Date: Fall 1997
Location: in the air
Source: Afterbuzz X-Pac 1-2-360
Fruit Loops helped launch the mega-feud between The Rock and John Cena. Little did we know, it also helped launched the legendary ECW feud between Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn.
In 1997, ECW was riding a wave of increased exposure following their debut on pay-per-view early in the year, not to mention their “invasion” on WWF Monday Night Raw. Rob Van Dam (RVD) was among their biggest stars, showing a level of athleticism that had many people believing he was the heir apparent to Shawn Michaels. But he needed someone new to work with.
Despite what many think, Jerry Lynn was not brought into ECW to be a major player. He was extremely talented, but had languished in WCW with the lame gimmick of “Mr. JL.” But he had also cut his teeth in Minneapolis indies, where he earned the respect of Sean Waltman as the two had matches that tape traders sought after once they heard how good they were. Then in the Global Wrestling Federation, he earned the respect of a young wrestler named Scotty the Body, who of course in 1997 was known as Raven in ECW.
The first time RVD met Jerry Lynn was on a (now defunct) ValuJet Airlines plane ride. When RVD boarded the plane, Lynn was sitting in the front. RVD shook his hand and they each said “Scotty (Raven) said good things about you.” In other words, it was uneventful.
RVD made his way to the back of the plane, and after the plane took off, Lynn walked back to chat with him. Unfortunately, RVD had taken some somas (a muscle relaxer very popular among pro wrestlers in the 90s) to help him sleep on the plane. He had also ordered some cereal from the stewardess, because the sugar from the cereal helps the somas kick in more quickly.
The problem with somas is they make you very drowsy, and if you try to stay awake as they take effect, your speech is slurred and you appear drunk and high. So as RVD got a visit from Lynn, he was starting to feel the effects. The more they chatted, the more the somas kicked in. Soon enough, RVD was so incoherent that he couldn’t even feed himself the cereal.
Lynn, the good human being he is, took it upon himself to feed RVD the cereal himself. You know, like a mother does with her baby. So here were these two big, tough, hardcore ECW wrestlers, and one was feeding cereal to the other because he was too sloshed to do it himself.
The visual is hilarious, but it had major long-term implications.
Not long after the plane ride, RVD was scheduled to wrestle Lynn at the ECW Arena. Paul Heyman and Sabu thought it would just be a quick match to enhance RVD and give him a much needed win. It was originally scheduled to go just 8 minutes, with RVD going over.
Instead, RVD remembered the cereal incident and thought Lynn deserved more than that. Since RVD had some leeway given his position in the company, he ended up going 20 minutes with him. And it was a hard fought 20 minutes, with RVD getting a bloody nose, splinters in his body, and his hair was all messed up. The crowd went wild when RVD won, and both he and Lynn got over in a much bigger way than anyone imagined. Heyman took notice, and eventually the two had a legendary feud that is remembered very fondly by ECW fans.