Rob Van Dam’s tenure with Impact Wrestling ended this month, and with that, there’s always speculation of another potential return to WWE. A WWE return would also expedite RVD going into the Hall of Fame, and as a WWE Grand Slam Champion, that’s all but a given.
Van Dam was broached about the possibility of going into the WWE Hall of Fame, and he revealed who he’d want to induct him on The Dropkick Podcast.
“I think the obvious answer is probably Paul [Heyman], and I think that’s definitely the right person,” RVD said before being asked if WWE has contacted him about being inducted.
“No sir? I can definitely see it happening, but knowing how things work, I could also see it not happening, or not happening for a long time anyway. I used to think – and I’m still not sure, but do you have to retire in order to be in the Hall of Fame? And the fact that I’ve been wrestling for Impact, that’s got to be a factor too. They don’t want to do too much with somebody. But, who knows? Of course it’d be an honor, and we’ll see.”
Much of the talk of wrestling nowadays centers on the lack of live fans involved in the weekly shows. That is in stark contrast to the crowds that used to pile into ECW shows back in Van Dam’s heyday.
RVD and other ECW Originals got to relive that rowdy fanbase when WWE held their One Night Stand PPVs at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. Van Dam was asked about that night, and how he felt working the main event in 2006 where he defeated John Cena for the WWE Championship.
“I was excited. You know, I’m trying to remember what it was – exactly what I was feeling like. I know I was excited, I was happy. When I was in WWE, they put me through a lot of cycles of being excited, and happy, and really motivated, and then being, you know, tired, and burnt out, and then being excited again,” said RVD. “That happened a lot because – think about it – I came in with ECW and then I don’t know if that fizzled out first or what, but then I had the Hardcore Title and it was like, ‘Yes!'”
When the Hardcore Title was conceived, it would often change hands on a weekly or even nightly basis. But RVD added prestige to the championship and held onto it for a total of 134 days during his four reigns.
“Those were my favorite kinds of matches. I made the Hardcore Title more than it was ever meant to be,” stated Van Dam. “I was main-eventing house shows, or ‘live events’ as they call them. It was supposed to be a joke before I had that title, you know what I mean? So anyway… everybody in the wrestling business ? for sure, when they’re in WWE, at some point, you get promised some stuff that it isn’t delivered. That happens to everybody because there’s so many people that meet several times a day, changing plans and trying to fight on why we should go in different directions on tonight’s show, and we should push this guy instead of that guy.
“So that happens to everybody, and I remember I felt like I was on top of the world, and we’re bringing back ECW as a third brand. ‘Are you f***ing kidding me?!’ I was feeling like maybe I’m gonna finish my contract and that would be it, but I can go another 10-15 years. My style, the ECW style, was so exciting at that point. I also remember I didn’t allow myself to totally believe that I was going to be leaving [WWE] champion until it happened.”
When a wrestler has put in as many years in the ring as Rob Van Dam has, the question of retirement always comes up. AJ Styles has gone on the record to say he’s retiring once his WWE contract ends, and RVD is seven years older than Styles is.
Van Dam was asked if he’s thought about retirement or when that could be.
“Sure, I’ve thought about it. I’m kind of surprised I’m still wrestling because I thought I knew I was winding down a couple years ago, and then I thought that I was just gonna keep doing 10-12 matches a year,” admitted Van Dam. “That’s winding down for me, and I was thinking I would even work my way down but then I signed with Impact, so then all of a sudden, I’m doing three times as many matches. It’s still a super-great schedule – maybe like two days or three days once a month – something like that.
“I don’t know; I could [retire] any time, dude. I can’t see me missing it like all the other guys do. I think I’ll be able to deal with it really. I like the way that it keeps me in shape, and makes me work out, and stretch so I can keep doing all my sh*t and stuff. I like that. There’s definitely a lot of benefits from it, but honestly ? like everybody in the dressing room – not only are they hungrier than me, but I’m so happy to give them the TV time because they want it. They want to go out there and work their balls off, and I’m usually, you know, trying to get my sh*t in and be professional. But the same time, less is more.
“I’m going to be 50 in December; I’m 49 right now. I want to say that if I am going to retire, I probably will do it before I’m 51. Maybe I won’t retire. Maybe I’ll be like Dory Funk Jr. and I’ll keep the boots on the bottom shelf.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Dropkick Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.