrestling would be today if Jake hadn’t innovated and popularized the hold. How much longer would it have taken wrestlers to figure out they can grab somebody by the head and fall backwards? That’s a building block for so many of today’s best moves.

While you think about that, watch this tribute and imagine every single one of them as an accident.