Charismatic, talented, agile, expert in martial arts and with a five-star finisher . That was Rob Van Dam. Without much success in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and made a name for himself in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) before effectively becoming a star in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

    Born on December 18, 1970 in Battle Creek, in the US state of Michigan, but with Belgian and Polish ancestry, Robert Alexander Szatkowski was trained by The Sheik and officially debuted in pro wrestling in 1990, having fought that year in several Michigan state prosecutors.

    Two years later, Florida promotion owner Ron Slinker, possibly due to his martial arts background and similarities to actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, gave Szatkowski the ring name Rob Van Dam. Also in 1992, he debuted in the WWE ring, having used the name Matt Burn to face The Mountie; and signed with WCW, where Bill Watts changed his ring name to Robbie V.

    After five years of great success in ECW, between 1996 and 2001, he joined the so-called World Wrestling Federation (WWF) to participate in the storyline The Invasion, which put WWF fighters face to face with a mix of WCW and of ECW (The Alliance), with a view to absolute control of the three companies. The WWF, which had actually bought the two rivals, got the upper hand.

    As this storyline unfolded, Van Dam became highly popular, beginning to build a resume that included the WWE Championship (one reign), (WWE) ECW World Championship (one), European Championship (one), Hardcore Championship (four) and Intercontinental Championship (six), plus three tag team titles (alongside Rey Mysterio , Kane, and Booker T). In 2006 he also won the second Money in the Bank Ladder match in history, at WrestleMania 22, which allowed months later to become WWE and ECW champion. All this in his first spell at the promoter, between 2001 and 2007. When he returned, in 2013 and 2014, he wasn’t so happy.

    He was later inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 2021. It is therefore worth remembering the ten best matches of Rob Van Dam in WWE, in chronological order.

    Invasion (2001): WWF Hardcore Championship:
    Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Rob Van Dam

    Hardcore Champion since beating Mike Awesome on SmackDown! on July 12, 2001, Jeff Hardy was teaming up with his brother Matt in a match against the Dudley Boyz four days later, on Raw , when Rob Van Dam interfered and helped the Dudley Boyz achieve victory. After the feud, Jeff Hardy attacked RVD, but the Dudley Boyz helped his friend and allowed RVD to apply a Five-Star Frog Splash on Jeff.

    On the July 19 episode of SmackDown! , Rob Van Dam and Billy Kidman beat Jeff Hardy and X-Pac in a tag team match, with RVD laying down on Hardy after a Five-Star Frog Splash .
    All of this led to Hardy and RVD being scheduled for the Hardcore Championship at the InVasion pay-per-view .

    SummerSlam 2001
    Ladder match for the WWF Hardcore Championship:
    Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Rob Van Dam

    At InVasion, Rob Van Dam won the Hardcore Championship after putting the belt on top of Jeff Hardy and executing the Five Star Frog Splash and the consequent settlement.
    In the weeks that followed, RVD and Hardy faced each other in tag team matches.
    On the August 13 episode of Raw , Van Dam was defending the title against Kurt Angle when Jeff Hardy interfered and got a pinfall over RVD, thus regaining the Hardcore Championship.

    This led to a ladder match between the two being scheduled for SummerSlam .

    Unforgiven 2001: WWF Hardcore Championship:
    Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Chris Jericho

    After SummerSlam , Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho faced each other three times in tag team matches, with different partners, at a time when the WWF and The Alliance (WCW and ECW) continued an intense rivalry, which led to the tagging of a match between the two for the title of RVD at Unforgiven.

    No Mercy 2001: WWF Championship :
    Stone Cold Steve Austin (c) vs. Kurt Angle vs. Rob Van Dam

    At Unforgiven, Kurt Angle defeated Steve Austin to capture the WWF Championship .
    On the October 4 episode of SmackDown! , Rob Van Dam defeated Angle to give Austin the opportunity to challenge for the title, which happened four days later on Raw , where Stone Cold regained the WWF Championship with the help of Commissioner William Regal, who thus betrayed Angle and joined to The Alliance.

    On SmackDown! on October 11, RVD lost a match to Chris Jericho due to interference from Steve Austin , which led to RVD confronting Stone Cold .

    However, WWF CEO Linda McMahon removed William Regal as commissioner, and it was later revealed that the Briton’s successor would be Mick Foley , who scheduled a triple threat match between champion Steve Austin , Rob Van Dam and Kurt Angle to o No Mercy, with the WWF Championship on the line.

    Monday Night Raw (May 27, 2002)
    Ladder match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship :
    Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Rob Van Dam

    Eddie Guerrero returned to the then-still-named WWF on the April 1, 2002 episode of Raw , attacking Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam.

    At Backlash , the Latino Heat beat RVD after a Neckbreaker on top of the belt and a Frog Splash to capture the WWE Intercontinental Championship .

    In the weeks that followed, Eddie retained the title at both Insurrextion and Judgment Day. However, the two faced off one last time for the WWE Intercontinental Championship on the May 27 episode of Raw , this time in a ladder match .

    King Of The Ring 2002
    Semi-Final: Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho

    Rob Van Dam reached the semifinals of the King of the Ring tournament after eliminating Eddie Guerrero and X-Pac on episodes of Monday Night Raw , while Chris Jericho reached that stage by benefiting from Edge ‘s first-round no-show and a victory over The Big Valbowski in the quarterfinals.

    As a curiosity, the other semifinal pitted Brock Lesnar against Test.

    Monday Night Raw (September 29, 2003)
    Ladder match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship :
    Christian (c) vs. Rob Van Dam

    Champion since August 10, 2003, when he won the intercontinental title from Booker T at a house show (yes, you read that right!), Christian knew he was going to defend the belt against Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho in a triple threat match at Unforgiven when a duel between RVD and Y2J to determine the new top contender, on the October 15 episode of Raw , ended in a double disqualification.

    At the pay-per-view , Christian achieved victory by landing on Van Dam, who bumped into the belt when he wanted to apply a Five-Star Frog Splash to the champion.
    On Raw the following night, Christian defended the title against RVD, but used the belt to disqualify himself and, after the match, went to get a ladder. However, RVD hit him with a Five-Star Frog Splash from the top of the ladder. That same night, co-General Manager Steve Austin announced that, the following week, Christian would have to defend the Intercontinental Championship against Rob Van Dam in a ladder match .

    Backlash 2006 – WWE Intercontinental Championship Vs Money in the Bank contract:
    Shelton Benjamin (IC Champion) vs. Rob Van Dam (MITB holder)

    At WrestleMania 22, Rob Van Dam won the Money in the Bank Ladder match, in which Bobby Lashley, Finlay, Matt Hardy, Ric Flair and Shelton Benjamin also competed.
    On the following episodes of Monday Night Raw , Shelton, who was the Intercontinental Champion, challenged RVD to put his Money in the Bank contract on the line in a match. However, RVD fought back, asking Shelton for a match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship .

    On the April 17 episode of Raw , RVD chose a mystery opponent for Shelton and Shelton did the same for RVD, with the stipulation that whoever lost would have to put their prize on the line at Backlash . Well, Shelton was defeated by the returning Charlie Haas, while RVD lost a match to all five Spirit Squad members. As such, both the Intercontinental Title and the Money in the Bank contract would be on the line at Backlash .

    ECW on Sci-Fi (September 26, 2006)
    Extreme Rules match: Rob Van Dam vs. Hardcore Holly

    On the August 22 episode of ECW, General Manager Paul Heyman suggested Hardcore Holly to do something impactful. And Hardcore Holly followed suit, having attacked Rob Van Dam after an RVD victory over Danny Doring.

    A week later, Hardcore Holly beat RVD by disqualification – Holly took a chair to the ring, but it ended up being RVD using it, which dictated the defeat. On the same night, RVD interfered in favor of Sabu and Holly in favor of Paul Heyman in a match between Heyman and Sabu, which was eventually won by the General Manager.

    On the September 12 episode, it was Rob Van Dam’s turn to defeat Hardcore Holly by disqualification, as he was attacked by Stevie Richards, Mike Knox and Test when preparing to achieve victory. The following week, King Booker beat RVD in an Extreme Rules match after interference from Hardcore Holly.

    ECW on Sci-Fi (October 3, 2006)
    Extreme Rules match: Rob Van Dam vs. Test

    A week after the brutal match between Rob Van Dam and Hardcore Holly, which resulted in RVD winning and a deep cut on Hardcore Holly’s back, Holly demanded a rematch, but the General Manager said he would not allow the match due to his physical condition. from Holly. Hardcore Holly insisted and grabbed and threatened Heyman, but Test attacked Holly from behind with a chair.

    And it turned out to be Test, who in previous weeks had lined up with some newcomers to ECW (like Mike Knox, Big Show and Matt Striker) against several ECW Originals (Rob Van Dam, Sabu and The Sandman), to be announced as RVD’s opponent in yet another Extreme Rules match.