As per the news portion of this site (and countless others) RVD will soon be taking some time away from the ring, a privilege that he has earned through years of continuous work, entertaining crowds, and creating memories. Now, we see why the WWE hyped his return so emphatically; they wanted to maximize his reception and drawing power during his first 90 day stint. While this could be an early indicator for a potential WWE offseason, (more on that idea in the future) Van Dam’s time away can have a mutually beneficial effect for him and for the WWE. While it allows RVD to rest up and maintain the energy and fervor that has made his comeback so overwhelmingly popular, this break can also serve to create or deepen the heel persona of a few enemies. Whoever, takes out RVD would get a huge boost from putting the living legend on the shelf and add a detestable facet to their heel character. What wrestler would be the one to take out RVD in the storylines?
Alberto Del Rio- Extends the mean streak and aggressive side of Del Rio. This new aspect of Del Rio’s persona has been on display since he first squared off with Ziggler at Payback, when he regained the WHC, and it has been a nice feature in his matches. They asked Alberto to be more vicious a few years ago and he’s done a good job of bringing that to life with his moveset. They can use the current feud to write off RVD by making Del Rio look like a ferocious heel. After a victory by Del Rio, or another Pyrrhic victory where Van Dam doesn’t gain the belt, Del Rio can go into a crazed fit, much like the one that injured Ricardo on the PPV—either Battlegrounds or Hell in a Cell. Battlegrounds may work best so that the feud wouldn’t get stale. Del Rio can assault Van Dam using the ringsteps, barricade, bell, a kendo stick, etc., putting the hero out of action for some time and reinforcing the vicious, dark side of Alberto Del Rio. This bolsters Del Rio as a champion and by extension, whatever face would defeat him for the belt in the future.
Damien Sandow- The young heel could use this boost to show that the WHC has revitalized him and made him dangerous. He’s currently being weakened by the lengthy losing streak that characterizes most Money in the Bank winners, but that’s done so that their victory comes off as more of a surprise. He has the mic skills, wit, and brain to be a great heel, so taking out RVD would also show that he has the rancor to be the most despised man in the building on any given night. RVD’s currently in a feud with ADR so how do you set this up? RVD looked very strong in the NOC match, and he’s getting a rematch at Battlegrounds. If RVD wins that rematch, Sandow could cash in and take RVD’s title. After taking the WHC to cement himself as a credible threat and to send a message, Sandow could trounce Van Damn around the ringside area and even have them do a stretcher job, so that the intellectual savior in an instantly-hated heel.
Randy Orton- This is a wild card, but given the direction that they’re turning his character, it could work. Stephanie said that she wanted IED Randy Orton back (which makes you wonder if she enjoyed that DDT) and IED Randy did things—cruel things, horrible things, injury-inducing things—at the drop of a hat. Van Dam helped Orton establish the Legend Killer gimmick, and he may be able to help Randy re-establish Orton’s merciless nature. After a scheduled match on Raw or Smackdown, Orton may just feel like getting violent on a whim and punting RVD into his regularly scheduled break.
No one- Van Dam has never been a stickler for rules nor has he been a proponent of authority figures. With that in mind, he could randomly decide to speak his piece against something the Establishment does, which would keep in line with his character. This would result in Triple H or Stephanie either firing him or suspending him for a prolonged period of time without pay, thus giving him a storyline excuse for his absence.
Van Dam’s versatility in the ring with opponents leaves him with quite a few options as far as writing him off the show when he takes his imminent break. It’ll be interesting to see what creative draws up for him.