The World Heavyweight Champion Wrestler, Rob Van Dam, is known for many things. But being a longtime advocate for 420 is probably one of his most notable claims to fame. In the past, people passed off those who used cannabis as potheads, but RVD is so much more. Watch a few of RVD’s interviews and find out how this heavyweight champion took his cannabis misfortunes and turned them into a path that is benefiting us all today.
Young Rob stumbled Into 420
Wrestling fans know Rob Van Dam used and still uses cannabis. It wasn’t just his gimmick, but society painted all cannabis users as potheads, which discounts the champion he was. The pothead era refers to the 60’s, when hippies, youth, and people of all ages turned to marijuana for recreation not just the historical use for medicine and/or religious rituals. The 60’s era created the stereotype that potheads didn’t care about their lives, careers, or health and wellness in general. However, this was far from the truth for Rob.
RVD from an early age monitored his health and wellness with great care. when marijuana resurfaced and became cool again in the 90’s. Rob, like most youth, grew up with the stigma created by the 60’s and 70’s potheads. So, the first time Rob tried marijuana, he didn’t want anything to do with it. It was a drug, and Nancy Reagan’s campaign, “Just say NO to drugs!” was ingrained into him. But the wrestlers he was with pressured and ridiculed him until he tried it. And he hated how it made him feel; he flat out felt paranoid. But Rob being the “thinker” that he is didn’t just walk away. Rob wanted to know why these professional wrestlers in top shape were using it. Why would anyone want to feel that way?
After looking deeper into it, he came to the conclusion the benefits outweighed the initial symptoms. Thus he tried it again, and again. In time, the paranoia disappeared, and he grew to love the effects. Instead of paranoia, Rob felt relaxed, and the pain from his brutal wrestling style eased. He continued to use it. Back then, however, he had no idea cannabis would possibly ruin his career yet save his life.
Wrestling is not a day job for the weak. Professional wrestling even with the drama, is packed with pain, inflammation, multiple concussions, brain trauma, anxiety, and stress. Don’t believe me, check out this video. After every Van Dam move, in which he annihilates his opponent, he takes a beating from the mat. In an interview with Chris Vleit, Rob confessed to smoking weed 100% of the time. But can you blame him? Runners medicate before running marathons to help with the inevitable inflammation and pain. Professional wrestling is no different. Plus, the pressure to perform, to outdo your opponent, travel day in and day out, recover quickly, and get back up on the ropes to do it all again within 24-48 hours is a lot.
But like any substance or habit, if you don’t use it responsibly he can interfere with your life. In the WWE, the Wellness Policy prohibits drugs without documentation for prescriptions. If caught, the wrestler is suspended or let go depending on how bad the situation is. Marijuana, however, had neither consequence, only a fine around $2,500. Thus, WWE wrestlers nicknamed the fine “the marijuana tax.”
The Persona, Mr. 420.
So, how did Rob get the nickname, Mr. 420? It’s pretty obvious. Simply, Rob wasn’t into fake story lines. Being Mr. 420 was his real life. He smoked pot and made reference to it in his wrestling drama. Early in his career, he also hung out at the Kush Beach Club in Florida. While RVD was rising in fame, he was also changing the rules of wrestling. Because he was drawing in crowds with his high flying moves, he refused to buy into the “put your head down and do what you’re told mentality.” He wasn’t going to change who he was, and he had the grown to be whomever he wanted. So, it stuck.
But rolling out of the 60’s and 70’s, cannabis ended up with a bad rap. And the psychological research done in the 50’s was buried. Rob, was running with a marked crowd. But he was living his dream as a professional wrestler, and with celebrity status, he kind of had a free pass. Rob Van dam welcomed the image and made references to pot openly with no consequence. In 1990, RVD was even in the magazine “High Times,” not on the cover as is rumored.
Society’s Take on Rob’s Character
The interesting tidbit lost by Rob’s Mr. 420 character in wrestling was the steal, true grit, and discipline behind the story line. Rob was not just a professional wrestler, he was not just a cannabis purveyor. He was a champion, record breaking, title holding athlete in top shape. But because he smoked pot, his tenacity, work ethic, and drive to be the best were over shadowed. Why? The problem stems from gas lighting and cognitive dissonance—something we all have battled over the last three years.
Government and religious leaders marketed marijuana’s bad reputation from the 60’s and 70’s for various religious, political, economic reasons, and mostly based on false information. Thus marijuana’s positive medical and religious uses were buried. So, like Rob when he was offered cannabis for the first time, he felt uncomfortable, refused it, and wanted nothing to do with it—that’s cognitive dissonance. He was taught it was a drug. And drugs are bad; he should “just say no.”
so, even though Rob was laid, back, stoned, and chill, his championships, disciplined-style, and fetes as a wrestler were looked past. But, he didn’t sweat it. He focused on his own agenda. He was there to entertain his fans, elevate wrestling, and be the best. To this day, he is the only wrestler to hold all three Heavyweight titles from the WWE, ECW and TNA. And, at one point, he even collected more titles in a fifteen year span than any other wrestler. So, Mr. 420 is also a Bad ASS!
The Catalyst to Becoming RVDCBD
On June 11th, 2006, RVD smoked John Cena’s Arse—and took the heavyweight championship title, watch here. Two weeks later, in Hanging Rock, OH, Rob was pulled over for speeding and got arrested for pot. While one door closed, another opened—the cannabis path. When asked if he regretted being caught with pot, RVD paused.
“I explore that thought sometimes, you know, but I’m also comfortable with the fact that I’m on the path that I’m supposed to be on.”~ Rob Van Dam
Rob watched too many of his wrestling friends fall prey to addiction from opioids prescribed to deal with the chronic pain symptoms synonymous with full impact wrestling. Many of those friends either died from an overdose and/or committed suicide. After losing his titles, his father, his loving dog, his wife, and friends, he pulled out of wrestling to examine his path. When he returned, his path was crystal clear—share with the world the alternative to opioids.
“I was tired of losing friends…It was always either an opioid overdose or suicide, and they always say the suicide is from depression and the concussions.”~ RVD
When asked what it’s like to light up a joint after a big match, RVD said, “The best way I can explain it is, it makes me feel like I’m at my best again.” After hitting the mat from ten, twelve, fifteen feet in the air (over and over), being thrown out of the ring onto the hard floor, smashing tables with your body, and being pummeled by 200 plus pounds of muscle from his opponents, if cannabis makes you feel like none of it happened (better yet, like you’re at your best) that’s saying something.
Testimony and Research
With decades of lived experience, and the tide turning for cannabis, Rob can now speak up about 420 with no legal retribution. Remember, even with an arrest, he never changed his story. Now we have the data, and Congress is pushing to legalize this organic miracle. Click here to read more on the Marijuana legalization bill. For too long, the world has depended on synthetic pharmaceuticals which at times do more harm than good.
For years fans have had RVD’s back, and now he’s got yours. At RVDCBD, we only use trusted links to our sources, and RVD tries all products on himself to ensure safety and effectiveness. Plus our customer service is here to answer any questions you may have.
Like Rob’s path and journey through wrestling were his own, we encourage you to take your health into your hands. Be informed about cannabis by reading our education blog, and if we don’t have an answer posted, ask us. Get to know your RVDCBD products here.
The Vice Interview
And if you haven’t already seen it Vice News caught up with RVD early in 2021 and asked him some tough questions about wrestling, his marijuana use and what happened behind-the-scenes. Check out the full interview below:
Coming Down the 420 RVDCBD Pipeline
As Congress pushes the marijuana bill through, RVD has is pushing his THC products to the public. Check out his RVDTHC Rolling Thunder Infused Prerolls already available in California and Oklahoma. If you’re not ready to take the THC leap, check out RVDCBD available online and in select dispensaries across the US. But for now, keep calm and cannabis on!