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Rob Van Dam Discusses His Appearance On Dark Side Of The Ring

Rob Van Dam talking during an episode of WWE Icons

Rob Van Dam has opened up about his recent appearance on Dark Side of the Ring where he discussed the ‘Plane ride from hell.’

The ‘Plane Ride from Hell’ took place following the UK exclusive pay-per-view Insurrextion in May 2002. During the flight, several performers were involved in incidents that would result in fines, lawsuits and, in the cases of Scott Hall and Curt Hennig, releases from the company.

On the episode analysing the events that took place that day, an air stewardess seemingly alleged that she was sexually harassed by Ric Flair.

One of the WWE Superstars present on the infamous flight was Rob Van Dam. The WWE Hall of Famer also appeared in the documentary discussing the events that unfolded.

Speaking exclusively to Kenny McIntosh for issue 14 of Inside The Ropes magazine, Rob Van Dam has now opened up about his appearance on Dark Side of the Ring.

Rob Van Dam said that he was aware of the controversy around the show because of social media, admitting that many of the things described in the episode would be seen as crazy by “normal people” not involved with wrestling.

“Well, I already knew for like four or five days— before I got a chance to see it, everyone else had—everybody was talking about it on social media. So I already knew the ramifications that the wrestlers faced. Most of the feedback said that I turned out looking good, like my moral compass pointed in the right direction, so I thought that was cool.

When I watched it, I remember thinking, “Oh my God, this must seem so crazy to normal people.” Right from the beginning, when they were talking about wrestlers punching each other, jumping over the seats or whatever they were doing, I just remember thinking that normal people have really different lives to what we do. This was crazy for them to get a little sneak peek, and then they filled the rest with their imagination.”

RVD continued by explaining how he was unaware of how the show turned out until he watched the whole thing after it debuted. In addition, he said that due to how all of the different interviews are edited together, his comments regarding Flair lacked context.

“When I watched the whole thing, of course, I was watching to see what I said, because you don’t have any idea of what the whole show is when they are interviewing you. I talked to them for like an hour, [but] if you add up all of my words together I think it might be like a minute—there’s so much that they don’t show. But people don’t realise that—people that aren’t in the entertainment business—they don’t see it the same way.

So I was thinking that the way they cut it made it probably sound to people that don’t listen enough, was something that I didn’t say.

Specifically, I said that I saw Ric Flair crowding the flight attendant and the actual words of me saying, “Trying to make her touch him and stuff.” That was so incriminating, because I had no idea the whole thing was going to be about his schlong and him doing the helicopter, whether he did do it or not. Then the sexual thing, I didn’t know about that at all. I was thinking more kind of jest, like when someone thinks they are sexy and they are dancing on you. Like, you know, the whole, “I know you wanna touch me . . .” That vibe kind of thing.

But it wasn’t the way that it came across, so I noticed that right away. That kind of made me laugh and I knew that. But I figured that some people, when you tell them that, then they would understand. But some people still don’t. They think you are backtracking now and going back on the things that you’ve said.”

Rob Van Dam closed by discussing how the different strands from different interviews were pulled together to create one overarching narrative.

“At the same point you’ve got to realise that people are limited. So I have to choose who I am going to spend my energy on when it comes to that. Some people are impossible, but I know that that’s the way the media works. They chose a narrative, and they had so many narratives. When they interviewed us I’m sure we all said the same thing, which was like, “Oh, that was so long ago. I barely remember.”

And then every time we would say something, they would try to narrow it down. Like, “Was the airplane built like this? Because so-and-so said this . . . But most people are saying this and we are trying to find out . . .” You get a lot of that and they chose to tell the story one way and then use all the supporting footage that they could. So that was a good production job.”

The fallout from the episode was extensive, with many on social media calling out the behaviour and comments from those within the show.

Ric Flair denied the allegations that were made in the documentary but a Car Shield commercial featuring Flair was “paused.”

Meanwhile, Tommy Dreamer who caused controversy with his comments about the alleged incident has been suspended by IMPACT Wrestling. In addition, he has been removed from his spot as a host on Busted Open Radio.

To read the full interview with Rob Van Dam you can order Issue 14 of Inside The Ropes Magazine here or take out a monthly subscription to get great wrestling interviews, features, and a whole lot more delivered to your door. Alternatively, Inside The Ropes Magazine is also available as a download.