Rob Van Dam Attributes His ECW Success to a WCW Proposal

Exploring RVD's pivotal career decision in the wrestling industry.

by Noman Rasool
Rob Van Dam Attributes His ECW Success to a WCW Proposal

Rob Van Dam, popularly known as RVD, and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) were fortuitously aided by a timely internet rumor, which ultimately allowed RVD's memorable "Mr. Monday Night" stint on WWE's "Raw" in 1997. On a recent installment of "One of a Kind," RVD intriguingly disclosed that an internet leak concerning a proposal from WCW provided him with a strategic advantage in securing a revamped contract with ECW.

This negotiation laid the crucial groundwork for ECW's audacious invasion of WWE later that same year. As recounted by RVD, he was admittedly disillusioned when he was overlooked by ECW's founder, Paul Heyman, for Barely Legal, ECW's debut pay-per-view event.

Disheartened and on the brink of exiting the promotion, an unexpected offer from WCW's Eric Bischoff during a show in Savannah, Georgia, swiftly altered the trajectory of RVD's career. This proposal was promptly leaked online, leading to a hastily arranged meeting between RVD and Heyman.

RVD's Decision to Stay

RVD fondly recalls that meeting. "Paul asked, 'What can I do to make you want to stay?' That's a great negotiation opener, especially since I was reluctant to leave. I was deeply connected with ECW's style and appreciated the impact I could make there, not just within ECW but throughout the entire wrestling industry," he said.

"I was more inclined to stay and be the star of the show rather than just another piece of WCW's machinery." That pivotal meeting ended in a new contract for RVD, complete with guaranteed pay and favored nations. Heyman went further, promising RVD exposure on WWE's programming, a pledge that initially left RVD skeptical due to his lack of knowledge about Heyman's ties with WWE.

"I was unaware of Paul's relationship with WWE, so his ability to 'sell me' to them was a revelation," RVD confessed. This strategic move was a triumph for RVD and ECW alike. RVD won three of his four televised WWE matches, drawing the attention of WWE's Vince McMahon.

Unbeknownst to McMahon, this was part of Heyman's grand scheme to lure RVD back to ECW while gaining national exposure. This successful strategy resulted in RVD remaining with ECW until its dissolution in 2001.

Rob Van Dam WCW