In the world of professional wrestling, legends often have stories that go beyond what fans see on television. Rob Van Dam, a WWE Hall of Famer, recently shared a tale of frustration that has stayed with him throughout his career, all due to an act involving legendary manager Paul Heyman.
Heyman is renowned for creating Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), a promotion known for its hardcore and edgy style. However, when WWE acquired ECW during the Attitude Era, things didn’t go as smoothly as some had hoped, leading to lingering frustration for one WWE legend.
During a candid interview on Chris Van Vliet’s podcast, Rob Van Dam opened up about an incident that has irked him for years. It all revolves around a signature move he used during his early days in ECW, known as the “Coast-to-Coast.”
Intriguingly, Van Dam revealed that Shane McMahon, the son of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, adopted the move without seeking permission or even giving proper credit. When asked if Shane had requested permission to use the move, Van Dam responded, “No, that would have been respectful. Not expected, but it would have been very respectful. But the way I understand it, Paul Heyman showed him a video of me doing it and said, ‘Can you do this?’ and gave it to him.”
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This incident added to Van Dam’s frustration because, unlike WWE or WCW, ECW was not a widely recognized promotion at the time, and most fans were unaware of its performers. Consequently, when Shane McMahon performed the move, it became synonymous with him rather than its originator, Rob Van Dam.
Despite Van Dam’s initial use of the move, known as the “Van Terminator,” Shane McMahon’s adaptation with trash cans and his memorable moments, including using the Coast-to-Coast, led to widespread recognition of the move as Shane’s own creation.
To cope with this frustrating situation, Rob Van Dam eventually abandoned the move, despite WWE’s desire for him to continue performing it. He had a wide array of flashy moves in his arsenal to entertain fans, but the legacy of the Coast-to-Coast move still looms large in his career.
In an effort to cope with the increasingly frustrating situation, Rob Van Dam made the difficult decision to ultimately abandon the Coast-to-Coast move, even though WWE had a strong desire for him to continue performing it. This decision was not taken lightly, as the move had become synonymous with his in-ring style and was a crowd-pleaser for fans worldwide. It was a testament to his adaptability as a performer, recognizing the importance of his own well-being and longevity in the ring. Van Dam’s willingness to evolve and prioritize his health showcased his professionalism and dedication to his craft.
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Despite retiring the Coast-to-Coast move, Van Dam’s legacy in the wrestling world remains firmly intact. His vast array of flashy and high-flying maneuvers continued to entertain fans, and his name continued to be associated with some of the most memorable moments in WWE history. The decision to move away from one signature move did not diminish his status as a wrestling legend, but rather added depth to his character and showcased his versatility as a performer. The legacy of the Coast-to-Coast may still loom large, but it’s only one part of the larger tapestry that is Rob Van Dam’s storied wrestling career.