Adam Joseph Copeland (Edge) - A Celebration
by, 04-12-2011 at 08:24 AM (8936 Views)
The world of “Wrestling” Entertainment constantly blurs fantasy with reality to keep fans guessing whether something they’ve just seen was a ‘work’ or not. Sometimes this can be done to well, Taker after this years Mania for example and sometimes disastrously (Jarrett/Angle). Sometimes we just don’t know when storyline ends and reality begins which is why I initially didn’t buy the retirement of Edge this week on Raw. But something niggled me about it and I went back and watched it a couple more times and now that it it apparent that he has had to genuinely retire from the ring I am filled with sadness at the loss of a great superstar and wrestler and gratitude that I have grown up watching Edge evolve into a true champion and performer.
I’m not going to bore you with a history of Edge (go check out Wikipedia) for that. I just wanted to share some of my personal reflections and memories of the last 13 years or so.
Late nineties I wasn’t really into the emerging stars, I guess like most I was quite happy being entertained by Rock/Austin/Taker/Mankind etc… to worry too much about mid-carders. So it wasn’t really until the emergence of the TLC matches that I began to take the talents of Edge and his peers seriously. People talk about the daredevil style of Jeff Hardy but you look back at those matches and Edge and Christian take just as many risks and bumps (how Christian managed to stay surgery free for so long I don’t know). E&C were a good tag-team tweened perfectly between the brawler style of the Dudleys and the high-flying style of the Hardys – they were truly part of the last great Tag Team era.
Inevitably, like the WWE love to do with all successful tag teams – the split took place soon after. I know it worked with The Rockers but do we have to see this repeated with every single successful team? Anyway it seemed like Edge was destined for a steady rise up the card when disaster struck in 2003 and he was sidelined for a year with a neck injury.
Although this was obviously a tough time for Edge, I remember fondly reading his regular blog-style columns on the WWE website during his rehab. They were honest and entertaining, providing us fans with updates on his rehab, comments on the current product and anecdotes from his time on the road. In a pre-tweet world it was the best way for Edge to stay connected with the fans. His return in 2004 into a PPV match with Kane was interesting to say the least – here we had a upper mid-card fan favourite returning from a year out with a legitimate injury and he was booed. Stars like Cena just laugh it off and stick to the programme – not Edge though – he listened to the crowd and allowed them to turn him heel. Something I feel Edge has always been great at since being able to be a face one night and a feel the next so effortlessly (a commodity TNA greatly need).
This turn for me and the was cemented in the ‘Storyline’ of his relationship with Lita and the Matt Hardy feud which resulted in the true birth of the Rated R Superstar. This was one of the last great acts of the Attitude Era. Here we had a heel, unashamedly sleeping with a colleagues girlfriend – even simulating sex in the ring with her (5.2 million viewers), not giving a damn about what people thought. And the best thing….he won the feud. True Hardy got the odd win here and there but nothing substantial. I don’t believe the PG Era could stomach an angle like that at all.
2006 saw the final emergence of Champion Edge in the first Money in the Bank cash in at New Years Revolution. For me this was a true mark out moment as we’d never seen it cashed in before. Nowadays you can almost second guess when its going to be cashed in…but then it was new.
2006 saw Edge become my favourite Wrestler (only for a year HBK was back up there by the end) delivering us some his finest moments. The MITB cash in, his Mania match with Foley, costing Cena the title at the classic One Night Stand PPV and his epic almost year long feud with Cena. This was a fantastic year for him and one that for me was never replicated. I could a whole blog just on this year alone.
The last few years have still seen some great moments – a strong Undertaker Feud, The Rated-RKO era and the triumphant return at Rumble 2010 but with a visible slowing down in the ring and some talk or retirement looming it was becoming clear that Edge was positioning himself into programmes to make the future stars (Ziggler/Del Rio). I was looking forward to a couple of years of solid programmes with young talents - a feud with Rhodes would have been great but sadly it is not meant to be and his in-ring ability and charisma will be greatly missed.
I hope there is still a future for Edge on and off screen with the WWE as he has truly deserved his place in their history and a future HOF spot. 31 championships in 13 years vouches for that.
I hope this blog conjures up some great memories as you read it and feel free as always to add your own comments, thoughts, recollections and abuse etc and join me in celebrating the career of the Rated R Superstar.
Until next time