The title "once-in-a-generation" isn't used that often, but for former WWE Superstar Rob Van Dam, it is a mere understatement. A legendary trendsetter for the wrestling industry, Van Dam was extraordinarily gifted. Both his influential and charismatic personality was a huge draw for all the promotions he worked for.
Mr. Monday Night's career was analogous with his unique in-ring skills and the special hardcore touch that made him marketable throughout his run. During the long course of this journey, he has been ornated with numerous accolades by his name.
These include conquering every major championship wherever he went and also his recent induction into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2021. Here are Rob Van Dam's top five title victories of his WWE career.
#5 RVD wins his initial WWE Hardcore Championship
Several defunct ECW wrestlers invaded WWE on the July 9, 2001, episode of RAW. The following weeks saw the upsurge of an Alliance between WCW and ECW superstars. RVD was a heel during the Invasion yet was a recognized fan favorite, so the crowd kept rooting for him.
At the Invasion pay-per-view, RVD faced Jeff Hardy for the WWE Hardcore Championship and became the new champion. He would then lose the title to Hardy on RAW and regain it again at Summerslam. This victory would mark an important part of Rob's career as it would eventually save him from getting fired.
Van Dam would also earn several victories against prominent WWE Superstars like Kane, The Undertaker, The Rock, and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. These victories made Van Dam's persona resonate much more with the fans.
During that year's Survivor Series, Van Dam would tag along with four other Alliance members against five WWE wrestlers in a "Winner Takes All" match. The night witnessed some historical performances from The Rock and Stone Cold.
Finally, due to a few double-crosses, team WWE won the contest, ending the Alliance that night. After they disbanded, many of the wrestlers got fired, but Van Dam would retain his job as he was the Hardcore Champion.
#4 RVD's final run with the WWE Intercontinental Championship
Rob Van Dam earned qualification for WWE's second-ever Money in the Bank ladder match by defeating Trevor Murdoch. The victory earned RVD a ticket to WrestleMania 22.
In that spectacular match, Van Dam would shove both Shelton Benjamin and Matt Hardy off a ladder and retrieve the Money in the Bank briefcase.
A rivalry quickly set into motion following the ladder match where Intercontinental champion Shelton Benjamin challenged Rob Van Dam to put his briefcase on the line. However, Van Dam countered by proposing a match for Benjamin's title.
The bout eventually took place in a winner-take-all "contract vs. title" clash at Backlash. The contest saw both men giving it their best.
After 18 minutes and 47 seconds, Mr. Monday Night stood tall with both the Intercontinental Championship and the Money in the Bank briefcase. It marked RVD's sixth and final time winning the WWE Intercontinental championship.
#3 RVD and Kane win the WWE World Tag Team Championships
During 2003, Rob Van Dam featured mainly in the tag team picture in WWE. RVD had formed a tag team with Kane the year prior. But after many failed pursuits of the World Heavyweight Championship, RVD's focus gravitated towards winning the Tag Team titles with his partner.
Lance Storm and William Regal were the WWE World Tag Team Champions at that point. So, at No Way Out, the duo of Rob Van Dam and Kane battled against the duo with the World Tag Team Championships on the line. However, they eventually came up short after Van Dam was mistakenly choke-slammed by his partner, the Big Red Machine.
In a later episode of Monday Night RAW, the two would ultimately be able to defeat Lance Storm and Chief Morley and The Dudley Boyz in a three-way elimination tag team match to win the World Tag Team Championships.
The duo defended their gold successfully twice at Backlash and Insurrextion before losing them to La Resistance at Bad Blood.
#2 RVD's first WWE Intercontinental Championship win
After the Invasion storyline arc, Rob Van Dam would turn face and lose his WWE Hardcore Championship to The Undertaker at Vengeance. His popularity among fans demanded Van Dam be remunerated. Soon after, he entered a rivalry with ring general William Regal over the latter's Intercontinental Championship.
Van Dam would have to face new challenges in the form of a triple threat match against the Big Show and Lance Storm to earn his right to become the No. 1 contender. RVD won, which earned him an opportunity to face Wiliam Regal at WrestleMania X8.
Regal would march into the match to defend his title against crowd favorite Rob Van Dam. The former would play out his heel antics and try to use a brass knuckle several times for the "Power of the Punch" on his opponent.
Van Dam would outsmart Regal every time to avoid being punched with the brass and finally manage to kick them out of Regal's reach. Rob would capitalize and finish the contest with his signature "Five Star Frog Splash" to win the match. That victory would earn Van Dam his first-ever Intercontinental Championship in WWE.
#1 RVD becoming the WWE Champion
Rob Van Dam was drafted to WWE's reincarnated ECW brand by Paul Heyman. Van Dam had ownership of the Money in the Bank briefcase, so on an episode of RAW, Van Dam came out to publicly notify John Cena that he would be cashing in for the WWE Championship at ECW's One Night Stand.
Both men would start to exchange fatal blows with each other. The night would end with Van Dam tossing the briefcase to Cena and then hitting him with Van Daminator.
The two would meet in the Hammerstein Ballroom, surrounded by a hostile crowd completely rooting for Van Dam. A breathtaking match would be set in motion in which two of the officials would get knocked out in the process.
That window of opportunity would be seized by a man, with a helmet on, who would spear Cena through a table and eventually reveal himself to be Edge.
RVD managed to hit his signature Five Star Frog Splash with the pinfall counted by Paul Heyman. Despite the anarchy, the title change was official as the match took place under extreme rules conditions.