Rob Van Dam: ECW Roots & Hardcore Title Win Aided WWE Transition

Van Dam reminisces about his transformative WWE journey.

by Atia Mukhtar
Rob Van Dam: ECW Roots & Hardcore Title Win Aided WWE Transition
© WWE/YouTube

WWE Hall of Famer, Rob Van Dam, shed light on his experience and memories of the WWE Hardcore Championship during his recent episode of the "1 of a Kind" podcast. With a much-anticipated appearance slated for "AEW Collision" tonight, the wrestling legend took a moment to stroll down memory lane.

RVD, a celebrated figure in the wrestling sphere, secured the WWE Hardcore Championship not once but four times during his stint in the Stamford-based wrestling giant between 2001 and 2002. Reflecting on his journey, Van Dam revealed, "Defending the Hardcore Championship remains a cherished memory.

It was a significant part of my transition phase into WWE. Representing the hardcore category, I found an avenue to stay true to my style, albeit within the confines of WWE's guidelines."

RVD Elevates Championship

Taking pride in elevating the championship's stature, RVD stated, "Upon my arrival, I felt the title was somewhat trivialized.

Earlier versions of hardcore matches resembled comedic stints, like a brawl at a hotdog stand. But, with time, I worked towards bringing gravity to the title. Soon, it was not uncommon to find me headlining live events. It reached a point where the title was seen as superfluous." A significant chapter in Van Dam's journey was his clash with Tommy Dreamer on "WWE Raw" in August 2002.

Emerging triumphant, he merged the WWE Hardcore Championship with the WWE Intercontinental Championship. This move signified the elevation of both the titles and the performers holding them. Rob Van Dam's transition to WWE in 2001 was pivotal.

With WCW and ECW shutting their operations, the star found a new platform to showcase his prowess on national television. His shift became even more memorable as he was chosen to symbolize ECW during the much-talked-about Invasion storyline.

This narrative had ECW and WCW teaming up in a battle against WWE. Recounting this phase, RVD stated, "It felt like an immediate validation to represent ECW. The whole experience was exhilarating and facilitated a seamless integration into the WWE universe." It's evident that Rob Van Dam's journey in WWE was impactful, both for him and the brand, making wrestling enthusiasts eagerly await his appearance on "AEW Collision."

Rob Van Dam