20 More Surprising WWE Facts You Probably Didn't Know

6. Jake 'The Snake' Roberts Didn't Invent The DDT


The story goes that Jake ‘The Snake Roberts’ came up with one of the most popular and celebrated wrestling moves in history completely by accident, and adopted it as his finish, giving it that iconic name in the process (he named it after an outlawed kind of pesticide).

It’s a great anecdote, and I’ve no doubt that Jake probably believes he did invent it: but Mexican wrestling mainstay Black Gordman used the move in Mexico as far back as the late sixties, as a transitional move for the most part, and called it the Diamond Twist.

Here's the real life Victor Manuel Barajas in the El Santo movie El Santo en el Tesoro de Dracula in 1969:

Now, Black Gordman didn’t only wrestle in his home country - he also worked for Mike LeBelle's LA-based promotion Worldwide Wrestling Associates (also known as NWA Hollywood Wrestling) during that time.

It's absolutely possible that Jake saw Black Gordman wrestle as a child: it’s likely that his father Grizzly Smith and Black Gordman would have crossed paths. Equally, in the early years of his career he could well have seen the talented heel tag team wrestler perform somewhere and picked it up.

Of course, it's just as possible that the two men came up with the move separately and that since it’s Jake that got the move over for the US television audience, it’s he that gets the credit.

Sadly, these days - like the superplex and the chokeslam - the DDT (or the Diamond Twist) is now more or less trapped in transitional move purgatory. Unless you’re Dean Ambrose, that is - and his Dirty Deeds is more of a tribute to Mick Foley.


Professional writer, punk werewolf and nesting place for starfish. Obsessed with squid, spirals and story. And pro wrestling, which is both a blessing and a curse depending on exactly how bad RAW is this week. I tweet nonsense under the name Jack The Bodiless at @desincarne. You can follow me all you like, just don't touch my stuff.