Rob Van Dam comments on what he feels is lacking in modern wrestling

Adam Barnard of Foundation Radio sent along the following interview recap with Rob Van Dam…

WWE Hall of Famer, former WWE, ECW, and TNA World Champion, and marijuana advocate Rob Van Dam joins host Adam Barnard (Twitter: @thisisgoober) on the program this week! Highlights from the conversation…

On what’s lacking in modern wrestling: “It’s a lack of the old school fundamentals. When I was trained by the Original Sheik, he was no high flyer. I had to do his kind of wrestling, which was all about getting your opponent to the ground, trying to pin him, trying to pin his shoulders to the mat every chance we got. I had to learn how to sneak in a backflip or a spin around that. That’s what made my stuff more compatible. When I was in All Japan, Stan Hansen used to give me shit when I was real young. I started at 22 in All Japan. Stan would see me doing all the flips and he would give me shit. Before a match, we’d be talking and he’d say ‘Well we’ll let Claude get in there and do all his shit, and then he’ll try and tag me in and make it believable again’. He always called me Claude. I got that kind of a vibe for a while, but then with Stan I was in the ring with him, and then he realized it wasn’t ‘hold my foot, let’s count to three, and then you throw me, I’ll do a backflip out of your hand like we’re not working together’, it wasn’t like that at all. I shouldered him the corner, I did a backflip, I ran at him and put a boot in his face. Afterwards, he told me I gained his respect. He was like ‘Wow, I’ve never seen that up close before, you were there and then you disappeared, I didn’t know where you went!’ Stan’s always been blind as a bat. I think that’s what makes a difference. You know, these guys grew up watching me had some of my peers but I didn’t have the old-school mentality drilled into their head so they just kind like imitated what they thought it was fun, and then you know the competition of it is something that I think becomes less and less as the original foundation of the ‘old boys club’ the secret behind the doors the secret society. If that changes into more of an equal opportunity, work safe environment, we’re gonna see the style change.”

On marijuana advocacy and being on the right side of history: “Well, I mean there is some vindication with it, but I always knew that I was right, so it’s not like there was any prize reward for it. I just knew that eventually, morality would win. As soon as I started looking into it, you know way back in ’36, ’37, when they first prohibited marijuana, it was all based on lies. It was all bullshit and just that alone should give us enough reason to revisit it. They had racial intentions to drive Mexicans and blacks out, and they were the ones that smoked it. We had William Randolph Hearst losing money on the paper business, because he had all these trees that he would make money off of, growing and cutting down 20-year-old trees. Marijuana, hemp, cannabis – if you manipulate the lights, you can grow full crop in 90 days. It’s superior, it’s better for the environment to process it. Anyway, I learned that the reasons that it was prohibited was all so the rich could get richer. You know, Rockefellers with fuel, the pharmaceuticals, alcohol and tobacco, they all spend so many millions of dollars to do campaign against cannabis, they all stand to lose the money. They don’t get to put the tax money in their pocket. People think ‘Why don’t we legalize it? We will make money off the revenue’. The 1% that I’m mentioning that, you know, lobby against it and really rule the world and prohibit it, they don’t all get your tax money. Some of the federal reserves, I mean that goes to the bankers for sure. They are in at that percentage. The more I looked into it, I just figured morality would definitely win, everything made sense. It’s the ‘most dangerous drug’, Schedule I, by it can’t kill anybody? That was one fact that I just thought, if I got that out, people were really find that interesting.”

On “The War on Drugs” and personal choice: “I’m not trying to come out and make any kind of political statement, but one thing I’ve noticed, cause I’m an observer that’s why – that’s what I do and that’s how I notice that I’m one of a kind – People don’t care that hundreds of thousands of people, every year just in America, have been imprisoned over a plant. A plant that grows that’s not even toxic, that’s basically almost harmless. The worst part about it is the law. But for years, hundreds of thousands of people getting their lives destroyed, their house is taken, the dogs, the family shot. Sometimes they get killed. Closing down the businesses, dispensaries. Besides the fact, you know, that we spend hundreds of millions to fight it over all these years. People don’t even care about that if it doesn’t affect them. But all of a sudden, there’s something that people could do that could possibly save everybody from this crisis that’s going on, and now people want to stick up for the rights. People are like ‘I’ll die before I get that jab’. I guess that’s your right, it’s your body, but it’s not even they’re afraid of the vaccine, it’s the principle. They don’t want to fold on someone telling them that they have to do this thing and it’s like, I feel like, you know, pick your battles, you know? I agree, I don’t want to live in a communist country and shit, but if there is a crisis like this, like a pandemic, and it’s got like the highest reports of deaths and it’s lowering our life expectations just because all these bodies being carried out, and they have something, and they say ‘hey everyone, everybody has to do it or it’ll spread.’ Is that really the time to stand for it and say, ‘Wait a minute, I am an individual!’ So that’s how I feel about that.”

On his love of Mafia history: “They had their tentacles in almost everything that’s amazing the people don’t know about it, how much of the country they had corrupt and how much control they had over all the unions, and garbage, and restaurants and bars. So many, and the fact that you know there was like 20, 24 I think, families that were all part of La Cosa Nostra across the country. They were all like kind of under the same umbrella of organization, that’s amazing. All that shit fascinates me. More specific, I like it all, La Cosa Nostra, that’s the Italian one and their associates, but I don’t get off on a tree branch and start going into Russian mafia, Chinese mafia. For me, I am out on the West Coast, I’ve always been interested in the West Coast. There’s so much out there about New York. I find that there’s certain stuff from California, Vegas, that’s not as widely available or as known. That tends to be a little bit more of my favorite. Chicago controlled everything west of the Mississippi and that’s part of what happened on the West Coast as well.”

Hear more about Rob’s philosophy on life, happiness, and his brand new web video show on this week’s episode of Foundation Radio!

Adam Barnard hosts Foundation Radio, a conversation podcast with new episodes each Tuesday on Apple, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Audible, and all other podcast streaming services. Previous episodes have included professional wrestling legends and commentators such as Eric Bischoff, Bill Goldberg, Diamond Dallas Page, Conrad Thompson, and Guy Evans, as well as notables in media and music such as Robert Costa, Asher Roth, Brandon Novak, Tommy Chong, and artist Henry Jones.

You can listen to the podcast below…