Rob Van Dam Details Confusion Over Working With Shawn Michaels For HBK's WWE Return

Rob Vam Dam signed with WWE in 2001 after the closure of ECW, and just over a year later, "The Whole F'in Show" crossed paths with Shawn Michaels when "TheĀ Heartbreak Kid" returned in 2002. Van Dam had a match with the newly-minted World Heavyweight Champion in November of that year, and the former ECW World Television Champion says that he treated the match with the wrestling legend as any other match.


"I remember specifically, a conversation with Stephanie McMahon and it was after everybody had picked my brain to see how I felt ... She said, 'Is this a dream match for you? Do you have dream matches?'" Van Dam said on "One of a Kind" recently. "I felt I had enough of a relationship with her that I could open up and talk and I said, 'I don't get it, why is everybody coming up to me, asking me this? I'm a competitor here. Have you seen the matches I've had for the past 12, 18 months?' I was wondering about how this match is gonna be. If the match wasn't great that's on him. He's the one with the bad back ... I didn't get it. Admittedly, now as I say that, it sounds a little bit disrespectful on my part."


VanĀ Dam says he has a tendency to look at his fellow wrestlers as peers and colleagues, regardless of their tenure or reputation, and Van Dam had heard plenty about Michaels's reputation, but luckily didn't experience it.

"I feel like I've heard [Shawn talk about his reputation]," Van Dam said. "I didn't know him before '98 to compare but ... when I was there, he wasn't that horrible, sh*tty person that he was rumored to have been before, so I tend to believe he did grow."

A veteran of seemingly every wrestling company from WWE to NOAH, Van Dam recently made his debut in AEW, challenging FTW Champion Jungle Boy on a recent episode of "AEW Dynamite."