In a recent interview Rob Van Dam indicated that he wouldn’t be averse to a return to WWE at some point in the future. Would his former employer welcome him back? I’m sure they would. The WWE roster is so starved for legitimate star power right now that a man with Van Dam’s popularity would be a welcome addition.
RVD may have left the company under a dark cloud in 2007 but Vince McMahon will always overlook past discretions if it’s best for business. This would be. Besides, Van Dam has made two surprise appearances for WWE since leaving so whatever problems existed between the two parties were likely worked out years ago.
RVD could just be saying he’s open to a return to WWE because his TNA contract is set to expire soon. He may simply be trying to get himself the best deal possible for staying on in Orlando. It’s known that he prefers TNA’s schedule to WWE’s. He currently works every two weeks, on average, while his WWE schedule saw him working TV tapings and house shows every week. It’s possible that he could negotiate himself a lighter schedule if he wanted to return now, simply because of the aforementioned lack of star power the McMahon outfit is going through. Even if that’s not to be it’s possible that after four years away from the WWE grind RVD would be more open to a more demanding travel agenda.
TNA has not used the former ‘Mr Monday Night’ well since his debut at the beginning of 2010. His first appearance for the promotion saw him gain a surprise four second squash victory over Sting on iMPACT. That was a massively squandered opportunity: the first meeting between Sting and RVD should have been promoted on pay-per-view. With the right build it could have succeeded as a pay-per-view main event.
In the two years since then Van Dam has had forgettable feuds with Immortal, Mr Anderson and Jeff Hardy, as well as old ECW nemesis Jerry Lynn. That TNA decided to resurrect the ancient Lynn v RVD feud (which peaked in March 1999) shows that they have never really had any fresh ideas for ‘The Whole F’n Show’. His current feud with Christopher Daniels, while enjoyable and fresh, isn’t going to go down as one of the greatest rivalries of all time and comes across on television as a way of filling air time and giving two upper mid-card workers something to do before they’re called on to elevate someone TNA sees as more important.
The worst offense TNA’s booking crew has committed is in placing RVD in one of their many ECW knock-off factions. That was lazy booking that harmed Van Dam’s image by associating him with jobbers and rejects when he should have been portrayed as one of the company’s top stars.
Something else to bear in mind is that Hulk Hogan has stated in several interviews over the years that Rob Van Dam is the sort of man a company could be built around. Unsurprisingly since he’s had the opportunity to follow through on those comments and actually build a company around him Hogan has opted not to do so. Instead he spent a year preparing himself for a match with Sting. That has to grate on RVD’s legendary ego.
‘The Whole F’n Show‘ is closer to the end of his career than the beginning and will want to finish at the top. The only place to do that these days is in WWE. He may be unlikely to enjoy another run with a world title there, but he’ll be on TV every week and make a lot more money for his efforts. Besides, it looks unlikely he’ll be getting the TNA world title back soon anyway.
RVD’s current TNA contract expires next spring. It’s unlikely he will be able to return to WWE in time for a match at WrestleMania but he could be free for an appearance at the event or RAW the following evening. I’d put my money on him doing that. He gave TNA a chance to grow by associating themselves with him and they failed. Just as they always do.