Rob Van Dam is still able to compete at a high level and pull off high-risk manoeuvres at 48 years old. However, he is a semi-retired pro wrestler, so he does pick his dates now. He is still the same person as he was when he was wrestling actively.
While speaking to TV Insider, RVD discussed a conversation he had with Vince McMahon when he first signed with WWE. This talk was about chair shots to the head which are banned in WWE now. Vince McMahon wanted Rob Van Dam to do was put his hands up to protect himself, which Van Dam didn’t think was needed.
“I never knew I could be doing long-term damage. For me, one of the things I enjoy about professional wrestling is showing how tough I am. That’s an outlet for it. I would get hit in the head with a chair, and I knew it would knock my senses a little loopy. This was part of the job for me. I just thought I was really tough because I could take it. Now I feel very fortunate that at this point in life that I don’t have the CTE that the football players have suffered…Vince McMahon told me when I first got into WWE to put my hands up to protect my head from those chair shots. I was arguing with him because I was stupid because I thought I was tough.”
“He went all father on me, ‘I’m your father telling you to put your hands up. He was really serious. Now I won’t be cheering on chair shots to the head, but most of my concussions have probably come from landing and hitting the back of my head. So, I’m going to be cautious of that as well. There’s been once or twice I’ve had similar things happen since shooting the movie. Thankfully, I didn’t get concussed.”
Rob says he wasn’t concussed but WWE might not have checked as thoroughly back then as they do now. At the very least those chair shots didn’t affect his ability to perform in the squared circle back then.