One report has emerged revealing the details of Rob Van Dam's return to WWE.
As you have undoubtedly heard, WWE revealed at Sunday's pay-per-view that Rob Van Dam would be returning to the company after a near-seven year absence.
On paper, it could be seen as a dubious decision. Van Dam is getting older: he's 42 now. There's a question of how much more he can offer WWE.
His three-year TNA run left a lot to be desired: Van Dam looked bored, tired and solely there for the cash for most of his time there. Granted, the booking never did him any favors—he was frequently treated as an afterthought—but that still doesn't excuse his largely apathetic performances.
His original 2001-2007 WWE had its problems too: most notably when his first—and so far only—WWE Title reign in 2006 ended embarrassingly when he was busted for marijuana possession and lost the belt soon after.
So why has the company made the call to bring him back?
In this week's (subscribers-only) Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer discusses the motivations for WWE in bringing back the star, noting that the company felt it was lacking in sufficient star power, particularly on the blue brand side.
The basic feeling was there was a weakness of the former Smackdown tour when it came to what is perceived as main event star power. The New Age Outlaws have been used on several tours just to have more people the fans think of as big names there. Van Dam in WWE was always more over with the fans than his push.
Meltzer also revealed details of the deal:
Van Dam’s deal was described to us as similar to that of Chris Jericho. The idea is that he’ll be put in a similar position, since he’s starting roughly the time Jericho is leaving. We didn’t get clarified how long it was, other than it’s a several month deal where he’ll work TVs and PPVs, and some house shows, but not a full schedule.
We'll have to wait and see if Van Dam can justify the first-class treatment.
As noted, his lacklustre TNA run soured many on him. But it's very possible that being back in the big-time and being placed with a better class of opponent—there's a big difference between Daniel Bryan and someone like Gunner, who RVD was often put with—will bring out the best in him.
Let's hope so.