Rob Van Dam Comments On The Politics When He Was In WWE, Ric Flair, More

(Photo Credit: WWE)

WWE Hall of Famer Rob Van Dam recently spoke on his podcast, “1 Of A Kind With RVD,” about a variety of professional wrestling topics including the politics when he was in WWE:

“I remember just like, trying to tread those waters there. A lot of what was rough for me was just the damn politics. You know, it was like, I was just swimming in politics, and it’s like, you know, how do you get ahead here if it’s not by winning the fans over, or if it’s not completely just by winning the fans over, what else is there and, you know, is that something that I can do or that I want to do and who else is doing it? Is that how they’re getting ahead of me? Man, just like all of that going on just felt so competitive that it was hard to even be happy for everybody else. It felt so much, you know, like, that should be me, you know, because you were promised that and then they gave it to someone else. That’s why you feel that way. I think every wrestler pretty much has to relate to that kind of feeling, especially when they go through the big show like that. I’m glad that right now I’m not still in that state of mind. I had to get out of it when I had to get out of it, but, you know, right now I’m glad that I have the foresight to be able to think bigger and talk about it and understand a bigger perspective because that’s important.”

On his interviews in WWE:

“I mean, I could have taken more control if I would have had ideas, if I would have been inspired to look at their script and then make it my own, but that wasn’t something that I’ve ever really been good at, faking an interest in something. I mean, now, I could probably fake it as an actor, you know what I mean? But back then, it was more like I was myself, and so like, if I really was telling everybody that this match that I have with Christian on Saturday means more to me than anything in my whole life, I’m gonna be laughing at myself and feeling like I’m making myself into an a**hole. But now I could probably do it, you know, but back then I really felt more attached to what I was saying. So when I read the script, and it’s like, cool, whatever, then I would never, you know, look at that and say, you know, ‘What would really make this good? What if I walked into the room and Booker T had his towel around and was coming out of the shower, and what if I did… ‘ I didn’t have that kind of inspiration. I was just like, what do they want from me? I just want to wrestle and that’s mostly how I felt. Looking back at the ECW promos, I did have some fun with the promos. Sometimes they were fun. I feel like they were more what I wanted to say and stuff and that, and then all of a sudden, I had to talk about stuff I didn’t care about and pretend that I did and the whole agenda was way different.”

“Sometime, and this would have been before 2004, I think it was Hunter who pulled me aside and offered to help me with my promos and I think I was insulted by that. My ego, competitiveness, made me feel like he was saying I couldn’t talk, you know, and I was like, I don’t want to talk like him. You know, I’m RVD. You just don’t get me. I think I felt you know, more like that and that probably, you know, very good chance could have led to some other long term heat that I had while I was there, possibly, looking back at it.”

Thoughts on wrestling Ric Flair when they were both in WWE:

“At that point for me, I’m just trying to get the job done. This is gonna sound disrespectful, but at the time, he was not one of my choice opponents.

RVD was asked if it was because Flair didn’t line up with his style?

RVD said, “Yea, I’m glad we got footage of RVD wrestling with Flair. I like him now too, but even when I was there, even, you know, like, I don’t know. Everyone treated him like, I really can’t, to go back into that state of mind, I feel like I’d be rehashing talking sh*t, but, you know, because I keep it real on my podcast, you know, I don’t mean any sh*t talking by this, but back then at that time when I was in the competitive mindset and had the ego that I had, I felt that a lot of the boys kissed his ass, laughed because he would wear his robe at the bar, maybe with not much underneath and I just thought, I would roll my eyes at that. It wasn’t entertaining to me. He wasn’t my hero growing up. Hulk Hogan was because we only got WWF whereas people in the south, Ric Flair was there Hulk Hogan. That’s how I always thought it, and you know, just even backstage, there’s a story that I won’t get into, but let’s just say I thought he was a stooge at one point, that he stooged on me for smoking, Mr. Ric Flair that now has his own marijuana brand.”

“So my feelings were among that and then having the mismatch of style where I’m in there with someone that’s gonna want to just chop me and me and make me fall as opposed to, you know, what wrestling was for me. But again, bigger picture, we’re all fu**ed up characters, and, you know, it looked like a good match and I’m sure it probably was, but that’s what it was like, for me. It wasn’t like, ‘Whoa, I’m in here with the Nature Boy, you know, one of the original OG champions.’ I never really got into that mindset, I don’t think. Maybe I did with Hulk Hogan a little bit. I don’t know. I felt like you gotta stooge at your level to get ahead. Come on. You’re Ric Flair.”

You can check out the complete podcast below:

(h/t to for the transcription)