It was anticipated. It was savored. It was worth it. And most of all, it was nostalgic.
The match between Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn was originally booked for the TNA Hardcore Justice pay-per-view in August 2010, but due to Jerry Lynn injuring his back while training for their match, it never took place. Until now.
Many may recall their battles in the original ECW, fighting over the ECW World Television title and the ECW World Heavyweight title. How Lynn mocked RVD by dubbing himself “The New F’N Show” as opposed to “The Whole F’N Show.” But what made this match so special is that Rob Van Dam finally took a wrestling match (post WWE) seriously.
The rematch–ten years removed–proved to be a humbling experience for Rob Van Dam. From the start of the bell, RVD and Lynn were evenly matched, with neither competitor getting the distinct advantage. The turning point occurred when RVD kicked Lynn out to the barricades, and held the ropes for his old rival. When Lynn cautiously re-entered the ring, he threw RVD out to the barricades. Upset that Van Dam was taking him lightly, Lynn started employing an edgier style through hair pulling and foot stomps across the face. He even introduced two steel chairs into the match, with Earl Hebner shouting warning of disqualification. The first chair broke RVD’s head open after a well placed leg drop to the back of the head; the second was felt after Lynn sunset flipped RVD clear across the ring with the back of Van Dam’s head landing on the steel chair. But as Lynn attempted to finish off Van Dam with a direct and blatant chair shot to the head, RVD dug deep to channel the reserves left in his body, and countered with Van Daminator followed by the Five-Star Frog splash to get the pinfall. The same move used to retain his ECW World Television title against Jerry Lynn back in that bingo hall in South Philly.
Whether Lynn and Van Dam were X-Division before X-Division could be argued amongst ECW purists. But for one night, we not only got to see these two hardcore legends do battle one more, we also got to see the old Rob. Van. Dam!