- Rob Van Dam recently spoke with The Miami Herald. Here are some highlights from the article:
His match with Jerry Lynn at TNA Destination X:
"I was very pleased with the match as was Jerry Lynn. We had a competitive bout as we’ve always did. That same spirit that used to drive us for our matches before definitely came out. We haven’t wrestled since 2001. It has been quite a while, but we were able to pick right up and feel that chemistry together. According to the reports from the office, our match was off the charts. Especially for what they wanted the focus to be on right now and what they want the young guys to pick up and learn. I was super happy with the match. Jerry and I know the more we wrestle each other, the better the match gets."
"Before, my style was considered a pioneer style that people weren’t to, but now even on a pay-per-view like Destination X, everyone is flying and flipping. It’s the nature of that division. There are a lot of wrestlers who have been influenced by those earlier matches. Especially those matches that Jerry Lynn and I had in the 1990s. I don’t feel like right now, even after being in the business for as long as I have, anyone wrestles like me. I still stand out. Nobody does most of my RVD moves.
The truth is a lot of it is because they can’t. Some of it is out of respect. A lot of it is because normal people can’t jump off the apron and do a 360-degree spin in the air, then come back on one leg, with the other leg coming down on somebody on the guard rail. Normal people can’t do that. Normal wrestlers can’t do that, or they will get injured. That is still one of the things that set me apart. That’s not going to change."
Young stars not asking him for advice and a possible knock at Generation Me:
“I feel like I get respect, but not in that way. I’m open to it. Most of the guys, I don’t know if they don’t feel welcome to ask me or any of the other veterans or what. That is probably an issue that we have is the young guys should ask some of the older guys. They should be saying, ‘Hey, watch my match. Let me know what I can improve on.’ That never happens enough. Some of the young guys who are or were there, I don’t want to mention any names. There were two young guys who just left and looked like they were out of high school. The whole time they were there, they never introduced themselves or shook my hand. Things are way different than they used to be."
His time with TNA:
"I can’t say that I have been utilized to the fullest. I’d say very much not, but I don’t want that to come off as a complaint because I really like my deal with TNA. I’m very professional and there for whatever they need me to do. Having said that, I still care about my character and my career, and I’m very easy to get along with."
TNA not having brand recognition:
"We don’t have it. We have less than a handful of third party licensees, where as the big companies like with WCW there were a lot more. When they were around, they had a couple a hundred licensees. We need to get the TNA Impact Wrestling brand out there.
The most common comment I hear every day from fans that spot me for the first time at a restaurant, mall or beach. The one comment I get is, ‘RVD, you’re my favorite wrestler. What happened? Are you not wrestling anymore? Why did you retire?’ I get that all the time. It’s not a bad downside for the deal I have, but it’s something I put up with. I’m always like an ambassador. I would say, ‘You got Spike TV? The show is on Thursday nights at 9.’
That tells me there is a void there, where a lot of wrestling fans have yet to catch onto this product. Brand recognition is so important. When I was with WWE, people would have me sign merchandise that I didn’t even know existed. I would go, ‘What the f---? There is an RVD outlet cover for your wall? I had no idea.’
With TNA, unfortunately right now, we are dealing with T-shirts, action figures, trading cards and then a few key chains or something. That is all we got. We have a handheld game, I guess. I don’t think that many people know about it. Then we have a big void. I’m hoping at this weekend at the Comic-Con in San Diego that the TNA office will meet some third party licensees."