IMPACT superstar and ECW legend Rob Van Dam recently spoke to 411 Wrestling Podcast to talk all things pro-wrestling, which include his thoughts on the pandemic-era of the sport. Highlights are below.
What the pandemic era of wrestling is like for him:
“Well, obviously, I’ve never seen anything close to this pandemic. I don’t want to use the overused word of unprecedented, but we haven’t seen anything like this. Nobody has. It’s like a science fiction movie. And so, it’s amazing to me that everybody is able to adapt to the point to where they’re able to persevere and keep moving forward. And that is what’s life’s all about, but right now, things are really, really weird. And I’m concerned that a lot of people — I’m doing great. I’ve actually enjoyed quarantine. I love being home, and it hasn’t really changed my life a whole lot. I know that other people have much worse conditions. A lot of people don’t have jobs. They don’t have any jobs in sight. They don’t know what they’re going to do, and a lot of people are home by themselves, stuck. I’m worried about everybody getting depressed and going through a really rough time. And it’s amazing to me that we’re able to not really focus on how bad it is because it’s crazy if we really thought about and really focus on the bad. That’s always a challenger every day in life, to focus on the positive. And in a situation like this, it’s really challenging, so I’m glad that everyone’s able to at least continue and keep living a positive even if it feels not real productive for life right now.”
Says he’s amazed wrestling is still happening:
“As far as wrestling, I’m amazed that wrestling is still going on, that it’s essential. Unfortunate that I have a TV contract because pretty much right now, if you’re not wrestling on TV, then you’re not wrestling because they’re not doing any live shows.”
On adapting his performance to fit a wrestling show without fans:
“Before you go out there, you kind of have to be able to visualize, always. When you’re thinking about your match before the match time, you’re thinking about moves that you want to do or whatever, you’re imagining how the crowd’s going to react. That’s the purpose of doing the move at that particular time, and that’s the whole story, bouncing off of the crowd and getting the reactions you want out of them and elongating the suspenseful moments. It’s really challenging to do all that when they’re not there. It’s easier when you’ve had 30 years of experience. Otherwise, you have to have been such a big fan, and you watched it so much that you understand all of it and you’re younger in your career. That’s most wrestlers anyway. So, going out there and there’s no people, the nerves are way down. You know that there’s not a whole crowd full of people that are there that are clapping and screaming at you. But besides that, it’s pretty calm because you’re walking around an empty room. But the rule applies just like always, regardless of how many people are in the venue, that camera represents millions of people that are at home watching you, so that automatically goes into play and you automatically know.
Full interview is below. (H/T and transcribed by 411 Mania)