Rob Van Dam recently appeared as a guest on the “2 Scoops Of…” program for an in-depth interview covering all things pro wrestling.
During the discussion, “The Whole F’N Show” reflected on WWE suggesting to him to change his character and how Michael Hayes saw him as a surfer character.
Featured below are some of the highlights from the interview where he touches on these topics with his thoughts.
On WWE attempting to convince him to change his character to something they wanted: “It wasn’t Vince, but I felt like a lot of the other people would try to get me to change a little bit and bend more towards conformity. I always had issues with that. That part was a struggle for me, especially transitioning into the company. There were several times where I felt like they were particularly messing with me with bad intentions, and sometimes I wanted to fight just to defend myself in the industry. There would be weird things they would have me do that I wouldn’t do. It’s weird when you’re in charge of your character because you’re known as this person. It’s not like playing an acting part on a soap opera, people know of me as Rob Van Dam, have for however many years, and now I have someone else writing what I would do, my actions, my conversations, and my thoughts, and they don’t get me. They never understood me and they were always confused because I’m different.”
On specific examples of WWE trying to change him, like when Michael Hayes thought he was a surfer character: “One time, Michael Hayes said, ‘The other people don’t get you, but I get you. You’re a surfer dude, right?’ ‘I’m not a surfer, what are you talking about?’ They want me to wear different outfits. They didn’t like the airbrushing, that was a thing at one point. There were a few times where they wanted to pull me aside and work on me with my promos. At the time, I was just too big-headed. ‘Look, you guys hired me because of what I do, just let me do it, let me be me.’ They wanted me to get angry, so angry, grrrr. They thought that’s where the money is. I’m like, ‘You have everyone else than can be angry, I’m sending a message to people, people look up to me. I don’t believe you should let anger get the best of you.’ They would be like, ‘this guy is lost, we’re going to get someone else to talk to him.’ There was a lot of that.”
Check out the complete interview at Apple.com. H/T to Fightful.com for transcribing the above quotes.