wrestling / News

Rob Van Dam On Impact Wrestling’s Resilience and Recapturing Its Buzz, His Feud With Sami Callihan

September 1, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Rob Van Dam Impact Wrestling Image Credit: Impact Wrestling/Twitter

Speaking with Jeffrey Harris for the 411 Wrestling Interviews Podcast, Impact Wrestling star and ECW/WWE alumnus Rob Van Dam discussed Impact’s resilience and its rediscovered momentum in recent weeks as well as his feud with Sami Callihan. Van Dam is set to face Callihan tonight on Impact Wrestling as their issues with each other have heated up in recent weeks, spurred on by Callihan’s conflict with RVD’s wife Katie Forbes. That led to Callihan claiming on last week’s Impact Emergence night two that RVD lost his World Title match against Eddie Edwards because his mind wasn’t fully in the game, a claim that RVD addressed.

Van Dam also discussed how Impact has been building momentum this year and how it’s managed to defy all of its critics by staying alive despite years of people predicting its death. You can check out the highlights and full audio below:

Rob Van Dam on his feud with Sami Callihan and Callihan saying he’s in RVD and Katie Forbes’ heads: “Well that would explain why I took that knee from Eddie. I knew there had to be some reason. Sami, I’m looking forward to my match with Sami. I’m a fan of his work, and I’m glad that we’ve got this thing going on. Yeah, I think that he is in Katie’s head. It’s easier to get into her head, she’s not as experienced as me. Also, not as headstrong as me. Headstrong, that Amazon plug [for his documentary]. And if Sami thinks he’s in my head, I think you should tell him that my foot’s gonna be in his face.”

Rob Van Dam on Impact recapturing some buzz and momentum in recent months: “Yeah, there’s definitely been some movement. And at the same time, I think they also stick to certain characteristics that [make] them what they are, you know? Like some of the personality of the product hasn’t really gone anywhere, for better or worse. They’ve been around for so long, and since 2010 when I joined them the rest of the industry always was saying, ‘Oh, they’re not gonna be around. They’re gonna fold. They’re gonna lose their backers, they’re gonna lose their TV.’ And they’ve just always laughed at everybody, and just marched on forward. And I respect that. Just like any of us have to do, you know?

“I can look at comments on social media from some ignorant fans that have no idea how awesome it is to be RVD. I saw a comment yesterday that made me laugh. Someone saw the promo that I did for Celebrity Slots, and they said, ‘RVD is trying anything, he’s desperately grasping at anything to remain relevant. And what can you do but just laugh, because you know how funny it is, and just keep on doing what you’re doing? And that’s what Impact has always done since I’ve been around. And they’re as strong as ever.”

In the full interview, Rob Van Dam discusses his new mobile game Celebrity Slots, which is out now for Android and iOS devices, his feud with Sami Callihan in Impact Wrestling, his memories of working with John Cena and Brock Lesnar in WWE, developing his unique in-ring style, dealing with backstage politics, wrestling during the pandemic and adapting his in-ring work to fit without fans, and more.

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0:00: Intro
2:53: On his new Celebrity Slots mobile game, customizing the game, available prizes.
5:38: On his favorite voice lines in the game, possibly adding new content in later updates.
7:00: On the possibility of new prizes like video chats and more.
7:49: On the appeal of fan interactions on platforms on apps like Cameo, the appeal of his authenticity.
9:55: On how Cameo protects its celebs from the dangers of stalkers and trolls, his reaction to Sonya Deville’s attempted kidnapping.
12:19: On the current era of wrestling during the pandemic and companies doing shows at this time, how he’s handling lockdown.
14:31: On the challenge of adapting to in-ring work without fans.
16:57: On his feud with Sami Callihan, Callihan saying he’s in RVD and Katie Forbes’ head.
18:06: On Impact Wrestling recapturing its buzz, how it’s managed to gain momenum .
20:26: On if there was any truth to all the backstage stories of strife backstage in TNA under previous managements.
21:52: On developing his unorthodox character and in-ring style.
24:23: On working with Brock Lesnar as one of Lesnar’s first big feuds in WWE, Paul Heyman being the middle man for the feud.
26:26: On his win over John Cena at One Night stand being a particular career highlight.
29:54: On working with John Cena and his opinion of Cena as a top guy in WWE, Cena’s film stardom.
31:31: On backstage politics being his least favorite part of wrestling, looking back on how he reacted to it.
33:48: On his RVDCBD line of CBD products, and his documentary Headstrong and where to find him online
37:51: Outro

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