Jason Agnew : Lets get into the uh, your big push. Easily the biggest push of your career came in the spring of 2006 when they put the WWE and ECW titles on you. That push came to a halt of course after you and Sabu were pulled over on the highway on the way to a show and were in possession of marijuana. Now do you feel that the company reacted in the right way to what you guys did?
Rob Van Dam: The one school of thought says isnâ<80><99>t it supposed to be innocent till proven guilty? We didnâ<80><99>t have any hearing or trial or any questions before I was suspended. It was straight up hours after I had gotten pulled over so. Iâ<80><99>m already fried in the media at that point so from a justice perspective it might not have been the exact right way, legally to go about it and to protect my situation. At the same time I did feel like they had to do that. It was all over the, you know I told Sabu on the way to the building â<80><9c>Relax, no ones even gonna hear about this, whats the big deal?â<80> He was like â<80><9c>Are you sure?â<80> I go â<80><9c>Dude, you know donâ<80><99>t worry about it. We got a phone call as we were about to pull in to the arena from Johnny Ace and apparently it was all over the internet, all over the radio and soon it was in the news papers. It was the biggest thing ever and the thing is people wanted to apologize for me. They wanted say â<80><9c>Ok yes, Rob messed up and he admits that you know and itâ<80><99>s about moving on.â<80> You never heard me say Iâ<80><99>m sorry, you never will here me say Iâ<80><99>m sorry. The people who say it couldnâ<80><99>t have happened at a worse time, I say it couldnâ<80><99>t have happened at a better time because if I was not the world champion at the time nobody would have cared. Nobody would have given a crap and as I said itâ<80><99>s a good thing having your name in the news you know, my name was mentioned all over the place. Was I attached to and associated to something I was embarrassed about, hell no. Iâ<80><99>m a strong abdicator for cannabis as you probably know and anytime a celebrity is associated with it, it makes a move in the right direction as far as changing the climate. People were told itâ<80><99>s a deadly drug, it kills people and thatâ<80><99>s why it was outlawed. Now 40 years later they never told them any different. People are just feeling a little different about it because people like me, like Kevin on the Tonight Show, like many, many people on television make light of it and guess what when heroes are associated with it that makes light of it and thatâ<80><99>s a good thing.
Jason Agnew : Hey man I agree with you, I just think at that time it might have done well for you in the world of pop culture but in the world of WWE politics they just nailed you to the wall for it.
Rob Van Dam: Right and did you really think I was going to be the longest reigning world champion?
Jason Agnew : No but donâ<80><99>t you think that part of ECW going down the tubes as it is now might have been due to the timing on that conviction there?
Rob Van Dam: Well Iâ<80><99>ll tell ya what, definitely, just in perspective but because I know what I know I donâ<80><99>t feel about it the same way. Now Iâ<80><99>m going to share with you some of the things I know. Vince wanted to add rules; he told me that he never, ever planned on making ECW anything goes. He said â<80><9c>Well I have to add credibility; Iâ<80><99>ve added credibility to the rest. His idea of extreme was going to be have Kelly Kelly out there dancing somewhere in the show and then Sandman out there drinking some beers. To him that made this different than Raw and Smackdown in and edgy way. That was his version of being extreme which was crazy to me. Thatâ<80><99>s what’s going to happen regardless, I was gonna be off for 30 days. When I came back did I wrestle Big Show for the title? Hell no. He kept me at the bottom of the card, the middle of the card; it took me months to work my way back up even though everybody was at those house shows to see me. I knew that and the agents would tell me every night that me and Sabu were the ones getting a reaction. Well big surprise, I already knew that but because of the genius writers and their agenda what’s happening to ECW was going to happen either way. Honestly at the end of that 30 day suspension I asked for more time, I asked for more time off.
Jason Agnew : Well you know what having said that though; we mentioned cannabis earlier and that whole thing that just happened. What are your thoughts on now the WWE wellness policy testing for pot?
Rob Van Dam: Ridiculous! Ridiculous, theyâ<80><99>re under the scrutiny of congress so they donâ<80><99>t really have a choice. Itâ<80><99>s not just the WWE; it is TNA as well and from what I understand congress has their hands on everything. I think that the urine samples are being sent to congress. You know itâ<80><99>s out of their hands, obviously do I think it should be hot water, of course not. Since it is and theyâ<80><99>re banning all these substances, tell ya what, theyâ<80><99>re really making it hard to do a job like that. Most people donâ<80><99>t realize the pain that the body goes through being a pro wrestler just from seeing what they see, the damage in the ring. You know during a normal match every night, Iâ<80><99>d say Iâ<80><99>m in about 50 car crashes. What you donâ<80><99>t consider when you are just watching it is that you have no time to recuperate because youâ<80><99>re traveling to the next town, your not sleeping because youâ<80><99>ve got to catch that early morning flight and drive 300 miles the night before. You noly finding time to hit the gym and you donâ<80><99>t have energy to work out anyways so now they want to take away pain pills. They want to away muscle relaxers which youâ<80><99>re obviously being on a doctors prescription for that anyway. Yeah some of the boys abuse it and definitely need to get help. Other adults know how to use medicine properly and unfortunately have to suffer along with the system. They want to take away anything that helps them recuperate and heal like in the form of the steroids and they want to take away pot to help them, again pot helps everything from dealing with pain, coping to help dealing with the not getting rest and dealing stress. Itâ<80><99>s just, it can make you feel good when you donâ<80><99>t feel good, and itâ<80><99>s a good thing. Iâ<80><99>ll tell ya what, you think now if they ban everything, they are about to ban coffee to tell you the truth, the list of substances is so huge and Iâ<80><99>m not saying that if youâ<80><99>re going to be doing a wellness program that you shouldnâ<80><99>t have all of these but it felt like a strong violation of my freedom. To actually have someone go into my body and take my urine from my bladder, Iâ<80><99>m responsible, I can take care of myself and I donâ<80><99>t need anybody babysitting me. Iâ<80><99>m a contractor out for hire; you know when Iâ<80><99>m a pro wrestler. Iâ<80><99>m there, I drive by myself for the most part, I show up at the building, I do my job and when Iâ<80><99>m done I leave. To make it more than that when youâ<80><99>re still an independent contractor not an employee, itâ<80><99>s really onerous and the point I want to make is this really, really is going to drive a lot of wrestlers to be alcoholics. Itâ<80><99>s really hard to drive and wrestle and maintain an athletic physic when you have to pound back beers because thatâ<80><99>s the only thing that theyâ<80><99>re not tested for, which by the way alcohol is one of the ten deadliest drugs we have.
Jason Agnew : So in your opinion Rob, having said all that, is the wellness policy of the WWE helping or hindering the industry?
Rob Van Dam: I would say the industry itâ<80><99>s helping, the boys itâ<80><99>s hurting. So from that perspective it just shows you itâ<80><99>s a business and the boys can be treated like cattle, if itâ<80><99>s better for the industry and it can make more money for the guys on top then theyâ<80><99>ll do it. If the boys have suffer more because they have to drive, fly from a different airport because itâ<80><99>s cheaper and all that, thatâ<80><99>s usually not even considered, itâ<80><99>s like screw the boys, theyâ<80><99>re the cattle, theyâ<80><99>re the robots that are asked to do things that most humans could never do in their wildest imagination and everything to maintain that schedule so thereâ<80><99>s your answer. I think itâ<80><99>s better for the industry, I think itâ<80><99>s harder on the boys and there you go. Some of the guys have problems that are abusive and canâ<80><99>t take care of themselves, they should be pulled aside either way and dealt with and everyone knows who they are. Itâ<80><99>s just like security at the airport, weâ<80><99>re not all going to blow the airplane up but because there and a few bad apples we all got to take our shoes off and bend over and get our rectal exam just to deal with public transportation.