Let me begin by saying something controversial: Rob Van Dam will not improve WWE.
It's easy to get excited by the well-edited video packages airing on Raw and SmackDown right now, as well as the idea of Van Dam returning to America's No. 1 wrestling promotion after a seven-year absence.
But look a little closer at the situation and you will see that Van Dam's return is destined to be a flop.
And here are just seven reasons why.
Is Van Dam really the type of guy an image-conscious corporation like WWE want as one of their main stars?
The star already caused the company heaps of bad press when he was arrested in 2006, while WWE champion, for possession of marijuana. This is also the same guy who famously appeared on the cover of High Times Magazine.
Of course, what Van Dam does in his own private life is his own business, but when he’s in a high-profile position with America’s No. 1 promotion it’s another matter entirely. Does WWE really need the baggage RVD brings with him?
Let’s not forget that Van Dam is 42 and it remains to be seen just how much more he has left to offer the wrestling business.
Really, what good will bringing him and giving him a massive push do the company in the long run?
Wouldn’t it be wiser of WWE to put all the time and effort that it has spent on Van Dam’s return to promoting some young up-and-coming star like Antonio Cesar or Wade Barrett?
While Van Dam is currently scheduled to compete in the Money in the Bank bout at the pay-per-view, it seems unlikely that the star will be staying in the World title picture. Indeed, all the top spots already seem filled by the likes of John Cena, Mark Henry and Brock Lesnar.
There doesn't appear to be any room for Van Dam in main events right now. He seems destined to stay in the midcard.
This isn't 2006 anymore.
ECW nostalgia is, for the most part, played out. Many fans are tired and want to move onto something else.
Maybe it was WWE's mediocre, and now cancelled, ECW show on Syfy. Or TNA's lame attempts to do their own ECW events in 2009 and 2010. And the less said about Shane Douglas' disastrous attempts to conjure up the memory of the long-dead Philadelphia promotion by running his own tribute shows, the better.
Or maybe it's the fact that, in light of all the extensive studies done by Chris Nowinski and the Sports Legacy Institute, all the head shots and crazy, reckless bumps that were the company's call card just simply don't look as cool as they used to.
Let's face it: the ECW name isn't what it once was. Something that doesn't help Van Dam, a wrestler whose legacy is so tightly intertwined with it.
Let’s be frank: Van Dam has never been a great talker. For the most part, he’s a pretty one-dimensional character too, with his calm and collected surfer dude persona simply being an extension of Van Dam’s real-life personality. He didn’t show any real range during his first WWE stint in 2001-2007 or during his time in TNA.
This will undoubtedly prove to be a hindrance to his upcoming return.
Van Dam’s mediocre TNA run left a lot to be desired, quite frankly. While the star did occasionally make the effort, for the most part his work in America’s No.2 promotion was slow and plodding. The once-young and dynamic Van Dam was long gone. It seemed like the star was solely there for the pay check.
With this in mind, should we really be expecting big things from Van Dam when he returns next month?
While TNA treated Van Damn like a big star upon his debut in 2010—he even won the TNA World title a few months in—they soon appeared to lose interest in him and he spent the next couple of years floundering in the midcard, feuding with the likes of Gunner and Zema Ion.
Van Damn, once heralded as one of wrestling’s brightest young stars, simply ended up as “just another guy.”
No doubt about it: he left TNA less of a star than when he came in. Which does not bode well for his upcoming WWE run.