Rob Van Dam has come back to WWE.
The 24-year veteran had left the company again back in October 2013 but returned against Damien Sandow on the April 7 edition of Monday Night Raw.
And now that he's back, what's next? What are the best ways to utilize Rob Van Dam in WWE?
RVD is one of the most popular Superstars that WWE has ever seen. His dynamic ring style and daredevil attitude, combined with his laid-back personality, made him a must-see talent for fans. Next to Mick Foley, he is perhaps the most successful worker to come from the original ECW; he crossed over seamlessly to Vince McMahon's company.
With a devil-may-care expression and a three-letter chant, RVD endeared himself to fans who quite simply could not get enough of him.
He has had a successful career, he's traveled the world, and he's done it all. So what's left?
The answer to that question may not be readily apparent, as Rob Van Dam has returned to a WWE that is much different than the one he left back in 2013.
The Undertaker has suffered his first WrestleMania loss, CM Punk has left the company, and The Shield is now a babyface faction. And perhaps the most important change is at the top because Daniel Bryan is now the WWE World Heavyweight champion.
For a veteran star whose best days could very well be behind him, Van Dam's options may not be many.
Truth be told, anytime a Superstar returns to the WWE, one of the first questions asked concerns title belts. The same can be said for Rob Van Dam, who is a former WWE champion and six-time Intercontinental champion.
Could RVD pursue a championship belt now that he's back in WWE?
The fact is that RVD is heading for the tournament finals to determine the new number one contender for the IC title. Will he prevail over Wade Barrett and go on to defeat champion Big E?
The biggest issue with that, however, is that Big E, like all current titleholders in WWE, is a babyface. That includes United States champion Dean Ambrose and the tag team champions, The Usos. While it's not out of the question for Rob to win the Intercontinental Championship or perhaps challenge for one of these other titles, the question remains: Will WWE consider it?
And if it does, could RVD even challenge Daniel Bryan at some point for the top championship?
RVD is a pro in the ring, and his character can likely stand up next to anyone that the company decides to put in front of him. It's entirely possible that he could step up for any championship in the company and emerge from the match just as solid and over as a face as his opponent.
All things considered, WWE may actually go the route with Bryan and pit him against Van Dam. After all, Daniel went through an incredible amount of drama and punishment at the hands of The Authority since the night after SummerSlam in 2013. Perhaps the time is right for him to have a simple rivalry.
There would be no need for hate or cheap shots, no need for sneak attacks or harsh betrayals. Daniel Bryan versus Rob Van Dam could be based upon the excitement of the matches, the pure desire of both men to be the best and leave the match with the gold belts.
But if that is not in the cards just yet, what could occupy RVD in the meantime?
At this stage in RVD's career, it's not out of the question to imagine him as a veteran who is helping younger stars to find their way in the company. One of those stars could be Cesaro, the man who Paul Heyman recently took under his wing.
Heyman's connection with RVD is apparent; they have a history in the original ECW and have worked together since then. It could be that since WWE is currently spotlighting Cesaro as a breakout star, Van Dam will be called upon to now help build him up.
The two men faced off on the April 21 edition of Monday Night Raw in a match that definitely kept the crowd's attention. There could be much more to this, as a series of matches would be a great way for Cesaro to showcase his talents. Defeating RVD would be a very impressive notch in his belt as well. Van Dam could still look good, and the angle would likely leave him in a positive light with fans.
However, despite any championship opportunities that may exist for Rob, maybe WWE should just let him do what he does best—entertain.
Rob Van Dam is very versatile, able to carry a long storyline or capable of working two- to three-week feuds on TV and then moving on. Perhaps WWE will want to present Rob in short segments, allowing him to pop the crowd and give them a good match before going to the next opponent.
He can actually work that type of match anywhere on the card. From the curtain jerk, to the midcard, to the main event, Rob can garner positive crowd reaction while working an entertaining, top-notch match in the process.
The truth is that RVD is a definite crowd favorite, and while his routine may be very familiar to fans, he is well-respected among the WWE faithful. Whether it's challenging for a championship, helping a younger star up the ladder or just wrestling matches for the pure entertainment value, Rob Van Dam is a WWE Superstar who can do anything and be successful.
That makes him a more valuable and well-rounded performer than he perhaps ever has been before.
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