Posted April 5th, 2014 by Bill Apter

DDP says he is proud, humbled, and honored to be here tonight on his 58th birthday and this is his best birthday having “two of his boys” getting recognition…He credited Dusty Rhodes with being his mentor and friend … he said he had two mentors — the one who taught him the art of pro wrestling – and that was Jake Roberts, who he lived with in 1994 … He said he learned more from Jake watching his matches and DDP’s matches on TV where they lived…DDP was with Kimberly at this time and she said Jake could live there but no snakes in the house … He went onto talking about losing a snake in the house – a black cobra (very funny story)… He said that he owed Jake a debt and he is glad to have helped him … He mentioned his feuds with Randy Savage, Rick Rude, and Ricky Steamboat … The “resurrection” of Jake 18 months ago had his focus on being here tonight and Jake has put the work in to get here tonight.
At this point Jake made his way to the stage with very teary eyes … He was very emotional…He said he always loved professional wrestling and the men in professional wrestling being a breed of their own … He mentioned Hiro Matsuda, Fritz Von Erich, Bruno Sammartino and others who had the passion. He said he hated it but did it because his father (Grizzly Smith) did it … He said he walked away from the responsibilities of being a family man to go into wrestling, making the same life of his father … Jake talked about how the business makes people’s emotions smile, and experience so many other feelings … Jake said he is 58 years old and it hurts because he can’t play anymore like he used to do … Fans chanted “you still got it” but he said, “I don’t – my heart and my mind still want it but it reaches a point where you can’t give it justice … He said at one time he was a “rotten son-of-a-bitch” and talked about the women, the drugs and alcohol, and family … He cried at this point and talked about the shame and pain in his life and being alone and suicide thoughts and how DDP reached his hands out to rescue him and how DDP would not let him fail – he saved his life … He talked about the fans donating $30,000 for his shoulder surgery and that woke him up that he knew people really cared and how happy he is tonight…He pointed out his family as he wrapped up his very emotional acceptance speech.
Thank you DDP!

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