13 'Paul Heyman Guys'

Rob Van Dam

Rob Van Dam is a most unique individual, and that’s the type of personality I like to seek out when directing my focus on a particular talent in this industry. In the 1990s, both Mr. McMahon and Ted Turner had their own visions of what a top star in professional wrestling would be, and Rob Van Dam simply didn’t fit the mold.

Watch RVD win the WWE Title as Heyman counts the pinfall

While they saw an unorthodox athlete whose style could not be defined (and therefore, according to the mindset of the time, could not be showcased), I saw an unparalleled performer in Rob Van Dam. I must admit, the narrow-mindedness of the big honchos in sports-entertainment during the Monday Night War was a blessing for ECW, because it enabled us (and yes, I’ll say the dreaded egotistical word, “ME”) to appear as RVD’s godsend.

No one in WWE or WCW would have taken the time to develop his persona, let alone devoted the energies necessary to help Rob himself find that persona. Since WWE and WCW were so obsessed with putting their own personal stamp on everyone that appeared on their TV shows, I knew the key to developing RVD was to simply let Rob Van Dam ... be Rob Van Dam!

The popularity of RVD was always based on the fact the audience knew they were getting someone real. Someone genuine. Someone who was open with his audience, true to his word, and was unabashedly full of himself ... and with good reason. In a Universe filled with unique personalities, Rob Van Dam was truly “one of a kind!”

Watch Heyman present Van Dam with the ECW Championship