Several sources are confirming that Rob Van Dam has turned down his latest contract offer to remain with World Wrestling Entertainment. As of now, his deal is set to expire over the summer (I believe but can not confirm late July) but until the deal has expired, there's always a chance that the two sides will come to terms. As of right now, I've heard that creative has been instructed to focus on CM Punk and Elijah Burke as the major players for the ECW brand so that if Van Dam does depart, it's not as strong of a blow to the ECW storylines.
Van Dam has been with WWE since July 2001 when he was brought in as part of the ECW end of the ill-fated Alliance contingent during the Invasion storyline. Van Dam has held just about every major WWE championship belt, although he was never pushed as a top performer for any extended period of time despite a large contingent of fan support, especially early in his tenure.
Should he leave the company, Van Dam's true legacy would be that he was the primary motivating factor in convincing Vince McMahon to revive Extreme Championship Wrestling for the 2005 ECW One Night Stand PPV event, which ironically, Van Dam missed due to a knee injury, although he did give the best promo of his career during the show.
When WWE decided to re-launch ECW as a third brand for the company in June 2006, Van Dam captured the WWE championship from John Cena and was then awarded the resurrected ECW World championship. The original plan was for Van Dam to have a long run with the ECW belt while dropping the WWE title, but those plans were tossed aside when he and Sabu were pulled over for speeding and later charged with possession of a controlled substance. Van Dam quickly dropped both belts and was suspended by the company. Upon his return, he remained a top-tier ECW player but the brand was no longer built around him.
Prior to his WWE run, Van Dam worked for the original Extreme Championship Wrestling from January 1996 through the end of the company's existence, although there were times towards the end of ECW that he took extended breaks from wrestling when the company wasn't able to pay him to perform. During his ECW run, he gradually graduated from undercard heel feuding with Sabu to the top babyface attraction of the latter years of the company. Van Dam also worked briefly for WCW under the moniker "Robby V" when Bills Watts was overseeing that company for Turner Broadcasting and toured All Japan Pro Wrestling.
Considered to be an extremely popular performer among die hard fans, Van Dam would be highly prized on the independent scene should he leave the company, particularly since he's had usage of the Rob Van Dam ring name from 1992 on and likely wouldn't be prevented from using it by World Wrestling Entertainment, as the former Dudley Boys, Team 3D have.
- Mike Johnson, pwinsider.com
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Originally posted by Hokienautic
Originally posted by CRZ
Originally posted by RYDER FAKINSeveral sources are confirming that Rob Van Dam has turned down his latest contract offer to remain with World Wrestling Entertainment.
OH NO! SURELY THEY'LL NEVER TALK AGAIN IN THE NEXT 90 DAYS, MIKE JOHNSON OF PWINSIDER.COM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Your comment would be much more amusing if the next line of the story didn't actually state that there was still time to talk.
Except the part he quoted is the part all the NEWZ~! sites will latch onto. Gotta get the hits, ya know.
Originally posted by RYDER FAKINparticularly since he's had usage of the Rob Van Dam ring name from 1992 on and likely wouldn't be prevented from using it by World Wrestling Entertainment, as the former Dudley Boys, Team 3D have.
Originally posted by Mike JohnsonVan Dam would be highly prized on the independent scene should he leave the company, particularly since he's had usage of the Rob Van Dam ring name from 1992 on and likely wouldn't be prevented from using it by World Wrestling Entertainment, as the former Dudley Boys, Team 3D have.
I'm not sure if I see the difference. The Dudley Boyz name dates to before they came to the WWE, yet WWE still owns it. Rob Van Dam is not his real name, and WWE owns several tradmarks for it. Is it because the Rob Van Dam name dates to before his ECW time as well (he joined ECW in 1996)?
Speculating on name ownership is futile. Ultimately, we don't know the particulars. You would think that Van Dam is smart enough to protect his wrestling name, but you also would think that he wouldn't toke up on the road when he's a double world champion, so who knows.
But I don't have Jerry McDeevit nor RVD's weed dealer on the line, so I can't speculate.
This whole thing is a total non-story. Three months is a long, long time with contract negotiations. ESPN won't be leading with a story if Jamarcus Russell turns down the Raiders first contract offer, y'know.
Van Dam historically bitches and moans, but tends to go where the money is. At 36 and with his style, I don't see him keen on having a grand indy world tour. Hopefully he's saved his money well. TNA is, of course, an option because he lives in Florida, but for a guy that likes to wrestle "his style" of matches, I don't see him running towards 3 minute Impact matches. I could see him pulling a Jericho and just taking time off before taking offers, but I wouldn't automatically assume he's going to TNA and rushing into the nostalgia feud with Lynn.
Originally posted by flairforthegold13 I could see him pulling a Jericho and just taking time off before taking offers, but I wouldn't automatically assume he's going to TNA and rushing into the nostalgia feud with Lynn.
Keller's audio update, from I think a couple months ago did say that the biggest issue with Van Dam was definitely time off, so your impression is right. WWE is apparently going after him pretty hard and do consider him to be a star and are coming with offers that indicate such.
WWE's hideous obsession with taking people's names is really overdone. You don't have movie studios saying that if Tom Cruise (not his real name) ever does a movie with, say, Universal, he can only be Tom Cruise for them for the rest of time.
Originally posted by flairforthegold13ESPN won't be leading with a story if Jamarcus Russell turns down the Raiders first contract offer, y'know.
The rest of your point is solid, but I disagree with THAT one. I've read countless stories on the .com about Carlos Zambrano's contract in recent history, as well as the status of (insert free-agent to be).
Reporters like stories, and as such will report anything they deem story material. I'm sure we all remember the rumors for months on end last year about Benoit prepping to leave to jump to TNA, before he up and re-signed a new deal.
Seeing them recently at a house show, I'd go with Armando, but that was before Cena/Trips/HBK all took a loss to Umaga. But at the house show, the crowd was almost word for word with Armando's introduction.