Rob Van Dam and Sabu reached great heights in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), but how would this high-flying team have impacted WWE? Chris Baker brings you a retro fantasy booking scenario on a mid-2000s run for Rob Van Dam and Sabu as a tag team.
WWE was home to RVD & Sabu for some time, but never as a traditional tag team.
In 2006, the ECW brand could have featured RVD and Sabu as a tag team.
But there were two problems with this:
- WWE’s ECW brand did not have a tag team title.
- The brand did not have a stable tag team division, meaning there was a lack of competition.
So since the agile duo couldn’t really have shined in the ECW brand, it would have been logical to give them a shot on Raw or SmackDown!
WWE’s overall tag team division in the mid-to-late 2000s was decent, with some stars reemerging, such as The Hardys.
On the other hand, 2006 was the year that ECW Originals the Dudley Boyz had recently escaped the WWE scene. Considering Bubba Ray and Devon had a couple rough years prior, it would have been a perfect time for Rob Van Dam and Sabu to steal the spotlight. Some vignettes could have aired, indicating that an old-time tag team was about to enter the fray.
Fast forward a few weeks, RVD and Sabu could have made their long-awaited appearance.
Now that’s where the promo would have come in. Mr. McMahon could have given these ECW legends a proper introduction. Then RVD could have said something all the lines of:
“Now Sabu and I have been selling out arenas for a long time, but never have we been a tag team in WWE”.
It’s unclear whether or not Sabu would have actually spoke, but the two would have still made their goal clear: win the World Tag Team Championship.
Next, out come the arrogant team champions, who joke about the ECW Originals return. Based on the time period, the champs most likely would been Rated-RKO (Edge and Randy Orton). Rated-RKO could have thrown insults in the face of the ECW Originals.
The champs would have cracked jokes about Sabu’s age or appearance. Also, Edge could have mentioned the days when he actually beat Van Dam.
After a week or so of feuding, a title match could have been announced. This match could have taken place on an episode of Raw, but a pay-per-view match would have been more likely. The match could have been a vicious battle, ending with an illegal maneuver behind the referee’s back.
Rated-RKO would have been victorious, but RVD and Sabu would have appeared on the following episode of Raw. The veteran wrestlers could have said something like:
“We won plenty of gold in ECW, and our journey isn’t over.”
WWE would have then set up a rematch. And based on Rob Van Dam and Sabu’s history, this would have been an Extreme Rules Tornado Tag match.
Come the start of the match, RVD and Sabu would have gone right to work on their opponents. It wouldn’t have been long before barbed wire and chairs became part of the mix. There could have been some twists and turns in the match, perhaps a low-blow by Rated-RKO. Fans would have been on the edge of their seats, only to see Edge or Orton get put through a table.
As soon as the bell rang, the crowd would have gone wild. Van Dam and Sabu would have held the belts up high, with a standing ovation, of course. Fellow ECW Originals, such as Tommy Dreamer or The Sandman, could have come out to congratulate their friends.
The following edition of Raw could have featured some mic time from RVD and Sabu. Similar to Rated-RKO, a heel stable could have come out to confront the ECW Originals.
And because this most likely would have taken place in January or February of 2007, it could have set up a WrestleMania showdown. Heading toward WrestleMania 23, WWE could have booked some confrontations and attacks between the champs and their foes. The buildup to the WrestleMania tag team match could have been epic, making the actual match all the more worthwhile.
No matter who would have won the match, Rob Van Dam and Sabu’s tag team run in WWE would have been one to remember. Although the past cannot be altered, nothing can change the fact that Rob Van Dam and Sabu could have changed the landscape of tag team wrestling, once again.