Brian Fritz of Between The Ropes talks with Impact Wrestling star Rob Van Dam about his thoughts of where the company is right now, if he would still be in wrestling if Impact wasn’t around several years ago, on the unique way he left WWE and what he was told on the way out by several members of management, now looking back at his arrest while with the WWE, why he roots for Brock Lesnar, size in wrestling, still wanting to do extreme style matches, his many other projects outside of wrestling, Jerry Lynn retiring at the end of the year and more.
Here are some excerpts from the interview with RVD:
On whether or not he has thought about slowing down or changing his style in the ring:
No bro! I’m a showoff. That’s my whole job is to show what I have and my problem is the opposite. My problem is I’m always only allowed to show 10% of what I got. You know what I mean? People ask ‘I want to see more Van Daminators’. Well, that’s cool but it’s illegal to bring a chair in. I happen to be in a company that has a certain style where, if I brought the chair in and did it every single night, it might not mean as much. But back in the ECW days, that was the standard. So every night, I knew I was going to be able to give the fans their money’s worth whether it was a house show, TV or even on pay-per-view.
I like to show that I can take more punishment than the other guys. I like to show that I’ve got flashy moves. I like to show that I have creativity by bringing in other factors and elements besides a regular, boring, one fall match inside the squared circle.
On whether or not he would still be in wrestling if TNA had not been around when he signed with the company in 2010 or even right now:
Who knows? I didn’t think so at one point after I had left WWE. You know, a lot of fans seem to think that the weed bust got me kicked out of WWE or something. People that really follow it saw that I stayed there for a while but I see that a lot on the Internet. And you know it’s always true if it’s on the Internet! I did the time there and when my contract ran up and left in favor of not living on the road in a different town every single day, flying and driving, then trying to cut through the tension of the dressing room to get to my bag. I left there and I was so burned out because, while I was burned out, things were getting worse the last several months. I had it in my contract that I’d have a weekend off once a month which they never gave me. And then towards the end, after I was bitching about that, they started booking me twice a day to do two shows. I said you guys are crazy! And when I left, there was a while where I thought man, I don’t care if I ever step on an airplane again, I’ve had so much of it. I don’t care if I step in the ring again, I’ve had so much of it. And, you know, my priorities were different at that moment, what I needed in my life. I thought I might not wrestle again. I didn’t even know. I was open to seeing what life might bring me. It did end up bringing me back. It wasn’t in a hurry, that’s for sure.
On whether not he came close to returning to WWE before signing with TNA:
I actually contacted WWE when it looked like things might work out with TNA’s contract. I emailed Johnny (Laurinaitis) and I actually said are you sure there isn’t a part-time schedule there. I even had some ideas where they would come out financially ahead of me, paying me a limited amount of dates but it never, the conversation never got as far as me explaining what my idea was. I did explain it to Dixie (Carter), the same scenario. Johnny has responded with they’d love to have me there, please reconsider and do full-time because they need me there the whole time. I was not even thinking about doing that. Even now, I can’t imagine going back to that crazy ass schedule that I worked with them. I’m grateful that I had that time with them. Right now, at this stage in my career, it’s even less appealing than it was prior to coming to TNA.