According to Van Dam, his documentary, Headstrong, was supposed to be about his comedy tour, but he started to experience concussion symptoms during the filming. As such, the film evolved to include his struggles with concussion symptoms.
"At first, it was going to be about one thing, which was going to be a comedy tour, but I had concussion symptoms that wouldn't go away, so they eventually became the biggest thing going on in my life," Van Dam professed. "I had double vision. I've had hundreds of concussions. Seriously, hundreds and hundreds of concussions, and I've never had symptoms last more than, like, overnight. Maybe one day, very, very few. Usually, it's a couple of seconds, then I shake it off." Van Dam continued, sometimes, it's like in slow motion or sometimes the sound goes out; sometimes, everything is, like, spinning. I had double vision, but I couldn't shake it off and I kept thinking, 'well, it'll be gone tomorrow and so I'm not going to let anybody know. The show must go on, right? But I ended up coming back and getting my brain looked at. MRIs, I had four doctors look at the MRIs, CAT scans. I was in visual therapy for a long time, until I moved, and my vision still isn't the same as it once was before. I mean, I'm normal by tests, but I couldn't turn my head in a certain way and then my vision splits into two. And I don't remember it being like that before."
During the podcast, Austin asked Van Dam why he never put his hands up for chair shots. While NBA Champion Serge Ibaka claims that his art is fashion, RVD thought he was doing art by not cushioning chair shots to the head.
"As an artist, yeah, I guess so [it was a machismo thing] because yeah, I got trained to really believe in it, to really believe in the moment," Van Dam explained. "Do you know what I mean? And so, I'd like to think that that is reflected in my work and that's part of it. I think I still believe in what I'm doing when I'm out there. Do you know what I mean? So yeah, that's what it is. I wouldn't recommend anyone else do it."
Apparently, WWE's Chairman once instructed Van Dam to put his hands up for chair shots.
"And, by the way, when I first got to WWE, one time I was coming through gorilla [position] and Vince McMahon said, 'when you take those chair shots,' he said, 'you put your hands up.' And I was like, 'naw, that's cool. That's for everybody else, Vince.' He said, 'no, you listen to me! You put your hands up.' I go, 'but I do this all the time.' He goes, and this is the only time he said anything remotely like this, he goes, 'now listen, I'm your father! I'm telling you to put your hands up.'
"It finally got through and I was like, 'alright, he's the boss. He's paying me to put my hands up. I think I can do that.' And that was probably after I had been there, went through the Hardcore title era and the ECW era. I might have been there a minute, but I'm just saying, he did say that, Vince, in his defense, like, right off the bat, but I was stubborn. But it did effect me though." Van Dam recalled, "I don't know if I did it every time afterwards, but I remember thinking I probably should."
When asked by Austin how Van Dam would describe his in-ring style, 'The Whole F'n Show' responded by describing his style as "extreme".
"Extreme, like, that's why I think I fit with ECW so [well] because I found that everyone found different ways to be extreme. Do you know what I mean?" Van Dam said, "yeah, and my way ended up being 'The Whole F'n Show'.
Also during the podcast, Van Dam claimed that he had to tone down his "extreme" act for WWE.
"Well, definitely [RVD's act had to be toned down in WWE] because we had no boundaries with ECW. We could dive out to the crowd, set the fans on fire, all kinds of stuff would happen," Van Dam recalled. "And there's no way that you could do that on a large scale. But the biggest difference I think as an artist or as a worker that a lot of people probably wouldn't expect was that with ECW, I never ever had a time limit, so I never thought about that. I had the freedom to really be in the moment and soak in the reaction of the crowd or whatever and milk it. And then, with WWE, it was all about the time. It's all about the time, like, [Austin knows] it's going to take you 45 seconds to get down to the ring, and then, you're on commercial break 40 seconds, and then, you've got two minutes. It's all about timing. That's the big difference."
"The Universe has been well towards me to keep me in [pro] wrestling. Do you know what I mean? I really couldn't ask for a better schedule that a couple of days a month, which is mostly what I do with [Impact] and I really like the deal that I have. And now they have [girlfriend] Katie [Forbes] here too, so it's not even like we have to be apart. And it's like my best case scenario and it's really making work, like, fun again for me for the first time in a long time. And I'm a heel," Van Dam noted. "I turned heel recently and that's a big deal."
Van Dam also suggested that he is physically capable of performing at least 90% of his repertoire now.
"100%? Ummm… at least 90[%]. Yeah, I'm just thinking there's a lot of moves that I cut out years ago just because they weren't worth the risk, like jumping up from the top rope to the crowd. But yeah, I usually can do everything. I stretch, I go through my stretches, I hit all my positions, and I get into my self/inner mode, and go out there. But sometimes it does hurt a lot though." Van Dam added, "but that has been only the last 10 or 15 TV tapings. Yeah, it hurts."
Check out the podcast here. If you use any of quotations from this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.