During the latest edition of his WWE Icons documentary, WWE Hall of Famer Rob Van Dam commented on using kickboxing to ease himself into amateur wrestling (then eventually pro wrestling), and more. You can check out some highlights from the show below:
On first trying to get into the industry via amateur wrestling: “By the time I was a junior in high school, I was sure that I wanted to be a professional wrestler, so I was dedicated and focused on fitness, stretching, lifting weights, whatever I can do to supplement that goal. Because of that, I joined high school wrestling. I didn’t stick with it for very long. I weighed 165 pounds and I remember the coach saying, ‘I think you can get down to 135.’ Dude, are you kidding, I want to weigh 235. I’m trying to put on as much weight as I can. I wanted to reach my full potential, and not stunt my growth during the years that I was still growing.”
On his initial stint into kickboxing: “When I was still in high school, there was a very pivotal day in my journey where myself and my friends, we found a guy in Battle Creek with a ring. We would drive by it and see this ring in the backyard so we went and knocked on his door, told him that we were going to be professional wrestlers and we needed a ring to train in. This guy, Kit Lykins, turns out he’s a kickboxer and a promoter and he runs kickboxing shows.
“We would have to train with his kickboxers just to have the ring time. After all the drills and all the sparring, then us wrestlers could have the ring and do what we wanted… We were learning how to kickbox whether we wanted to or not. So, that was how I got into it. I really excelled with kickboxing and started really enjoying it. I was knocking everybody out, regardless of how