Things could not have been going better for Rob Van Dam in WWE during the summer of 2006. Then this happened.
When Vince McMahon first acquired WCW and ECW, it was abundantly clear right from the off that he didn't think much of the talent he got as part of those deals. In fact, the WWE chairman still seems to have a problem with former WCW and ECW wrestlers to this day. It's the only logical explanation we can come up with to explain Sting losing his first ever WWE match against Triple H at WrestleMania 31.
One wrestler WWE fans wish Mr. McMahon had warmed up to sooner than he did was Rob Van Dam. RVD was one of ECW's top stars in the late '90s and introduced wrestling fans who rarely strayed from WWE to a whole new style inside the ring. Despite the former ECW Champion's talent and innovation, it took McMahon five years to realize how valuable he was to WWE.
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In fact, during the summer of 2006, RVD really was on top of the WWE world. Not only had he won the recently reinstated ECW Title, but he also defeated John Cena for the WWE Championship. Mr. McMahon has to think highly of you for that to happen. However, in the space of just 48 hours that all went away. It all started on a Sunday evening. July 2, 2006, to be exact.
RVD and Sabu were pulled over by police and arrested after drugs and drug paraphernalia was discovered in their car. Even though that news was reported, 2006 was a time before social media was as widespread as it is today, so not all fans knew about it right away. That's why it came as something of a shock when Edge won the WWE Title in a triple threat match the next night on Raw. Then, a further 24 hours after that, RVD lost the ECW Title too. Big Show defeated him on a live ECW show.
RVD lost the match after Paul Heyman turned on him. The father of ECW then proceeded to suspend RVD for "no reason." This was all part of an angle, of course, and the real story was that Van Dam was being suspended for 30 days due to the arrest that had taken place on Sunday night. With that, RVD's WWE career was never the same. He had worked so hard to win over the boss and he quite literally had it all, only to lose it all so quickly over something so silly.