ECW Original and former WWE Champion Rob Van Dam is now official for the WWE Hall of Fame.
WWE and FOX Sports officially announced Van Dam’s induction into the 2021 Class this morning. He will be inducted during WrestleMania 37 Week.
After runs with ECW, WCW and other promotions in the early 1990s, RVD first officially joined WWE in 2001 for The Invasion. He had appeared before that for the ECW “invasion” of RAW in 1997. He last appeared for WWE in 2014, and has also had runs with TNA/Impact Wrestling, among others.
RVD joins The Great Khali, Kane, Molly Holly and Eric Bischoff as confirmed names for the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Class.
The 2020 and 2021 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will air on Tuesday, April 6 during WrestleMania 37 Week, via Peacock and the WWE Network. The 2020 Class features JBL, The Bella Twins, Jushin Thunder Liger, “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, and the nWo (Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman).
Stay tuned for more on the WWE Hall of Fame. Below is WWE’s full announcement on RVD:
Rob Van Dam to be inducted into WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2021
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.
Rob Van Dam recently spoke with Ryan Satin of FOX Sports to discuss his 2021 WWE Hall of Fame induction, which was officially announced by WWE this morning. RVD says he is honored to go into the WWE Hall, noting that fans have been calling him a future Hall of Famer for years.
“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,” RVD said. “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.”
RVD revealed that WWE’s Head of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis, is the one who called him with the news of his induction. He and Laurinaitis were close with each other when a young RVD worked for All Japan Pro Wrestling years ago.
“I’ve known him since 93, because I used to wrestle with him in Japan,” RVD said of Laurinaitis. “From ’93 to ’97, I spent many, many long hours on long bus rides, sitting in cold arenas in the winter, hot in the summer and ferry boat rides. We did a lot of traveling around Japan that time. You get to know somebody a little better when you’re stuck with them all the time like that. So, I’m proud to call Johnny a friend, and it was really cool to get the call from him.”
The 2020 and 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Classes will be inducted during WrestleMania 37 Week on Tuesday, April 6. RVD commented on going in with other names like JBL, The Bella Twins, The British Bulldog, Jushin Thunder Liger, the nWo (Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Sean Waltman), Eric Bischoff, Molly Holly, Kane and The Great Khali. He recalled watching Liger vs. Brian Pillman years ago.
“I think that the whole list is a bunch of characters,” RVD said. “We all represent images that people can translate into their minds, fill in all the blanks, and then figure out that they know each of us.
“Having said that, I think about when I was getting into wrestling watching Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger wrestling against Brian Pillman, for one. They just opened up my mind to a whole new kind of wrestling, because I wasn’t seeing that with the limited amount of wrestling that I had been exposed to that early on. They really helped me think outside the box of what could really be done with some athleticism.”
The 50 year old RVD recently had a run with Impact Wrestling, but made it clear that fans wanting one more full-time run with WWE should not hold their breath, if WWE resumes a normal touring schedule in a post-pandemic world. He did seem open to the idea of making some sort of comeback.
“There is definitely some pros and cons to the thought,” RVD said of a WWE return. “I enjoy showing off in the ring. I enjoy very much getting that love and energy from the crowd, looking around seeing the RVD signs. That’s a high for sure, and RVD is all about highs.”
Source: Wrestling Inc.