There were many surprise appearances at the Raw Reunion a couple of weeks ago, but perhaps none were more surprising than that of Rob Van Dam. That's because RVD is currently under contract with Impact Wrestling and he talked about still being able to make a WWE appearance when he joined the Unsanctioned Podcast.
"I thought that was very cool because that's what Mr. Monday Night is all about. When I got that name back in '97, it was because I was wrestling under contract with ECW and then I said f**k, I belong where the true superstars are wrestling Monday nights," said RVD. "And then when I was on RAW television for the first time during that invasion angle, same thing, in WWE they thought I was an outsider brought in from ECW as a heel, but back in ECW at the same time, that crowd thought I was with WWE.
"But anyway, I liked that, because it represents what I'm all about and that's just doing things my way and not worrying so much about rules and things like that, that can hold you back."
Someone who reminds many of a young RVD is Matt Riddle due to their shared laid-back personalities and love for marijuana. Van Dam talked about the first time he met Riddle at the Playboy Mansion.
"When I met Matt Riddle, this was years ago, he was in UFC at the time. We were at a Marijuana Policy Project fundraiser; I used to support MPP pretty heavily. This particular fundraiser was at the Playboy Mansion," stated RVD. "I remember Matt having one of those little tiny water pipes with a straw that folds down like an arm. It holds so little water that the water tastes really nasty. But we were actually in nigredo [hemp] at the Playboy Mansion smoking that little pipe the first time I met him."
Earlier this year Van Dam revealed that he's had hundreds of concussions throughout his 30-year career. You can now add another one to that as he suffered his latest during recent Impact tapings which prompted Impact to send him to the doctor.
"My last match at IMPACT was one of the worst I've gotten in the business. I went up to do a Frog Splash and I decided to do a 450 instead, which I haven't done in like 10 years. I went up, did the 450 and when I opened up, my face bounced off the mat and I knocked myself out," said Van Dam. "I was out on my feet, so anyone watching would think I was overselling with spaghetti legs - I was so rubbery-legged. I was so out of it, that afterwards, I was talking to Dixie Carter and she asked how I was feeling. I told her I felt great but that I couldn't remember the last few minutes of the match. She said, 'Go see the Doctor right now.'
"I went over there thinking okay this is how we do it now. I went up to the doctor and he says, 'How ya feeling?' and I say, 'I feel fine, but I can't remember the last few minutes of the match.' He just looks at me and goes, 'You do remember you just came and told me that a few minutes ago, right?' That's only happened twice to me where I've lost memory, but I've seen it many times on wrestlers that had matches with me who weren't Rob Van Dam."
With so many concussions, Van Dam was asked if he ever went into a match while experiencing the symptoms that result from a concussion.
"Contrary to what John Oliver wants you to believe, I can never think of a time when I've been told to get in the ring when I was hurt in any kind of way. I just never told anyone I was hurt. We are independent contractors and that's always been my policy; if I can work today and make some money, then I'm not hurt. If I really can't do it, then I'm hurt. Now it's different, and now that we're learning about all the long-term effects of concussions, it's more important to report," said Van Dam.