Hall of Fame
WWE Superstars - ECW
Rob Van Dam
Robert Alexander Szatkowski (born December 18, 1970), is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Rob Van Dam (abbreviated to RVD). Van Dam currently wrestles on the Extreme Championship Wrestling brand of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
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Van Dam made his first appearance in a wrestling ring as a teenager, when he was called up to the ring by The Million Dollar Man to kiss his feet for $100 USD. Van Dam debuted in 1990 after being trained by The Sheik, wrestling his first match against Dango Nguyen in Toledo, Ohio. He went on to wrestle in many independent promotions across Michigan. He signed with World Championship Wrestling in 1992 and was dubbed Robbie V upon his arrival. His WCW run was uneventful and largely unnoticed; he left in 1993.
He also wrestled in several independent promotions across America, and in All Japan Pro Wrestling, where he challenged for the AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Championship on several occasions.
On May 29, 2006, Van Dam was selected by Paul Heyman to be drafted from RAW to the newly formed ECW brand of WWE. Upon being drafted, Van Dam became the new brand's flagship, mostly due to his prior history in ECW and his title-shot against John Cena at One Night Stand.
At ECW One Night Stand, the pay-per-view used to kick off the ECW brand, Van Dam defeated John Cena to win the WWE Championship (his first World Title in his career). Throughout the match the ECW fans verbally abused Cena, even going so far as to hold up a sign stating, "If Cena Wins, We Riot." (Joey Styles even went as far as to say, "Here comes the riot!" just as it looked as though Cena had the match won.) After two referees were knocked out Edge appeared from under the ring and interfered on behalf of Van Dam, spearing Cena through a table. Van Dam then hit a Five Star Frog Splash and the pinfall was counted by Paul Heyman, who suddenly ran down the aisle. On the following episode of RAW, Heyman confirmed that the title change was official (due to the match being held under ECW rules) and hinted that the WWE Championship would be renamed the ECW Championship at the debut of ECW on the Sci Fi Channel. However, on the first episode of ECW on Sci Fi, Van Dam was awarded the re-instated ECW World Heavyweight Championship by Heyman and subsequently announced that he would be keeping both titles, thus making him the first wrestler in history to have held both the WWE Championship and the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, simultaneously.
On the July 3, 2006 episode of RAW, Van Dam lost the WWE Championship
to Edge in a triple threat match that also featured John Cena. The next
night, on the July 4th episode of ECW on Sci Fi, he lost the ECW World
Heavyweight Championship to Big Show after Heyman turned on him; this
incident would later be referred to as The South Philadelphia Screwjob.
Later on WWE.com, a story was written that Heyman had suspended Van Dam
for 30 days without giving a reason. The same day, WWE.com announced that
Van Dam had been (legitimately) suspended for 30 days as a result of his
recent drug possession arrest (see below). He returned to house shows
on August 5, 2006, and returned to television on August 8, attacking both
Sabu and Kurt Angle during a match. His return to the ring came a week
later, in a losing effort to Sabu in a ladder match for number one contendership
to the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. On the October 17, 2006 episode
of ECW, Van Dam defeated the Big Show in a non-title match to regain the
number one contendership. 2 people interfered in the match; Test on Big
Show's behalf, and Hardcore Holly (who had just recently turned face)
on Van Dam's behalf. Rob had encountered short feuds with both men. Van
Dam and Holly would team together in the next two weeks, but this partnership
was short-lived, as Holly would soon turn on him. On December 3, 2006.
Van Dam was in the Elimination Chamber for the ECW World Title. He was
eliminated 3rd from the chamber. Van Dam was eliminated by Test after
receiving an elbow drop off the top of the pod onto a chair covering RVD's