Former WWE Champion Rob Van Dam recently spoke to “Inside the Ropes,” and had a conversation about a particular episode of SmackDown. It seems that RVD was opposed to the post 9/11 episode of SmackDown.
The WWE had aired a special episode of SmackDown following the tragic terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. The episode was a big deal, as it was the first public gathering in the immediate aftermath of the attack, with all other sports events cancelled.
The episode was aired only two days after the attack, and RVD admits that he was very nervous about it being aired, which is quite understandable.
I think WWE was anxious to get on with it. I remember thinking that it was a horrible idea. These terrorists really want to strike America in its heart, what better way than a stadium full of people on live TV watching pro-wrestling, which is as American as it gets. I was thinking it’s quite likely that we are not going to be the safest out in front of people.
RVD also recalled the unpredictability of the time following the attack, saying that they weren’t assured of their safety when they boarded a plane.
Despite RVD’s misgivings, the episode aired quite smoothly, and is now considered a landmark moment in wrestling history, with fans having fond memories of Vince McMahon’s speech and Lilian Garcia’s rendition of the national anthem.
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