It isn't often that top stars hit the free-agent market in professional wrestling, so when it does happen, it is certainly noteworthy. That is currently the case with Rob Van Dam, and if the WWE wants to improve its floundering midcard, then signing him should be a no-brainer.
According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com, RVD's TNA contract expired last week, so he is currently free to sign with any company he pleases. Van Dam recently dropped the X-Division Championship to Kenny King and it appears as though the reasoning behind that is related directly to his contract status with the company.
Although TNA accidentally allowed Bobby Roode's contract to expire a couple weeks ago, the fact that TNA and RVD didn't negotiate a new contract tells me that the company may be ready to move on without him. Van Dam is a great talent and he can still go in the ring even if he has lost a step or two, but TNA hasn't utilized him particularly well and there isn't an obvious role for him at the moment.
I'll be the first to admit that I've never been a huge RVD fan and I certainly haven't been impressed by his TNA work. It almost seems like he has been going through the motions, as many of his matches have been formulaic and his promos have been bland. With that said, he is a veteran who has accomplished a ton in the business, so he still has plenty to offer.
Provided Van Dam and TNA can't reach an agreement, it would be a shrewd move on the WWE's part to swoop in and sign "The Whole F'n Show" away from its closest competitor. Say what you will about RVD, but he still has a huge fan following based on his previous conquests in ECW and the WWE, so bringing him in would unquestionably generate some buzz.
While his popularity would suggest otherwise, I don't consider Van Dam to be a main event guy anymore. TNA obviously felt the same way, as he was used to elevate some of the younger guys in the X-Division. It can definitely be argued that TNA had the right idea, but he was used to erratically and inconsistently. Perhaps the WWE could do a better job in that regard.
Right now, the WWE's midcard is barren when it comes to faces. The Miz is the top guy and he is serviceable, but aside from him, you have the likes of Kofi Kingston and Sin Cara, who are used primarily as enhancement talent.
The fact that there are no legitimate opponents for United States champion Antonio Cesaro and Intercontinental champion Wade Barrett devalues the midcard titles and hurts their development.
Van Dam is the ideal solution, as he could immediately step in and feud with either Cesaro or Barrett.
RVD is not a good promo man, but Cesaro and Barrett both excel in that regard, so they can carry him. Additionally, Cesaro and Barrett are big men who tend to work well against high-flying types, so I'm sure that Van Dam would mesh seamlessly with both of them.
Beating a guy like RVD would do more for Cesaro or Barrett than the creative team has done for them in months. If his tenure in TNA is any indication, Van Dam has no issue working with the younger guys and making them look good. If the WWE offers enough money and is willing to give some leeway in terms of his travel schedule, then RVD would probably jump at the chance to return.
Once Van Dam has sufficiently built up the WWE midcard, I would absolutely love to see a brief feud with CM Punk.
Since Punk held the WWE Championship for 434 days, he probably won't be around the title constantly over the next year. That means he will have to be placed in side feuds that still matter to the fans, and RVD vs. Punk would sell itself.
It is no secret that Van Dam is a huge supporter of marijuana reform while Punk is straight edge, so that alone makes them obvious opponents. Also, Punk's manager is currently Paul Heyman, who made Van Dam a huge star in ECW and in the WWE. The presence of Heyman could play a major role, as he could stick with Punk against his old protege or perhaps even turn on Punk in favor of Van Dam.
The straight-edge aspect of Punk hasn't been discussed much since his feud with Chris Jericho last year, but now may be a good time to bring it back. He can transition away from the "best in the world" gimmick and go back to embracing his lifestyle in character form. There is obviously talk about Punk potentially facing "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at WrestleMania XXX, and a rivalry with RVD would be the perfect precursor to that.
There are so many possibilities for Van Dam in the WWE that it would be silly for him to turn down an offer, and it would be silly for the WWE to not pursue him. The WWE won't be getting RVD circa 2005 if it brings him in, but Van Dam is a guy who has done it all in professional wrestling, is still good in the ring and is still popular enough to resonate with the general fanbase.
It feels like Van Dam has pretty much reached his ceiling in TNA, but there are many new and exciting things for him to do in WWE. There is no guarantee that the WWE is even interested in RVD, but it clearly wouldn't hurt to inquire about what it would take to bring Mr. Monday Night back to the WWE.