Rob Van Dam is a pretty interesting character. He can still fly across the ring at 48-years-old, but as a semi-retired pro wrestler who used to be a top WWE Superstar, he can pick his dates. He is very much the same man he was when he was wrestling.
While speaking to TV Insider, RVD recalled a conversation he had with Vince McMahon when first signing with WWE. This chat was about chair shots to the skull which is a HUGE no-no in WWE today. All Vince McMahon wanted Rob Van Dam to do was put his hands up to protect himself. The Whole F’n Show did not think that was necessary.
“I never knew I could be doing long-term damage. For me, one of the things I enjoy about professional wrestling is showing how tough I am. That’s an outlet for it. I would get hit in the head with a chair, and I knew it would knock my senses a little loopy. This was part of the job for me. I just thought I was really tough because I could take it. Now I feel very fortunate that at this point in life that I don’t have the CTE that the football players have suffered…Vince McMahon told me when I first got into WWE to put my hands up to protect my head from those chair shots. I was arguing with him because I was stupid because I thought I was tough.”
“He went all father on me, ‘I’m your father telling you to put your hands up. He was really serious. Now I won’t be cheering on chair shots to the head, but most of my concussions have probably come from landing and hitting the back of my head. So, I’m going to be cautious of that as well. There’s been once or twice I’ve had similar things happen since shooting the movie. Thankfully, I didn’t get concussed.”
Rob Van Dam says he wasn’t concussed, but WWE might not have been checking like they are today. Mark Henry recently said that he is donating his brain to science for concussion research so this is a concern for everyone who stepped in the ring. At least all of those direct chair shots didn’t seem to affect RVD’s ability to perform in the ring at the time. Vince McMahon still apparently didn’t want to see it happen.