So I had an idea for a one-shot dealing with Rob Van Dam and Paul Heyman sharing a word with one another before his match against John Cena at One Night Stand for the WWE Championship, but as I started writing, the story turned into...something else.

You'll see.

Quote of the day:

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth, when two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

- The Ballad of East and West, Rudyard Kipling

He had never been a world champion before, and if Rob had to be honest with himself, he never thought he ever would be.

He was no Triple H or Hulk Hogan that knew how to wheel and deal in the game of politics that existed in the wrestling business. He was no John Cena or Randy Orton that the WWE would gladly give every shot they could to make mainstays like them remain the face of the modern wrestling era. He was no Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, or Undertaker who had decades of glory to their names in the biggest promotions to ever grace the world of wrestling. He was no superstar. He was no classic champion.

He was extreme. He was a pit dog more used to fighting bloody battles in the hardcore world of steel chairs and barb wire than he was in the clean cut squared circle that the WWE had always been so proud of. He was the Whole Dam Show that had never before been given the chance to show just how much potential he truly had. He was the Mutants' own.

And he was the champion.

The quiet that was in the Hammerstein Ballroom that night was such a strange sight for Rob Van Dam to hear, for Rob Van Dam to feel even, as he sat in his street clothes atop the turnbuckle that only hours ago had sealed the greatest moment in his life. The silence was almost as deafening as the fans who had gathered earlier for ECW's One Night Stand, and as Rob closed his eyes, as he took a breath and enjoyed the screaming silence, he could almost feel himself reliving his match with John Cena, and for a second Rob almost wished that he could go back and live through again the moment that he soared through the air to capture the WWE Championship.


In truth, his head was still throbbing, and his body was still bruised and aching. He knew that he wasn't the only one who had been surprised by just how truly hardcore that John Cena had been able to become the longer that the match went on. The aspirin he had taken earlier for the familiar headache that now clouded his thoughts hadn't worked as well as he would have hoped, but it was enough for Rob that he had been able to fight one last glorious battle before the denizens of the Hammerstein ballroom. He sat alone in the ring, atop a turnbuckle with his world title resting cautiously at its base, and Rob found himself smiling through the pain, wondering if this was how it felt for everyone who climbed to the top of the mountain? The turnbuckle he was resting at had been a precipice of change and glory, and Rob had almost been surprised after he leapt when he realized that even someone like him could fly.

"That was a good match, Van Dam."

If there was one thing that Rob never thought he would hear that night, it was the voice of John Cena. The new world champion wasn't sure how just how long exactly that the proud face of the WWE had been watching him, but as Rob turned his head and looked in the direction of the voice, there John was, eyeing him intently; a shimmer in his eyes. For what it was worth, Rob said nothing at first. Instead the two men shared a quiet moment, like lighting without thunder.

This was not the same John Cena that had earlier in the night stood firm and raged against the storm that was ECW. Sure, John was wearing his street clothes at the moment, and his face couldn't hide the pain of a body almost broken, but even then Rob could see that it was more than that, like a boy waiting and watching for the stars to fall, only to be met by a clear and black sky night. John's eyes continued to shimmer, and there was a more humble air about him, if strangely more fierce all the same.

From the turnbuckle, Rob remained silent. For a second he wondered what John Cena's purpose was for being there, and what he was trying to do coming back to the Hammerstein Ballroom hours after the One Night Stand had ended. He would have almost thought it to be strange, had he not been doing the exact same thing.

Although he was curious as to why John Cena was there that night, the Doctor of Thuganomics too remained quiet, saying nothing beyond his earlier praise for their match. There was an electricity in the room that lingered, though Rob wasn't exactly sure from where precisely that electricity came from. Was it from the match he had with John Cena for the world championship? Was it from the shouting and the chanting and the love that the fans of ECW had had for him that night? Or was it even from Edge who had shocked both fans and wrestlers alike when he speared John Cena to help end the reign of his most hated enemy? In a way he didn't quite understand, Rob felt that the answer was both all and none of the above. John continued to watch him, as he watched John, before the former champion gave him an alien smile, turning so that he could leave the new champion alone with his thoughts.

"John," Rob called out to the former world champion as he had turned to leave, John Cena facing him once again. It was in that moment that their gazes on one another were as fierce if not more so than when they had competed against one another in the ring earlier that night, and Rob stood up from atop the turnbuckle, motioning to the empty seats of Hammerstein. "When you listen to all those people shouting chants for ECW, you can almost forget that this is a ballroom."

Rob paused before he finished saying what he needed John to know, before placing his right fist over his heart, a greeting from one warrior to another. "I couldn't have asked for a better dance partner."

Saying nothing, John placed a fist over his own heart as well.

I have an idea for a multi-chaptered story where Stone Cold Steve Austin rejoins the WWE, with the sole purpose of ending the PG Era one beer and stunner at a time.