During Sunday’s Payback pay-per-view, the WWE announced that former champion Rob Van Dam would return to the company at July’s Money in the Bank event from Philadelphia.
The ECW legend was last seen in TNA Wrestling a few months ago, but an abrupt ending to his time with the company and an appearance at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony had led to speculation over his future, per WWE.com.
The fact that he will be returning to Philadelphia is the biggest note here, as he will clearly be a top face for the company moving forward. The WWE will expect an enormous reaction to the man who sharpened his teeth in the streets of Philly, and it will use that to help drive ratings and put over younger talent.
Despite some of the most talented wrestlers in the world on the roster, the WWE lacks the caliber of top faces to ensure that feuds are kept fresh and PPVs are interesting. Bringing a veteran like RVD in now would have the same effect that a returning Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar did over the last two years.
Van Dam brings a veteran presence in the ring and a bona fide draw that the company can add to almost any card with an immediate fiscal impact. Just as the WWE used Lesnar on a part-time schedule while also employing The Rock, RVD will be expected to come in and boost TV ratings and PPV buys.
If this deal is all about helping the company, bringing him back at a show in Philadelphia couldn’t be any more ideal. While the WWE gets criticized for the way it handles booking, this was a great business move.
As for what’s next for RVD and his re-signing, the likelihood that the company will just stick him in one of the ladder matches is through the roof. Adding the former WWE champion to either the Raw or SmackDown Money in the Bank matches will ensure the credibility of the bout.
If the WWE wants to take the return a step even farther, giving RVD the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank briefcase and adding a legitimate star to the title scene is a great long-term plan.
While the in-ring veteran may be 42 years old, his intense workout schedule and training regimen, as relayed by Ring Rust Radio, will make him a valuable asset to the company.
No matter where his storyline goes, this was a smart signing.
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