Rob Van Dam to return at Money in the Bank
The game-changing ECW icon who made history by defeating John Cena for the WWE Title in one of the most emotional nights in sports-entertainment history is coming back.
As announced at WWE Payback, Rob Van Dam will return at Money in the Bank on July 14 in the ECW hotbed of Philadelphia. The dynamic highflier was briefly spotted at this year’s WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Madison Square Garden, but other than an appearance in the 2009 Royal Rumble Match, Van Dam has not seen action in WWE for six years.
Employing a vicious arsenal of martial arts and innovative aerial tactics paired with a laidback demeanor, Van Dam catapulted himself to Superstardom in the original ECW, becoming perhaps the most popular competitor in the organization’s history. RVD and Sabu both competed against each other and later joined forces to become a revolutionary tag team that dazzled raucous ECW Arena fans. By 1997, Van Dam began appearing regularly on Raw and dubbed himself “Mr. Monday Night,” a moniker that soon evolved to “Mr. Pay-Per-View” after consistently stealing show after show.
The cool and cocky innovator held the ECW Television Championship for an unprecedented 700 days, a mark that blows CM Punk’s 434-day WWE Title statistic out of the water. During Van Dam’s reign, the TV Title became as revered as the company’s Heavyweight Championship. While The Whole Dam Show never won ECW’s premiere championship in the organization’s original incarnation, ECW mastermind Paul Heyman has said publicly that it was inevitable.
Following ECW’s closure in 2001, Van Dam took WWE by storm. He won the Intercontinental Championship — which he unified with both the European and Hardcore Titles — and captured multiple tag team titles, but the best was yet to come for the chilled out Battle Creek, Mich., native.
At WrestleMania 22 in Chicago, Mr. Pay-Per-View won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match and announced that he would be cashing in his WWE Title opportunity at ECW One Night Stand. In front of a raucous crowd that threated to riot had Van Dam lost, RVD finally defeated John Cena to become both the WWE Champion and Champion of the relaunched ECW brand. To this day, it remains one of the most celebrated victories in the history of professional wrestling.
A lot has changed in the six years since Rob Van Dam has been gone. What will be Mr. Pay-Per-View’s objective when he returns to pay-per-view at Money in the Bank? RVD has already been Mr. Money in the Bank, but will he try his hand at another eponymous Ladder Match? Considering his history with Heyman, will Van Dam align with his former mentor or challenge Punk to a duel over the more impressive historic title reign? Or will Van Dam go after Ryback for adopting his airbrushed singlet style? Regardless, Mr. Pay-Per-View will be sure to impress at Money in the Bank. After all, he’s one of a kind.