December 22, 2020 | News | No Comments
The following are highlights of a new Journey Of A Frontman interview with Rob Van Dam:
Alex Obert: You were recently on NXT in a match against Adrian Neville. What you take out of that experience?
Rob Van Dam: It was a good experience to see WWE’s farming territory. There was a lot of talent there, lot of students. I was impressed with how many students they have and I was impressed with the production down there in Orlando for NXT. They have so many Divas, so many up and coming wrestlers, and they’re all at a level where they need to learn and get the experience. And they all have hopes of wrestling in WWE. And I also knew that most of the wrestlers in WWE have come through NXT. It’s a good thing, these guys are wrestling four years and it comes across like they’ve been wrestling for ten years. It must be a combination of things, one of them being that NXT must be a damn good training center. Also, a lot of the wrestlers are second generation wrestlers, they grew up in the business. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. I counted seventeen families off the top of my head and I used to work with their parents. That has a lot to do with what makes the caliber of a good wrestler. It’s come such a long way from my first run in WWE years ago.
Alex Obert: A moment that sticks out to me during your original WWE run, how did your tag team with Kane develop?
Rob Van Dam: I’m not sure specifically, but quite often, especially back in that day, you show up to work, you put your boots on and stretch, and they tell you what you’re doing that night. A lot of times, it’ll be a couple hours before the show, I’ll either see the paper that has the agenda written down on it or an agent will come up to me and say, “Hey, it’s you and Kane tagging against Gene Snitsky and Scotty 2 Hotty tonight.” (laughs) That’s how that happens. You just say, “Okay.” And you go with it. In sometimes it lasts for a while. One time I’m tagging with Kevin Nash, and for all I know, it could be a one night only kind of thing that could never happen again or it can be a few weeks. We look at each other and say, “Hey, I guess we’re a tag team now. We’ve been working together every night for a while.”
Alex Obert: So before we wrap up, aside from your match against John Cena at One Night Stand, what is your favorite WWE exclusive match of yours?
Rob Van Dam: This match that you mention with Cena was obviously my crowning moment for several reasons. Leading up to that, we had the Smackdown vs. ECW match, and I wrestled Rey Mysterio. And I just remember I was in such a good mood. This was the first chance for me to show ECW RVD on WWE’s television. And to be on their stage, but to bring a chair in and do a skateboard kick. I was so elated. And we were bringing ECW back this time as a third brand, and this was leading into it. It was such a good time for me and for my career because of all the work and effort that I had done to try and revive the ECW spirit, this was the payoff. So I wrestled Rey Mysterio and I felt like I had the freedom, artistically, to be what I wanted to be. And it’s not always like that. People don’t understand a lot of times the lack of control that you have that you have just by the situation at hand. In other words, if you’re wrestling against, say it’s you against Khali and say you got a two minute match, well how much are you really gonna get in? Is there any chance you’re gonna get a Van Terminator in there? Hell no, it doesn’t even fit. In fact, nothing fits that you wanna put into that kind of match. But it’s always about the time and it didn’t used to be like that years and years ago. That’s the biggest difference. When I was with ECW the first time around, Paul never gave me time cues, whether it was TV or pay-per-view, he told me to go out there and steal the show. So I totally vibrated in a different speed, I had a different kind of buzz about me back then. I could relax and really take in the moment. I could absorb the fans’ feedback and interact and respond to that. And later on in my career, it’s all about time, time, time, you’ve got boom, boom, boom. “We’ve got four minutes until the next commercial break. We’ve gotta throw two matches on. Go! Go! Go!” In that, I lose my artistic drive and freedom. When I think about that match I had that I was talking about, I was able to put my ECW boots on again, so to speak. I just remember I was so happy, I felt like I won the lottery. And that was RVD versus Rey Mysterio, ECW versus Smackdown.
Check out the complete interview at JourneyOfAFrontman.com.
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