Even though he may not look it, Rob Van Dam is 48 years old and has been in the ring for nearly 30 years. That amount to lots of injuries and Van Dam talked about how he physically feeling when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"I still stretch and I'm still able to move. I still have my flexibility and can still do the splits and leap up to the top rope for the frog splash. But all of the banging I've done has added up to bone spurs, arthritis, compressed discs and also undiagnosed injuries," RVD said before adding that whenever he gets hurt now he worries that the injury may not go away and become something he has to deal with forever.
"But I feel pretty good and at the end of this month, I will be going to South America and getting stem cell therapy. I'm pretty excited about that as there's a doctor down there who's been hooking the boys up. They've been coming back with miraculous results."
Van Dam then cited numerous other wrestlers who have gotten treatment from this doctor including Kevin Nash, Brian Cage and Ryback. He things this type of treatment could become the norm for athletes to treat injuries.
"You'll probably be hearing about this quite a bit in the business. They are able to do stuff down there that they are not able to do here. They say it doesn't cure cancer but it seems just about everything else, stem cells might be an option," said RVD.
"Hey I feel pretty good but it sounds like I'll feel even better. There's nothing better than quality of life, right?"
There has to be some worry about going outside of the United States for therapy, but RVD has no such qualms as Ryback vouched for the facility.
"Nope, not in that matter because Ryback told me he had 11 stem cell procedures in the US before this. Then he went there and said it was night and day how much it helped him," said RVD. "Also, he said the facilities were the same as far as sanitary and the environment."
RVD added that they told him to bring a companion and enjoy the stay as if it is a mini-vacation. However, RVD said there is one thing he is worried about and that's the actual procedure itself.
"But I am concerned about getting needles in my back," admitted Van Dam. "Most fans wouldn't know how banged up we are and people don't know that I've had a broken wrist for 26 years. I broke it in a much with Dory Funk Jr. and it never set right. I have deteriorating bone in there with no blood supply but I just live with it.
"So it would be amazing if this could fix it."
RVD then talked about going to Cedars Sinai in 2012 because he was having back issues and they told him then that he was a surgery candidate because of bone spurs and arthritis. However, when he saw the epidural needle it turned him off to the procedure.
"Unfortunately, they are gonna have to shoot an epidural needle into me to numb me before sticking a whole bunch of needles into my spine," RVD said of stem cell treatment. "I am very concerned about that and my hands get sweaty just thinking about that."
RVD can be seen every Friday night as part of Impact Wrestling on Twitch and Pursuit. Tonight is the final night of Impact's TV tapings in Las Vegas. For more tickets and more info please visit ImpactWrestling.com.
RVD's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In it RVD discusses what brought him back to Impact Wrestling, the injuries that are still nagging him, his upcoming stem cell surgery, working with Impact management, Ken Shamrock's return to Impact Wrestling, moving to Las Vegas and more.