For more than one reason, Edge is a legitimate WWE Hall of Famer. His career was cut short, but a tremendous impact was made on the company by the Rated R Superstar.
A lot comes to mind when thinking about Edge. But nothing should be thought of more than the following, which made Edge one of the greatest stars of his or any other time.
Today, it's about as predictable as anything in the business. Wrestler A wins the Money in the Bank Briefcase, and he will wait until the end of a title match to cash it in against the beaten up victor. It's become a permanent fixture in the WWE to a point where you can say it's been overdone.
It wasn't overdone when Edge was the man doing it because he was the first. When Edge attacked John Cena, it not only ended a title reign that lasted nearly a year, but it gave the fans something to think about every time someone had that briefcase. To this day, only Rob Van Dam has cashed the briefcase in for a legit match.
Edge brought that element to the company. He was such a dastardly heel and he did it well, too. It is always good to see the element of surprise in the WWE, as it doesn't happen all that often. Edge provided the moment, always the perfect person to do so.
Making a Name as a Tag Team Wrestler
If you've forgotten what tag team wrestling is, I don't blame you. In all seriousness, someone new to wrestling probably doesn't understand how big this used to be. In the early part of Edge's career, he was a dominant tag team wrestler with Christian and a big part of the Attitude Era.
It's really amazing; Edge didn't win his first WWE Title until well after the Attitude Era (more on that shortly), but the team was a big part of one of the more popular eras in the company's history.
Think about this for a second. Edge managed to make a name for himself while competing with the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H (plus DX), Mick Foley, Kane and The Undertaker (plus all of his factions). It would have been easy to be overlooked, but that didn't happen.
Considering the state that the tag team division is in today, it's really quite remarkable to think of anyone making a name for himself against those stars while used almost exclusively as a tag teamer. Edge did, and that had a remarkable impact.
Paying the Dues
In the late 1990's, Edge made his debut with the WWE. It was nearly a full decade later where he won his first WWE Title. It was a big event and a genuinely emotional one, as he had gone through a lot to get to that moment.
That doesn't happen often enough anymore. Title reigns don't last nearly as long now as they used to, plus it seems as though more people become champions early in their careers. There's really no need for that; it ruins special moments, like when Edge won his first title.
Edge was the kind of star who didn't need a title to build his character. Some of those guys still exist (John Cena, Randy Orton), but those are developed stars. Younger guys really seem to need that title reign to be legitimate.
Guys like Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler are exceptions, but for the most part, the rest of the WWE Roster can take one word of advice. Go watch some film of Edge in the early part of his career and see what he did. Sure, there were tag team titles, but he wasn't a main event guy and his character never suffered. Whatever he was doing needs to be emulated.
The WWE Hall of Fame is something of an empty label at times, as it really comes down to how friendly someone is with Vince McMahon. Still, when you think about the phrase Hall of Fame, words like greatness and revolutionary are what should come to mind.
Edge was great and he was revolutionary. His spot in the WWE Hall of Fame is fine by me; surely, he belongs on the first ballot.