Jim Ross Recalls Rob Van Dam Refusing To Put Over WWE Star In 1997

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Jim Ross has recalled a time when Rob Van Dam refused to lose a match to a midcard wrestler that would become a WWE Hall of Famer.

The Monday Night Wars era of WWE saw the company try something different by having a bit of an ECW “invasion” at times when some ECW wrestlers would appear on WWE TV for specific matches.

It wasn’t well known at the time but revealed years later that WWE’s Vince McMahon helped out ECW’s Paul Heyman financially, which is what led to some talent exchanges and things like that.

Rob Van Dam was one of ECW’s most exciting wrestlers that a rising star with a bright future in 1997. Fans were captivated by him because of the things RVD could do in the air when he was jumping off the top rope or his patented Five Star Frog Splash off the top rope.

In 2001, WWE signed RVD after ECW died and Rob Van Dam went on to have a Hall of Fame career after a decade-long run in WWE. However, there was a time when RVD refused to lose a match.

During a recent episode of WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross’ Grilling JR podcast about Rob Van Dam, it was mentioned that RVD refused to lose a match to eventual WWE Hall of Famer “Road Dogg” Jesse James, who was a midcarder in WWE at the time. JR was asked about that.

“Awkward. Unfortunate. I thought he got bad advice. Here’s the deal. Should he have put Road Dogg over? If that’s what the booker wanted, yeah. It’s the right thing to do. I know I could argue that point. I sure as hell would have stayed on my post and done my work and that’s just how Rob was raised.”

“I’m sure that Eddie Farhat’s influences had a bearing on the decision that Rob was making. I just don’t believe in the worst excuse or reason better said I don’t think it’s cool when you don’t want to finish the project even though it may not be what you want to do you’re still getting paid and go out there and steal the show and turn heads again and move up the card. But, you can’t do it if you’re not there. You got to have a jersey to play. Don’t turn your jersey in.”

H/T 411Mania