In a surprising turn of events, Rob Van Dam's appearance at the podium during the WWE Draft in April left fans in awe, uncertain if they would ever witness the return of the iconic "RVD" on WWE television. After all, it was not unreasonable to assume that he had parted ways with the pro wrestling company for good back in 2014, following his second stint with the promotion.
However, in a recent episode of the "Keepin' It 100" podcast, Van Dam revealed his motivations for his recent WWE cameo. He shed light on his departure from the company in 2014 when his contract expired. He disclosed that he had turned down an offer to re-sign, citing the need to step away from WWE.
Spiritual Discontent Leads to Departure
"I reached a point where I needed a break," the former WWE Champion shared. "My contract was nearing its end, and with the demise of ECW and a lack of personal direction within WWE, I found myself in a state of discontent.
I'm unsure if they were attempting to have me start from the bottom and work my way up again, but I wasn't in a good place spiritually. That's why I decided to leave. I recognized that my spirit required significant rejuvenation, which I couldn't achieve under those circumstances."
During his tenure at ECW, Van Dam played a pivotal role and witnessed its closure in 2001 when WWE acquired the promotion.
WWE later resurrected ECW in 2006, reintroducing the ECW World Heavyweight Championship and hosting "reunion" shows. However, WWE's inconsistent approach to acknowledging the legacy of ECW and its former roster members who joined the Vince McMahon-led company weighed heavily on Van Dam.
"It was frustrating," expressed RVD to Konan during the podcast. "There were moments when I contemplated leaving and catching the next flight home. But then, a few days later, something cool would happen, and I'd be like, 'Wow!' because I genuinely loved certain aspects of it."
The fluctuating treatment of ECW's history and the lack of clarity regarding the status of its former stars ultimately took its toll on Van Dam.
It became a cycle of conflicting emotions, vacillating between frustration and genuine excitement for the opportunities within WWE.