Rob Van Dam recently returned to WWE after a five-month absence. RVD has had heat with both Cesaro and Jack Swagger since he came back but neither feud has really been what many would call successful. Van Dam has seemingly just been going through the motions; basically he shows up to work a match, cuts a promo and then disappears until the following WWE broadcast.
But the recent injury to WWE World champion Daniel Bryan could potentially change everything. Now Rob Van Dam could find himself being used more than what fans have seen as he is the logical choice to get an added spotlight.
Bryan's announcement on the May 12 edition of Monday Night Raw concerning his impending neck surgery was a shock to many of the WWE faithful. The man that has been portrayed as the company's biggest underdog since the night after SummerSlam last year has been under the gun at every turn.
Daniel was targeted by Triple H and The Authority as a man that had no business being at the top of WWE. They felt he was not championship material, not a top guy by any means. And they spent every moment doing all they could to hold him back from the title.
For Bryan's fans that had supported him since his days in Ring of Honor, it was more than a little frustrating. Every time he got close to the top in Vince McMahon's company, The Game was there to push him back down again.
But eight months after Bryan's storyline with The Authority began, his championship dreams were finally realized. WrestleMania 30 saw Daniel defeat Triple H and then win the main event against both Randy Orton and Batista.
Daniel left that night as the new WWE World champion. He finally made it.
But now that he is headed for surgery and his immediate WWE future is in doubt, the company will need proven talents to help carry the load. And Rob Van Dam is a top name among those talents.
He is a 24-year veteran of the business. He has worked main event matches all over the world and is a former WWE champion. Van Dam is considered by many to be one of the most athletic, most physically gifted performers of his generation.
And that performer is back in WWE, fresh from a five-month break. Van Dam is 43 and he's not getting any younger of course but the fact is that of the current crop of veterans at WWE's disposal, RVD is one of the finest.
His work ethic in the ring has kept him relevant all these years as he always makes an effort to entertain at a very high level. RVD may not be the most influential in terms of character but his matches definitely put him among the elite.
And WWE will need a worker like that if they hope to come close to replacing Daniel Bryan for the foreseeable future.
Van Dam's athleticism and skill would be a nice fill-in for Daniel's frenzied pace and controlled chaos. RVD may or may not have the speed that Bryan has but he definitely has the ability and the years of experience to draw from.
He also has the respect and love from the fans.
One of the most important elements for keeping WWE going in Daniel's absence is putting performers in place that can get over in a very big way. Daniel's popularity is without question, as he has become arguably the hottest Superstar that fans have seen in years.
The yes chants gave fans something to hang on to and Daniel himself gave fans someone to cheer for. The combination of both made for one very popular Superstar, a man whose uphill struggle made for some real must-see TV.
That pop is not easily forgotten, as fans will surely continue to support Daniel during his recovery. But in the meantime, WWE will not lose any ground in terms of a talent that can pop a crowd.
RVD is one of those talents. He remains one of the most popular stars not only in WWE but the entire industry. He is so likable, so popular, that he does not necessarily have to be working anyone of any real significance to get a reaction from the crowd.
And win or lose, RVD's character never seems to lose any luster. He is just as capable of getting great crowd response as any top protagonist in WWE. And he will do just that in Daniel Bryan's absence.
Should RVD be given more spotlight in Daniel Bryan's absence?
He can be plugged into anywhere on the card and face anyone that WWE wants to put in front of him. He is very versatile, he's very accomplished and he's more than capable of getting it done in the ring. But the question is if RVD is indeed given more spotlight, then what will WWE do with him?
One spot that could involve immediate booking for RVD is a feud with Kane.
Kane had supposedly attacked Bryan off camera during the May 12 edition of Monday Night Raw. That has left The Big Red Machine without an opponent as it has left WWE without Daniel Bryan. That could be the perfect spot for RVD to step into.
And the two men have history. Kane and RVD were a tag team at one time and held the World Tag Team Championships back in 2003. That alliance later led to a bitter rivalry but the fact is there's a link between them, something for WWE to use.
Considering that RVD is a strong face, he could be portrayed as a fearless competitor for Kane. The two men would have chemistry in the ring and the company would have a feud that it could present on any stage at any time.
Rob could pick up where Daniel left off and take the fight right to Kane. That would put RVD back on the main event scene as Kane has close ties with The Authority. His popularity would only increase and the company would have another Superstar that could take up the war left behind by Daniel Bryan.
RVD has all the skills and experience necessary to contribute quite nicely in WWE. He has the desire and the determination to get what he wants. And whether he wants revenge on Kane or is instead just given more TV time, the fact is that Rob Van Dam is a great choice to put in the void left behind by Daniel Bryan.
Bryan the man cannot be replaced but Rob Van Dam is a man that can help keep WWE going in Daniel's absence. And that is what the company needs right now.