topcenter

WRESTLING COLUMNS

Rob Van Dam: One Of A Kind
July 15, 2005 by Jake Raynor


This is Jake Raynor, the twelve year old wonder from England, and I wrote the article Brandon Silvestry aka Low Ki, but this time I am writing about the amazing, athletic, unique ROB VAN DAM!!!

This extremely long, detailed article goes through the whole of Rob Szatkowski from his birthday to his rumoured match at Great American Bash 2005.

Rob Szatkowski was born on the 18th December 1970 in Battle Creek, Michigan. Rob Van Dam was eager to become a wrestler and was trained by The Original Sheik in Lansing, Michigan. During his training with The Sheik, Rob was welcomed as a part of the family and would eat meals with The Sheik and his (Sheiks) family. The Sheik gave Szatkowski advice that would result in one of the biggest success stories in professional wrestling to this day.

Before he became a talented wrestler, Rob was an extremely talented kick boxer. Rob Van Dam has an incredible weightlifting record of doing the splits between two benches whilst lifting a 166 pound dumbbell. In 1990 Rob was entered into a Kalamazoo Heavyweight Toughman contest.

He wrestled his first official wrestling match in Toledo, Ohio where he defeated Dango Nguyen who was also a fellow Sheik trainee and a former best friend of Rob. Rob then travelled the independent circuit. Szatkowski's first big break through came when he replaced the now deceased Chris Candido and became a regular member of the USWA roster. Rob had his first USWA match against The Sheik's nephew Sabu. Little did they know in a few years Sabu and Rob Van Dam would become an unstoppable heel tag team in ECW.

Rob then moved onto SAPW where he feuded Rikki Nelson over the SAPW Lightheavyweight Championship, Rob, unfortunately didn't capture that championship but did capture one half of the SAPW tag titles. Rob then moved onto Florida and was given the name Rob Van Dam by promoter Ron Slinker. He would later capture the IWF Television Championship defending it against numerous opponents such as Damien Stone aka Little Guido aka Nunzio and became an instant hit.

RVD then moved on to bigger things and went to WCW in late 1992 under the name Robbie V which at first was quite successful capturing pinfall wins over Scotty Flamingo aka Raven and Shanghai Pierce aka Mideon, Robbie V's WCW career eventually ended in 1993 after booking changes which ruled an incredibly STUPID no top rope rule which of course is one of Robbie's favourite techniques.

Rob Van Dam's name changed back to Rob Van Dam and soon after he left WCW started his first tour of Japan and began working for Shohei Giant Baba, promoter of AJPW, where RVD was able to adapt the Japanese grappling style very quickly. RVD also had the rare but helpful opportunity of teaming up with ring veterans such as Stan Hansen and Bobby Duncum. He also took Lightheavyweight Champion Dan Kroffat aka Phil Lafton to a 20 minute time lime draw in a classic match.

RVD travelled back to the USA and went to Las Vegas, Nevada in the National Wrestling Council and made an exiting tag team with Bobby Bradley entitled Aerial Assault and performed an unbelievable double team finishing move called the Suicide Bomber and charged their way to the NWC Tag Team Titles. Eventually RVD and Bobby went in different directions and RVD would embark on a new start to his career at the start of 1996.

In late 1995, RVD was approached by Martial Arts movie director Keith Strandberg to take part in an upcoming project. When Van Dam auditioned for the part he shocked Keith by performing a death defying moonsault onto a table, he of course got the part and continued to amaze the movie production. Fight director, Tony Leung devoted an entire day of shooting to RVD's scenes in the film. Ultimately Rob was excellent in his role as The Mercenary in Superfights, an army like shoot fighter who was fierce competition for the main character. To follow up Superfights, Rob got a part in Bloodmoon as Dutch, a former Toughman contest winner who owned his own bar. RVD also had a part in Black Mask 2. RVD also starred in lots of other stuff, but back to wrestling.

On January 5th 1996 RVD made his debut in everyone's favourite promotion E-C-W! defeating Axl Rotten in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. RVD went onto feud with The Original Sheik's nephew Sabu. At first Sabu beat RVD, after that RVD beat Sabu in a respect match but told Sabu off after the match, the final match of that feud was Sabu defeating RVD in a Stretcher match where you win by beating your opponent up so much that they have to be taken out on a stretcher. After that RVD and Sabu respected eachother and formed that unstoppable tag team I was talking about earlier.

RVD and Sabu defeated Dan Kroffat and Doug Furnas in a series of great matches. After great teaming with Sabu, RVD was frustrated with his position in ECW and began considering going back to WCW but instead he went to the WWF temporarily he defeated Jeff Hardy on his WWF debut. Later in WWF he paired up with Jerry "The King" Lawler facing the Headbangers a few times and defeating Flash Funk in a singles match, RVD questioned his future in the WWF from there and decided to go back to ECW.

RVD was suspended for a month from ECW competition. When he came back, he defeated Tommy Dreamer at ECW's Born To Be Wired in 1997 in a mad match and again in another brutal confrontation at November To Remember 1997. In February of 1998 RVD and Sabu did their first tour of Europe and defeated Ulf Herman and Michael Kovac at an IWW show. RVD would then go on to defeat Bam Bam Bigelow for the ECW Television Championship on April 4th 1998 and on June 27th RVD & Sabu defeated Lance Storm & Chris Candido for the ECW Tag Team Championships but would lose them to the Dudley Boyz on October 24th 1998, but in December of 1998 RVD & Sabu would beat the Dudleyz to recapture the ECW Tag Team championships. But again in Spring of 1999 the titles would swap hands to wait for it... The Dudleyz!!!

RVD had been nicknamed Mr PPV because he had never lost on an ECW PPV. Although RVD and Sabu had lost the Tag Titles, RVD still had the ECW TV Championship and defeated 2 Cold Scorpio to retain the title and celebrate the fact he had been TV champ for 365 days. He also successfully defended against Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, Spike Dudley, Taz and RVD's former tag team partner Sabu. In January 29th 2000 in a TV Title match with Rhino RVD broke his leg but still managed to win the match in the original scripted way. RVD had been ECW Television Champion for 23 MONTHS and was stripped due to injury. RVD would call himself the whole F'N show!

RVD returned to ECW extremely quickly and lost to Jerry Lynn on PPV at Hardcore Heaven in July 2000 after Scotty Anton aka Scotty Riggs of WCW interfered. Thanks to Scotty RVD could no longer call himself Mr PPV, boo! Scotty you suck! RVD would defeat Jerry Lynn in the last ever ECW match!

Paul Heyman (owner of extinct ECW) formed an ECW reunion on a WWF show (storyline) with the following wrestlers: RVD, Tommy Dreamer, Lance Strom, Mike Awesome, Tazz, Raven, Rhyno, Justin Credible and The Dudley Boyz. Big storylines followed and made a PPV called Invasion on July 22nd 2001 where RVD pinned Jeff Hardy to win the WWF Hardcore Championship. On August 13th 2001 Jeff would regain it but in Summerslam of 2001 RVD would win it back AGAIN from Jeff Hardy but this time in a Ladder Match. RVD would defeat the WWF champions in non title matches "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and later on Kurt Angle getting himself in the main event of No Mercy 2001 for the WWF title where RVD frogsplashed Kurt Angle and Steve Austin pinned Angle for the win. RVD pinned the WCW Champion The Rock in a tag team encounter and beat him again in a Hardcore Title match for RVD to retain the Hardcore Title.

On WWF Vengeance which took place December 9th 2001 RVD loses the WWF Hardcore Championship to my favourite wrestler of all time The Undertaker. At Wrestlemania X-8 RVD defeated William Regal to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship and defended it for the first time against Christian. A draft lottery would take place with Vince McMahon picking wrestlers for Smackdown! and Ric Flair picking wrestlers for Raw and RVD was Flair's 4th pick. RVD would defeat Booker T to retain his title but Eddie Guerrero would show up to attack him. At Backlash Eddie defeated RVD to retain the Intercontinental Title and lost his rematch at Judgment Day.

The WWF changed to the WWE but RVD didn't change. During an episode of Raw RVD nearly won the WWE Championship from The Undertaker, RVD pinned Taker and was awarded the title but Ric Flair came out and said Takers foot was on the ropes and ordered the match to be restarted and RVD was pinned after the Last Ride. RVD defeated Eddie Guerrero in a great ladder match to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship again, which in my opinion was the best WWE match of 2002. RVD was very good in the last King Of The Ring RVD qualified for KOTR after pinning Eddie Guerrero, beat X-Pac in a Quarterfinal Match, defeats Chris Jericho in the Semi-finals but eventually lost to Brock Lesnar in the final. RVD then defeated Jeff Hardy to unify the Intercontinental and European Championships. RVD lost the WWE Intercontinental Title to Chris Benoit on July 29th 2002.

But at Summerslam which took place August 25th 2002 RVD beats Chris Jericho to once again win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. RVD would defeat his former ECW rival Tommy Dreamer in a Hardcore match to unify the Intercontinental and Hardcore Championships on August 26th 2002. RVD also pinned the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H in an exciting tag team encounter where RVD's partner was Ric Flair and Triple H's partner was Chris Jericho. RVD would lose the Intercontinental Championship to Chris Jericho but only when Triple H interfered. RVD takes place in a crazy Tables, Ladders & Chairs Tag Team Championship Match where RVD's partner was Jeff Hardy and they faced Christian & Chris Jericho, Bubba Ray Dudley & Spike Dudley and Kane which Kane won. RVD also pinned the legendary "Nature Boy" Ric Flair after the Five Star Frogsplash!

RVD formed a team with Kane which was very successful. Kane & RVD lost a Tag Team Championship match at Wrestlemania 19 against Chief Morley & Lance Storm with help from The Dudley Boyz, but the next night on Raw, Kane & RVD defeat The Dudley & Chief Morley and Lance Storm to win the WWE World Tag Team championships. They defended the titles against many including Triple H & Ric Flair, The Dudleyz and even the legendary Legion Of Doom! Sylvain Grenier beat RVD in a flag match on Raw earning a Tag Title shot at Bad Blood 2003 for Sylvain Grenier & Rene Dupree. At Bad Blood Sylvain & Rene beat RVD & Kane for the Tag Titles. Kane and RVD would split up and become bitter enemies when Kane was forced to unmask by Triple H. Kane v RVD on Raw one night would go to a no contest when Kane Tombstone Piledrivered Linda McMahon. At Summerslam 2003 Kane defeated RVD after a Tombstone Piledriver into the ring steps, ow!

Kane would try to brutally attack Shane McMahon until RVD made the save and Kane & RVD faced off in a cage match which Kane won after a Chokeslam from the top rope. RVD would go on to defeat Christian in a great Ladder Match to win the Intercontinental Championship AGAIN!!! Chris Jericho beat RVD for the IC Title but co GM Steve Austin ordered a rematch inside a Steel Cage which RVD won the title back on the same night he lost it.

At Armageddon 2003 which took place on December 14th 2003 Rob Van Dam lost the Intercontinental Championship for the last time to Randy Orton. RVD was in the 2004 Royal Rumble and made it to the final five before getting chucked over by Big Show. On Raw RVD & Booker T won the WWE World Tag Team Championships defeating Ric Flair & Batista. RVD & Booker T would successfully retain at Wrestlemania XX defeating La Resistance (Rene Dupree, Rob Conway & Sylvain Grenier), Mark Jindrak and Garrison Cade & The Dudleyz. The week after Wrestlemania XX Booker T & RVD lost the Tag Titles to the same people they beat for it Ric Flair & Batista on the week there was a draft lottery and RVD was transferred to Smackdown! Booker was later traded along with The Dudleyz for Triple H but the team of RVD & Booker T didn't go through to Smackdown!

RVD was teamed with Rey Mysterio and the high flying duo beat The Dudleyz at Judgment Day. RVD was given a United States Championship shot in a Fatal four Way elimination match at The Great American Bash it was John Cena (champ) v RVD v Booker T v Rene Dupree which Cena won and retained. RVD and Mysterio challenged Kenzo Suzuki & Rene Dupree for the WWE Tag Team Championships at No Mercy 2004 which took place October 3rd but Suzuki pinned Rey whilst pulling his tights which is illegal. RVD took place in a Classic Survivor Series elimination match Team Eddie Guerrero vs Team Kurt Angle, Team Eddie was RVD, Eddie Guerrero, John Cena & Big Show. Team Angle was Kurt Angle, Carlito Caribbean Cool, Mark Jindrak & Luther Reigns. Team Eddie were victorious.

At Armageddon Rey Mysterio & RVD were scheduled to take on Kenzo Suzuki & Rene Dupree for the Tag Team titles from a rematch of No Mercy. The night before Armageddon the four competitors brawled and GM Theodore Long set up a Tag Title match BEFORE Armageddon which RVD & Rey won and became the new WWE Tag Team Champions and retained the next Sunday at Armageddon. Mere weeks before the Royal Rumble 2005 RVD suffered a knee injury at a house show and Rey and an injured RVD took part in a fatal four way elimination tag match which was Luther Reigns & Mark Jindrak v Booker T & Eddie Guerrero v The Basham Brothers v RVD & Rey Mysterio. Jindrak & Reigns & Booker & Eddie were eliminated but a Basham hit RVD in the already injured knee and Rey was pinned by the other Basham and the duo lost the titles. RVD is set to recover soon and is meant to either commentate or wrestle if he is fit enough at the ECW One Night Stand PPV on June 12th. Also a rumoured match at Great American Bash or Summerslam 2005 depending if RVD is fit enough is RVD and Rey Mysterio reuniting against Eddie Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero, whether it goes ahead is yet to be seen.

If you can read this you've just read the whole F'N article!

by Jake Raynor ..


Tyler P. wrote:
Good article with one flaw . At Summer Slam 2002 RVD faced Chris "Benoit" while Jericho faced Ric Flair
wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

If you have any comments, reactions, rebuttles or thoughts on this column, feel free to send them to the email below,
If your email is intelligently written, they will be posted underneath this messege..
We at OnlineWorldofWrestling want to promote all points of view, and that includes YOURS.




© 2007, Black Pants, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective holders.

[ CHAT ROOM | FLASH | SEARCH | FORUMS | DOWNLOADS | TAPES | WRESTLINKS | GUESTBOOK | THANK YOU | CONTACT ]