Appearing on E&C's Pod of Awesomeness, with Edge and Christian, Van Dam joined the show to discuss last weekend's Impact Wrestling United We Stand iPPV event from New Jersey. During the interview, RVD also told an amazing story about the early years of his pro wrestling career and a locker room run-in with the late Chris Benoit.
It was the early 1990s and Van Dam was getting ready to leave WCW and return to the indies. On one of his last days with WCW, Van Dam had a confrontation with Benoit.
"I didn't really know this guy, and he goes up to me in the dressing room; I'm 22 years old, just turned 22 and he goes up to me and said, 'Hey, I heard you are leaving?" I said that I was, and he responded with; 'Are you f--king kidding me? You're quitting on your own? You're on f--king TV. Do you know how many boys would give up their left nut to be where you're at?'" Van Dam said. "He had me pinned up against the wall, and he was just like, 'I think you are f--king stupid. What are you going to do, the f--king indies? You're going to leave WCW and TV to go do the f--king indies? You're f--king stupid if you asked me.'
"I always remembered that and then when I left WWE in 2007 for the same reasons, just going with the flow and believing that it was time to go, in the dressing room Chris Benoit comes up to me saying, 'Hey Rob, I just want you to know a lot of us boys in the dressing rooms really respect you for leaving. He said that we respect you and that it is awesome.' I said to him that I never said that I wasn't going to be back, but he said, 'No, f--k that, that doesn't matter. You know when it is time to go, we don't.' Of course I reminded him about the story, but he just brushed it aside and said that he doesn't remember, but that is a true story."
Van Dam would also go on to explain what changed during his run in WCW and why it was the right decision for him to leave.
"I was in WCW from December of 1992 until May of 1993." Van Dam recalled. "They weren't paying me. I was young and green, I'm not saying that I should have made a fortune, but it was literally better for me to be on the indie shows because I could sell my own merchandise so they had me booked for about 4 days a week, I was getting $150 on the road, paying for the car and hotel, and riding with 3 or 4 guys, and then when you were doing TV on Center Stage, for some reason they docked you $50 so it was $100.
"So, I really wasn't enjoying it. I was making more money before I went there; Mike Graham was my agent, and he kept giving me a WCW contract but I kept telling him that I forgot to bring it and then eventually he brought me another one and then another one until I eventually told him. All they were doing in the end with Bill Watts, who hired me and was putting me over, but then he left and Ole Anderson took over, and once Ole was there I was either doing jobs on TV or giving tryouts on dark matches and so I was like, I'm not really enjoying this so I left. Against pro wrestler protocol as Chris Benoit let me know."
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.