Rob Van Dam Is Now Mr. Hall Of Fame As He Gets WWE's Highest Honor
It has been rumored online for the past couple of weeks, but this morning we finally got confirmation from the man himself that Rob Van Dam will be the next inductee in this year's WWE Hall of Fame class. In a story first reported by Ryan Satin on Fox Sports and then confirmed by WWE on their own site, the company confirmed the talk amongst insiders and fans and gave ECW fans something to look forward to on the April 6 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which will stream on the Peacock app.
Rob Van Dam (real name Robert Szatkowski) was one of the most unique and innovative stars in pro wrestling over the past 30 years. At a time in wrestling when the violent two-fisted brawler was king, RVD stood out with his use of mixed martial arts, his high-flying acrobatics, and his seemingly limitless gymnast-like abilities, all of that packaged in a man who had the physique of a well-muscled heavyweight.
As arguably ECW's most popular star ever, Rob Van Dam wowed fans with his mix of a style that North American wrestling fans hadn't seen before and his natural "cool dude" charisma and embracing of marijuana culture, which at the time was pretty taboo. No one in ECW was afraid of violence or high-stakes moves, but if you go back and watch it now, you'll see that few were able to effectively combine the chaos with a genuinely impressive athletic ability like Rob Van Dam did.
When ECW was bought by and merged with WWE, Rob Van Dam was at the top of fan's lists on who they were most excited to see on the big stage every week. He was an instant hit with WWE audiences and was involved in many of WWE's biggest high-risk matches in the post-Attitude Era, including ladder matches, hardcore matches, and the first-ever Elimination Chamber match at the 2002 Survivor Series.
Easily the biggest moment in Rob Van Dam's career came at One Night Stand in 2006, when he cashed in his Money In The Bank contract that he had won at Wrestlemania 22 to challenge John Cena for the WWE title in an Extreme Rules Match. In front of a hostile and partial "hometown" crowd in ECW's old stomping grounds at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, RVD defeated Cena to win the WWE title. He would then become the only person in history to hold the WWE title and the ECW World Heavyweight title simultaneously.
Speaking on his entering the WWE Hall of Fame, Rob Van Dam said the following:
"It's a pretty awesome feeling. Just like you probably would imagine, it feels like I'm being acknowledged and appreciated for my body of work. It feels very good. I'm honored."
"[Fans have] been calling me future Hall of Famer for years and I always just shrug and say, 'All right, man. As long as you think so.' But, glad to be among the chosen few this year."
"I'm glad for me and for all the fans. I feel like them being behind me and wanting to see this happen is a win for them as well."
Whether you knew him as "Mr. Monday Night", "Mr. Pay Per View", or "The Whole F'n Show", Rob Van Dam will now have another nickname to add to the collection: "Mr. Hall of Fame".
Congratulations to the newest member of the WWE Hall of Fame, Rob Van Dam!