For a World Heavyweight challenger at the next pay-per-view, Rob Van Dam was booked on Monday Night Raw very strangely indeed.
First, he was destroyed so badly in a match with Randy Orton that it was akin to an angle scripted to bury someone on the way out of the promotion.
Then, his opponent at Battleground, Alberto Del Rio, followed up by locking him in his arm bar finisher during the commercial break.
Finally, RVD came out injured for the ridiculous eleven babyfaces on three heels elimination handicap match main event and was quickly and cleanly pinned by Dean Ambrose with the headlock DDT.
You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out that the honeymoon period is already over between WWE and the hard to handle Rob Van Dam and that company management was taking it out on him with their unfavourable booking.
Indeed, according to Dave Meltzer in his latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the onscreen burial was retaliation for RVD dragging his feet on signing a contract extension, as his current deal is up at the end of this month:
"As far as the story behind the burying of RVD on Raw on 9/23, that was the internal reaction to him because he hadn’t signed a new contract yet, or at least hadn’t as of press time because it’s not a Ken Anderson, Mickie James thing where the odds are he’s done. At least right now.... RVD’s contract is up on 10/1 but he is scheduled to work another week."
We'll see Cagesiders by how he's treated on Raw tomorrow night whether they have kissed and made up, or WWE's hardball tactics have backfired and RVD is content to take his ball and go home again.