Congratulations go out to Rob Van Dam, who was officially announced for the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame today. This was rumored for a few weeks now, and today we got that confirmation.
Rob Van Dam talked to Fox Sports, who broke the news today.
“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.”
The former WWE and ECW Champion went on to talk about how ECW was so important for him as well as the role that ECW’s boss Paul Heyman played in his career.
“I saw ECW and I was so drawn to the car crash appeal of it. Everything I was seeing, it was almost like, ‘Wait. How is that pro wrestling if what I’ve been doing is pro wrestling?‘ Because I was wrestling in Georgia, the Carolinas, which was such a different style back then.”
“Paul [Heyman] had the foresight to see this whole counter-culture revolutionary style. He was able to help us discover in ourselves our strengths. He was able to help us stay away from our weaknesses.”
“Paul is a very, very important man in our industry for bringing it forward and moving it to the aggressive position that it went too. Now it’s even somewhere different, but it’s still a byproduct of ECW. The whole adding more adult themed angles and storylines, stuff that’s cool even if you’re not a kid, all of that. I put that all on Paul.”
RVD also spoke about one of the biggest nights of his career at ECW’s (WWE produced) One Night Stand 2006 event when he won the WWE Title for the first time.
“That was my crowning moment, obviously, and not just because I had reached the number one spot with the WWE Championship, there was so much more to it than that. Because that moment, that night, all of it, was me sticking to my guns.”
“I went to Vince McMahon with the idea of bringing ECW back for a PPV. Because I said, ‘You’ve got so many guys on your roster right now that are former ECW alumni and we all loved the ECW style. We could go one night, ECW style, tribute to ECW. That would be so awesome.’ Well that became One Night Stand, which became One Night Stand two, so knowing that, I was fighting for what I believed in.”
“Everyone in that crowd at that live show in Manhattan at the Ball Center were so 100% behind me, my beliefs, everything that I stood for. Winning that night really felt like a victory, not just for me, but for all the hardcore fans. It really did. It felt like everyone that had been supportive back in the day of ECW, that continued to support the ECW alumni, everyone that really preferred and missed that style, they were all rewarded that night.”
Here’s what WWE wrote on their website about RVD’s Hall of Fame induction this year.
The WWE Hall of Fame is about to get a one-of-a-kind inductee with the addition of Rob Van Dam.
RVD is the latest inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. He’ll take his place in sports-entertainment history during the 2021 Induction Ceremony, streaming Tuesday, April 6 on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.
One of the most innovative grapplers to ever step foot in the squared circle, Van Dam first broke out in Extreme Championship Wrestling in the mid-1990s. His cool, calm, and laid-back demeanor was the complete opposite of the competitor he became once the bell rang. Employing a mix of devastating martial arts kicks and breathtaking aerial attacks, RVD quickly became one of ECW’s most popular stars and one of its most decorated champions. After a brief stint in WWE, Van Dam captured the ECW World Television Championship and held onto it for an astonishing 699 days. RVD was also a two-time ECW Tag Team Champion alongside notorious risk-taker Sabu.
When ECW closed in 2001, Van Dam joined his fellow ECW alumni in invading WWE and quickly endeared himself to the WWE Universe and brought the fight to Superstars like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Kurt Angle. RVD won the Intercontinental Championship from William Regal at his first WrestleMania, then went on to unify the championship with the European and Hardcore Titles. In addition to his prowess as a singles competitor, Van Dam was also a successful tag team wrestler, capturing titles in beloved pairings with Kane, Booker T and Rey Mysterio.
But Van Dam’s biggest success as a WWE Superstar would come in 2006. That year, he won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania 22, earning himself a world championship opportunity at any point in the next year. Van Dam opted to cash in his contract on his terms, challenging WWE Champion John Cena for the title on his home turf, at ECW One Night Stand. In front of a raucous New York City crowd, Van Dam emerged from a wild brawl as the new WWE Champion. As ECW returned that summer, Van Dam also earned another title that had eluded him, as he was named the first ECW Champion of the reborn brand.
Following a six-year hiatus, RVD returned to WWE in 2013 to square off with a new generation of Superstars, including Seth Rollins, Cesaro, Sheamus and Roman Reigns. Now, in 2021, he returns to take his rightful place among sports-entertainment’s greatest stars.
Don’t miss Rob Van Dam join the WWE Hall of Fame during the 2021 Induction Ceremony, streaming Tuesday, April 6 on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else. The ceremony will feature the Class of 2020, featuring The nWo, The Bella Twins, JBL, British Bulldog and Jushin “Thunder’ Liger, as well as the Class of 2021, which includes RVD, Kane, The Great Khali, Molly Holly and Eric Bischoff.
TJR Thoughts: I think RVD is a great call for the Hall of Fame. He was arguably the biggest star in ECW in the late 1990s, then he transitioned well to WWE and was one of their top guys for many years and also one of the most popular guys as well. RVD was a natural babyface with an exciting style. He was just fun to watch and carried himself like a star even though he was probably too laid back for some people. Plus, who can forget the iconic “R…V…D” thumb points during his introduction. That was always great to see.