Van Dam was one of the first people in WWE to experience the dominating power of The Beast as he faced off against Lesnar in the finals of the 2002 King of the Ring tournament. Lesnar would win the match and go on to defeat The Rock and capture his first WWE Championship.
Speaking with Chris Van Vliet, RVD discussed how Lesnar’s legitimacy as a combat athlete backs up his pro wrestling and makes him a one-of-a-kind performer:
“Yeah, I’m a fan. I always have been. Definitely, you know, like, what’s not to love? He’s good for the business and the fact that he can back it up and has backed it up. When he was UFC World Champion that was, like, there’s nothing else that would legitimise. If you want to go that far.
What we do doesn’t get enough respect. Because every fan thinks they can do it. And that seems to be more and more what they’re after. You know, like with that all-inclusive, whatever it is, it seems like they’re reaching out to get normal people like to get a skateboarder and a basketball player, it seems like athletes that are normal kids or whatever, so that people do relate more, and then people do think it’s easier, and then everybody can do it.
At least that’s one observation I’ve had looking at where it seems to be going, you know, when I grew up, someone had to tell me that they could get me in, you know if I started lifting weights and stuff, they’d get me in. Otherwise, I don’t think I ever would have had the idea. These guys were just larger than life. Don’t you have to be born a pro wrestler? You know, you think I could do that.”
Rob Van Dam Loses WWE Hall Of Fame Ring
The former WWE Champion was recognised for his contributions to wrestling in 2021 by being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Not used to wearing the ring that is gifted with the accolade, Van Dam admitted that he accidentally left it behind in a hotel room.
If you use any quotes from this article please credit Insight with Chris Van Vliet and leave a h/t to TJR Wrestling.