Edge: Absolutely Underappreciated

Edge retiring was one of those “what the hell?” style moments but the signs were all over the place.  In hindsight, of course, his win at WrestleMania should have been a head turner. All signs pointed to Alberto Del Rio winning his first championship and set the mood for the rest of the event. Instead Edge was given one last moment to shine if you will.

Edge had also had a post match speech in Toronto a few months back  telling the crowd he wasn’t sure when or if he would be back again. Yeah he made a small splash on the net but again in hindsight it should have been a bigger deal. Edge is only thirty-seven years old and should have at least four more years in him if you base it off the typical main-event talent in WWE.

The problem with Edge is that he was woefully taken advantage of and thus we all figured he would be available seemingly forever. Kevin said we grew up with Edge and he is right. Edge started during the “Attitude Era” and has been around ever since. WCW soon folded and TNA was never an option so here the fans had a dependable, strong character on television almost all of the time. On top of that he put in good work and his mic abilities grew through out.

Remember the mute Edge? The Brood Edge? The babyface Edge? Remember all the doubters after Edge gave a solid but unspectacular promo at the Raw Tenth Anniversary show? WWE soured on him a bit because of it and that was all from presenting a fake award for a fake awards ceremony. It was at a bar for god sake. You know what else are given out at bars; puke kisses, small tips, herpes, gonorrhea. This has nothing to do with Edge but consider it a public service tip kids.

The best thing that ever happened to Edge was, at the time, the worst possible thing, banging out Lita behind Matt Hardy’s back. Regardless of the waste Matt Hardy has turned in to now that was a rather low thing to do to a self described friend.  He started hitting it with Lita and that made the fans mad at her and in turn it rubbed off on him. This forced him to get stronger on the mic. They had a juicy issue they could get behind even though it was based off of real conflict and real emotions.

Wait, isn’t that what wrestling sort of always does? Only if the talent involved is the right fit. Hell in entertainment for a story to hit on that emotional level you have to have the right people. Imagine Darth Vader played by Meatloaf wearing a biker helmet telling Luke Skywalker played by Gilbert Gottfried he was his father. It fails miserably.  (Why hasn’t then been filmed actually?)

The fact that Matt Hardy failed in the angle helped Edge go much further than imagined. Here it was the guy who banged the babyfaces’ girlfriend and “love of his life” went over and actually made the babyface jilted boyfriend look like complete garbage in the end. From there it was the world title and then, we all took advantage of Edge.

He was always around. Sure he took a few months off here and there but after a “loser leaves Raw” ladder match against Matt Hardy on October 3, 2005 Edge was a featured player in WWE.

It probably didn’t help that Edge was also prominently featured on the WWE’s “B” show. He was constantly over shadowed by The Undertaker or the much flashier Rey Mysterio.

He never garnered match of the year accolades. He was never on the best of lists so many like to trumpet at the end of the year and he was rarely if ever in the top ten. He was also in some great matches with big time wrestlers. They constantly over shadowed Edge even though he consistently pulled his own weight.

Fans never heaped accolades on him other than cheering or booing. Ok, maybe that isn’t exactly accurate but compared with the likes of Triple H, John Cena, The Undertaker, Batista and countless others he was never mentioned in the same breath.  He was never given due credit for what he brought to WWE. He was the near perfect foil for whoever he wrestled. He drew heat no matter who he feuded with regardless of the surroundings.

One that is probably forgotten already but sticks in my mind his the tag match he had at One Night Stand with Foley and Lita. It seemed to be the perfect avenue for Edge to show some ass with Foley and get pinned. Instead he performed the greatest pin of his career as he humped Beulah for the victory. The ECW hardcore fans who should have applauded such a raunchy move actually booed and were disgusted. Look at them, no really, go back and watch. They hated that he won and hated the arrogant cover even more. Now, never mind these rubes cheered for him at the end when he speared John Cena so RVD could get the win.

Edge was a heat magnet no matter what he did. This is that rare thing most wrestlers or whatever they are supposed to be called in WWE now, can’t corral. Usually if a wrestler has it then he is mentioned with the other top figures in their company. Edge never seemed to be. He was well regarded but never considered for the upper echelon. When he and Rey tore the house down in Elimination Chamber matches most of the credit went to Rey for taking the bumps instead of giving equal credit for the sequences.

One last thing; remember when Triple H was champion for what seemed like four years? Everyone got tired of him and was begging for someone to replace him. Yeah it took a while for it to happen but at the time it was painful. For the better part of six years Edge has been or been in the title picture and no one complained it was time for him to step aside.  He was appreciated as a talented and entertaining act.

Now he is gone, probably forever. The most under-appreciated wrestler in WWE is moving on in life and there is no one to take his place. There is not one distinguishable wrestler in WWE that could move to his slot and carry o the same pace and position. In this respect Edge was sorely under-appreciated. Don’t be surprised in a few months that you read columns, blog, articles, interviews about how much he is missed. Guess that is what it will take for him to finally be appreciated by a larger portion of the fan base.  -Jeremy

One Response

  1. Another *great* read, please keep ’em coming.

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