Rob Van Dam Opens Up About Concussion Awareness, What Led To His Eye Opening New Film

On the most recent episode of The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling, Chad and JP welcomed former WWE World Champion,"Mr. Monday Night" Rob Van Dam. RVD joined the show to talk all about his BRAND NEW film "HEADSTRONG". This documentary is an intense look into the life and career of RVD exploring his entry into the world of stand up comedy as well his challenging experience dealing with concussions and what he learned about brain injuries that has completely changed his life. The full episode can be downloaded at this link.


New film Headstrong:

"As you saw originally the movie was intended to be something different. It was going to be a film documenting this stand-up comedy tour I did of seven days on the road and I thought bringing the camera would be cool and I'd show people what my life's like, how people react to see me on the street and of course film some of the comedy.

"But, I showed up on day one with symptoms of a concussion that I got two-three days before the tour started and at first I thought the concussion symptoms would go away and they always, always, always did before so I wasn't as concerned but let's just go ahead forward with what we were going to do. The symptoms stayed so long that the documentary takes a major turn and becomes about something else and we have to go into that. I'm getting my brain checked out with the camera and I'm talking to the viewers as I'm learning they are learning with me so I take them on the roller coaster with me to check out what is going on in my head.

"So, I have to add a little backstory as to how I got to be here and how I got to this point in my life which started with 2016 so the documentary covers a lot of what I've been going through the last couple years since the fans have seen me. As you know this is going to be a bit of a surprise and I made the movie just the way it happened with me and it starts out one way and becomes something completely different."

How far we've come with concussion awareness:

"Throughout my whole career I had the other view. I thought I am showing how tough I am and I'm showing what a chair shot I can take to my head and I'll recover from it. I knew every night when Balls Mahoney was going to whack me with that chair for instance, I knew my bell was going to get rung. I knew it was going to be something and everything was like slow motion for a few seconds and the sound would go out or sometimes it would just feel like I am sleeping and there were all kinds of different aspects to having your bells rung.

"What I didn't realize at the time was that was my brain bouncing against my skull knocking my senses loose and that is a concussion. There is minor concussions and there is major concussions and I've really only had one that I would consider a major concussion, maybe two where I couldn't remember anything afterwards and one of them was before I got in the business in a street situation where I was getting in fights and I was stupid and testing myself against guys and highly out numbered. I got knocked out one time and could not remember for the life of me anything about what happened during that day and I've seen that happen so many times since then and a lot of times with people that I am wrestling against.

"I've caught them with kicks and there have been times where I've had to tell them over and over again what happened because there are different measurements of concussions. I am learning everything I can now and I will be continuing to and would like to be a go-to guy because I am smart and when I am interested in something and do the research it is easy to retain the information and pick up a lot about it.

"I don't think I realized until watching the whole story back, the main thing that I should be taking from it and a lot of people might miss this too but I got a concussion and afterwards I did everything wrong. Your brain needs to rest and you need to go someplace dark and close your eyes, not stimulate your brain. I did the exact opposite.

"For some reason I really felt like I needed to gas my engine and I felt like my brain was sputtering out and I just stayed on the accelerator and I tried everything to stimulate my brain including going ahead with this comedy tour even though Chris Nowinski told me not to do it and that I wouldn't be able to do it and I think that is what I listened to mostly and that was a bit of a challenge for me, I should have listened more to the part of I shouldn't do it. I think when I'm up there on stage for an hour and talking to the crowd with bright lights in my eyes and I really believe because of these incorrect things to follow up with a concussions I really think because of these things I did that is why my symptoms lasted so long."

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