RVD has claimed that there is one particular aspect of modern wrestling that “offends” him and contradicts the way he was trained wrestling should be.
At his peak, Rob Van Damn established himself as one of the more unorthodox wrestlers in the world. His mixture of martial arts kicks and innovative high-flying moves meant that he not only stood out from the crowd, but also became a firm fan favourite.
Van Dam honed his style in his early years under the guidance of The Sheik, himself a certified wrestling legend and one of the pioneers of hardcore wrestling.
Speaking in a new interview with the Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling, Van Dam explained that his training, has put him at odds with one particular aspect of modern wrestling. RVD pointed out that while he was told to first and foremost “protect the business,” today’s performers are more focused on safety.
“I’m still offended by a lot of the stuff that I see nowadays,”
“Because I was taught, and I hate it when people say, ‘Oh, I wasn’t brought up that way,’ no one was brought up that way, we have to adapt. Your perception changes when you’re an adult.”
Van Dam went on to explain how a concern for each other’s safety is holding back current wrestlers. “The number one rule was to protect the business, always, always, always was, and then somewhere way down the road, it became, ‘number one rule: safety first.’ Like, what?”
Van Dam added that he was trained to wrestle snug, and the entire point of the match was to always look like you were trying to win.
“The way we trained, if you got bloody, that was good for the match, it made it looked good. And there was no air allowed between anybody, my whole training with Sheik was about grabbing each other and bringing each other in tighter. Bringing each other in whether its a headlock, or a waist-lock, or an armlock, it was always about coming in and squeezing. Anytime someone was on their back, boom, you better be jumping on him trying to pin him, trying to win. And that’s not the way I see a lot of wrestling today. A lot of times, it eats me up.
“What’s the right way to put it? Some things are less than enjoyable for me to watch just because of that mentality, old school perspective that I have,” Van Dam continued, trying to be as political as possible with his answer, “because I see what’s missing and the audience might not always know what’s missing, but they just know they’re not connecting in the way they used to be, you know, back in the day with other wrestlers when it was different.”
During the same interview, Mr Monday Night reflected on his feud with Triple H in the early 2000’s. Van Dam admitted that at the time he wasn’t happy with how he was booked against his fellow WWE Hall of Famer.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.