Rob Van Dam had a decent run with the WWE Hardcore Championship that was instituted in 1998 with Mick Foley (Mankind) being crowned the inaugural champion.
The Hardcore Title was unified with the Intercontinental Championship on August 26, 2002, when then-Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam defeated Hardcore Champion Tommy Dreamer.
On a recent edition of his “1 Of A Kind” podcast, RVD discussed WWE’s direction for the now-defunct WWE Hardcore Title.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On WWE’s treatment of the title: “It was a joke to them before I got it. That meant someone was getting a swirly in the bathroom, or the taco stand was gonna get tipped over, ketchup in someone’s eye… So, I think that’s why they got rid of it.”
On keeping with his hardcore style at the top of WWE: “I was able to do it my way and be seen the way I wanted to be seen as the hardcore wrestler RVD, and that was, in my mind, what has gotten me to the main event.”
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Rob Van Dam, a renowned professional wrestler, had a remarkable run with the WWE Hardcore Championship. This championship was introduced in 1998, and Mick Foley, also known as Mankind, was crowned as the inaugural champion. However, it was Rob Van Dam who left a lasting impact on the title.
The WWE Hardcore Championship was known for its unique rules and stipulations. Matches for this title were often contested under hardcore rules, allowing the use of weapons and taking the action outside the ring. It provided a platform for wrestlers to showcase their extreme and unpredictable style.
On August 26, 2002, Rob Van Dam achieved a significant milestone when he unified the Hardcore Championship with the Intercontinental Championship. In a match against Tommy Dreamer, Van Dam emerged victorious and became the unified champion. This marked a turning point in the history of the Hardcore Title.
In a recent episode of his podcast, “1 Of A Kind,” Rob Van Dam discussed WWE’s approach to the Hardcore Title. He revealed that the company didn’t take the championship seriously before he held it. To them, it was seen as a comedic prop rather than a prestigious title. The Hardcore Title was associated with chaotic and unpredictable moments, such as someone getting a swirly in the bathroom or causing mayhem at a taco stand. This perception might have led to the eventual discontinuation of the championship.
However, Rob Van Dam embraced his hardcore wrestling style and made it his own within WWE. He believed that his ability to showcase his unique brand of wrestling helped him rise to the top of the company. Van Dam’s high-flying maneuvers and willingness to take risks resonated with fans and solidified his status as a main event performer.
While the WWE Hardcore Championship may no longer exist, its impact on the wrestling industry cannot be denied. It provided a platform for wrestlers to push boundaries and entertain fans with their daring performances. Rob Van Dam’s reign as the Hardcore Champion showcased his versatility and solidified his place in WWE history.
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In conclusion, Rob Van Dam’s run with the WWE Hardcore Championship left a lasting impression on the wrestling industry. Despite the title’s initial comedic perception, Van Dam’s dedication to his hardcore style helped him achieve success and cement his legacy as a top-tier performer. The WWE Hardcore Championship may be a thing of the past, but its impact on the wrestling landscape will always be remembered.