WWE Hall of Famer Rob Van Dam coming to New Jersey as guest at 420 Expo
There are three words that can fill an entire arena: Rob! Van! Dam!
How much fun was it to watch this WWE Hall of Famer and ECW Legend over the years?!
He knew how to put on a great show and performance and always keep it interesting inside the ring.
You'll have an opportunity to meet Rob Van Dam, get to know him a little bit, get his autograph, and more in New Jersey this coming weekend at the 420 Expo in Edison.
In an exclusive interview with Townsquare Media, Rob Van Dam discussed what he's looking forward to this weekend, cautionary warnings for youth, some WWE memories, and more.
What are some of the things that you're looking forward to in being a part of or taking part in at the 420 Expo?
"Pretty much all of it, it's going to be a good time. I'm always interested in increasing the accessibility of cannabis and that's really what this is all about, it's the first big event of its kind in the state of New Jersey. It's going to be a part of history and it's going to start what will continue to be a regular get-together," Van Dam tells Townsquare Media. "It's a big convention. There won't be weed -- specifically, there won't be THC sold there. At the convention, there will be all the people in the industry."
One of the things coming up this weekend is a VIP Smoking Sesh with RVD. With the VIP Smoking Sesh going on this weekend, what is that going to entail? Is attending that session about your perspective on marijuana?
"It might be, to be honest with you, it might just be hanging out and doing the bucket list thing that so many cannabis consumers seem to -- even people who don't smoke cannabis, they want to smoke with RVD. I've been out on the front line of using for so long of using my spotlight to desensitize the ridiculous issue of the dangerous devils running," Van Dam said. "This is going to be a get-together with people that I guess got this special ticket, the VIP thing, and, at this point, it might just be us hanging around in a secluded area and them asking me questions."
I know this is a topic, with cannabis, that as you've mentioned you've done your research on and is something that's been a passion of yours for years...what got you into learning more about cannabis and wanting to share that experience with other people?
"I remember when I started with ECW in '96, and, around that time is when I started really feeling obligated to tell people what I knew," Van Dam said. "I was against it in school because, of course, it was a dangerous hallucinogenic along with Heroin and Acid, and that's what I was taught. Some of the guys I looked up to in the industry (ECW/WWE) when I was young and coming up -- were great athletes that I respected -- they liked to smoke marijuana, and, so, I started looking into it and found out it was a lot more used in the athletic world than I ever could have imagined. Then, as I learned about it and learned that most of the pushback was based on misinformation and it actually could be used to promote a healthy lifestyle, I started thinking that, for me, this is a path that I appreciate, but not only that -- everyone else at that time was smoking cigarettes and then they're pot-shaming me, and I was like, 'no, you got it backward, you're killing yourselves, like, one out of two long term cigarette smokers dies as a cause of cigarette smoke, 50-percent of them, and I learned that there weren't any deaths reported as a direct result -- it was impossible to die from any toxicity in cannabis. That was really a turning point for me, everyone's killing themselves but they're taught that if you like this marijuana leaf instead of this tobacco leaf, all of the sudden you're doing drugs, but the cigarettes have formaldehyde and cyanide."
Was cannabis or any form of marijuana a way for you -- (Rob Van Dam) to relax, did it serve as a tonic for the nerves either before or after a match in ECW or WWE?
"Oh, absolutely. I can describe it by saying it puts me at my best," Van Dam said. "It's always like, for me, especially at this point, I look at it from you got mind, body, and spirit, and either way the vibration that you have is how you feel, and, especially to be a performer -- there are anxiety issues sometimes or just a fear of messing up, it's a pretty stressful part of the day, like right before you got to go out there to perform. It doesn't matter if you're sick, if you didn't get to sleep well last night, whatever -- you got to be what the people bought a ticket to see (an ECW/WWE match), there's a lot of pressure with that."
Is there anything you want to get out there about the differences between using and abusing cannabis and marijuana to people of all ages?
"You can't overdose on it and do anything but put yourself to sleep and that's not saying that there are some people out there who could have a strange reaction, people are allergic or whatever, all kinds of things," Van Dam said. "Basically, even though that's true when it comes to abuse, it's pretty subjective. I think that children should stay sober, that's what I believe and that's what I did. I was 21 the first time I gave in to peer pressure when the other wrestlers were kind of like 'smoke you prima donna, hit it, everyone else did, it's not going to kill you, it was a situation like that where I didn't really want to do it but I was 21 at the time. I like to, when given the platform like you just gave me, I like to get the message out there that I in no way endorse kids drinking or smoking or having sex -- there are certain things kids shouldn't do. I like to point that out because a lot of my fans are kids and your brain is still developing until you're 25 or 26, it's like wet cement, so don't really mess with it."