The Latest Episodes of INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet
Nov. 5, 2021

Rob Van Dam on Wisdom, ECW, His Legacy and "RVDology"

Today's guest is Rob Van Dam. RVD is a WWE Hall of Famer and is well known for his time in ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling).


Today's guest is Rob Van Dam. RVD is a WWE Hall of Famer and is well known for his time in ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling). He joins Chris Van Vliet at the Blue Wire Studios inside the Wynn Las Vegas to talk about his legacy, his CBD brand RVDCBD, his wife Katie Forbes, his Mount Rushmore of ECW wrestlers, the best advice he learned from Paul Heyman, almost jumping ship from ECW to WCW, his relationship with TNA Impact Wrestling and more!

 

For more info on RVDCBD visit http://rvdcbd.com

 

On meeting his partner Katie Forbes and his social media posts:

“That’s what’s funny. When people ask ‘What happened to RVD?’ I mean it’s not many, but you are not famous if you have some haters. So those comments come across, and they stand out because they are different. I’ve definitely been showcasing more every since I met Katie Forbes. She’s a party girl, she’s fun and she’s awesome. Together, we make such a good couple, because we are open and we are honest as much as we can be. Of course, I have taught her a lot, because I have more life experience than her. But that’s something that’s cool. We went on a Cardi B cruise, Katie loves Cardi B, if you see a Cardi B video you wouldn’t be surprised. This big producer, Q, I think he produces Megan Thee Stallion, he VIP’d me and we hung out in this jacuzzi with all these girls shaking their ass and stuff. We posted a video of that, it went viral. It was then I realized how much of an impact I have on social media. Because then, IMPACT [wrestling] started writing that into the script. Specifically, I’m putting stuff on there which you wouldn’t know unless you follow me on social media. IMPACT must have thought I have a pretty decent following.”

On who gets recognized more:

“I do. I totally get recognized more, but I don’t think I get looked at more. A lot of times we will be walking together, eyes will go to her first, then a second later it’s like, RVD?!”

On the relationship with WWE:

“I don’t know what will come of the relationship with myself and WWE. Even the merchandise that they make with me, I don’t know about it until it is out. It’s always been that way. Before I started collecting action figures, I used to sign them from the fans. I’m like ‘Oh I’ve not seen this one before.’ Now I have to get them all. There’s so many, I am obsessed with something when I get into something. There was a third party conflict though. I gave a third party permission to make an RVD action figure. They are called Heels and Faces, their work is really good. I didn’t know WWE was doing anything with me, but at the virtual San Diego Comic Con, Heels and Faces made their announcement about my figure. But also Mattel was making an announcement on the same day about an RVD figure, and I had no idea. WWE got a hold of me shortly after and made me cancel the first one. It’s understandable, but I just don’t know. People ask me if I’m going to be in the videogame, I don’t know, I have very little to do with it. They are just using my likeness.”

On if he can still wrestle:

“I definitely have matches left in me, I don’t know if they will be in WWE or not. I think probably, why not? But at the same time, there might be a why not I don’t know about, so who knows? I go with the flow.”

On his relationship with Vince McMahon:

“All along throughout everything, I have kept in touch with Vince [McMahon]. I know we have a good relationship. Specifically when certain things happen, there was something that got thrown around and got back to me that [Mark] Carrano said I was part of the concussion lawsuit against WWE, complete bullsh*t. It seemed in the moment to stop me from doing something I wanted to do. Very shortly around there, I talked to Vince and didn’t mention anything about it. There have been rumours that WWE had told me I could never wrestle for them again because of concussions, most people believed that was true. I don’t usually feel obligated to correct people when they are wrong, because you hear everything. But I have never talked to WWE about any concussions. That was some bullsh*t that someone pulled out of some divorce papers when the evil ex was being real nasty. At the time, she was saying that I was faking double vision, which throughout Headstrong was documented. But to get more money, my ex said I should have been working full time like I did in 2003. So that got out there and people think it is true.”

On showing up to WWE while still being signed to IMPACT Wrestling:

“Paul Heyman reached out to me, I then reached out to Scott D’Amore, and they gave me permission. I’m not afraid to do something that hasn’t been done before. I was hoping I could wrestle too. I was in my gear, I was ready, I thought I was going to run in, do a frog splash and all that stuff. But that all changed at the last second. Then I was like really upset, you get your hopes up and start compromising. But you get it.”

On when he first really felt like RVD:

“It would be at some point in ECW. When I first went there, I was very shy and didn’t want to be anywhere around a microphone, this was in 1996. I would run from the promo room and hope that Paul wouldn’t try and drag me in there. I didn’t know how to sell tickets by you know ‘Come and watch me! I’ll do some cool moves!’ My voice wasn’t even that mature yet, I sounded so different. But the more I did it, the more over I was getting. But when I won the TV Championship from Bam Bam Bigelow, that was when I crossed that line, and Paul told me that. The next show was at Queens, and I am trying to think of an advancement of my next cool move. So I ran some ideas by Paul and he said ‘I don’t think it matters what you do tonight, those people are going to love you.’ I was like, ok, whatever. I had no idea what he meant, but from then on the reaction was totally different. I felt like a superstar, I felt legit, and it gave me the confidence to say damn, what I am doing is working.”

RVD's ECW Mount Rushmore:

“Sabu, of course. It’s hard to decide between Tommy Dreamer, Taz, Sandman, Raven. I would put Taz up there. Is Paul an option? But if it’s just performers, I would add Dreamer too.”

On nearly jumping to WCW:

“Yeah, I think that’s a pretty well known story. I went to a show that they had at Savanna, Georgia. I was living in a town nearby and ended up having a conversation with Eric Bischoff. He saw me at the time and he gave me the details. He said he wanted to give me a 3 year progressive contract and to think about it. But right after that, it got out and everyone thought that I was going to be leaving. It was after that the Mr Monday Night angle came from. Paul had sweetened the pot, because I had been left off of the first pay-per-view. But now, he was going to center the whole company around me and being wanted by all of the other groups. I was supposed to go to WCW, but instead I went to the WWF and was trying to do all the things at the same time.”

On People's reaction when he left ECW:

“For me, it was like ‘I can’t believe you are leaving us.’ Looking at it now with this much age and this much experience, you never know what someone else is going through. But at the time, we can be judgemental, and I was feeling like going why are you guys giving up? I wasn’t giving up, I didn’t understand that. The answer was to blow ECW up so we don’t have to go anywhere else, and I thought that was possible.”

Some “RVDology”:

“Everybody has their own values. Almost every single conflict, and there are no absolutes, is because of a mismatch of values and a void of respect for the other person’s values. Whether we are talking about wars, animals, anything. For me, it’s easy to understand people’s perspectives. You don’t know someone’s values and everyone has their own importance, who am I to judge that? What if you like blue and I hate it? It’s like we are in the first grade, and some people never leave that state of mind. For some guys, that is what it is like in the locker room. For me, just being ok with that, but I still will be judgemental though. We all think that the way we do things is the only way to do them.” 

On the most asked about match in his career:

“It would probably be when I beat John Cena at One Night Stand and won the championship belts. If they ask me what my favorite match was, that match was great. Cena is great and great with that crowd, which were incredible. Besides all that, the story and the build-up was everything since 1996 and maybe before. Me and every fan in that building were fighting for what I believed in, which is why they wanted to see Cena go down, or they riot.”

On the One Night Stand Crowd:

“I don’t think anyone knew exactly how that crowd was going to be. I knew it was my crowd and they were with me, but I couldn’t have predicted that they would feel so much that way and be like ‘F*ck your t-shirt.’ What are the chances someone would do it and they do it again and again. But I had no idea it would be like that, John knew he was in for a rough night, but he was super cool and he had fun with it.”

On what he is grateful for:

"Katie Forbes, the universe and we are getting married in 8 days."

 

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