WWE's 13 Years of Decadence: 13 Things To Love about Edge
Almost 13 years ago, The Rated R Superstar made his distinct WWE debut. One of the best Superstars in WWE History, Edge began as a mysterious character that entered the arena through the crowd. Edge was infamous for roaming through the streets and attacking pedestrians for no apparent reason.
Despite our opinions, Edge was one of the biggest stars of the last decade.
An 11-time World Champion, Edge has become one of the greatest champions in WWE History. His premature retirement has left a huge effect on the WWE as a whole. If Edge were still wrestling today, the entire SmackDown landscape would be exceptionally different.
Although I’m a huge Edge Head, I refrained from releasing tribute article months ago.
Instead, I decided to write an article remembering his controversial, yet entertaining career. The reason this is 13 slides is to commemorate the number of years Edge was an employee for the WWE.
Enough of my small talk, here’s the show.
Improvised with Age
During the earlier portion of his career, Edge’s persona was flamboyant. Edge’s attire was noticeably more outlandish and inserted more style. The colors were loud and hardly unnoticeable by the live audience. Copeland almost always wore a pair of colorful shades.
His normal attire was somewhat similar to the style of John Morrison when he initially began utilizing the persona on ECW in 2006.
Edge was somewhat of a Californian surfer type of wrestler. Most of his promos included the word awesome. His character was comedic genius who utilized his charisma to pump the crowd. After his face turn in 2001, Edge was a staple to WWE television.
After the end of the Invasion angle, Edge was moved to SmackDown and added a little edge to his character. He adopted Rob Zombies “Never Going Stop” over the infamous “On the Edge. Edge’s neck injury halted his impending ascension to the top of WWE SmackDown.
When Edge returned in 2004, the familiar slim build of the Superstar was a thing of the past. Edge’s happy-go attitude had almost completely disappeared. Around this time, he abandoned the aerial style of his past and began utilizing a more aggressive in-ring style.
After his heel turn, Edge adopted Alter Bridge’s Metalingus and became the perfect bad guy.
A crazed heel obsessed with capturing the crown jewel of the WWE.
The World Heavyweight Championship
WrestleMania 21 was a focal point in Edge’s career. The Superstar grasped the Money in the Bank briefcase. The controversy with Matt Hardy and Lita made Edge the top heel in the WWE. Around this time, Edge added numerous tattoos and began utilizing his Rated R Superstar gimmick.
His flamboyant style was completely gone as Edge altered everything, including his in-ring attire.
The gimmick was pure gold.
Ring Psychology and Timing
Triple H, one of Edge’s distant rivals, is noted for this dirty tactics and opportunistic ways in his on-screen rivalries. The opportunistic ways of Edge could very well rival those of The Game. Perhaps one of the more (kayfabe) intelligent individuals on the WWE Roster, Edge was the definition of right place at the right time.
As a two-time Mr. Money in the Bank, Edge, perhaps more than any other, cashed in on his opponent when they were at their weakest. An Elimination Chamber near crucified WWE Champion John Cena. Multiple battles with Batista and a thrashing from Mark Henry left Undertaker easy pickings for Edge.
In a similar incident, Edge goaded Mr. Kennedy into a match for Ken’s Money in the Bank. Before Kennedy could enter the ring, Edge attacked him, infuriating Ken enough to have him agree to the match.
With the addition of Vickie Guerrero, Edge opportunistic ways became a staple to SmackDown programming. A notable example would be the 2008 Survivor Series matchup involving Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov.
Edge is also one of the most underrated in-ring psychologist of this generation.
The manner in which Edge could counter the moves of John Cena or Undertaker was poetry in motion. It seemed as if Edge was already prepared for the things to come when facing a formidable foe. Edge could be on the receiving end of a devastating beating to win it all with the swiftness of a spear.
Just watch his match with Mick Foley at WrestleMania 22.
While slightly behind The Undertaker, Edge is known for the numerous tricks he played for comic relief or to gain a victory. Who can forget the mind games Edge played on Kurt Angle in 2002. From the start of the, you suck chants to the pictures of Angle backstage on SmackDown.
In 2010, Edge reanimated his comedic mind games on Kane. The Big Red Monster cost Edge a match on SmackDown and Edge retaliated by kidnapping Paul Bearer. The first of numerous backstage angles that would tease Bearer’s death, Edge tricked Kane into emotional insanity. Without Paul Bearer, it was if Kane had lost the will to continue.
In addition to the fake deaths, Edge would sometimes torture Bearer backstage much to Kane’s dismay.
The mind games eventually led to Kane harming Bearer himself. With Paul out of the picture, Edge won his 10th World Title at WWE TLC 2010.
The Heel mind games were a different story.
Edge would assault family members and utilize others to trick opponents. Who can forget the time Edge slapped John Cena’s father before their Summerslam match. The Major Broski’s were also a part of Edge’s psychological advantage.
Because of the similarities in appearance, Edge’s opponents easily mistook Zack and Curt for Edge himself. This led to Edge regaining the World Title at Armageddon 2007.
While Edge’s heel turn in 2004 was successful, it was the addition of Lita that made Edge a main event heel. Lita had been a face for almost six years when she turned on Kane in the Gold Rush Tournament. In what would become a trend, Lita assisted Edge in gaining a win with his signature briefcase.
Just imagine if Lita wouldn’t have become a staple to Edge’s character.
While Edge was a great heel, Lita was the proverbial gas on the fire.
Their real life affair sparked outrage among the WWE Fans. Lita was previously in a relationship with fan favorite, Matt Hardy. Hardy and Edge were said to be best friends when Edge began his affair with Lita. The fact that Hardy was released because of it bestowed tremendous amounts of heat on Edge and Lita.
The feud that came after cemented Edge’s status as RAW’s Top Heel.
Edge shipped Hardy off to SmackDown after defeating him in a ladder match. Afterwards, Edge suffered an injury but to retain the superstar status of his character, Edge was given the Cutting Edge. He and Lita trashed almost everyone on the RAW roster including Ric Flair and Michael Hayes.
What a dastardly duo.
Tables, Ladders, and Chairs
Tables, Ladders and Chairs have become Edge’s signature match. There have been 11 TLC matches in WWE History. Edge has been involved in seven of those matches. Surprisingly, Edge has only lost twice in TLC matches. The first occasions being in a multiple tag team match against Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho.
The second was in a singles match with John Cena.
TLC is known as the match we witness the absolute best of Edge. It’s no secret that Edge becomes a human highlight reel when he’s involved in this match. From body splashes off ladders through tables to receiving an F-U off a ladder through two tables, Edge takes his craft to another level.
The first TLC match at SummerSlam 2000 forever revolutionized the word hardcore in the WWE. The mere fact that it was over the WWE Tag Team Championship illustrates how important tag teams were back then.
The last time a TLC match occurred, Edge won his 10th World Title in it.
The WWE even took this gimmick match and made it a full fledged pay-per-view.
The debut of Christian mimicked that of Kane. It was an angle where the unknown storyline brother cost the other their match. While Kane’s debut is more infamous and displayed the immediate impact of Kane, Christian’s debut is not one to look over. Christian distracted Edge during a match with Owen Hart.
Captain Charisma joined Gangrel as an on screen vampire.
Here, we are thinking Edge was a maniac for attacking innocent pedestrians, his undead brother who has allied himself with Gangrel. They convinced Edge to join the Brood, but the angle was short lived. Edge and Christian parted ways with Gangrel and began their successful run as a tag team.
Winning numerous tag team titles along the way, Edge and Christian met their end with the jealousy of one brother.
The first opportunity he received, Christian turned on Edge. Jealous because Edge won the 2001 King of the Ring, Christian turned on Edge and joined the Alliance. The two feuded over the Intercontinental Championship with Edge eventually arising from the smoke as the victor.
Like Undertaker and Kane, many believe Christian has spent the better part of his WWE career in Edge’s shadow. If this question was asked to Christian himself, he would smile and say “never”.
Each man did go down separate paths and for the majority of time, weren’t featured on the same brand.
Edge and Christian reunited earlier this year. With an assist by Edge, Christian won his first World Championship.
The length of the reign and the events leading to it can be disputed but the moment was pure magic.
Vickie Guerrero and La Familia
As much as the addition of Lita assisted Edge’s career, the relationship with Vickie Guerrero benefited Edge’s career just as much. The SmackDown GM aided the Rated R Superstar in winning six of his 11 World Titles. Edge became SmackDown’s top heel because of the relationship and led to his opportunistic ways.
If it wasn’t for Guerrero, Undertaker, Rey Mysterio and Batista would’ve defeated Edge for the World Championship on numerous occasions.
During his feud with Undertaker in 2007, Edge formed a stable with the Majors, Chavo Guerrero, Vickie and Bam Neely.
Known as La Familia, the group also aided Edge in retaining the World Championship. Edge wasn’t the only beneficiary of the groups’ efforts. Edge assisted Chavo in winning the ECW Championship by spearing CM Punk.
Despite the small notoriety, La Familia had a huge impact on the SmackDown landscape.
If Guerrero abusing her power wasn’t enough, the stable assisted Edge in banishing the Undertaker from the WWE with a TLC Match. The group eventually faded away with Edge attacking Chavo and Vickie after Triple H exposed his adultery.
Vickie and Edge remained a couple until Guerrero quit her position as General Manager. Edge divorced Vickie shortly after but their paths crossed again in 2011. Despite her efforts, Vickie was unable to permanently take the World Title off of the Rated R Superstar.
Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler lost their jobs trying.
Feud with John Cena
This is the feud that cemented Edge’s status as a main event talent. While the Ultimate Opportunist flourished on SmackDown, the title originally came about during this feud. This feud didn’t benefit Edge alone. If you didn’t consider Cena the face of the WWE before this rivalry, you did when it was over.
As a huge Edge head, I felt foolish to ignore any of his various feuds. A person of Edge’s heel persona is to draw emotion from fans such as anger and shock. When Edge cashed his MITB on John Cena in 2006, I was infuriated. Then I thought to myself, perfect.
That’s what made the Cena/Edge feud great. It’s ability to draw the emotion of its viewers. Along with the many surprises, crowd reaction and outside factors involved. The rivalry was simply “history.” Take a look at the first that came from Cena/Edge.
It was the first MITB cash in. Edges first reign as the WWE Champion. The first time it seemed like someone else had the attention besides Cena. Besides benefiting Edge, the rivalry gave a different view of Cena from a fan’s standpoint.
He was human simply. Cena was riding an awesome wave of momentum those 200-plus days as the WWE Champion. He beat every single person there was to beat excluding Triple H. While it wasn’t a problem with me, fans like change. One guy holding and defending the belt countless times can’t be entertaining.
Their feud in 2009 was also noteworthy.
No Way Out
Edge just lost his WWE Championship in an Elimination Chamber. Well establishing himself as the "Ultimate Opportunist" since his exit from RAW, Edge attacked Kofi Kingston and stole his place in the match. Problem is that the match was for Cena’s World Championship.
Once again, shocked we were. Edge endured adversity through the match but pinned Cena then Mysterio to win the World Title. Who would’ve guessed Cena would lose the title under those circumstances? Not me.
Though Cena would win it back at WrestleMania 25, he lost it to Edge at Backlash thanks to Big Show.
Like I said above, Edge made Cena seem human. He ended the talk of John Cena being unbeatable. Edge had the mental advantage over Cena each time excluding Backlash 2009. Also unlike usual Cena matches, we weren’t exactly sure if he would beat Edge or not.
Nowadays it’s elementary to predict a Cena victory.
Besides all of that, this feud has it ALL. Quoting Cena himself the feud had wives, girlfriends and managers, lacky’s, his dad, Edge’s hometown, Cena’s hometown, Elimination Chambers, TLC Matches, briefcases, history, championships and WrestleMania.
Name one feud to accompany that many factors?
There’s not too many WWE Superstars who can claim they’re more popular than Edge. Whether it’s the heat or cheers of the crowd, when the words you think you know me rang throughout an arena, they know they’re in for a show.
How many WWE Superstars can turn face over the course of one week?
The mere fact that Edge did so by destroying a meaningless prop stemming from the lack of angles from WWE Creative illustrates the popularity of Edge. Another notion to Edge’s popularity is the WWE Draft being moved up two months.
The decline in SmackDown ratings is also substantial at this point.
Edge isn’t the only Superstar noteworthy for their popularity, but the Rated R Superstar is certainly a dime of dozen.
Perhaps more than any main eventer on the WWE Roster, Edge was seemingly the mellowest Superstar. How many times has Edge lost a championship shortly after winning it? His first title reign ended at three weeks. Did the dirt sheets ever report Edge being furious about the length of it?
Even the label of transitional can be placed on the head of Edge. Along with that, none of his World Titles have gone over the length of four months.
Edge is known to put over other Superstars. Maybe not as much as Chris Jericho but Edge has never once left the WWE since joining. The Superstar wanted to lose his final match against his best friend Christian.
How admirable is that?
I’m also positive that Edge would be chasing World Heavyweight Champion, Alberto Del Rio, had he not retired months ago.
Tag Team Pioneer
When witnessing the state of the current WWE Tag Team Division, it’s great to relive the teams of the past. When the thought of the tag team titles and the great matches contested for them, Edge must appear in your train of thought somewhere. As a 14-time tag team Champion, Edge has contributed to the success of the Division in a huge way.
The numerous matches/angles that involved Edge and what it meant to the Division as a whole are tremendous.
From the level of Edge’s tag team partners, it’s obvious that Edge was definitely a legendary tag team wrestler. His partners were Hulk Hogan, Christian, Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho. Each man a great tag team wrestler in their own right but there is one thing each has in common with Edge.
They’ve held a World Championship at one point.
The rub Hogan gave Edge and the run as tag champions with Orton before they became full-time main eventers.
When Triple H and Shawn Michaels are taking on Edge and Randy Orton for the tag titles, the Division apparently means something.
I don’t know if I’m alone here, but I’ve enjoyed each of Edge’s WrestleMania matches. When the thought of WrestleMania arises, most fans look forward to who’s going to face Undertaker at WrestleMania. Most may not know this, but before losing to Undertaker at WrestleMania 24, Edge was undefeated in singles competition.
The Rated R Superstar was 5-0 until the Deadman silenced Edge with the Hell’s Gate.
I also consider the match to be one of the most underrated in WrestleMania history. In my opinion, it was better than Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair despite being overshadowed by it.
From TLC II at WrestleMania X-Seven to his last match at WrestleMania 27 with Del Rio, Edge has a great track record for match quality at Mania.
The Greatest Champion Ever: Done It All Won It All
The Rated R Superstar has won 31 championships throughout his 13-year career. With the numerous titles available in the WWE at the moment, it’s seemingly impossible to win each right?
Besides Kurt Angle, Edge is the only Superstar to win every title currently available in the WWE. Edge is a seven-time World Champion, four-time WWE Champion, five-time Intercontinental Champion, United States Champion, 12-time World Tag Team Champion and two-time WWE Tag Team Champion. He also won the 2010 Royal Rumble. He is also the first man to hold the Money in the Bank briefcase on two occasions.
What hasn’t this guy achieved in the WWE?
This was my tribute for one of the greatest Superstars in WWE history. I truly miss watching Edge spearing another wrestler out of his boots. The WWE just isn’t the same with the Rated R Superstar.
I welcome all opinions and comments.
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