A WWE Hall of Famer has recalled their strained relationship with Triple H.
While Rob Van Dam was incredibly popular with WWE fans in the early 2000s, that love didn’t always extend backstage. As RVD climbed the card towards the main event, Triple H was said to be unconvinced by the star, and there was heat between the pair — something not helped by the ECW legend injuring The Game at Survivor Series 2002.
On a recent episode of his 1 of a Kind podcast, RVD looked back at Survivor Series 2003, and the topic conversation turned to his promos. When it was put to him that being scripted to repeatedly say “dude” and “cool,” must have been frustrating, the veteran admitted he could have taken more control over what he was given.
“I mean, I could have taken more control if I would have had ideas, if I would have been inspired to look at their script and then make it my own. But that wasn’t something they I’ve ever really been good at, faking an interest in something. Now, I could probably fake it as an actor. But back then, it was more like I was myself, and so if I really was telling everybody that this match that I had with Christian on Saturday means more to me than anything in my whole life, I’m gonna be laughing at myself, and I’d feel like I’m making myself into an asshole.
But now, I could probably do it. But back then, I really felt more attached to what I was saying. So when I read the script, and it’s like, ‘Cool, whatever,’ then I would never look at that and say, ‘You know what would really make this good? What if I walk into the room, and Booker T had his towel around him, and come out of the shower….’, I didn’t have that kind of inspiration.
I was just like, ‘What do they want from me? I just want to wrestle.’ That is mostly how I felt. Looking back at the ECW promos, I did have some fun with the promos sometimes. They were fun. I feel like they were more what I wanted to say. Then all of a sudden, I had to talk about stuff I didn’t care about, and pretend that I did. The whole agenda was way different,”
Van Dam went on to recall Triple H offering to help him with his promos, explaining that at the time he felt the offer was a slight on his own skills.
“I was asked about this like a year or two ago. Otherwise, I would have forgot because it’s a really faint memory. But sometime, and this would have been before 2004, I think it was Hunter, offered, I think he pulled me aside and offered [to] help me with my promos.
I think I was insulted by that. My ego [and] competitiveness made me feel like he was saying I couldn’t talk, and I was like, I don’t want to talk like him. ‘I’m RVD, he just don’t get me.’ I think I felt more like that, and that probably, very good chance, could have led to some of the long-term that I had while I was there, possibly, looking back at it,”
Triple H Takes Risk In Bringing CM Punk Back To WWE
At Survivor Series 2023, CM Punk stepped out in front of a WWE crowd for the first time in almost a decade. Punk’s surprise return was kept secret, with only a handful of people being aware he would be at the event and closing the show.
According to one report, a top WWE star said Triple H risked losing the trust of WWE personnel after keeping so many of them in the dark over the plans.
H/t to Fightful