Top 50 Wrestlers Of The 1990s: #41 - Rob Van Dam
WrestleMania 34 is coming up, and being a wrestling fan, I tend to get a little more nostalgic for them olden days of when wrestlers didn't have scripts in front of them. DeLorean back to my early days of fandom during the 1990s and you had a product that was hotter than a 1994 white Ford Bronco containing an ex-football star (okay, slight exaggeration, the whole O.J. thing did get an FX series after all).
So from now up until "The Grandest Stage of Them All", I will release my Top 50 wrestlers of the 1990., factoring in their impact from the kid-friendly first half to the cuss-ridden, beer drinking second half to determine where exactly your favorite heel or face fall in rank.
#41: Rob Van Dam
Hailing From: Battle Creek, MI
Finisher: Five-Star Frog Splash
If I could compare any 90’s wrestler to the kind of cool popularity that Kenny Omega currently has, it would be none other than Rob Van Dam in ECW.
RVD was absolutely one of a kind before WWF hammered that phrase into our heads, but (shocker) WCW didn’t see that in 1993 when they billed him as Robbie V as a lowercard talent.
With unimaginable athleticism and a stoner demeanor, RVD created an identity that was tangible to a wild, teenage-adult male fan base that was looking for someone to get behind. There was no better ECW duo to do that than the tag team he formed with Sabu (and that was after a longstanding, worth-watching feud between the two).
While guys like Taz, Bam Bam Bigelow and Shane Douglas took up a great deal of the main event picture for the brand, RVD was the resin-fueled adrenaline that pumped the excitement throughout that now historic bingo hall, being that guy you always wanted to root for (even if he was a heel) and always wanted to see gold around his waist. Van Dam got that with Sabu and the tag belts, but he really made his name on his ECW Television Title reign after he beat Bigelow in March of 1998.
Highlighted by an extremely notable rivalry with Jerry Lynn, Van Dam held that belt for 700 days, eventually having to drop it due to injury. While he never won the World Title like a Taz, a Sandman or Sabu, RVD carved his own path to stardom that deems him worthy of the #41 on my list.