‘Mr. Monday Night’ Rob Van Dam has revealed that the late Chris Benoit confronted him following a WCW event in 1993 about leaving the company.
For several months in 1993, Rob Van Dam plied his trade in World Championship Wrestling under the designation of Robbie V. Though primarily an enhancement talent for the likes of The Barbarian, who he lost to on several live events and television shows, Van Dam found a modicum of success upon his entry into the company.
Defeating Pat Rose, Rip Rogers, Scotty Flamingo and Shanghai Pierce on various editions of WCW Worldwide and WCW Saturday Night, RVD decided that his future wasn’t with the Atlanta group following the takeover of Ole Anderson in creative and departed in November 1993 for a stint with All Japan Pro Wrestling.
However, his exit wasn’t met with good luck wishes by everyone when ‘The Crippler’ Chris Benoit decided to confront him and orate his displeasure that Van Dam was throwing away an opportunity many would give their right arm for.
Joining the TC Martin Show, ‘The Whole F’N Show’ detailed his run-in with Chris Benoit and stated that the future WWE World Heavyweight Championship wasn’t seeing it from his point of view:
“I’ll tell this story, I couldn’t say who it was, but it was Chris Benoit. He comes up to me and is like, ‘Are you leaving? To do what? Go to the Independents? I think you’re stupid. Do you know how many wrestlers would break their leg to be where you are? You’re on TV and in WCW, where you going?’ This guy was making a guarantee of $800 a week compared to my $100 a match — It $150 for the house shows and they’d dock you $50 to do TV. Years later, we’re in WWE and he comes up to me and is like, ‘I hear you’re leaving.’ This time, Chris said, ‘We all respect you for knowing when it’s time for you to go. You know what is right for you.'”
As stated, Van Dam saw the writing on the wall when Ole Anderson replaced Bill Watts in charge of World Championship Wrestling. Understanding that Ole didn’t see in him what Watts had, Van Dam’s decision to walk away was easier than many had expected:
“A lot of questions they asked me brought up deep answers and I was realizing patterns in my life. Some full circles are supportive of the narrative in my life and it blew me away. They’d be asking about me when I left WWE even though they wanted me to re-sign. I just knew I needed a break and it would be indefinite. They asked me about the same moment when I walked out of WCW in 93. I was just a young, green kid but I had experienced better outside of WCW. I was making more money and I didn’t like the direction I was going because Ole Anderson didn’t see in me what Bill Watts did, who hired me. I was looking up at the lights, my pay wasn’t great. I never turned my contract in, I just said I lost it. I was there five months and I left.”
Currently RVD is due to return to World Wrestling Entertainment seven years after last competing for the company to star in his very own WWE Icons documentary. At time of writing, no date had been given for the episode’s airing.
Credit for the interview: TC Martin Show
h/t for the transcription: Fightful