5. Rob Van Dam
We kick off this list with the man who definitely is one of a kind, in that how quickly he dropped the ball that was given to him.
I’m sorry, this is not a knock on RVD but this still irks me to this day.
Anyway, Rob Van Dam was THE MAN back in 2006. I mean he’s still a legendary figure in pro-wrestling, but if that run hadn’t been hampered by, let’s just say unfortunate incidents, he would have so much more in his stock right now. It would’ve probably been the hottest run of his career.
And it all started with that fateful night in Manhatten, New York.
Van Dam already had momentum, winning the Money in the Bank briefcase at that year’s WrestleMania. He also won the Intercontinental Championship from Shelton Benjamin for a short while.
And thus began the push of a lifetime, it was like a jetpack was strapped to RVD’s back.
ECW was revived under the WWE banner, and RVD cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to face John Cena for the WWE Championship in the main event of the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view, and that match has to go down as one of the loudest and craziest in history.
You think John Cena gets booed now, go watch this match.
The crowd treated Cena like he’d personally broken into every single one of their houses and stolen all their prized possessions. They were firmly behind RVD and Cena received nuclear heat. That iconic “IF CENA WINS WE RIOT” poster is from this night.
I would even say it compares to that Cena vs CM Punk match at Money in the Bank 2011, it was that epic, and in the end, it didn’t even matter that RVD only won because of Edge, in fact, Edge was serenaded with “Thank You Edge” chants.
This match turned RVD into a megastar in one night. Then Paul Heyman reinstated the ECW World Championship and awarded it to RVD, making him a double champ.
The main reason that RVD makes it into this list ahead of so many others is that he treated both titles like world championships. The WWE title was obviously the main belt, but RVD treated the ECW title with respect, he even made a joke about the WWE title, saying, “this one spins.”
However, after just 22 days, RVD lost the belts due to an “unfortunate incident” and everyone’s dreams were crushed.
It’s a damn shame too because a run as explosive as that could’ve propelled RVD to superstardom. It still remains a “what if” scenario in WWE.