Dr. Wrestling: Rob Van Dam Returns

During the Payback pay-per-view, a video package aired to announce the return of former ECW, WWE, and TNA champion, Rob Van Dam at the Money in the bank PPV. The reaction was immediate, as the fans in attendance at the PPV started an “RVD” chant and many fans also posted on Twitter about the return, but will the WWE audience get the Rob Van Dam that was featured in the video package? It was reported that Van Dam will be working a limited schedule for a short term deal so it’s possible Van Dam might make a few PPV appearances, rather than an actual run in the company.

On the surface, RVD’s return could provide some interesting scenarios, but after his TNA run, you can’t expect much in terms of match quality, at least until RVD proves otherwise with some good performances in a WWE ring. When Van Dam debuted in TNA, there were many possibilities for some great matches, but after three years wrestling in TNA, how many classic RVD matches were there? It seemed like Van Dam mailed it in during his TNA run, as one of the most innovative competitors of the past decade was reduced to a few signature spots each match with nothing memorable at the Impact Zone. Basically, RVD did the same thing a lot of former stars did when they signed with TNA, work an easy schedule and get a paycheck. You can’t really blame him for not risking too much in TNA, considering that the way the company booked him was inconsistent and they actually minimized his value to the promotion when the major “dream match” with AJ Styles where Van Dam won the title was booked on free TV instead of a PPV. Don’t get me wrong, quality TV matches can get more viewers, but it just didn’t make sense to book a “dream match” on an episode of Impact. Speaking of Van Dam’s value to the company, the ratings didn’t increase and he didn’t really establish any of the younger talent, so was it worth the investment? Obviously, the ratings can’t be placed directly on Van Dam, but the younger talent, specifically in the X Division could have become more established during matches with him and as was mentioned previously, there weren’t too many great matches for RVD in TNA. On the other side, there’s a performer such as Chris Jericho, who can take time off, return to the WWE, and make the younger talent look good in the ring. That’s one of the reasons Jericho is such a great competitor and he remains relevant when he returns to the company because he can adapt to the current WWE product.

As far as Rob Van Dam returning to the WWE, it was announced on Raw that he would be a participant in the WWE Money in The Bank match, but I doubt RVD wins it at the PPV. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Van Dam had a chance to be a main event wrestler in the WWE and he made irresponsible choices after he won the WWE title so he can only blame himself for the abrupt conclusion to his main event run. That being said, it seems doubtful that the WWE would book him to win the title, especially with Wellness policy and the emphasis on the wrestlers safety, which is great because there will be less injuries. However there are some matches that have potential including, CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, and even Ryback. It will be interesting to see what happens at the Money in The Bank PPV and also the feuds for RVD after he returns. Regardless of his lack luster run in TNA, RVD is one of the greatest athletes in the history of pro wrestling and hopefully he will have a good run in the WWE.

Until next week

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