Former WWE and ECW Champion Rob Van Dam spoke with Joe McDonnell on KLAC, 570-AM in Los Angeles, yesterday, discussing the news that Chris Benoit had brain damage. They discuss the initial reports from the Sports Legacy Institute’s study, how this new information helps answer that “why” question so many of the people who worked with Chris had, since the double-murder/suicide was so “out-of-character.”
RVD said he wants to know what effect all of the bumps he’s taken throughout his career have had on his brain. He went on to say that after Eddie Guerrero died, and it came out that his heart was enlarged, he had his heart checked out, and he now visits regularly with doctors to have everything checked, “because the Wellness Program by looking at my pee and finding out if I’m taking too much Vicodin doesn’t quite cut it.”
When asked if WWE and pro wrestling in general needs to tone down the violence, RVD said that it’s hard for him to agree with that since he prides himself on taking a beating, bleeding, and showing the fighting spirit that help him stand out in his art. “I take my own safety into consideration all the time,” he says, “…but I would never think” that what I do might harm my family or those I love.
He said he was taught by The Shiek that you protect the business first and if you’re not tough enough, get out; he contrasts that with what Vince McMahon told him when he first joined WWE and got his big push, which was to get his hands up for chairshots to the head. He says he wanted to show everyone how they did it in ECW. Later in the interview he said he would always take shots to the head straight-on, and if someone asked him what a chop was like, he’d slap them in the chest as hard as he could. He also questioned how safe it is to be in the air for so long with all the flying wrestlers do.
They talk about depression of being on the road and why he isn’t wrestling right now. RVD says that with WWE testing and fining wrestlers now for weed, people are telling him he got out at the right time. After a lot of the painkillers and everything were banned by the Wellness Program, a lot of the boys switched over to marijuana to help them get through the long trips, but RVD says America wants you to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes. They also talk about the contrast between the young guys like Elijah Burke on the road and people like Van Dam and Benoit who used to talk all the time about getting back to their families. The interview closes with RVD plugging his Web site RobVanDam.com, and that he will have an announcement in a couple of weeks about some future plans.
.:: Full Interview (MP3 Format) ::.
Tags: ECW, Other, WWE