Rob Van Dam On How A WCW Offer Helped Him Succeed In ECW

Rob Van Dam and ECW were early beneficiaries of an Internet rumor, and the brief run that RVD had as "Mr. Monday Night" on "WWE Raw" in 1997 wouldn't have happened if not for said rumor. On a recent episode of "One of a Kind," RVD revealed that an online leak regarding an offer he received from WCW gave him the leverage to negotiate a new ECW contract, thereby laying the groundwork for ECW to invade WWE in 1997


As the story goes, RVD was admittedly "offended" at not being booked by Paul Heyman for Barely Legal — ECW's inaugural pay-per-view — and was on the verge of walking out of the promotion. Shortly before Barely Legal, RVD would visit a WCW show in Savannah, Georgia, where he was offered a contract by Eric Bischoff. The leak would instantly find its way into the dirt sheets, causing Heyman to call for an emergency meeting. 

"Paul said, 'Is there anything I can do to make you want to stay?' That's not a bad way to start negotiations, especially since I really didn't want to go," RVD recalled. "I loved the ECW style, it was my favorite and the most fun that I'd ever had. I appreciated how my efforts were making a difference, not just in ECW, but also, you know, in an outer wave [in] the whole industry, because everyone's watching ECW and is influenced by it. The company is growing so much, we're hot, and the crowds are doubling. I'm like, 'Man, I would rather stay and be the whole F'N show than be a cog in the wheel [in WCW].'"


'Let's just say Vince owes me some favors'

By the end of the meeting, RVD and Heyman worked out a new ECW contract with guaranteed pay and favored nations. That wasn't all. Heyman promised RVD he could get him to wrestle matches on WWE programming — on behalf of ECW.


"I said, 'How are you going to do that?' He goes, 'Let's just say Vince owes me some favors. If I could do that, if I could put you on "Raw" just for a few weeks ... and you would be on ECW here. You will be in the spotlight. The business would be around you. You'd be the center point, plus all the money and s–t.' And that's how we worked it out," RVD added. Understandably, RVD was skeptical of Heyman's promises, especially since he had no idea of the relationship between the ECW boss and WWE. "I was like, 'You really can do that?' I had no idea about his relationship, none of us did, with WWE. We didn't know he was working for them. I sure didn't know that he was selling me to them without me knowing which ended up being the case."


RVD would go on to win three of his four televised WWE matches, as Vince McMahon had plans for "The Whole F'N Show" to be featured as a prominent star. Alas, McMahon would find out later that Heyman was using the WWE invasion angle to lure RVD back to ECW, and give ECW the national exposure it desired. For Heyman, it was mission accomplished, as RVD would go on to stay with ECW until the promotion went out of business in early 2001.