What's the story?
Rob Van Dam recently spoke with Sports Illustrated about a possible return to the WWE after competing in an event for independent Northeast Wrestling promotion in July.
He also competed for the promotion last week, defeating another former WWE Superstar, Jack Swagger. Van Dam has been away from the global juggernaut since 2014, but could Mr. Monday Night come back to WWE at some point?
In case you didn't know...
Rob Van Dam was one of the most popular wrestlers in WWE since 2000. He initially made his mark in ECW but joined the WWE when it became defunct.
He had a lot of runs with mid-card titles (Intercontinental, European titles) but received perhaps his biggest push when he famously defeated John Cena at ECW One Night Stand in 2005 to become WWE Champion.
When the ECW Brand was reinstated by Paul Heyman in the same year, Van Dam was awarded the ECW Heavyweight Championship.
Thus technically, he was the only wrestler in WWE history to simultaneously hold both the ECW Heavyweight Championship and the WWE Championship. He eventually dropped both belts due to a drug arrest suspension that year.
Mr Monday Night also spent some time in TNA and other independent promotions before returning to WWE in 2013. RVD departed in 2014 and has continued to compete all over the world.
The heart of the matter
While fans would ultimately love to see RVD jumping and kicking all around the ring, he's likely comfortable with his life as it is now.
In the interview, he said:
“I know that my fans want to see me back in WWE, To that, I can say, it’s good to be wanted. I can tell you that I enjoy my days off a lot more than my days on, but I appreciate the fans. It’s because of them I have the life I have. So thank you to the fans, I know they’re going to stick with me for life, and never say never.”
He has the freedom to pick his shots so to speak, so why would someone notoriously known for being laid back want to change that?
He said he wouldn't be where he is without the fans, so never rule out a comeback.
RVD is 47 years old, but guys like Triple H, Shawn Michaels, John Cena and Jushin Thunder Liger have proven that being over 40 in pro wrestling isn't as big a hurdle as it was before.
WWE has welcomed back older stars Rey Mysterio Jr., Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy over the last two years.
He also said that the door has been left open for a return as well as the following:
“I’m at a point in my life now that I find very rewarding,” said Van Dam. “I only wrestle 10-12 matches a year, and I get to pick and choose my matches. I have so much to be grateful for, but I’m still stretching and going through my routine to make sure I’m at my best.”
The WWE is usually always welcoming to former stars unless a major issue exists between the two.
Van Dam is still active on the independent scene, so it's not like he's been sitting on his couch ever since departing. A future appearance or final run would certainly pop business and the fans, so it would make business sense to reunite for one last run.
Imagine matches he could have with Daniel Bryan, Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles (again).