Rob Van Dam recently sat down with Pro Wrestling Junkies and participated in a Q & A session with fans. During the conversation, RVD revealed that if he could go back and give his younger self some advice, he’d go to his first run in WWE and try to change his mindset. He said that back in those days, he viewed everyone as competition and didn’t allow himself to build relationships.
“When I went to WWE, that time in my career and in my life, really up until I’d say about five years ago, was almost adolescent,” RVD said. “Have you ever heard people say, ‘When you get into the entertainment industry young, you never really grow up?’ It was like that. I got in right out of high school. Through that whole time, I hadn’t really grown up. I never experienced a lot of those emotions that someone needs to experience in order to really grow up.
“I’d go back to my young, competitive-minded RVD because I looked at everyone as competition, and maybe I had to in order to get where I was at,” RVD added. “I would look at everyone in the dressing room like, ‘F–k that guy, f–ck him, I could kick his a–.’ And that’s how I felt. Now I don’t look at it like that; I don’t think about it like guys want something I want. I don’t mind giving guys TV time. Honestly, I’d rather have the night off and get paid for it.”
RVD spent time reflecting on if his mindset was possibly the reason why his “push” was stopped. He also revealed that Jim Ross and Triple H would drive him crazy by pulling him in different directions in order to take credit for his success.
“Someone in an interview recently brought up that they got a tip that a reason one of my first pushes in WWE was stopped was because Hunter had offered to help me with my promos and I pretty much told him to ‘F–k off,’ RVD revealed. “Honestly, that sounds about right. I didn’t really tell him to f–k off, but I should have let him help me. I was feeling the stresses of the adjustment to the political machine there.”
“I had [Triple H] and JR pulling me in different directions trying to get credit for bringing me there. Triple H would be telling me one thing and then JR would be pulling me the other way saying, ‘I got you this much extra on your merch – can your buddy [Triple H] do that?’ And then [Triple H] would say, ‘I got you this match because they want to do this with you,’ or whatever. I just didn’t want someone else trying to get credit for my success or taking credit for creating me. I was very headstrong and stubborn. Sometimes that was good, but if I could have been a little more flexible on certain things, it surely would have made a difference in a lot of areas.”
A fan later asked about him always appearing hurt after performing the 5 Star Frog Splash and RVD responded by saying that it does really hurt him, though sometimes, it’s inconsistent depending on some variables. He also shared a recent story about giving himself a concussion while performing the move on Tommy Dreamer.
“Yeah, it hurts but it’s inconsistent,” RVD said. “A lot of the times it depends on what I’ve had going into the match. A lot of times my ribs might be bruised, and in that case, everything hurts! Sometimes, if I’m winded and breathing heavily, it can hurt, and sometimes it’s just the way I land. If the guy moves and I land flat, somehow that f–ks me up even worse.
“Recently I hit Tommy Dreamer with a [5 Star] Frog Splash,” RVD added. “He was kind of far away, but I wanted that challenge. Just being off a couple inches, when I came down, my face hit his shoulder and I gave myself a concussion. His arm was all purple and he actually had to do some therapy on it afterwards, but nobody would even know by watching it.”
RVD later mentioned that the only thing left for him to accomplish is having a retirement match. He also said that at this stage in his life and career, he just doesn’t have the passion for the business anymore. RVD admits that he’s only in it for the money and to show off now.
“A retirement match,” RVD said. “Maybe a retirement tour, but even that ends with a retirement match. Besides that, I don’t have the passion anymore. I enjoy doing it because I’m a showoff and it’s just what I do. It really isn’t what I’m all about. It’s easy to think of us as fictional characters, and to think that they must hold me back by putting me in a cage because I want to wrestle so bad, but that’s not the case.
“I’ll stick with that answer of the retirement match,” RVD continued. “I’m not saying it’s going to be tomorrow; I’m also not saying it’s not going to be tomorrow. That’s just the only thing I have left to do. Someday.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Pro Wrestling Junkies with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.