The Rack spoke with Rob Van Dam this past Thursday. Here are some highlights from the interview.
His feud with Kenny King: "That would be the one to talk about right now because on my latest appearances on television, you see Kenny King there. I gotta tell ya, everyone else knew a lot more about him than I did. I wrestled him at the last PPV and everyone was coming up to me, including Dixie Carter, checking on my feelings with the match, seeing how I felt because they were looking forward to seeing this match and I gotta tell you the truth, I didn't even know who he (King) was. I hadn't met him before; I hadn't seen him wrestle before and I didn't know until shortly before the show started, I was wrestling someone named Kenny King, but everyone was super excited about him. They said, 'Yeah, you guys are going to have 'Match of the Night' He's got the moves and sets; he's got the size. So you two guys should be pretty competitive. So, that piqued my interest.
"We had the match, and clearly RVD was better; I mean, I'm still the Champion, I won the match. So I was like 'Oh, alright.' I can't blame everyone for getting behind him so much, but the guy never leaves. He comes back, I don't know, comes as my friend; he seems like everyone else's friend; he seems like a cool guy but I think he's letting business get in the way, I don't know. We had the match, had another match and then he found a way to bend the rulebook in his favor so that he could come out on to. And now, that puts me in a position: 'Ok, the guy has beaten me in a non-title match. What are we going to do now?' I kind of feel obligated to wrestle him again for the title, but not right away. You know what I mean? I think that's a cheap way of going about doing it. So I wrestled some other guys; I teamed with them and he keeps picking at me, like pecking at me, like a woodpecker outside that's keeping me up when I'm trying to sleep. It's something I've got to settle. So, I'm not taking him lightly, but I am saying I am better than him. I know that he's not finished, l I know that he wants some more. Coming up, we'll see what he's got and what he brings to the table this time."
How the Five Star Frogsplash came to be his finisher: "I think that this makes, I thought it was my 23rd Championship title, but some fans have said it's actually the 21st, so I can't verify or confirm which it is; but, apparently I've had well over 20 Championship Titles that are documented and that doesn't include a lot of small, regional, territorial titles I've picked up along the way because they just don't make the record books. But it is true that in my lengthy career I've had gold around my waist a lot and there's a reason for that: because I win a lot of my matches. Used to be with the split legged moonsault, and then around 1992-9, I was wrestling in WCW and a wrestling promoter, Ron Slinker, the same guy who gave me the name Rob Van Dam, said 'you need to come up with a move that's more impactful because the Split legged Moonsault is pretty, people like it but it's not real impactful and not a really hard drop.' So, I thought about that and I said 'Alright, crew it, what I'm going to do is take my entire frame and shoot it up as high as it'll go inside the arena and then drop down with all the impact, all the weight, all the momentum, BOOM on my opponent; crash into him. So, the Five Star Frogsplash was born and once I mastered that, I gotta tell you I've beaten a lot of really well-established wrestlers with that; a lot of champions. When I hit that Five-Star Frogsplash, I'm pretty confident that if I can crawl over in time, I'm going to get the three-count. So that's kind of always in my back pocket; the fans always know it."
Where does the X Division Title he currently has rank amongst his multiple titles: "I've enjoyed other championships; you know I've been tag team champion lots of times. I've been Intercontinental Champion lots of times, Television Champion. One of my favorites has been the Hardcore Championship because it reflected my favorite style and I feel that the X Division belt does that too. People have expectations when the X Division Championship is up for grabs and I try to deliver that; make it more exciting and I try to get that out of my opponent too. So I'm enjoying the X Division title run and I would put it up there against all my other world title championships as well."
On his return to Philadelphia with TNA January 5th: "That's a big event for me because I spent so much time in Philadelphia, when I was putting it all together and learning to mold myself into the superstar that I did. I came into ECW in Philadelphia in 1996 and left in 2001; a much bigger, worldwide star than I arrived and I thank ECW for that. And the crowds, Philadelphia and the whole Northeast; high standards, high expectations; the crowd demanded satisfaction and they waited for you to slip so they could chant at you. The waited for someone to slip and they were merciless; they were awesome and that was a great crowd to learn in front of and perfect Rob Van Dam in front of. So, the return to Philadelphia is a pleasure for me."
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