Rob Szatkowski, better known to wrestling fans as Rob Van Dam, was born on December 18, 1970 in Battle Creek, MI. He was trained by the Sheik and made his pro debut in 1990. He is currently married to Sonja. She was seen on TV at One Night Stand celebrating her husband's WWE title victory. In addition to wrestling, RVD holds a power lifting record for the Van Dam lift and at one time owned his own comic book store. He has also appeared in several movies and television shows.
Start of his Wrestling Career:
Rob Van Dam was first seen by a national audience as a teenager kissing the feet of the "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase. When he got into the business, he was given the name Rob Van Dam by a local promoter due to his resemblance to and style that was similar to Jean Claude Van Dam. He briefly wrestled as Robbie V in WCW from late 1992 to early 1993.
Rob Van Dam returned to the national stage in 1996 when he joined ECW. He quickly found himself in a feud with Sabu, the nephew of his trainer the Sheik. The men had several classic matches over respect. Once they gained each others respect, they formed an unstoppable tag team combination. In 1997, RVD started to show up on Monday Night RAW as part of the Jerry Lawler vs ECW angle. He then started to call himself Mr. Monday Night and later was known as Mr. PPV due to his undefeated PPV record.
The Whole F'n Show:
In 1998, Rob Van Dam won the ECW TV title and held the belt for 23 months before being stripped of the title due to an injury. When he came back from the leg injury, he got into a classic feud with Jerry Lynn. In 2000, he debuted the Van Terminator, a new wrestling move that saw him fly from one corner of the ring to another, in a match against Scotty Anton.
When ECW closed in 2001, Rob Van Dam showed up in the WWE as part of the invasion angle. While the angle is generally considered one of the biggest flops in WWE history, the one good thing that came out of it was the fans reactions to RVD. His matches against Jeff Hardy stole the show.
Intercontinental, European, Hardcore, and Tag Team Champion:
Rob Van Dam became a top contender for the Intercontinental title and has won it on several occasions from men like Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Jericho. As champion, he unified the belt with both the European and Hardcore titles. He has won tag team gold with Booker T, Kane, and Rey Mysterio.
Cashing in the Money in the Bank and Seeing it go "Up in Smoke":
At WrestleMania 22, RVD won the money in the bank ladder match. He decided to use his title shot at the ECW One Night Stand PPV, the night that ECW was reborn. With the ECW crowd firmly behind their hero, RVD beat John Cena to win his first world championship. He was then declared ECW World Champion. His success was short lived when he was stopped by police with marijuana in his car. He quickly lost both titles. RVD wound up leaving the WWE in 2007.
Rob Van Dam joined TNA Wrestling in 2010. Within weeks of making his debut for the company, he won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from AJ Styles.
Rob Van Dam TNA, ECW & WWE Championship Victories:
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
4/19/10 iMPACT! - beat AJ Styles
X Division Championship
10/14/12 Bound for Glory - beat Zema Ion
ECW World Championship
6/13/06 ECW on SciFi - awarded the title by Paul Heyman due to his WWE Championship victory over John Cena two nights earlier
ECW TV Title
4/4/98 - beat Bam Bam Bigelow
ECW Tag Team Champion
6/27/1998 - w/Sabu beat Chris Candido and Lance Storm
12/12/1998 - w/Sabu beat The Dudley Boyz
6/11/06 ECW One Night Stand - beat John Cena
3/17/2002 WrestleMania X8 - beat William Regal
5/27/2002 - beat Eddie Guerrero
8/25/2002 SummerSlam - beat Chris Benoit
9/29/2003 - beat Christian in a ladder match
10/27/2003 - beat Chris Jericho in a cage match
4/30/2006 Backlash - beat Shelton Benjamin
7/22/02 - beat Jeff Hardy in a ladder match to unify the European and I-C Titles
7/22/2001 Invasion - beat Jeff Hardy
8/19/2001 SummerSlam - beat Jeff Hardy in a ladder match
9/10/2001 - beat Kurt Angle
8/26/2002 - beat Tommy Dreamer to unify Hardcore and I-C Titles
World Tag Team Championship
3/31/2003 - w/Kane beat champs Lance Storm & Chief Morley and The Dudley Boyz
2/16/2004 - w/Booker T beat Ric Flair & Batista
WWE Tag Team Championship
12/9/2004 - w/Rey Mysterio beat Kenzo Suzuki & Rene Dupree
Sources: PWI Almanac, WWE.com, RobVanDam.com, Onlineworldofwrestling.com, & Rise and Fall of ECW by Thom Loverro