WWE: 10 Reasons Edge Is a Hall of Famer
Last April, then-world heavyweight champion Edge shocked the world by announcing his immediate retirement from the squared circle due to the severe status of his already injured neck.
Ironically enough, I wrote an article days prior that provided bold predictions for WrestleMania 28, with one being that Edge would wrestle his last match of his career on the grandest stage of them all in Miami. Never would I have thought we'd be seeing the end of a rated-R era come to a close so abruptly in the fashion that it did.
Nonetheless, it didn't take long for everyone watching at home to speculate the obvious from the moment Edge hung up his boots: He's a guaranteed WWE Hall of Famer.
When Edge was revealed as the newest member into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2012, this surely came as no shock to this viewer, as it was evident from the beginning that the Rated-R Superstar is without a doubt worthy of a spot among the immortals.
Although some may argue that it was too early to induct the Master Manipulator in the illustrious hall, I personally believe it's sooner the better while he's still fresh in the minds of the WWE Universe. Besides, Toronto hosting WrestleMania in coming years seems unlikely at this point, so inducting Edge sooner than expected looks to be the highlight of WrestleMania weekend.
Before Edge takes his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame on March 31st, I present to you 10 reasons as to why the 11-time world champion deserves the title of being a WWE legend.
Revolutionizing the Tag Team Divisions
Upon Edge's debut in the WWE in 1998, he was quickly placed in a stable entitled the Brood and placed in a tag team with Christian. From the get-go, the two instantly clicked, and went on to capture the World Tag Team Championships a total of seven times together.
During their lengthy reign atop the division, their most famous feud came with Jeff and Matt Hardy, collectively known as the Hardy Boyz. The Hardys were also once apart of the Brood, so there was certainly bad blood and history between the two teams to trigger the rivalry.
Of course, one of the few highlights of the on-going series was their epic Triple Threat Ladder Match featuring the Dudley Boyz over the straps at WrestleMania 2000. The bout is widely considered one of the greatest in WWE history, setting forth a new era where tag teams were now being taken seriously.
It's quite a shame that the tag team division is in the state that it's in at the moment, as it finally showed potential of being something brilliant. Not to mention that the WWE Tag Team Championships have lost a ton of prestige and are considered completely irrelevant.
One can only hope that a team similar to Edge and Christian will emerge once again to resurrect the division and save it from its own self-destruction.
Master of the TLC Match
As previously mentioned, Edge (and to an extent Christian) is heavily considered the pioneer of the tables, ladders and chairs match that came to fruition during the three-way feud over the World Tag Team Championships.
As of now, only 12 TLC matches have been contested since its inception about a decade ago, with Edge competing in seven of them. Of those seven, the Rated-R Superstar emerged victorious in five of them. If that doesn't impress you, then I don't know what would.
Not only is it about the record itself, but the performances he's had in this cruel matchup every time he's been involved. Edge managed to steal the show with every TLC match he ever participated in, given his natural hardcore style and making his opponent shine regardless of who it may have been.
Sadly, TLC matches will never be the same without Edge competing in them much like he used to.
King of the Ring
Towards the end of the partnership of the Brood brothers, Edge was able to win the prestigious King of the Ring tournament in 2001, much to the dismay of Christian. Captain Charisma proceeded to grow jealous of Edge's singles success, eventually calling for the disbanding of the team.
Shortly thereafter, Edge used his king's crown to move on to bigger and better things in singles competition, winning the Intercontinental Championship a total of five times. The visual of Edge carrying that trophy he was awarded when he won the tournament still cracks me up to this day.
Mr. Money in the Bank
After multiple years of competing in the midcard, Edge was finally given his chance to shine when he was entered as a participant in the inaugural Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania 21. Outlasting five other hungry competitors, Edge was successful in retrieving the briefcase from above the ring that would later set his illustrious career in motion.
Ten months later, Edge shocked the world by waiting until the opportune moment to cash in his guaranteed championship shot on then-WWE champion John Cena at New Year's Revolution. Much to the pleasure of the crowd in attendance, Edge had ended the lengthy reign of the champ and captured his first of many WWE Championships, all due thanks to the Money in the Bank briefcase.
The following year, Edge was able to trick Mr. Kennedy into defending his Money in the Bank briefcase that he had won at WrestleMania 23, in which the Master Manipulator's sneaky ways saw him walk away from Raw once again Mr. Money in the Bank.
Four days later on Friday night SmackDown, Edge quickly cashed in the opportunistic briefcase for a second time on an already beaten Undertaker to win his first World Heavyweight Championship.
It's interesting to note that the Rated-R Superstar was involved in every Money in the Bank cash-in that occurred after the match was discontinued at WrestleMania from 2005 to 2010. It's needless to say that he's proven himself to be the one, only and true Mr. Money in the Bank.
Dedication to the WWE
Although it gives me great displeasure to say it, the WWE Hall of Fame is WWE's for a reason, as most of the inductees stayed loyal to Vince McMahon over the years and eventually earned their spot in the company. However, legendary names such as Macho Man, Ultimate Warrior and Bob Backlund may never be entered due to their personal problems with the boss.
With that being said, Edge stayed true to the WWE through thick and thin during his 13-year career in the company, not once even considering crossing over to the rival promotion. May I remind you that Edge got into wrestling right around the time that WCW was at its peak, so I still find it surprising he never made the jump during that time.
Eventually, Edge's build-up reached his climax in 2006 and made him one of the most charismatic superstars in WWE history.
Resilient from Injuries
However, his lengthy WWE career wasn't picture-perfect, as injuries are always bound to occur at any time while a professional wrestler. Edge would know better than most superstars, as he's been sidelined a handful of times over the course of his career.
His most notable injury would be his broken neck suffered in early 2003, preventing him from competing for over a year. Regardless, Edge was able to bounce back like the dedicated worker he is, still competing at the same level he always has.
Unfortunately, that same neck injury would soon be the cause of his impromptu retirement from pro wrestling last year, as it got to the point that it would be near life-threatening had he competed in another match. His numerous injuries that happened had the worst timing as well, stripping him of his gold on more than one occasion.
Nonetheless, the typical "returning from injury" storyline that WWE plays up with most superstars worked perfectly for Edge, as it made for many memorable returns for the Rated-R Superstar when he eventually came back.
Royal Rumble Winner
One of those aforementioned injuries occurred in the summer of 2009, where Edge suffered a torn Achilles tendon during a house show that was originally predicted to keep him shelved for nearly a year. Due to the injury, Edge was forced to relinquish his half of the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship that he held with Chris Jericho in the process.
At the 2010 Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Edge made his shocking return to the WWE as the 29th entrant in the annual battle royal, eliminating archrival Jericho as well as John Cena to win the Royal Rumble match moments later.
With this victory, Edge became the first (and only to date) superstar in WWE history to win the King of the Ring, Money in the Bank and Royal Rumble collectively. Although Edge would later carry on the curse of coming up short of winning the World Championship at WrestleMania 26, he was able to live up to his Ultimate Opportunist moniker at the January event.
11-Time World Champion
After quickly dropping the WWE Championship back to John Cena following a three-week reign in early 2006, many speculated that Edge's time at the top would only make him a one-hit wonder. It wouldn't be for another few months before Edge proved the world again by capturing the title back for a second time that summer, defeating Cena a handful of times before eventually losing it back to the Cenation leader.
Since then, Edge accumulated a total of 11 World Championships in WWE, with four of those reigns being WWE Championships and the record-breaking seven reigns as world heavyweight champion on SmackDown. Sure, most of those reigns may have been brief, but he sure as hell made the title picture interesting whichever show he was on.
Additionally, Edge held a total of 31 championships while in WWE, breaking the record for most titles won by any WWE superstar. It can easily be said that he deserved every reign he was given, regardless of the time he held each title for.
Being one of the few veterans left in the company that could still work at an impressive rate before his retirement, Edge was well-known for his excellent performance night in and night out, also succeeding in getting his young opponent over in the process.
Whether it was a gimmick match or a straight-up singles bout, Edge managed to make every one of his bouts worth watching and exciting with his natural abilities inside the ring. Growing up, he was inspired by fellow Canadian Bret Hart to become a professional wrestler, an idol's career that he would soon mirror with the fact that size didn't matter to either man when it came to becoming successful in WWE.
His annual performances at WrestleMania were nothing short of amazing, giving it all he got to make his match one of the most memorable on the card. It's disappointing to know now that he wrestled his final match ever in the opening match of WrestleMania 27, as he more than likely would have been given the main event slot had they known of the extent of his injuries earlier.
Cutting Edge Personality
Without a doubt, Edge will be known as one of the greatest heels to ever grace the business. Of course, he retired as a strong, respected face, but his days as a manipulative villain will be remembered as some of the best in his career.
Shortly after breaking into the main event in early 2006, Edge developed his newest original gimmick as the Rated-R Superstar, taking part in a "live sex celebration" with Lita the following night on Raw. Subsequently, Edge would soon become the cause of one of the biggest spike in ratings in Raw history.
Additionally, his Cutting Edge interview segment would also make for memorable moments, hosting rivalries with his recent rivals, or provide a preview of an upcoming match on pay-per-view. Regardless of whether he was performing on Raw or SmackDown, Edge always managed to make every program that he was featured on entertaining.
Hopefully, Edge will cut yet another heartfelt promo at this year's WWE Hall of Fame ceremony much similar to the one he cut the night he retired. When all is said and done, his impressive accolades and achievements can only be summed up in three words: "Thank you, Edge."
Thanks for reading, Bleachers, and make sure to drop a comment below with your thoughts on Edge being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. As always, your criticism and overall feedback is greatly appreciated.