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RVD'S Profile

Real Name: Rob Szatkowski
Date of Birth: 12/18/1970
Birthplace: Battle Creek, Michigan
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 237 pounds
Marital Status: Married to Sonya
Home: Los Angeles, California
Pets: Xena (Chihuahua)
Favorite Band: Kottonmouth Kings
Pro Debut: Defeated Dango Nguyen in Toledo, OH: 1990
ECW Debut: Defeated Axl Rotten in Philadelphia, PA: 1996
WWF Debut: ECW's RVD & Tommy Dreamer invade RAW in Atlanta, July 2001
ECW Manager: Bill Alfonso
Nicknames: Mr. Monday Night, The Whole Fn Show, Mr. Pay-Per-View, The Whole Dam Show
Singles Title Reigns: ECW TV Champion, WWF Hardcore Champion (3), WWE Intercontinental Champion (3)
Tag Team Title Reigns: 2-time ECW World Tag Team Champion (w/Sabu), WWE RAW World Tag Team Champion (w/Kane)
Trademark Moves: Split-Legged Moonsault, Van Daminator, 5-Star Frog Splash & Van Terminator

The legend of Rob Van Dam goes back 12 years to the Original Sheik's backyard. An 18-year old youngster named Rob Szatkowski was eager to break into the sport of professional wrestling, and thanks to the connection of a friend he met up with the legendary Sheik in Lansing, Michigan. During his time with the Sheik, Rob was welcomed as part of the family. He ate meals with the Sheik and his wife and went swimming in the Sheiks backyard pool during breaks from his training. Szatkowski learned the basics of wrestling and was given the advice which would later boost Rob Van Dams career into one of the biggest success stories in professional wrestling history.

Prior to his wrestling debut, Rob Szatkowski was an extremely talented kick boxer. He combined his great athletic ability with the strength which he gained from strenuous workouts to fend off opponents of all sizes. Though he loved the martial arts, the profession did not pay much so he transferred his ability to tough man contests. Robs most honorable accolade came in 1990 when he placed second in the Kalamazoo Heavyweight Toughman contest. It wasnt long after that Rob arrived in Toledo, Ohio and was scheduled for his first official professional wrestling match. He defeated Dango Nguyen, a fellow Sheik-trainee and former best friend of Robs. His career was already off to a fast start.

Rob Szatkowski gained much of his experience in the early 1990s on the independent scene, traveling most of the country for various small wrestling promotions. He landed his first break in the business when he replaced Chris Candido as a regular on the tour of the USWA. It was there in which Rob had his first pro match against Sabu, a homicidal wrestler whose death-defying moves have shocked crowds world-wide for the past 15 years. He and Sabu didnt know it then but 6 years later they would form one of the most extreme tag teams in history. From USWA, Rob migrated into South Atlantic Pro Wrestling where he feuded with Rikki Nelson over the Lightheavyweight Title. He finally settled to several territories in the South East and moved to Florida where he met his destiny. Rob Szatkowski would become Rob Van Dam.

The name Rob Van Dam was given to Rob by a local promoter by the name of Ron Slinker. Rob Van Dam was an immediate success and captured the International Wrestling Federation Television Championship, fending off such as opponents as Damien Stone (Little Guido). In Late-1992, Rob Van Dam transferred his career goals to World Championship Wrestling where he was seen by a national TV audience. Robbie V, as he was labeled in WCW, was fairly successful. He had pinfall wins over Scotty Flamingo (Raven) and Shanghai Pierce (Mideon). Frustrated by booking changes and an absurd rule which banned the top rope, Rob Van Dam left WCW in 1993 and soon after made his first tour of Japan. In 1995, while back in the States, RVD traveled to Las Vegas, Navada to work in the National Wrestling Council, where he formed an exciting tag team with Bobby Bradley, the Aerial Assault. The two men produced a spectacular finishing move in the Suicide Bomber and stormed through their competition all the way to the NWC Tag Team Titles. Eventually, Van Dam and Bradley went their separate ways and it was time for RVD to embark on a new beginning to his career at the start of 1996.

In 1995, Rob Van Dam was approached by Martial Arts movie director Keith Strandberg to take part in an upcoming project. When RVD auditioned for the part he shocked Strandberg by performing a suicidal moonsault into a table. He got the part and continued to impress the heads of the movies production. Fight director, Tony Leung dedicated an entire day of shooting to Rob Van Dams scenes in the film. In the end Rob was excellent in his role as The Mercenary in Superfights, an army-like shoot fighter who was fierce competition for the main character.

Following up Superfights, Rob snatched on to the part of Dutch in "Bloodmoon," a former Toughman Contest champion who owned his own bar. Dutch was having a sensuous moment with his girlfriend when a masked man entered the bar. He quickly disposed of Dutchs girlfriend and proceeded to challenge Crutch to a fight. After several minutes of spectacular aerial action, Dutch fell victim to the masked murderer. Following his destruction of Dutch with weapons and a vicious neckbreaker, the mystery man destroyed RVD by tossing him through the barroom window. Both Superfights and Bloodmoon aired nationally on HBO and Cinemax throughout the late 1990's.

Rob made his long awaited return to a martial arts movie set in mid-October 2000 in Bangkok, Thailand for the major motion picture sequel, "Black Mask 2". It was there that he mutated into Claw, a fighting warrior who battles other intimidating beasts for pride. RVD was excited and thrilled to have such an essential role in the film directed by Tsui Hark, as this will be his debut on the silver screen. Presently, Rob awaits the release of "Black Mask 2" sometime after the arrival of 2002.