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RVD's star is definitely on the rise
Special to SLAM! Sports

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By DON 'Cyrus' CALLIS -- For SLAM! Wrestling
 Rob Van Dam appears to be the breakout star of the "Alliance" group on WWF television, coming on the heels of his main event match with Steve Austin on Smackdown.

Van Dam has undoubtedly been the most over, although not the best, wrestler of the group. The best wrestler in the group has been Lance Storm, but Van Dam has a charisma which fans get behind that has more to do with what he does as a performer than about his in-ring persona.

While RVD has yet to find himself on interviews, he has a level of athleticism that is unmatched in the WWF. I used to go on ad nauseam on ECW pay per views about how Rob was the best athlete in wrestling and an athletic freak. I meant every word.

Van Dam combines athletic ability, intensity, a great work ethic and freakish flexibility. Van Dam actually holds the Guinness world record for a weightlifting technique called the Van Dam lift, in which he does a full split between two chairs and overhead presses a significant amount of weight. Ouch!

RVD's uncanny flexibility allows him to take bumps that other humans would cringe at. Rob doesn't seem to mind getting dropped on his head or folded up like an accordian, in fact, he likes it. If you ever watch Van Dam take a piledriver notice how he appears to bounce right off the top of his head. It all makes for a more entertaining match. Of course, Rob also has some of the best offence in the business and is always coming up with new manoeuvres, always trying to out do himself, which is no easy task.

Despite coming in to the WWF with a few questions surrounding him, such as his interview capability and ability to have "non-ECW" matches with top talent, Rob has, with his performance against Austin on Smackdown, proven himself for the moment.

His victory over Austin proves that he has convinced the office, and Austin calling him back out after the cameras stopped rolling to put him over a second time for the live crowd suggests he has a fan in Austin, which may be the most important point of all.

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Listen to Cyrus every Sunday from 6-7 p.m. on 92 CITI-FM on the NHB wrestling call in show with his co-host Joe Aiello.

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