Before Rob Van Dam went on to become a WWE Champion, he popped up as an enhancement talent in the company in 1992.
RVD was just beginning his wrestling career at the time and had been wrestling under the name Rob Zakowski in USWA before adopting the name Rob Van Dam in ICWA. In his enhancement role, he wanted to make sure the Rob Van Dam name was protected.
Thus, Matt Burn was born.
RVD posted the following message on his Instagram, recalling his day as an enhancement talent in WWE and how he pissed off Gorilla Monsoon.
So... in. 1992 Pat Tanaka hooked some of us boys from the Tampa Sportatorium up with jobs while the WWF was touring through. I thinks I got paid but didn’t work, then booked the following week in Biloxi. $150 bucks a shot was AWESOME compared to the $35 bucks I was making every Thursday at the Sportatorium.
My problem was I didn’t want anyone to recognize me. I knew I was there to make the other guy look good, and although I hadn’t been wrestling long, I had a little magazine exposure as Rob Van Dam and I was planning on running with it. So, I wore a shirt( inside out) and my og blue trunks, let my hair down and called myself Matt Burn for an inside joke.
After a quick match with the Mountie, some agents were complimenting my bumps when Gorilla Monsoon noticed my shirt. “We’re you wearing that in the ring? What’s the matter with you?!!” He was pissed and wanted to boot me in the ass! Lol They never did notice the irony of the name tho --
RVD would go on to become one of the most popular stars in ECW history before signing with WWE in 2001.
He is currently a free agent