‘The Whole Dam Show’

We will never know if Rob Van Dam had possessed an MMJ license of some kind, or been on a waiting list for medical marijuana card in Florida, Arkansas, Oklahoma, or even his home state of Michigan if the global wrestling star could have avoided the controversy surrounding his marijuana habit. Throughout his illustrious career that saw him wrestle all over the world for the most prestigious companies in Japan, Mexico, and The United States, ‘RVD’ never hid his love for the herb.

Where did RVD first discover marijuana?

As a young man touring overseas for the first time as a professional wrestler as part of a group was daunting even for someone as self-assured as RVD. He found himself socializing with a group of wrestlers after a show in Jamaica when one of the most experienced and respected men there offered the youngster some cannabis to smoke. 

Taken back and wondering if it was a test, he knocked back the offer respectfully for a couple of reasons;
1) He had never been interested in weed, and
2) He wanted to earn the respect of his peers by passing ‘the test’. But, as Rob was soon to discover, this was no test. Jimmy Del Rey fired back at the naivety of his response saying ‘C’mon kid, hit it, it won’t kill ya’. Before he knew it, Rob was smoking his first joint and enjoying his first taste of what he would soon grow to love and endorse.

Did his employers know of his habit?

It’s highly likely that due to his close relationship with Paul Heyman, that during his ECW days they knew everything that Rob did. He was a big fish in a small pond, a man that sang to the sound of his own tune. RVD in many respects WAS ECW so it wouldn’t have ruffled many feathers even if it was common knowledge. 

When did it become a problem?

When ECW collapsed and RVD signed with WWE, his habits were well-known, and whilst not ever advocated, they were privately accepted to a certain degree. As Rob’s star grew bigger and bigger, society was changing and the WWE was evolving. This brought positive and negative aspects to RVD’s life and career. The company got stricter on drug use and begun routine testing around the time that Rob’s career peaked in 2006. He became WWE Champion and held the belt simultaneously with the reintroduced ECW world title. 

Rob had regularly found time to unwind with some marijuana with his friends and co-workers after a show but it was hardly ever broadcasted. What he failed to realize was the magnitude of being the WWE Champion and the eyes of the world were upon him 24-7. During a routine smoke with Sabu in their rental car, the police caught up with the pair and it became national news almost immediately.

What were the consequences?

RVD was stripped of both his world championships the following night on national television, he would never again become world champion nor be trusted with that level of public responsibility in WWE. Rob would see his contract out for the best part of a year before leaving the company as a full-time performer in 2007. 

Where is Rob Van Dam now?

Having recently been inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame Rob still wrestles on the independent circuit and has his own marijuana product business ‘RVD-CBD’. 

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