Rob Van Dam - One of a Kind

Reviewed by Barry Graham on February 13, 2005.

The Good: Five-plus hours of Rob Van Dam's best matches in ECW, WWE and, even, two of his first bouts in WCW. Highlights of his work in the ring include ECW World Television Title battles against Ball Mahoney, Bam Bam Bigelow and Jerry Lynn and a tremendous tag-team match up pitting Van Dam and Sabu against then ECW Tag-Team champs The Eliminators in 1997. The ladder match against Christian in 2003 for the WWE Intercontinental Title was solid as well as the 2002 King of the Ring semifinal against Chris Jericho. In all 16 complete matches on the two-disc set with half of them taking place in ECW.

The Bad: Very little back-story about Rob Van Dam's rise to stardom as a wrestler. While he adds a little insight to his matches on the two-disc set, you never know why and how he became a wrestler (trials and tribulations). His early WCW matches against Pat Rose and then Scotty Flamingo (AKA Raven) in 1993 weren't really interesting to watch, although seeing Raven in bright trunks with the California cool angle was quite different. I would have liked to have heard from guys like Jericho, Christian, and Tazz and their take on Van Dam's career (what skills he brought to ECW, WWE, what it was like to work with him).
The Rest: Just about an hour of promos and behind the scenes stuff. Some of it is good some could have been left out. The promos are as good as you can get from Van Dam, who has never been a great microphone guy to begin with. The "Van Dam Lift" segment was interesting as was the fantasy match with him against Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka. The segment on Van Dam's 5 Star Frog Splash versus Eddie Guerrero's Frog Splash was okay as was the Air Brush Artist piece. "Outside the Ropes" with the Jonathan Coachman was fairly decent and a bit amusing.

Recap: When looking forward to these kind of "Best Of" DVD sets, you have to take the subject into consideration. When you have Chris Benoit or Ric Flair DVD sets, you get much more than what they did inside the squared circle. You have interviews and a lot of back-story. With Rob Van Dam, that's not necessarily the case. Despite lacking a great deal of history and personal insight into the Battle Creek, Michigan native's rise to stardom, Van Dam's "One of Kind" DVD set should be a treat for any fan of the WWE superstar. It features 14 top matches from his days in ECW and WWE as well as two of his early bouts in WCW while he was known as "Robbie V." There are no 5-star bouts in the set but Van Dam delivers the goods in several memorable singles matches against ECW foes Balls Mahoney, Lance Storm, Tommy Dreamer, Jerry Lynn and Sabu. There are also a couple of good bouts with WWE guys like Chris Jericho, Christian and Jeff Hardy thrown in as well. While memorable matches against Tazz, Guerrero and Chris Benoit didn't make it in this collection, there are still plenty of Van Daminators, a couple of Van Terminators and an abundance of 5-star Frog Splashes to satisfy any fan of "The Whole F'n Show."

My favorite matches on the set are as follows:

RVD and Sabu vs. The Eliminators (1997)- Top-notch action from all four guys that included a couple of tables, a ladder, and Total Elimination (twice). A definite classic from RVD and ECW.

RVD vs. Bam Bam Bigelow for the ECW Television Title (1998)- A solid bout that saw the beginning of one of the longest title reigns in wrestling history. Van Dam's dives into front row of the crowd in this match were phenomenal.

RVD vs. Jerry Lynn (1999) - Jerry Lynn matched RVD move for move for most of this contest. There was mat wrestling, high-flying aerial action and hardcore stuff thrown in there. Just another in a series of great matches between these two.

RVD vs. Balls Mahoney (1999)- Yes, Balls Mahoney could wrestle. In a match featuring chairs and brawling, RVD and Mahoney had a very good wrestling encounter. RVD took a physical beating in this match. I still believe that RVD's best matches are against bigger guys and mat wrestlers that can slow down the pace.

RVD vs. Christian (2003)- For a 15-minute ladder match, this one had it all. Both guys took plenty of punishment in this one and there was some stuff that I had never seen before. Energy from the crowd in Chicago for this match was tremendous.

Reviewed by Barry Graham on February 13, 2005.

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