Rob Van Dam On Early Days With WWE And What He Should Have Done Differently

After the downfall of ECW in 2001, Rob Van Dam soon made the move to WWE, signing a three-year deal with the company. His WWE run started off hot as he pinned the likes of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, The Rock, and The Undertaker in a six-month span. As Austin put it, WWE seemed to be "strapping the rocket" to RVD. 

During a recent episode of "1 Of A Kind," RVD reflected on his early days in WWE, revealing that he inked a contract with an elevating pay scale. After receiving his first round of paychecks, RVD believed the initial amounts didn't align with what he felt he should earn. RVD later voiced this frustration to WWE executive Jim Ross, which then seemed to travel to WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson.

"Shortly after this conversation [with Ross], I was in Pittsburgh at the Mellon Arena ... I'm in the bathroom standing in the urinal, and Pat Patterson's in there, and me, we're the only ones in the bathroom. Actually, now that I think about it, I think I was trying to roll a doobie or something," RVD said. 

"Anyway, he says, 'Hey, kid, you're going to make a lot of money here in this business.' And I said to him, 'If you say so.' And he didn't like the response. He said, 'What?' I said, 'No, if you say so. Sounds good. I'll believe it when I see it.' He goes, 'I don't like that answer. You're telling me you don't believe in yourself?' And I'm like, 'No, I believe in me, but I don't know if that's going to equate to making a lot of money, based on what I've been making here so far. I got paid a lot more before I came here,'" said the Hall of Famer.

Flying The Rocket Ship

Looking back on that chain of events, RVD now has a different perspective. Despite his promising push, RVD believes WWE could have elevated him even more had he shown a little more enthusiasm backstage.

"Now, having the bigger picture, I can tie all these events together and see where the office might have thought that I was just like, 'eh,' where I should have said, 'A rocket ship on my back? Yes! Yes! Yes! I'm getting a rocket ship, I'm going to prove to you this isn't a mistake! You're never going to regret doing this! I'm going to be the best rocket ship player you've ever had,' but that's not me."

The former WWE Champion said that on a few occasions, there were no RVD t-shirts for fans to buy at live events. Meanwhile, some other performers such as John Cena and D-Generation X had four different shirt designs on display at the merchandise stands. He feels that if he would've played into the "politics," WWE might've been more enticed to lay his shirts out on the tables too.

"One could argue, 'Well, those [John Cena and DX] shirts must be bigger sellers if they need to use those spaces instead of RVD shirts.' Not true," RVD said.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "1 Of A Kind" with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.