Rob Van Dam is rumoured to be appearing at the 2023 Royal Rumble, 9 years after he last wrestled for the WWE. Rob Van Dam left the WWE after being misused in his return, and the former WWE Champion has stayed away from the company ever since. He has kept himself busy since, wrestling for a number of promotions including TNA/Impact and Pro-Wrestling NOAH, the latter where he currently plies his trade on a regular basis.
He has always been open to a return to the company and it looks like the Royal Rumble could well be the place for RVD to come back. He last made a big rumble return in 2009, when he was a surprise entrant just two years after leaving the company. The fans went wild when his music hit and he cleared the ring upon his entrance, leading fans to expect that he would stick around at least until Wrestlemania.
However, he was not seen again until his return at Money in the Bank 2013. The reason he did not sign a deal with the company has not been revealed, although he would appear in TNA just one year later and be positioned as a major player in their company. He became world champion in the promotion, although his booking was not the best and he would only last three years, citing his co-workers attitude for the fact that he lost his passion for the wrestling business at this town.
Since leaving WWE in 2014, fans of the promotion have not had the chance to see Rob Van Dam wrestle in the flesh. They will have been excited to know that he was ready to appear in the 2022 Royal Rumble and told the WWE he was available to be a surprise entrant in the match. Sadly, WWE excluded him from the bout (despite a lack of surprise entrants or legends in the match, sans Shane McMahon) and he did not appear at the event, despite having custom gear made for the bout.
In a recent interview with Sportskeeda, former WWE and ECW Champion Rob Van Dam said;
I let the WWE know that I was available if they needed me for Royal Rumble, and I was on standby, with a brand new outfit feeling great, you know, in a great condition. In the end, they did not call me in, but it could happen anytime. I really do not have any plans for it, but you know, I would consider any situation from any company. I would definitely consider it. If it’s right, it’s right.
This news could mean that RVD has a chance at appearing in the 2023 Royal Rumble, given how open he was to appearing last year. Given how poorly received last years was (it was voted as one of the worst Royal Rumbles ever), adding some legends into the mix would be the perfect way to get fans back on the WWE’s
With Triple H in charge, the return may be slightly more tricky. While RVD famously never had a close relationship with Vince McMahon, new boss Triple H worked with him extensively in the early 2000s and led Van Dam to be “very frustrated“.
Despite being one of the only stars to come from the Invasion and growing in popularity by the week, Triple H refused to put Rob Van Dam and did not let him win the World Heavyweight championship as many fans, and reportedly Vince McMahon, wanted. With The Game now in charge, his past problems with RVD may stop his 2023 Royal Rumble appearance, but you never know what will happen in the world of professional wrestling.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.