In this article, I would like to discuss a few of the key similarities and differences between the two top heels on their Smackdown and Raw, respectively.
However, in the process, I would also like to discuss the differences that makes one of these heels truly rise above the other in how well they get over.
Tonight, I will be breaking down the similarities, and most importantly the differences between styles, careers, and abilities of Randy Orton and Edge.
I'd like to begin by saying that I am a fan of the work of both of men. Randy Orton and Edge are both phenomenal heels, and tremendous superstars in their own rights.
I began watching wrestling roughly two years ago, while a friend of mine has been watching for several longer.
As we watched, he told me his favorite was Randy Orton, and I informed him that my favorite was Edge. We discussed, and discussed, and could honestly not determine which was truly better.
In the process, we showed one another some truly great points about the other. Both Edge, and Randy Orton have all the tools needed to be the next Ric Flair, the next Hulk Hogan, the next Stone Cold, the next Rock, and have essentially unlimited potential.
However, one is on the path to becoming the next true great, while the other is on an entirely different path in the industry.
One superstar can become a Stone Cold with much less work than the other, who would not be able to make such a transition without a more unique push.
I'll begin now, with a list of comparative title reigns, and other accomplishments for each Superstar.
9 World Titles
12 Tag Team Titles
5 Intercontinental Titles
1 United States Title
2 Money in the Bank cash-ins
1 King of the Ring
5 World Titles
1 Intercontinental title
1 Tag Title
1 Royal Rumble Win
Now then, glancing over the list, it's clear who the person who could become, or even surpass the Rock, Stone Cold, Hogan, Flair, HBK, or any of the other legends of the industry. Right? Well, unfortunately, the answer here is not so simple.
While Edge does have the far more impressive history, he is no where near as close to truly becoming the next Austin, Rock, or any of the others, as the likes of Khali.
Well, that's not quite true, actually. Edge is quite a bit closer than Khali is, however that is beside the point.
The point being is that Edge's gimmick, while an interesting gimmick, and definitely one of the most successful for getting him over, has trapped him. In this article, I will further explain why this is the case.
Edge's career in WWE truly began when he began to team with Christian, and went into their legendary feuds with the Hardy Boyz.
During this time, he helped to revolutionize the ladder match, evolving it into a new concept with the TLC match, and creating one of the most successful periods in the history of the tag team division.
Edge, along with his five partners, truly made the tag division more credible than it has ever been, in my opinion.
He then moved on to singles action, where he began feuds with the likes of Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, and more notably Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, John Cena, The Undertaker, and Batista.
During this time, Edge established himself, and became one of the most hated men in the industry; a man who would take any means to win his matches, or retain whatever title he happened to be holding.
However, Edge's character has become a cowardly heel. He doesn't do things that would really make him more credible as a competitor.
Edge's matches are structured so that he is dominated for the majority of the match, seizes an opportunity, and takes the match; almost like a heel version of Cena.
Of course, Edge does get in his flurries before he gets halted, but typically, Edge's matches are structured roughly 65 percent or so around him being beaten, and even more in some cases.
Why is this, is my question. Edge has a solid build, and he seems to be working his core a lot more than he has in the past. He weighs in right around 240 or so lbs, which is only a small amount lighter than the likes of Triple H, of John Cena, and of Randy Orton, each of which are given ample time to control the tempo of the match.
Due to this, Edge's credibility as a competitor is often questioned, and despite how well he gets over, it limits him in how well he could potentially carry the industry.
Next we move to Randy Orton, who is the top heel on Raw. Randy Orton carries Raw on his back at this point, as his feud with Triple H is one of the longest lasting in the history of the industry, stretching back to, of course, their days in Evolution.
However, the rekindling point of this feud was at No Mercy of 2007, where Randy Orton recaptured the title again. The rivalry did, of course, go cold again for some time, as Randy feuded with a number of other baby faces, until WM24.
That is where the feud that I truly speak of picks back up. However, I've gotten a bit more ahead of myself than I should. I'm discussing Orton's current feuds, when I intend to discuss his past a bit more in depth.
Randy Orton's career truly began when he rose above Flair and Batista in Evolution. When Randy captured the Intercontinental title, he gained credibility as a singles competitor.
Randy has little to no history of tag action, which meant that he could immediately hold his own, and was never viewed as a "tag man."
Randy feuded with the likes of Shawn Michaels, The Rock, and Mick Foley before ever truly leaving Evolution. When Randy finally lost his Intercontinental title, it was to Edge, but only to put him into the World Title hunt.
Randy went on to win the title from Benoit shortly after, and so his legendary feud with Triple H began. Randy dropped the title shortly after.
Randy continued down his path, facing Taker at Mania, and all that. However, after that time had gone by, I don't hear much about him, and I only know that he had begun regaining true note, for me and the people I know, at least, when he began teaming with Edge in Rated RKO.
Rated RKO was the Heel Stable formed to give DX a true "enemy." Randy and Edge had both been acknowledged as credible singles competitors, as had Michaels and Triple H.
At this point, the tag division got another boost, as they had four potential world champions wrestling as tag competitors. Randy and Edge captured the Tag Titles, and had a rather successful time at this point.
From then, Randy only became noteworthy again, for me, when he began his rivalry with John Cena. This is what truly put him in the Super Heel position for Raw, I do believe.
The thing that truly put him there being, of course, when he attacked John Cena's father.
This outraged the fans, and they demanded the White Meat Baby Face destroy the Heel, which was likely exactly what the Creative team hoped to create in Randy Orton.
Randy Orton continued his feud, until John Cena became injured just before No Mercy, and he was allowed to feud with another of the biggest babyfaces in the industry. Triple H returned, and took the title from him, only to regain it the same night.
By beating Triple H, even after Triple H had competed in two other matches in the same night, gave him another bit of instant credibility.
His feud with Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho's return, and Jeff Hardy only furthered that, and his feud at Mania with Cena and Triple H.
When a Heel wins a match of this caliber fairly, it gives their credibility as a champion a MASSIVE increase. Furthermore, this extended his title run to an amazing six months, which is an incredible run in the WWE today.
Randy has continued feuds with Triple H throughout the year, as well as feuds with the entire McMahon family.
It seems to me that only the true greats of the industry can feud with the Family, and by allowing him to do so, they even further added to his credibility.
When we compare the types of heels that Austin, The Rock, and the other "Cool heels" were, we can only say that Orton is the more likely of the two to follow in their legendary footsteps.
His career has been much more...perhaps dominant type heel, I suppose would fit. The heel that Randy Orton is, while a cowardly type, is without question the type that would be able to rise to a challenge.
Personally, I very much prefer Edge to Randy Orton. Edge is more charismatic, and while he may not be quite as athletic, I do believe that his in ring ability, and his bump taking ability are a step above Orton's.
While Edge may never get that push that he needs, all Edge needs is that real PUSH. The things he did with Taker at Mania, at One Night Stand, and at Summerslam were all the types of things that he needs to do to surpass Orton.
However, the career of Randy Orton thus far has asserted him as more dominant. Randy is the talented, third generation star, who can win fairly, can be smarter, and can wrestle.
However, while he's good on the mic, Edge is almost in a class all his own; his only true competition being Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels, both of whom can cut amazing promos, and are talented enough to cut one for each and every occasion.
In my opinion, both are obviously still relatively young, and still not too far into their prime. Edge may be a bit more so than Randy, but he definitely has quite a number of years left in him.
Perhaps we could see the likes of these two recreating wrestling, and running the business as The Rock, and Stone Cold did. What an amazing prospect this would be, and these two both have the near unmatched amounts of potential to do so.
Only time will tell, I suppose.