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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Rob Van Dam = Superstar
How to tell when you have a future in the WWF
By Brad Dykens





On the July 9th edition of WWF RAW IS WAR, from Atlanta GA, Rob Van Dam was the first ECW wrestler to jump the rail and make ECW's presense truely felt in the WWF. The following moments after RVD hitting the ring changed the WWF forever, and began the rollercoaster ride for one of the quickest rises to SUCCESS the WWF has ever seen. Three seconds after jumping that rail, Rob Van Dam, was "OVER".

Soon after, RVD began using his trademark thumb pump saying his name.. Rob.. Van.... Dam.. which ignites the crowd every time he, or anyone else, does it. It also intimates his opponents, no wrestler is ammune to RVDs thumb pump, not even Stone Cold himself, who is most pressured by RVDs presence.

Rob Van Dam first targeted Jeff Hardy, who at the time, was the WWF Hardcore Champion. RVDs ECW background made him believe that he was the only one who deserved to be called "Hardcore" in the WWF. During the most important WWF Pay Perview in Federation history, Invasion 2001, RVD did his part by beating Jeff Hardy for the Hardcore Title in a match that was the "best of the night" by many people. RVD has held that title ever since, with the exception of a 3 day reign by Jeff Hardy, and a 10 second reign by Kurt Angle, both times, RVD recaptured the title.

Since then, RVD has maintained a consistent improvement in skill and ability, wrestling all of the top performers including The Rock, Chris Jericho, Steve Austin, & Kurt Angle, picking up wins on EACH of those major superstars, amung others.

There's a few odd things about RVD, however. One is that he is a heel, but the fans absolutly LOVE him, the second is that he's sloppy in the ring, and has developed a reputation for making his opponents bleed by mistake. This has undoubtedly created some heat backstage for the New Guy. But RVD remains at the top of the storylines and his push has not let up one bit.

So how can I tell that RVD has great future in the WWF? First, it was Stephanie, writing herself into a storyline with RVD, hiring RVD to take out Chris Jericho, then showing admiration for him. Then Shane surrounds himself with RVD in several different angles. And now, Vince McMahon makes his long awaited return to the WWF along side, you guessed it, Rob Van Dam.

We're talking about three characters in the WWF who really aren't that "over" with the fans anymore.. Vince, Shane & Stephanie really haven't affected any of the angle's on their own, but their greedy and egotistical personalities crave attention, and the only way they can get it is by surrounding themselves with the wrestler(s) who are "over" with the crowd. They write the storylines, so that makes it easy, doesn't it? The McMahons can no longer get over on their own, they need the rub from a real superstar, and RVD equals Superstar..

Brad Dykens



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