WNS Podcast recently conducted an interview Rob Van Dam, a lot of good highlights including why he is no hurry to go back to WWE, thoughts on being a part-time wrestler, favorite opponent and more.
THOUGHTS ON HIS LAST WWE RUN
I had some good matches because all the wrestlers up there are really good and I had some matches that I enjoyed with Seth (Rollins) and Cesaro. But, overall, it was nothing like the run the year before. 2013, I came back after many years off WWE television. They promoted it strong. Like maybe stronger than anybody’s return before with the video packages of RVD coming back. When I came back, I delivered. Money In The Bank match in Philadelphia, that was awesome. That whole run I had a good time in 2013. In 2014, it was like they had nothing for me. No big intros, the writers seemed to not notice I was there. Like my music hit the day after Wrestlemania and I kinda just walked out like I had always been there. It was good but I don’t think there was a lot of utilization put on RVD. That’s really the big reason I’m not in a hurry to go back.
THOUGHTS ON THE CURRENT PRODUCT
I actually don’t. Even when I’m on it unless I’m there watching in catering while the show’s going on live otherwise I don’t keep up with it. I certainly get a lot of feedback from fans because they’re everywhere. And everybody wants to tell me whether they’re happy or disappointed in what the wrestling product is. But you know it’s an art form. And the fans, it’s their job to receive that art expression and that’s the way it goes. The fans don’t dictate…i think a lot of the judgment is okay for conversation when they’re amongst themselves. But, as a wrestler, I think that when the fans really think that they know what would be better of they were in Vince’s position. They think they could run a global billion dollar company then I tend to think fan talks would probably be more enjoyed among themselves.
THOUGHTS ON PART TIME AS OPPOSED TO FULL TIME
I think it’s all about balance. First off, it is the kind of business that if you get into it you have to sleep, breathe and eat wrestling. You have to compete with all these other up and comers that want it so bad more than anything else in their lives. And anywhere in the world if you’re talking about trying to make it to the level of being a superstar and you’re fighting against those odds you pretty much, to, have to have that determination to make it. So, guys like myself and probably Chris Jericho. But I can speak for myself personally and wholeheartedly and tell you that it’s true for me. I don’t want it nearly as bad as those guys do. However, I have over 25 years of experience that you can’t replace.with skill, natural gifts or talent. That’s something you only get with enough time so we have that. We have a lot to offer. Plus, I’m a legend. I’ve impacted peoples’ lives in such a way that they’ll never forget. I get that because I was a fan and because I watched wrestling as a kid. Even if I hadn’t seen “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. Even if I hadn’t seen them in the last 25-30 years I’d still recognize them if they walked into the room.
That’s the way you impact someone’s lives when you’re on their TV set in their living room week after week. Especially for a certain growth period in their life, that’s the kind of superstar vibration you can’t buy, you can’t get that anywhere else. So, you have to utilize that. Guys like that to draw and fans want to see that. The you g guys that come up, they can be good, they can be talented, they can get the fans’ attention so they want to keep n eye on them. But, they can’t be legends or superstars without really putting in the time. It’s a balance and again the fans that think they know it best, they look at it either way. The veterans aren’t putting the young guys over, they think, or the young guys are squashing the superstars. No matter what you do, they’re going to pipe up and complain about it. But, when it comes to that, that’s the way it is. Like last time i don’t think any of the young guys had to worry about playing second fiddle to RVD.
HIS FAVORITE OPPONENT THAT BROUGHT THE BEST OUT OF HIM
Throughout my whole career that’s going to be Jerry Lynn. When I first wrestled him in ECW I could have bowled right over him and I could have been yesterday’s challenger. But, I thought there was something special about him. And so the first time I wrestled him we went 25 minutes and by the end pf the match my hair was pulled out all over the place, I had a bloody nose, my outfit was ripped, we had splinters we we were pulling out of our ass and when I finally beat him I felt like I had earned that victory and that for me was something I enjoyed about that time period in ECW being the whole F’N Show I had enough control to do my part to do what I could to make sure that anyone that bought a ticket to come to see me got their money’s worth. Later in life that’s the takeaway because what can you really do when you’re only out there for 2 minutes. And that’s going to include two ring entrances, a run in and a finisher. At that point you can’t be the Whole F’N show every night so that’s where some of the compromising was happening. Jerry Lynn and also Sabu because he’s so like minded. When we have a match we both have similar ideas what would make it a killer match. So that’s what’s important
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FANS IN DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS
Yes. Absolutely. ECW fans were original. They were part of the show. They were a big part of the show and other fans in other towns in other countries would imitate the fans that were on ECW television. Now with WWE there’s a mixture because it’s such a big crowd. You have the Middle America crowd that they target. It’s children and families and it’s family entertainment. The hardcore fans also go to those shows so you’re going to feel their energy too. But the wide majority of that vibration and energy from the crowd is more a family fin kind of thing. Now the fans in TNA that would come out to Universal Studios when I was there were shuttled in from the park where they were riding roller coasters and got to go to a free show. Then there were other fans that were there to support the product, that believed in the product and really wanted to see TNA move ahead. But at the same time, those fans wanted to do their part to help the company move ahead
ON WHAT THE ATMOSPHERE WAS LIKE DURING ONE NIGHT STAND 2006
I think everybody watching that could feel the atmosphere watching that. The fans were screaming and there’s always been this feud between Philly and New York. And they would argue about whoch fans were the better ECW fans and we would travel back and forth and they both wanted us to consider them a home. The Manhattan Ballroom was the perfect environment to capture that energy that had fans pouring over top of us. Just the fact that those fans that night were 100% behind me and my passion and my vision which brought that night to fruition because it was me alone that said hey let’s have a PPV that’s ECW
THOUGHTS ON HIS TIME IN TNA
When I first got there they were trying to do Monday nights up against Raw and I thought that sounded exciting. I didn’t know much about them but they were trying to hire some former WWE guys. During my time there, they were still trying to do the right thing. Moving nights and moving out of the studios and doing TV on the road. But at that time, that was the same week I had left them after doing 3 years with them. It was cool. It was an easy gig. I would work for two days and then I would have two weeks off. So that was the easiest gig of my career until they started adding more house shows. More events. I had a cap on how many shows I would do in a year. So, when they would use up all my dates then they’d injure me and I’d be off for a couple months. There were some times they were doing things right, other times not so right. When they turned Jeff Hardy into a heel I thought that was the stupidest thing ever.
It was hard to take a lot of what they were doing seriously. I was there for them trying to do my part to help spread the word do what I could do help draw attention to TNA. When they moved to Destination America I wasn’t surprised. I was always hearing their deal with Spike was over. While I was there, I was always hearing TNA’s gonna fold and they’ve still been going strong against all these rumors so I’m not going to rule them out. As long as there’s a reason to believe they’ll be around, I think they can do it. Destination America’s a new channel. Nobody knows about it so their viewership went way down and plummeted. But hopefully that’s just temporary growth pain. In the meantime, I don’t think anybody’s touching WWE’s position as number 1. I think it is a good year for independent to step up
ON OTHER VENTURES OUTSIDE OF WRESTLING
I was just contacted. I don’t remember how the original conversation took place. The guy that was handling the production I’ve known him through previous projects and worked with him in the past. It was just fun. I hate doing auditions. I grew up on video games but I don’t play any. I’m not reading any comic books but my favourite comic growing up has always been Ghost Rider. My book is Twisted Perception a graphic novel that I wrote
WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR ROB VAN DAM
There’s a lot in the writing world. It’s very important to me I get my autobiography out before I die and someone else writes it and screws up my life. But I have other writing projects I’m still working on but in the future I see myself using my brain more and my body less.