In 1997, during the ECW invasion storyline on Monday Night RAW, a unique opportunity arose for several ECW wrestlers to face off against WWE stars. One of the top ECW talents at the time, Rob Van Dam (RVD), chose to walk away when asked by Vince McMahon to lose to WWE Hall of Famer Road Dogg.
RVD, a former WWE and ECW Champion, believed that losing to Road Dogg would negatively impact ECW's image. Over the years, he has come to regret this decision. In a 2016 interview with Stone Cold Steve Austin, RVD revealed that Paul Heyman, then-owner of ECW, advised him to refuse any booking decision he disagreed with.
RVD considered this bad advice and even speculated that Heyman may have been trying to lower his value in front of WWE to prevent them from signing him.
Jim Ross on RVD's Walkout
WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross discussed RVD's decision to walk out on WWE during his Grilling JR podcast.
Ross, a former commentator and executive disagreed with RVD's refusal to lose to Road Dogg, describing the situation as awkward and unfortunate. He believed RVD had received bad advice and should have put Road Dogg over if that was what the booker wanted.
While Ross questioned if RVD losing would have been the right decision, he argued that he would have stayed and done as asked. He also highlighted the need for better communication between both parties, expressing that conducting business with individuals who needed to be more forthcoming was difficult.
RVD eventually joined WWE permanently in 2001 and quickly became one of the most popular acts on the roster. His talent and appeal were undeniable as the first and only person to hold the ECW and WWE Championships simultaneously.
Despite the controversy surrounding his earlier decision, RVD's career in WWE demonstrated his immense value as a performer.
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