Donald Wood sent this in.
Fellow Bleacher Report Featured Columnists Mike Chiari, Brandon Galvin and myself had WWE, ECW and TNA legend ROB VAN DAM on the show this week, and it was a great episode with plenty of exclusive content.
We talked about WWE Money in the Bank PPV, Paul Heyman, ECW, Hulk Hogan, his contract with the company and so much more.
Below is the interview on YouTube and Ring Rust Radio. Also, a transcription of the pertinent questions:
YouTube interview: http://youtu.be/3-E7RH00_Mc
Ring Rust Radio episode: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ringrustradio/2014/06/24/ring-rust-radio–june-24-w-wwe-star-rob-van-dam
Rob Van Dam Transcription
Mike Chiari: Since returning to WWE for your latest stint you’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the company’s fastest rising stars, specifically Cesaro and Bad News Barrett. As a veteran performer do you take pride in helping some of these younger stars get over and reach their fullest potential?
Rob Van Dam: Yes and no. I place no focus on that. If somebody is willing to take some advice, then I have some, and that’s just life in general. A lot of people don’t want to hear anything. These guys, and everybody at WWE right now, is so good that the standard of the pro wrestler compared to maybe 10 years ago: night and day difference. I came back last year and I was so impressed. Guys that come up now through NXT, a lot of them, maybe most of them, seem to be growing up in the business and with only four or five years’ experience. They’re already 10-12 year veterans. I’m more happy, with the caliber rising, that I can still get in there with my style and ability and still be relevant with the new age of wrestlers coming up just like it was back then.
So, are they getting a rub from wrestling with me? Probably so, but these guys, I don’t feel like they need me. These guys have a great future and are heading to the top with or without wrestling Rob Van Dam, they just might have a few more bruises after wrestling me.
Brandon Galvin: Many fans relate Money in the Bank to being the summer version of the Royal Rumble. Since you’ve competed in many Money in the Bank and Royal Rumble matches, which do you find more exciting to participate in?
Rob Van Dam: The battle royals are usually among my least favorite matches. Of course the Royal Rumble is a very anticipated and popular pay-per view and it’s very important in setting up what happens that year with WWE, but for my personal participation, I like to keep the spotlight on me more. Single matches, I feel, have always been the ones where I can shine more. Three-way, four-way, you have to split your attention with some other guys, and it can be totally great, but when you get into a battle royal with 20 or 30 other guys, it’s just so different from what your agenda is when it’s one on one competition. My preference is from the perspective of the guy putting the boots on, but really, if it works, it’s good. If the fans love it, I love it.
Donald Wood: The Money in the Bank pay-per-view is scheduled for Sunday, June 29, in Boston and on the WWE Network. As the winner of the 2006 edition of the match, you know first hand how a victory in the ladder match can change your career. How do you approach this event now that you’re a little older and a little wiser?
Rob Van Dam: The experience that I have goes with not only knowing what it takes to pull off a match like that, but also experience in knowing myself and knowing what I can do and how far out there my comfort zone is. I love a match like Money in the Bank, I love a hardcore match, and that’s what the Money in the Bank ladder matches are. Throw the rule book out and let out your imagination. Usually, you have to be among the tougher [Superstars] to enjoy a match like that because you are going to be hit with steel and cement and there’s most likely going to be some blood—even though they want to stop it with the current policies with the WWE, some people might get busted open. I wish they would bring the hardcore title back, that would make me happy.
Donald Wood: When you returned to the WWE, there were a lot of reports about your contract with the company. While it appears you won’t be going for the major titles in the company as a part-time wrestler—at least right now—you have much more free time to explore other ventures outside the ring. Has it been difficult trying to adapt to the new style of part-time wrestling with the WWE?
Rob Van Dam: I have never been one of the guys that goes crazy at home. I can’t even imagine what that’s like. I need the balance. WWE knows I walked away from them in 2006, [that] I stayed away for six or seven years [and] that I’m capable of that without question. The other wrestlers, they have a few days off and they go nuts. I remember, even when I was injured, I had my knee surgery and was home for 12 months, but I wasn’t just sitting around, I had a lot of conventions and things, but I would get phone calls from some of my friends from wrestling saying, ‘Rob I know you’re going crazy at home, but you’ll be back on the road in no time,’ and that’s when I realized how different they are from me. I love my time at home. I need that balance. That’s why I left before, and that’s why this schedule is what works perfect for me, so I don’t have to adjust to the busy times. We just did 17 matches in 23 days in my last run when we went to Europe and I did NXT in Florida as well as Raw and Smackdown. That kind of time for me is when I count the days until I get a break, always have, and some of the other guys have nothing waiting for them at the apartment anyways. They’re young and they’re looking to show people what they’ve got, I’ll let them have it. I’m happy with my position and the way WWE is treating me right now.