Rob Van Dam has admitted he isn’t a fan of one of the most iconic venues in pro wrestling.
Madison Square Garden in New York City has been hosting pro wrestling events for decades, and for many years was seen as the home of WWE. The World’s Most Famous Arena has been the site of WrestleMania three times, including the first-ever event, as well as multiple editions of the Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series. It has also seen many tapings of Raw and SmackDown.
NJPW and Ring of Honor also appeared at the venue in April 2019, hosting their G1 Supercard show which was headlined by Kazuchika Okada regaining the IWGP Heavyweight Championship from Jay White.
While many wrestlers hope to perform in the hallowed halls of the venue that saw Bruno Sammartino rise to iconic status, one man who found the reality of the venue hard to take was Rob Van Dam.
Rob Van Dam found Madison Square Garden to be “overcrowded”
RVD made several appearances at MSG during his time in WWE, including taking part in the first-ever Elimination Chamber match in the venue at Survivor Series 2002.
On the latest edition of his 1 Of A Kind podcast, the Hall of Famer recounted his experience of the venue, with his main memory being that the dressing room was “overcrowded”.
“I think I’m gonna get heat for not sharing that opinion. What I remember from it was the dressing room was overcrowded, I think there’s like one toilet for everybody to use. I just remember being overcrowded. I loved being in the city and the energy and everything, but I remember specifically feeling like I was one of the only ones that didn’t have that super mark out, nostalgia vibe going so I felt a little left out.”
Van Dam thinks the reason for the small locker rooms came down to the designers of the venue putting money ahead of taking care of the talent.
“Just the way I remember it. Sometimes you’d be surprised, even in a big multi million dollar production like that, you’d be surprised at how many rooms are so small that you just got to drop your bag off and leave and only [a few] people at a time can actually get dressed and they have to make room for other people.
“I remember MSG being like that. A lot of times, I always felt like the flesh peddlers were probably laughing at us and what we do and what we do it for, and the conditions they put us under and what we are doing to ourselves as jobs — and the flesh peddlers are probably laughing at, because they’re the ones making the money.
“I’ve always had that perspective and MSG is one of those buildings that puts me back into that mindset, like it’s not about taking care of us, it’s about them making money.”
H/T to Fightful for the above transcription.