RVD on today’s wrestling: “It’s a lack of the old school fundamentals”

Feb 12, 2022 - by James Walsh

WWE Hall of Famer and former multi-time world champion Rob Van Dam recently joined Foundation Radio to discuss today’s product, and how he believes certain talents are lacking some old-school fundamentals. He also discusses his time working for All Japan Pro Wrestling, which included stories working with the legendary Stan Hansen. Highlights are below.

Thinks today’s wrestling is missing old school fundamentals:

“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.”

On his time in All Japan and getting to work with the legendary Stan Hansen:

“When I was in All Japan, Stan Hansen used to give me sh*t 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.”

Talks gaining Hansen’s respect:

“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.”

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