Rob Van Dam doesn't fit in today's WWE.
The quality of programming isn't dependent on the rating of the programming. TV-PG isn't the downfall of the quality of programming despite some misguided opinions. It's all about quality of performers and storytelling.
However, while quality might not be dependent on the rating, I do think the type of characters is.
RVD doesn't fit with WWE given the direction and quantity of programming as well as what sells. None of the above play to the strengths of the man once referred to as “Mr. Monday Night.”
Every time we've seen RVD excel, it has been in no-holds-barred situations. In the original ECW, he was a hybrid of the hardcore style and high-flying offense. He succeeded in WWE when there was a hardcore division or when more WWE matches contained weapons or stipulations.
He succeeded when WWE tapped into ECW nostalgia with one-night-stand pay-per-views and led the “If Cena wins, we riot” charge.
In today's WWE, he's another midcard talent who can't communicate in any other way than his thumbs pointing to his shoulder and saying his name.
RVD has done well for himself in his career. He's come a long way from a jobber in WCW to create his brand and pad his bank account. I'll never deny that. There was a time in wrestling when he was one of the hottest things going.
WWE has a lot of content. Between Raw, SmackDown, Main Event, Superstars, the WWE app, the company's YouTube channel and monthly special events—there are a lot of minutes to fill.
This over-saturation of content on various platforms doesn't play to the strength of a guy who has never been one to string many sentences together.
RVD expressed himself in the ring with his offense and the situations of the storyline. He was the guy aligned with Jerry Lawler in the '90s as The King referred to it as Extremely Crappy Wrestling. He had Bill Alfonso come to the ring with him blowing that annoying whistle.
He had an exceptionally long entrance to Pantera in ECW. He had a light version of the original ECW with WWE's version of it on Syfy.
None of that is there anymore, and so RVD has been a flat return twice in the past year. The short time of return on the part-time schedule doesn't help.
It's one thing to be a blockbuster name like The Rock or Brock Lesnar and do it. The Rock has more charisma than anyone and Lesnar is a freak of nature with the greatest talker ever by his side.
RVD has none of that.
RVD in today's WWE on his current schedule is a waste of a spot that is incredibly valuable given the youth movement in WWE. I would say let him put over some young talent, but he can only do so in between bells.
It seems like a challenge to take a new character from NXT and talk people into caring or watching a feud with a part-time veteran who doesn't say more than “dude” or his name.
I actually liked RVD on Raw this past week. Let him join up with Adam Rose. There is a perfect fit. A lot of mindlessness. A long entrance with music. The association might help get Rose over.
Plus, RVD's already been on the Exotic Express for the past 20 years.
Justin LaBar is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the creator of the "Chair Shot Reality" video talk show and "Wrestling Reality" radio show.