Rob Van Dam.
The man is an icon and a personal favorite of mine.
Since his departure from the WWE in 2007, I have always held out hope that he would eventually make his return to Monday nights.
With reports speculating on several online sources such as Wrestling Inc. reporting that Van Dam will return to the WWE once his contract with TNA expires in March, one word immediately came to mind.
In all honesty, when I immediately heard the news, I marked out a bit. I mean this is Mr. Monday Night we’re talking about. After giving it some more thought though, I realized this could do way more harm than good for the WWE product.
For years, we members of the IWC have been clamoring for the WWE to create new stars to build around for the next decade. Yet the moment the ratings take a hit, WWE goes back to their pool of legends to bring back a jolt to the company.
Sure, the short term effects are fine and dandy, but they are not allowing guys like Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes and Jack Swagger to come into their own.
Van Dam is now 42 years old, and although he can still go with the best of them, it seems he goes through the motions when he is disinterested (and he looks disinterested quite frequently on TNA). If you bring Van Dam back, chances are he might not be going in with the mindset of putting one of the younger guys over, because if that is the plan, you will be sorely disappointed with the results.
One of the worst kept secrets in wrestling is Van Dam’s carefree lifestyle. Would you think he would be willing to fall in line with the WWE Wellness Policy or the hectic travel schedule?
When RVD made a surprise appearance at the 2009 Rumble, I almost jumped out of my seat. If you want to bring RVD back for certain appearances or matches (although I still think this hurts the product long term) this makes more sense from a business standpoint.
I miss the Attitude Era as much as the next wrestling fan, but the WWE needs to stop going to the well as often as they do to bring these Attitude stars back. Kevin Nash, HHH, Booker T and RVD are all 40-plus years old and may very well appear in a WWE ring next year.
We may be transforming from the “Reality Era” to the “Retirement Era”.