Rob Van Dam

Jan 14, 2010 - by Jamie Cruickshank

Real name: Robert Alex Szatowski
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 235 lbs.
Date of birth: December 18, 1970
From: Battle Creek, MI
Resides: LA, CA
Pro debut: 1990
Trained by: “The Original” Sheik
Finishing move: Five Star Frog Splash

* Wrestling By The Numbers: Rob ‘Van Dam’ Szatkowski


– Growing up in Battle Creek, MI, Van Dam studied martial arts at two local dojos. He received instruction for Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Aikido, Kendo, and Kick Boxing.
– In 1990, Van Dam competed in the Kalamazoo Tough Man contest, finishing in second place.
– Also in 1990, Van Dam defeated Dango Nguyen in his pro wrestling debut in Toledo, OH.
– Van Dam spent his rookie year wrestling as Rob Zakowski on the independent circuit in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.
– After a two-month stint in Memphis (USWA), Van Dam joined the South Atlantic Pro Wrestling promotion in 1991.
– On July 23, 1992, Van Dam and Chaz Rocco defeated the Ringlords for the SAPW Tag Team title.
– Van Dam moved onto the ICWA (Florida), CWF, and IWF, and All Star Wrestling in Georgia, working as a bouncer on the side.
– In early 1993, Van Dam joined WCW as Robbie V.
– Van Dam worked his first tour of Japan in February 1993, competing for All Japan Pro Wrestling.
– Van Dam defeated Luscious Lonnie on March 26, 1994 for the All Star Wrestling title in Hazlehurst, GA.
– On March 10, 1995, Van Dam defeated Raven for the PSW Cordele City title.
– In 1995, Van Dam teamed up with Bobby Bradley to form the tag team Aerial Assault in the National Wrestling Conference.
– The Aerial Assault, a high-flying duo, won the NWC Tag Team title in 1995 in a tournament.
– On October 25, 1995, Van Dam beat Kentaro Shiga at All Japan’s 23rd Anniversary Show in Tokyo, Japan.
– On December 9, 1995, Van Dam and Johnny Smith beat Satoru Asako and Kentaro Shiga.
– At House Party ’96, Van Dam made his ECW debut and defeated Axl Rotten.
– On July 24, 1996, Van Dam, Takao Omori, and Yoshinori Ogawa beat Yoshinobu Kanemura, Satoru Asako, and Shiga.
– Van Dam started hinting that he would be doing his wrestling on Monday nights. The “Mr. Monday Night” gimmick was born.
– Van Dam followed through, and defeated Jeff Hardy (not Matt as many sources report) on “Raw,” on May 12, 1997, as part of a WWF/ECW angle.
– On April 4, 1998, Van Dam won the ECW television title from Bam Bam Bigelow in Buffalo, NY.
– Van Dam and Sabu captured the ECW World Tag Team title from Chris Candido and Lance Storm on June 6, 1998.
– Van Dam, Sabu and Tazz defeated the Triple Threat at the 1998 “November 2 Remember” in a six man tag match.
– At the 1999 “Guilty As Charged” PPV, Van Dam pinned Lance Storm.
– On March 21, 1999, at “Living Dangerously” in Asbury Park, NJ, Van Dam successfully defended the Television title against Jerry Lynn.
– Van Dam survived his rematch with Jerry Lynn at “Hardcore Heaven ’99.”
– At “Heatwave ’99,” Van Dam and Lynn defeated Lance Storm and Justin Credible in Dayton, OH.
– Van Dam’s Television title defense against Balls Mahoney headlined Anarchy Rulz ’99. Van Dam was again victorious.
– At the 1999 “November 2 Remember,” Van Dam successfully defended the Television title against the WWF bound Tazz.
– On January 9, 2000, Van Dam defeated his former tag team partner Sabu at “Guilty As Charged.”
– During a Television title match with Rhyno on January 29, 2000, Van Dam suffered a cracked fibula.
– Van Dam made his in ring return at Hardcore Heaven ’00 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to face Lynn.
– In October 2000, Van Dam left for Thailand to star in a movie called “Black Mask.”
– At Guilty As Charged ’01, RVD returned to ECW as “the surprise,” and defeated Lynn.
– Van Dam worked the February 2001 tour with All Japan Pro Wrestling.
– Van Dam made his WWF debut on the July 9, 2001 edition of “Raw.”
– At the Invasion PPV in Cleveland, OH, Van Dam defeated Jeff Hardy for the WWF Hardcore title.
– At Summerslam ’01, Van Dam defeated Jeff Hardy in a WWF Hardcore Ladder/title match to regain the championship.
– On the September 4, 2001 episode of “Smackdown” in Toronto, Van Dam pinned Steve Austin in a non-title match.
– Six days later on “Raw,” Angle defeated Van Dam for the Hardcore title, but moments later, Van Dam regained the strap thanks to interference from Austin.
– At Unforgiven ’01 in Pittsburgh, PA, Van Dam successfully defended the WWF Hardcore title by defeating Chris Jericho.
– On the October 25, 2001 edition of “Smackdown” in Ohama, NE, Van Dam pinned The Rock to retain the Hardcore title.
– On the November 12, 2001 episode of “Raw,” Van Dam successfully defended the WWF Hardcore title against The Undertaker.
– At the No Way Out ’02 PPV, Van Dam defeated Goldust.
– Van Dam pinned William Regal for the WWF Intercontinental title at Wrestlemania X-8 in Toronto.
– On the May 27, 2002 edition of “Raw” in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Van Dam defeated Eddy Guerrero in a “ladder” match for the Intercontinental title.
– On the July 22, 2002 episode of “Raw,” Van Dam defeated Jeff Hardy in a ladder match to unify the European and Intercontinental titles in Grand Rapids, MI.
– At Summerslam ’02 in Uniondale, NY, Van Dam defeated Chris Benoit to regain the Intercontinental championship.
– At No Mercy ’02, Van Dam used a frog splash to defeat Ric Flair.
– On the March 31, 2003 edition of “Raw” in Seattle, WA, Van Dam and Kane won a three way match over Sean Morley and Lance and the Dudley Boyz to win the World Tag Team title.
– Van Dam and Kane successfully defended the World Tag Team title against the Legion of Doom on the May 12, 2003 episode of “Raw.”
– On the September 29, 2003 episode of “Raw” in Chicago, IL, Van Dam defeated Christian in a “ladder” match to re-capture the Intercontinental title.
– Four weeks later on “Raw,” Van Dam dropped the IC title to Jericho, but regained the strap in a “steel cage” match at the end of the show.
– On the February 16, 2004 edition of “Raw,” Van Dam and Booker T defeated Flair and Dave Batista in Bakersville, CA to capture the World Tag Team title.
– At Wrestlemania XX in New York, NY, Van Dam and Booker T defeated the Dudley Boyz, Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak, and La Resistance to retain the World Tag Team title.
– Van Dam was “drafted” by Paul Heyman to join the “Smackdown” roster on the March 22, 2004 edition of “Raw.”
– At Judgment Day ’04, Van Dam and Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated the Dudley Boyz.
– At Survivor Series ’04, Team Guerrero (Van Dam, Eddy Guerero, John Cena, and the Big Show) defeated Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Mark Jindrak, Luther Reigns, and Carlito Caribbean Cool).
– Van Dam and Mysterio Jr. defeated Kenzo Suzuki and Rene Dupree at the December 7, 2004 “Smackdown” tapings in Greenville, SC to capture the WWE Tag Team title.
– At Armageddon ’04, Van Dam and Mysterio Jr. successfully defended the WWE Tag Team Title against Dupree and Suzuki.
– On the June 27, 2005 edition of “Raw,” Van Dam was drafted back to the Raw roster.
– At Wrestlemania 22, Van Dam defeated Ric Flair, Shelton Benjamin, Bobby Lashley, Fit Finlay and Matt Hardy in the “money in the bank” ladder match.
– At Backlash ’06 in Lexington, KY, RVD defeated Benjamin to regain the Intercontinental title.
– Van Dam pinned John Cena at One Night Stand on June 11, 2006 in Manhatten, NY when Paul Heyman made the count to be declared as the new WWE champion.
– On the debut episode of ECW on Sci Fi on June 13, 2006, Heyman presented Van Dam the ECW title belt.
– At Vengeance ’06, RVD successfully defending the spinning WWE title belt by defeating Edge.
– On July 2, 2006, traveling with Sabu, RVD was stopped initially stopped for speeding in Hanging Rock, OH. When troopers approached his vehicle, they smelled marijuana and performed a search. Troopers found the wrestler in possession of 18 grams of marijuana and five Vicodin, prescription pain pills.
– On July 5, 2006, it was announced that Van Dam would be suspended for 30 days without pay based on the guidelines of WWE’s Wellness Policy.
– At Survivor Series ’06, Team Cena (Cena, Kane, Bobby Lashley, Rob Van Dam and Sabu) defeated Team Big Show (Big Show, Test, Umaga, MVP and Finlay).
– At Wrestlemania 23, the ECW originals (RVD, Tommy Dreamer, Sabu and The Sandman) defeated the New Breed (Kevin Thorn, Matt Striker, Elijah Burke, and Marcus Cor Von).
– Van Dam defeated Randy Orton in a “stretcher” match at One Night Stand ’07.
– Van Dam joined TNA in the spring of 2010.
– On the April 19, 2010 edition of “Impact,” Van Dam pinned AJ Styles in Orlando, FL to capture the TNA World Heavyweight title.
– At Hardcore Justice, RVD defeated Sabu to retain the TNA title.
– At Bound for Glory ’10, RVD defeated Abyss in a “Monster’s Ball” match.
– RVD defeated Matt Hardy at the 2011 Against All Odds PPV.
– At Destination X ’11, RVD defeated Jerry Lynn.
– At Bound for Glory ’11, RVD again defeated Lynn.
– RVD defeated Christopher Daniels in a no-DQ match at the 2011 Turning Point.
– At Final Resolution ’11, RVD defeated Daniels.
– At Hardcore Justice ’12, RVD defeated Mr. Anderson and Magnus in Bound for Glory series match.
– RVD defeated Magnus at No Surrender ’12.
– At Bound For Glory ’12, RVD defeated Zema Ion to win the TNA X-Division Title.
– At Turning Point ’12, RVD defeated Joey Ryan to retain the TNA X-Division Title.
– At Final Resolution ’12, RVD defeated Kenny King to retain the TNA X-Division Title.
– At One Night Only: X-Travaganza ’13, RVD defeated Jerry Lynn in a No-DQ Match.
– At Genesis ’13, RVD defeated Christian York to retain the TNA X-Division Title.
– In March 2013, Van Dam left TNA.
– Van Dam returned to WWE at Money In The Bank ’13. It was later announced that he had signed a reduced-schedule contract.
– At Night Of Champions ’13, Van Dam defeated World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio by DQ.
– On June 3, 2014, Van Dam fought WWE Intercontinental Champion Bad News Barrett to a no-contest.
– Van Dam ended his WWE run in August 2014
– In November 2015, Van Dam voted into the GERWECK.NET Hall of Fame.
– At House of Hardcore XII, RVD defeated Chris Hero
– At House of Hardcore XIII, RVD defeated Rhino in an Extreme Rules Match
– On November 12, 2016, RVD defeated Pentagon Jr to win the PCW Heavyweight Title
– On January 20, 2017, RVD defeated Willie Mack to retain the PCW Heavyweight Title
– On March 24, RVD defeated MVP to retain the PCW Heavyweight Title
– On August 26, RVD defeated James Grace and Andrew Carter to win the AAW Perth Classic Tournament
– On August 31, 2018, RVD defeated Syd Parker in Melbourne, Australia to win the BCW Heavyweight Title. Over the next week, he defended against Parker, Jonah Rock, Masato Tanaka and Tajiri, before losing it to Mad Dog at the end of the tour
– RVD returned to Impact Wrestling at the United We Stand event, teaming with Sabu in a loss to The Lucha Brothers (Pentagon Jr & Fenix). Shortly after the event, he announced that he had signed a short-term deal with the company
– In September 2020, RVD and Impact Wrestling parted ways
– Van Dam entered the WWE hall of fame during the Wrestlemania 37 festivities

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