IMPACT star Rob Van Dam had some enlightening points regarding concussions and CTE. The former ECW Champion has recently released a documentary (Headstrong) that focuses on his symptoms and difficulties relating to his ongoing brain injuries. “I’ve had hundreds, seriously, hundreds, of concussions” RVD revealed on this week’s episode of the Steve Austin Show podcast.
RVD was one of the main figures of the ECW promotion back in the late nineties/early 2000’s. Van Dam would help to establish the ‘extreme’ brand with his mixture of high-flying, hardcore and hard hitting in-ring action. Concussions and CTE are such a major talking point in sports, now more than ever. WWE’s current stringent policy on head injuries wasn’t something that was implemented back in the 90s, especially in the likes of the indies/ECW.
Rob Van Dam and Chair Shots
RVD would also discuss the immediate effects of hits directly to the head with Austin. “(ECW performer) Balls Mahoney would hit me with a chair. Then ‘crack’ it would be like everything’s in slow motion,” Van Dam began. “Sometimes the sound ‘goes out,’ sometimes you know everything’s spinning.”
Concussions and CTE
Concussions and CTE aren’t something that RVD was aware of early in his career. The idea that you had to take shots to the head unprotected was what was expected of ECW performers. RVD would mention to Austin that he didn’t think that the effects would be long lasting. He thought that the instantaneous ‘woozyness’ was all that he would feel early in his career. “I had double vision, but I just couldn’t shake it off and I kept thinking well. You know, it’ll be gone tomorrow, so I’m not gonna let anybody know. The show must go on.”
Rob Van Dam currently wrestles for IMPACT, he made his return to the company back in April last year and has been a featured part of the show since. RVD would tell Austin that he preferred the lighter schedule of working for the Canadian based promotion, due to his age and the aforementioned issues relating to concussion related injuries. RVD did however reveal that he can still do “90%” of the moves he would previously perform earlier in his career.
You can find more information on Rob Van Dam’s new Headstrong documentary here.