WWE.com confirmed in an article that RVD will be taking time off following his loss at Battleground to regroup. This is due to contractual breaks that the ECW Original had written in to his new deal.
Part of the reason RVD left WWE in 2007 was because he wasn’t a fan of the grueling schedule and wanted to spend time with his wife who was battling cancer. He told WWE.com in the Summer:
“I was burned out from the schedule. I never had any time off and I was always homesick. And once I knew for sure that [the new] ECW was going downhill, I was disheartened and unmotivated and the routine became monotonous.”
Because TNA’s non-televised events were limited, they offered the perfect place for him to work, though as their touring increased and he became disenfranchised with the product, naturally he headed back to the big leagues.
It would appear the same concerns with WWE’s schedule still apply and he’s looking to follow in the shoes of other veterans like Chris Jericho who have an on and off relationship with the company, or bigger names like Lesnar who get considerable breaks.
“I’m definitely not interested in a full time schedule,” Van Dam said in an interview with VOC Nation in July.
While a part time schedule is certainly something many older wrestlers desire, it also clashes with the potential for being a top guy. If RVD is looking to have a run with the World Heavyweight title for example, it seems unlikely the company would allow him to, if he’s just going to up and leave for a few months like Jericho. Despite returning with a lot of hype, the bizarre pairing with Ricardo Rodriquez is not quite what a lot of fans were hoping for.
Of course it may be that Van Dam is content with simply hovering in the upper-midcard putting younger talent over, but he seemed very ambitious upon returning and we’ve got to hope that this isn’t the peak of his final run. There was a time around One Night Stand when we thought the rocket was strapped to his back, but ultimately the buzz died down, not least because of drug arrests.
Perhaps right now it’s just bad timing. WWE is clearly embarking on a new generation, with Del Rio, Damien Sandow, Dolph Ziggler, The Shield, Daniel Bryan etc making it considerably harder for the lower tier veterans to have an impact. It’s sad because RVD always struggled with breaking the proverbial “glass ceiling”, and it seems now it’s shattered he’s too old to get through it.
While RVD isn’t leaving WWE, it seems he isn’t going to progress much either if he can’t commit. It’s believed he’ll be working in 90 day increments, with several weeks off in between.