After coming to prominence for his matches in Extreme Championship Wrestling in the second half of the 1990s, Rob Van Dam made his way to WWE in 2001 as part of the WCW/ECW ‘Invasion’.
During his six years in the company, Van Dam achieved more than most, holding almost every title available at least once as well as winning the Money In The Bank briefcase in 2006.
It was that MITB win that led to his favourite match of all time and one that is fondly remembered among fans today as he used it to challenge John Cena to an Extreme Rules bout for the WWE Championship at the 2006 edition of ECW One Night Stand.
Rob Van Dam’s favourite WWE match created an “irreplaceable moment”
During a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet, the star looked back on the match that saw him reach the pinnacle of WWE.
“The one match would probably be when I beat John Cena at ECW One Night Stand and won the championship belts. Which if they asked me, I’d bring it up. If they asked me what my favorite match was, [I’d mention it] because first off, the match itself was in my opinion, great.
“I loved the match. Obviously Cena is great. He was great with that crowd. The crowd was incredible. One of a kind crowd.
“[It was an] irreplaceable moment, besides all of that, it’s like ‘What was my story, my build up, going into that particular match?’ Everything since 96. Maybe even before that, if you were to add the history. So for those reasons. Me and every fan in that building, we were all fighting for what I believed in, in my heart, and what got me all the way up to that point.
“That’s why they all wanted to see the match go the way it did and see Cena go down, or they would riot.”
RVD spoke more about the unique audience interactions on the night, including how they infamously refused to accept a t-shirt Cena through into the crowd.
“I don’t think anybody could have known exactly how that crowd was gonna be first off, to put that out there. I didn’t. I knew for sure that was my home. I knew that they were with me. That was my building. But I couldn’t have predicted that they were gonna feel so much that way. They’re gonna be like ‘No! F**k your T-shirt’ and throw it back. You see me laughing when you watch that.
“I thought that was funny and great. What are the chances that a fan that could have a John Cena shirt, because they’re all real fans at heart, will do that? Then boom, second guy does it again, third guy wipes his ass with it. It’s like, ‘Holy crap. This is great,’ But I had no idea it was gonna be like that.
“John knew that he was in for a rough night, He was gonna get sh*t on a lot. He knew that. He’s just super cool. I really think he was looking forward to the match. I think that he had fun with it. I know I did.”
H/T to SEScoops for the above transcription