Rob Van Dam ended up taking one too many risks in his Stretcher Match against Sabu when Sabu, who was about to be carted off
on the stretcher, dodged a Somersault Plancha attempt by RVD. Van Dam landed on the stretcher and was taken back to the dressing
room as Sabu was declared the winner of the match. Sabu had finally earned the respect of Rob Van Dam and the two formed a
tag team. After defeating Doug Furnas and RVD's old nemesis Dan Kroffat in a series of classic matches, RVD and Sabu became
embroiled in a heated feud with The Eliminators. The two tag teams competed against each other on a regular basis for a span
of four months, with RVD & Sabu only winning one match against Saturn & Kronus. Van Dam was normally the wrestler
being defeated through these bouts as the front office had to make sure that Sabu was pleased. Rob Van Dam was becoming frustrated
with his position in ECW and began to contemplate jumping ship to WCW for his second stint in that company. When all of the
wrestling world expected RVD to give in to Eric Bischoff's offers, Rob Van Dam showed up on the World Wrestling Federation's
RAW is WAR program.
Rob Van Dam had a very impressive debut in the WWF on May 12, 1997, defeating Jeff Hardy after, what else, the Split Legged
Moonsault. He went on to defeat Flash Funk three weeks later but things went downhill from there. After teaming with Jerry
Lawler for two consecutive tag team matches against The Headbangers, RVD questioned what his role was in the WWF. He wasn't
pleased with the direction of his character and hated having a time limit on how long he could perform on television. After
being suspended from competition in ECW for a month, Van Dam returned to an irate locker room who wanted to deliver payback
in the worse way to Mr. Monday Night for ditching the company. At the head of the pack was Tommy Dreamer.
Rob Van Dam returned to Extreme Championship Wrestling in June of 1997 and was back with full force. He was still the
tag team partner of Sabu, the most dangerous man in the company, and the two men became associated with the most successful
manager in the history of ECW, Bill Alfonso. Tommy Dreamer was irate that Rob Van Dam tried to embarrass the company which
he was so loyal to on RAW. At ECW's Born to Be Wired extravaganza Van Dam defeated Dreamer in an insane brawl which ended
when RVD connected with a Corkscrew Legdrop on a trash can, smashing the foreign object into Dreamer's face. Their bloody
feud carried over to the 1997 November to Remember Pay Per View where the two men had yet another classic battle. After overcoming
the Innovator of Violence's DDT and a vicious piledriver Mr. Monday Night once again laid a trash can on Dreamer's body, jumped
to the top rope, and hit a picture perfect Frog Splash. The impact of the move sandwiched the trash can into Tommy Dreamer's
ribs and allowed RVD to score the decisive pinfall. Rob Van Dam had won his brutal war with Tommy Dreamer and ECW.
On April 4, 1998 at the Bert Flickenger Center in Buffalo, New York, Rob Van Dam made pro wrestling history when he defeated
Bam Bam Bigelow to capture the ECW World Television Championship. Bigelow, who weighed nearly twice as much as Van Dam did
at the time, failed to slow Mr. Monday Night down. RVD was on fire, connecting with two suicidal planchas off the top rope
onto Bigelow into the fifth row of the crowd. Once Bigelow fell prey to the Van Daminator there was no stopping Van Dam from
dethroning the Beast from the East. After the match aired on television ECW crowds all over the United States labeled RVD
as The Whole F'n Show. His days of being a heel in the company were over but his days of winning championship gold sure weren't.
Van Dam and Sabu beat Lance Storm and Chris Candido and were crowned ECW Tag Team Champions on June 27th. RVD, now holding
two titles, continued to destroy his competition for the TV gold while also teaming with Sabu to fend off the tag team division.
On August 8th Rob Van Dam face Jerry Lynn in a 20-minute TV title contest, busted up his nose pretty bad, and later on in
the show was forced to defend the tag team titles single-handedly. Unbelievably, Rob Van Dam walked out of the ECW Arena that
night with two belts remaining around his waist.
Rob Van Dam and Sabu's luck ran out on October 24th when The Dudley Boyz stole the tag team titles from them, thanks to
interference by The Triple Threat. They went on to regain the belts on December 13th in Tokyo, Japan but, after Sabu was suspended
from ECW in the Spring of 1999, were dethroned once again by those Damned Dudleys. All the while Rob Van Dam was well on his
way to celebrating his one year anniversary as ECW World Television Champion. Dozens of challengers tried but all failed at
pinning Van Dam's shoulders to the mat. Among those men were Lance Storm, Jerry Lynn, Chris Candido, Balls Mahoney, Mikey
Whipwreck, Tommy Dreamer, Doug Furnas, John Kronus, Rod Price, Mike Lozansky, Ulf Hermann, and Skull Von Krush! Amazing huh?
He garnered the nickname "Mr. PPV RVD" because he was undefeated on ECW Pay Per Views. On April 3, 1999 Van Dam
utilized his 5 Star Frog Splash to beat 2 Cold Scorpio to celebrate 365 days as the champ. He continued his hot streak when,
in the ECW Match of the Year, he spoiled Jerry Lynn's hopes of dethroning The Whole F'n Show. Jerry broke his nose after being
victimized by a Van Dam Spin Kick, and RVD busted his eye open midway through. It took two 5 Star Frog Splashes but, sure
enough, the referee raised Mr. PPV's hand in the end.
With RVD's biggest obstacle now behind him, Van Dam roared through the rest of his competition in 1999. New challengers
arose but, as in 1998, Rob Van Dam was Van Daminating the competition. Buh-Buh Ray, D-Von & Spike Dudley all tried to
take the strap to Dudleyville. The FBI attempted to bring gold back to Italy. And Uganda figured that the belt would help
raise his popularity in Africa. But in the end the plane always stopped in Battle Creek. At the November to Remember 99 Pay
Per View The Whole F'n Show gained his first ever victory over Taz. Two months later at Guilty as Charged RVD sent Sabu packing
in his last match ever aired on ECW programming. When everything seemed to be going Rob Van Dam's way, a freak accident victimized
him when he least expected it. During a TV title defense against Rhino on January 29, 2000, RVD broke his left leg when a
baseball slide attempt went eerie. Despite breaking his leg at the outset of the match, Rob was victorious in that match.
The injury, however, sidelined Mr. PPV for over three months and forced him to relinquish his coveted ECW World Television
title on March 4th, a month before he would have celebrated his 2-year anniversary as champion. When Van Dam returned to competition
at the Hardcore Heaven 2000 PPV he was opposing a familiar foe from his recent past.