Rob Van Dam Reflects On His First Interaction With AEW President Tony Khan

WWE Hall of Famer Rob Van Dam (RVD) recently took to an episode of his “1 Of A Kind” podcast, where he talked about a number of topics including his first interaction with AEW President Tony Khan.

RVD said, “Okay, so my first meeting with Tony Khan is on the phone. He messaged me, ‘Hey, Rob, this is Tony Khan. You know, I’d like to talk to you about coming in.’ I didn’t have a date or anything, but that led to a phone call. And at first I’m like, ‘Whoa, is that really Tony Khan’s phone number?’ I feel like I might have shown Matt Hardy, like I think I was with him or something. But anyway, the first time I talked to him on the phone, you know, he’s asking me what my rate is to work, what my deal is with WWE. If I’d be interested in coming in, you know. And I talked about the royalty agreement, they got being these video games and action figures. And he’s like, ‘Maybe come in like, I got a lot of guys injured. Maybe come in like as I need you or something like that.’ I’m like, ‘Dude, you know, let’s talk, f***ing A.’ And he said, ‘I got this show coming up. I think it’s September in Grand Rapids.’ And he says, ‘I think that’d be a great way to bring you in so close to home town.’ And I’m like, ‘F***ing A man, that sounds awesome.’”

“So we talked — I think it was the week before the show, I believe. It was a pretty small window, and he’s saying, ‘Yeah, you know, well I’ll’ — he was kind of started talking kinda like a bird’s flying away from a tree. It’s just getting further away, which is weird. That’s kind of how I felt. Bbecause I’m like, ‘All right, well Grand Rapids would be awesome.’ He’s like ‘Alright, I’ll talk to travel. Sounds like — you know, I’d be like to be able to do that.’ I’m like, ‘Okay. So, so we’re doing it? Is thins happening, should I count on it?’ And he said, ‘Yeah let’s kind of count on this happening, and I’ll talk to travel and we’ll get back to you to confirm everything up.’ I’m like, ‘So, it’s not confirmed. Okay.’ ‘See ya!’ Didn’t hear from him again. The show happened, months went by and I thought it was funny. You know, WWE did a similar thing to me [in terms of not getting back to him about an appearance]… So I was just like, ‘You know what? It happens.’ It happens sometimes, that’s part of doing my job. And I’m not the guy that’s going to be pounding on your door, ‘Hey, did you forget? Did forget? I’m right here, we were talking. Did you lose my number? I thought maybe you might have lost a number, so I just want to make sure you have it.’ You know, that’s the opposite of me. So I’m gonna be like, ‘Dude if you want me, then you’ll let me know.’ So that’s how that first one went, and then I didn’t even talk to him again until after I was there booked to work that angle with Jungle Boy, and actually saw Tony Khan and talked to him in person for the first time.”

On who he wants to work with in AEW:

“I would really like to work with one of my peers that I’ve worked with them before. I mean, when you put me up against a young new guy, they get a rub, it’s a good chance for them. I can still roll with them; that’s cool. But if we had say, RVD versus Edge, RVD versus Christian, RVD versus Jericho, I’ve had some outstanding matches with all of those guys. And I have no doubt that if we were to get in the ring again, it would be f**king outstanding. And they wouldn’t be one of the new young guys that doesn’t quite follow the same rulebook that I do. They change a few things, do a few things that wouldn’t be acceptable before. You know, they’ve adapted. Maybe they’re going to want me to do a couple of moves that I think are stupid, or don’t make sense. I’m going to have to talk them out of it. This here is going to be like, ‘Boom, let’s see what the experience that these guys have in their minds, combined with the physical condition RVD, that f**king specimen! And the other guys are still in working condition.’”

“So I would really be stoked to have a chance to do something like that. 20 minutes, you know, something, 15 at least. A long match with somebody from closer to my generation that I can be myself and can be the acrobatic one moving around them, just like I always was. But we can f**king tell a great story that everyone understands. And man, I tell you what, I think that people would be blown away by the results of that. I really do.”

You can check out the complete podcast in the video below.

(H/T to for transcribing the above quotes)