WWE Flashback Friday: What If Edge Wasn't Forced to Retire from the Ring?
Every Friday, I analyze past storylines that were altered by real-life instances, including injuries, suspensions and more. In this series of articles, I predict what would have happened in the angle had it gone as originally planned.
Eight days removed from WrestleMania 27, Edge shockingly announced that he was being forced to retire from active competition. The doctors told him that any physical activity could paralyze him for life, so Edge had no say in the matter.
Edge noted in his documentary, as well as in various interviews, that his contract was set to expire at the start of 2012 and he planned on wrestling for one more year. It is also common knowledge that he wanted his last match to be with Christian on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
On the April 15 edition of SmackDown, Edge officially relinquished his World Heavyweight Championship. Christian and Alberto Del Rio fought for the vacant title at Extreme Rules in a Ladder match, which was won by Captain Charisma.
Chritian's reign as world champion was short lived, however, as he dropped the strap to Randy Orton on the subsequent edition of SmackDown. This jump-started a feud between the two that would last for close to four months.
During the course of his rivalry with Orton, Christian turned heel and even managed to regain the prestigious prize for a short period of time before losing it back to The Viper. The rumors of Christian's long awaited heel turn dated back all the way to his return at Elimination Chamber, where he saved Edge from an attack at the hands of Del Rio.
Regardless of whether Edge retired or not, Christian still would have turned his back on the WWE Universe, but the real question is who he would have feuded with instead.
After successfully defending his world title against Del Rio at WrestleMania 27, Edge was scheduled to put the gold up for grabs against the Mexican aristocrat at Extreme Rules. Plans indicated that Del Rio was destined to move to Raw regardless, so one would imagine that the Rated-R Superstar would have come out victorious in that rematch.
One of the major reasons the 2011 WWE Draft was held in April that year instead of June was due to Edge's retirement. SmackDown was in need of a top babyface following Edge's departure, which was where Orton came in.
By the time Edge retired from the ring, he and Christian had already been appearing alongside each other on television for nearly two months. The seeds had been planted for what would have been an amazing feud, but unfortunately, it never came to fruition.
The Ultimate Opportunist always made mention of the fact that he planned on "passing the torch" to Christian by losing the world title to him at one point or another. If this were the case, perhaps Christian's time at the top of the blue brand would have lasted longer than it did.
It's unknown if Orton would have been drafted to SmackDown later in the year despite Edge still being a member of the active roster, but it's very possible that those two could have feuded over the strap as well. They briefly feuded in the spring of 2010, but the rivalry was cut short due to Orton sustaining an injury.
While it's a shame that Edge had to retire as abruptly as he did, at least he went out on top as the World Heavyweight Champion. Had Edge not hung up his boots for good in April 2011, we may not have received that unforgettable feud between Christian and Orton, but I guess we'll never know for sure.
Thanks for reading and be sure to drop a comment below with your thoughts on Edge's retirement and his potential feud with Christian. Also, mention include any potential topics you would like to see analyzed in upcoming editions of WWE Flashback Friday.
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