On June 22, the WWE dropped a bombshell of a promo. The Whole F’n Show, Mr Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday Night, a Hardcore Legend Rob Van Dam was scheduled to make his long-awaited return to the largest Sports Entertainment enterprise in the world. Not only was he returning, he was doing it in his town Philadelphia and in his match the Money in the Bank Ladder match. What better way for Van Dam to return? But now that he’s finally back and what exactly does RVD mean to the WWE? What can he bring to World Wrestling Entertainment in his last run with the company? I will try and give you an idea of what’s in store for ROB. VAN. DAM! (Insert thumb motions here)
Lets start with the very near future, Money in the Bank. On July 14th, Rob Van Dam will be competing in his second Money in the Bank Ladder Match with 6 other superstars in what has been dubbed as the “All-Stars” Ladder match. All 6 (Kane has been ruled out after being attacked by the Wyatt Family) of the men in the match are former World Champions. What are his chances? Probably not very good considering that RVD won’t be a “full-time” competitor. Now this doesn’t mean that he won’t be around a lot, I mean this isn’t Brock Lesnar or The Rock part-time. He most likely isn’t going to be part-time holding the WWE Championship we all know how well that went over with fans last time… But he should provide the unique dynamic that only Van Dam can offer. We’re going to see Van Daminators, Van Terminators, Rolling Thunders, Monkey Flips and all those signature kicks we’re used to seeing. And you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll at least see one Five-Star Frogsplash. In all reality, Van Dam was brought in to sell tickets and give this match even more credibility and the fact that he will really rile up the Philly crowd, who will be more than excited to see their ECW Legend back in action.
So RVD won’t be winning any briefcases at least I don’t think so, what’s next after that? Well, we will most likely see him in a limited role similar to Chris Jericho’s of the past year or so. Sporadic dates, but should be around for a good number of taped shows but just not a lot of live appearances. After Money in the Bank, we should see who his Summerslam opponent would be. One name that comes to mind is the newest Paul Heyman Guy Curtis Axel who is the Intercontinental Champion. Rob Van Dam has a ton of history with Heyman over the years being a key part of Heyman’s ECW promotion and the resurrected version in 2006. With that history, I’d love to see those two go at it with Curtis Axel representing Heyman. We could see a very good feud as Heyman tends to do with everything he’s involved with and a solid wrestling match as well. Most likely, Axel will retain as we know that WWE has big plans for him ever since he made his re-debut, so Van Dam will have to do his best to put over the young star, something he should probably get used to on the big stages.
After that, it’s tough to really tell where RVD will head in terms of a feud. He will most likely be staying within the mid-card as I can’t see him being in play for a World or WWE Title shot. Perhaps we could see him do something with the Shield, as I would love to see what magic he can work with a hardcore guy like Dean Ambrose or the high-flying Seth Rollins, either would be great. Maybe even a United States Title feud could work. We’ll most likely see RVD be a part of the next three big PPVs after Summerslam in the Survivor Series (which has become a shell of its former self), the Royal Rumble, and of course WrestleMania. RVD can provide some credibility to the Rumble match itself, but don’t go as far as to think he’ll be winning it. And after that, expect him to have a big name feud at WrestleMania with an established superstar. Chris Jericho? Sheamus? I’m just spitballing at this point, Mania is 9 months away.
Expect fans to take to him again right away, I’m pretty sure the only pop at Money in the Bank that can rival Van Dam’s, is CM Punk’s who is also beloved by the Philly crowd. He’s going to provide solid, not great matches with the guys he’s put in the ring with. He may be at the tail end of his career but RVD can still go with the best of them, and now that he seems to be far more motivated than he was with other promotions over the last few years, expect him to be in great wrestling shape. In terms of drawing, he’s can still pull in some tickets from the older generation of wrestling fans. The old-school ECW fans and early 2000’s WWE fans will flock to see him for perhaps the last few times. He should make a nice impact in terms of sales for Money in the Bank, as WWE did a fantastic job of promoting him. RVD even stated that he gained 10,000 followers in two days after the first promo, and had people asking him why he’s returned to wrestling, when he in fact been wrestling for all these years! All in all, I’m incredibly excited to see one of my all-time favorites to make his much-anticipated return to the WWE squared circle. RVD has produced some amazing moments in career, let’s hope he can add a few more in this final run.