Rob Van Dam Recalls Crazy WWE Trip To Japan

Rob Van Dam has been forthright about his disdain for extensive travel, even going back to his days as a full-time WWE performer. As the story goes, Van Dam once agitated his former boss Vince McMahon by declining an invitation to participate in "Tribute to the Troops," mostly so he could enjoy a few additional days off the road. Still, travel can be harrowing even when going to countries not ravaged by war. On his "One of a Kind" podcast, Van Dam shared a story about a trip to the Far East.


"It was a WWE trip to Japan, and we got all this news that they were having this tropical storm. And so, we're flying into a tropical storm to land during that, and we did. Had an earthquake while we were there; short little trip. And on the way back home, lightning hit our airplane. One, two, three, bam."

Most fans are aware of the lore surrounding the so-called "Plane Ride from Hell," but that "Hell" was incurred from the drunken behavior of its passengers, not any acts of nature. Van Dam's flight could arguably justify a similar label considering it narrowly avoided disaster from a weather phenomenon. 

"I thought that we were on the runway and that a truck had run into us, one of those moving trucks. That's what it felt like. What the f***? And I was just waking up, so I didn't think, oh yeah, we're 35,000 feet in the air, I didn't think about that... and then the captain made the announcement, 'Uh, folks, don't panic, that was just a little bit of lightning that struck the aircraft, sometimes that happens.' And Paul turned around, he was like, 'OH MY GOD!'"