Rob Van Dam has revealed that he was originally supposed to stay in WWE, following ECW’s invasion of Monday Night RAW throughout the Spring of 1997.
In May 1997, ECW headed by Paul Heyman ‘invaded’ Monday Night RAW. This would see ECW stars such as RVD and Sabu appear on WWE television, while Jerry “The King” Lawler appeared on ECW. Van Dam would wrestle on RAW for a time and picked up the now famous ‘Mr Monday Night’ moniker as a result.
The reality of the situation was that ECW owner Paul Heyman had agreed to a working relationship with the WWE which would see the ECW brand and some of it’s top stars gain greater exposure by appearing on WWE’s flagship show.
Appearing on the Dropkick Podcast, former ECW World Champion Rob Van Dam, has revealed that he was originally supposed to stay working on RAW once the angle was over. When asked if there were any plans for him to stay with WWE, Van Dam revealed that there were, but Heyman fostered a mentality where he and the other ECW performers were meant to see WWE as untrustworthy.
“Yes, and what I know about it all is just from one conversation that happened at the climax when everything exploded and one day at Cobo hall because we all had our own mindsets going into and Paul really marinated the ECW guys and got us to be all thinking like watch your f*cking mouth. He would tell us to watch your back, don’t leave bags in the dressing room when you’re not there. It’s very political they hate us being on their show you know. I don’t know how long this is gonna last.”
Van Dam went on to add that Vince McMahon told him that he wouldn’t have had him on RAW if he didn’t want him to stay long term, adding that he saw him as an “aggressive babyface.” However, RVD recalled that he wasn’t ready to hear that, feeling as though he was a soldier for ECW, so left.
This of course would not be the last that RVD would see of WWE as he returned to the company following the collapse of ECW in 2001.
Elsewhere in the interview, Van Dam went on to detail a proposed storyline from his time in WWE, which would have seen him involved in a romance angle with Stephanie McMahon. The former World Champion explained that due to the situation with his now ex-partner, he turned the angle down.