The wrestling world lacks backstage skirmishes and conflicts, as well-known names like CM Punk, MVP, and Goldberg had their fair share of disagreements with the ever-popular Chris Jericho. Yet another wrestler who made a spot for himself on this list is Rob Van Dam, who began sharing the backstage space with Jericho after transitioning from ECW to WWE.
Recently, he opened up about their dynamic in the early days of his WWE tenure during an episode of "K100." While acknowledging the whispers of their backstage friction, Van Dam was quick to downplay the degree of animosity between them.
"I don't think there was any real heat, you know?" he expressed.
Jericho's Role in RVD's WWE Transition
Jericho, known for dabbling in backstage politics, was a tangible presence during Van Dam's adaptation phase. But for RVD, the most formidable challenge was not dealing with Jericho's politics per se.
It was acclimating to WWE's unique operations, with Jericho symbolizing the opposition, given his established standing in the organization. "The struggle at that time for me was trying to get used to the politics and having him [Jericho] be a factor where he was already there and kinda represented the opposing side," Van Dam elaborated.
Despite the differences, he could not recall an instance where their disagreements neared a physical confrontation. To Van Dam's revelation that Jericho made his settling-in period harder, Jericho reacted with surprise. "He was surprised the first time he heard that when I did an interview and said, 'You know, he made it hard for me to adjust,'" Van Dam recalled.
Looking back, it's safe to say that obstacles didn't thwart Van Dam's successful adaptation into WWE. From securing the WWE Championship to being named the promotion's seventh Grand Slam Champion, Van Dam's accomplishments speak volumes.
His crowning glory came when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2021, unequivocally confirming his adjustment in the wrestling giant.