In the Spring of 1999, after moving out to Los Angeles from Orlando, Rob Van Dam gained a guest-starring spot on NBCs Saturday
morning teen sitcom, City Guys. RVD played himself in the show and teamed with El-Train, a regular on the series, to benefit
a local organization. The show aired on October 23, 1999 and, as usual, garnered a new nickname for Rob Van Dam. He was labeled
Mr. NBC. On May 7, 2000, Rob Van Dam played the opponent of Bert Zupanic on the mega-popular prime time FOX series, The X-Files.
Besides wrestling onscreen, Van Dam was the fight scene choreographer, a job which he greatly honored. Only the most dedicated
of RVD's fans know that Mr. Monday Night is bilingual. Because Rob speaks Spanish fluently, he was a shoe-in for the part
of a high-risk wrestler in a commercial for a local L.A. law firm on Spanish networks.
RVDs biggest television role came on August 2nd of 2000 when he played Rob Larramie on TNNs 18 Wheels of Justice. Larramie,
a gang member from Texas who robbed banks and cars for good causes, ends up being killed by the paranoid group leader. Van
Dam was on screen throughout the hour and was extremely impressive with his Texan drawl. Two months later Rob appeared on
the highest rated syndicated program in the nation, V.I.P.. Playing the lead heel in the episode entitled "Danger Island,"
Major Ving Talbot (RVD) sought revenge on Pamela Anderson and company as they roamed a mysterious jungle on the set of a reality
based TV show. Shortly after his return to the World Wrestling Federation, Rob also resurrected his Mr. NBC moniker, appearing
in the prime-time smash SpyTV. In the July 26 installment of the edgy, hidden-camera series, Rob Van Dam dealt out pranks
on wannabes that show up for a ridiculous professional wrestling audition.
In early 1993 Rob Van Dam began working for the late Shohei Giant Baba, promoter of All Japan Pro Wrestling. RVD was introduced
to Baba by Ron Slinker, the same promoter who gave him the name of Rob Van Dam. Though AJPW had a much stiffer style than
the promotions Van Dam had worked for in the past, Rob was able to adapt to the Japanese style of grappling very fast. Van
Dam had a great opportunity to team with some of the veterans of the ring wars, like Stan Hansen, Johnny Smith and his late
friends Gary Albright and Bobby Duncum Jr.. One of the greatest matches in Robs career occurred in All Japan. Van Dam took
Lightheavyweight champion Dan Kroffat (Phil Lafon) to his limit during a 20-minute classic battle, keeping up with Kroffat
move for move. For the next four years Rob Van Dam took part in several more tours with AJPW but was never given a huge push
in the Orient. Despite being a popular wrestler with the Japanese crowd, the heads of All Japan believed that Van Dam was
better off being classified as a lightweight, while the company revolved around their heavyweight wrestlers. A month after
ECW went out of business, RVD ventured back into All Japan Pro Wrestling for the 2001 Excite Series tour, where he ended a
string of eight great matches in a row by rekindling his feud with Sabu. It was in that match that, for the first time in
his 12-year career, Rob Van Dam earned a victory via submission!
Rob Van Dam and Sabu took part in their first ever tour of Europe in February of 1998. At the IWW supercard, Clash of
Nations, RVD and Sabu defeated Ulf Hermann and Michael Kovac in a spectacular tag team encounter, bringing every German fan
in the arena to their feet. The Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling promotion welcomed the ECW locker room in the Winter of 1998
and Van Dam & Sabu were along for the ride. Led by Bill Alfonso, Mr. Monday Night and Sabu won two consecutive tag team
matches, one over the tandem of Hayabusa & Tommy Dreamer and the other over the ECW World Tag Team Champions, The Dudley
Boyz. In a crowning moment for his career, Rob Van Dam teamed with Sabu to win the Tag Team Titles of an American promotion,
The Van Dam Lift originated back in Battle Creek, Michigan where a young Rob Van Dam started stretching his muscles to
become more flexible. Rob was having a tough time performing a split, despite the stretching routine which he performed daily.
He formed a concept to place two chairs from his kitchen a foot apart and, with no support on his butt, stretched his legs
along the chairs. Eventually, Rob accomplished his goal of performing a split and proved that you don't have to be born flexible
in order to do a split.
After showing off his new skill to his peers in the gym, Van Dam thought of a way to add on to his already amazing feat.
RVD started to lift weights while in the split position along two benches. As his body continued to develop, Rob Van Dam started
to lift more weight. Soon, the Van Dam Lift started appearing in both wrestling and karate magazines, and was showcased on
ECW television. By 1998 the International All-Around Weightlifting Association recognized the Van Dam Lift as one of their
organization's public weight lifting challenges. Thus far nobody in the world has been able to take Rob Van Dam to task and
overcome his record for the Van Dam Lift of 166.5 POUNDS! Van Dam responds, "Any of you dumbbells want to give it a try?"
Rob Van Dam debuted in Extreme Championship Wrestling on January 5, 1996 at the ECW Arena. He defeated Axl Rotten after
using his Split Legged Moonsault which shocked the crowd in Philadelphia. Almost immediately after stepping through the ECW
curtain for the first time, Rob Van Dam established a name for himself with the ECW fanfare and was off to a fast start. On
April 20th, at ECW's Hostile City Showdown, Van Dam found himself on the opposite corner of a familiar face from his days
of training with the Sheik. RVD was about to take on Sabu for the first time ever in ECW. Sabu upended the young Van Dam in
their first battle, but not before RVD was able to mount an aerial attack that ECW fans had never previously witnessed. After
the match, Sabu looked to shake Rob's hand but Van Dam refused and left Sabu hanging.
This incident set up a rematch between the two high flyers three weeks later in a Respect Match. Towards the end of the
match RVD connected with two vicious suplexes from the top rope, a Brain Buster and a Fisherman Buster. Sabu's neck could
not withstand the impact of these moves and gave way. As Sabu was laying on the mat, RVD took advantage of the opportunity
handed to him and connected with a Split Legged Moonsault to gain the pinfall. As the pre-match stipulation stated, Sabu was
now obligated to offer RVD his hand in respect. Instead of grabbing Sabu's hand in friendship, Van Dam grabbed a microphone
and told Sabu off in the middle of the ring. The rubber match between The Sheik's two greatest proteges was then set for August
3rd and was labeled a Stretcher Match.