It’s been the worst kept secret in pro wrestling for more than a week, especially after ECW impresario Paul Heyman went into business for himself and tweeted out his impression of The Whole F’n Show last Friday.
Today (Mar. 29), WWE and Rob Van Dam made it official in an interview with Ryan Satin of WWE partner FOX Sports. RVD if in the WWE HOF...
“It’s a pretty awesome feeling. Just like you probably would imagine, it feels like I’m being acknowledged and appreciated for my body of work. It feels very good. I’m honored. [Fans have] been calling me future Hall of Famer for years and I always just shrug and say, ‘All right, man. As long as you think so.’ But, glad to be among the chosen few this year.
“I’m glad for me and for all the fans. I feel like them being behind me and wanting to see this happen is a win for them as well.”
A Michigan native who grew up a wrestling fan, Van Dam (real name Robert Szatkowski) started in the territories in the early 1990s. After brief stints in Japan and WCW, he joined Heyman’s Extreme Championship Wrestling in 1996 and the rest is history. A star-making rivalry & partnership with Sabu included involvement in ECW’s “invasion” of Raw, and led to Jerry Lawler gaving RVD the nickname “Mr. Monday Night”, which stuck with him in different forms throughout his career.
RVD won the tag titles with Sabu twice in ECW, and held the company’s Television championship for almost two years. He never lost the TV title; in 2000 he was forced to vacate it due to injury.
After ECW shutdown, Van Dam came to WWE as part of the 2001 WCW Invasion angle, joining the anti-WWE Alliance. He stuck around for six years, winning numerous championships - including the main WWE title, from John Cena at an unforgettable ECW One Night Stand PPV in 2006. A drug possession arrest derailed his push, and he left the company when his contract expired the following year.
That led to a few years on the independents, then RVD signed with TNA in 2010. During three years there, Van Dam won their World and X-Division titles before returning to WWE for a year. Since 2015, he’s alternated between the indies, Impact, and film work.
Now, he’s heading into Vince McMahon’s honor club. RVD will be inducted in a Ceremony airing on Peacock next Tuesday (April 6) along with the joing 2020 - 2021 class of The nWo, John Bradshaw Layfield, The British Bulldog, Jushin “Thunder” Liger, The Bella Twins, Molly Holly, Eric Bischoff, The Great Khali and Kane.