Edge Retires from WWE: The 20 Greatest Matches of His Career
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One month ago, Edge announced his retirement due serious health issues. This announcement definitely left most WWE fans in shock, as they never expected him to leave this year despite knowing that he was nearing the end of his wrestling career.
The Rated "R" Superstar was the main buzz of all wrestling sites in the past weeks. Dozens of current and former WWE superstars expressed their sadness and paid tribute to one of the best superstars in this business.
Bleacher Report had its fair share of tributes to the Ultimate Opportunist, too.
Edge is one of all-time favorite superstars ever. With this said, I thought I had to write something about him as I couldn't watch one of my favorites leave without paying any kind of tribute to his career.
In the following slides, I'll break down Edge's 20 best matches ever. Of course, such lists will always be debatable, no matter how hard people try to be objective. Personal opinions always have their effects, too. So, I expect to see few disagreements and I'll be glad to read your thoughts for sure.
Honestly speaking, that was one of the hardest slide shows I've ever did. I knew Edge had numerous great matches in his career, but I had difficult times in making this list because I couldn't decide which matches should be excluded and which should be included.
Furthermore, I realized that they can be ranked in many different ways if we take different criteria into consideration.
Therefore, I apologize beforehand if I forgot any notable match.
All said and done, let the show begin.
As I said, Edge had many great matches and I had to exclude some matches from the list. Some of the matches mentioned below are certainly great matches that can easily make the list.
However, I didn't want to mention too many matches from the same feud, and I wanted to include most of the opponents he faced during his career instead.
Many people might not like the criteria I followed because this will leave many great matches out of the list. But don't worry, as all the matches in the list are great and worthy of being top matches.
One Night Stand (2008): Edge vs Undertaker in a TLC match (Edge and Undertaker had more than one great match, and after too much thinking, I had to drop this one. And I'm still annoyed that it didn't make the list. Edge won this match and he even ended Taker's career for a while)
Unforgiven (2006): Edge vs John Cena in a TLC match (Another great match that I had to drop)
Backlash (2002): Edge vs Kurt Angle
Survivor Series (2002): Edge & Rey Mysterio vs Los Guerreros (Eddie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero) vs Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit (Elimination Tag-Team match)
Wrestlemania (2000): Edge and Christian vs Hardy Boyz vs Dudley Boyz in triangle ladder match (Due to the success of this match, we were later introduced to TLC matches. In my opinion, it was a great match but I didn't want the list to be all about this rivalry)
Summerslam (2000): Edge and Christian vs Hardy Boyz vs Dudley Boyz in a TLC match (The first ever TLC match. As I said above, I didn't want the list to be about this rivalry)
Backlash (2006): Edge vs John Cena vs Triple H
Backlash (2007): Edge vs Randy Orton vs Shawn Michaels vs John Cena
Summerslam (2005): Edge (with Lita) vs Matt Hardy (A brutal match, but it was very short)
Wrestlemania 26: Edge vs Chris Jericho (A good match for sure. But we expected something better from those two)
Wrestlemania 23: Edge vs CM Punk vs Jeff Hardy vs Finlay vs Booker T vs Matt Hardy vs Mr. Kennedy vs Booker T in a Money in the Bank ladder match
Vengeance (2004): Edge vs Randy Orton
Summerslam (2006): Edge vs John Cena
Royal Rumble (2011): Edge vs Dolph Ziggler
20. Wrestlemania 21: Money in the Bank Ladder Match
On this day, I saw clearly, the beginning of Edge's journey towards the main event scene.
This was the first ever Money in the Bank Ladder Match, and it was definitely an unforgettable match. Many people consider it one of the best MITB matches if not the best.
How can it not be with great superstars like Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Shelton Benjamin, Christian, Kane and Edge being involved in it?
At the end, Edge was able to climb the ladder and grab the briefcase and secure a future World Championship match for himself anytime he wants.
The Ultimate Opportunist cashed in the contract 10 months later at New Year's Revolution against Cena and captured the his first ever WWE Title in one of the most shocking moments in WWE history.
Back to the match, I'll have to say that it was one of the best matches. It included many notable spots. However, Edge wasn't the star of this match and he wasn't involved in many spots and that's why it's a bit low on this list.
I know he received a T-Bone Suplex from Benjamin off the top of the ladder, but the best highlights of the match were executed by others. However, his win is enough to make me add the match to the list.
Check the highlights of this match here.
19. Elimination Chamber (2011): Edge/Kane/McIntyre/Mysterio/Show/Barrett (EC)
This was one of Edge's last major matches before his retirement. And he didn't disappoint his fans during this night. Most superstars looked good during the bout.
After eliminating Kane following a spear, Edge was left with Rey Mysterio in the ring. The two had a nice encounter with more than one near pinfall. In the end, Edge hit an awesome midair spear for the win and retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
This was the match of the night for most fans. It was a shame not to have it as the PPV's main event.
This match also witnessed Christian's long-awaited return as he came in and saved Edge from Alberto Del Rio's post-match attack.
Click here for highlights.
18. TLC (2010): Edge vs Kane vs Alberto Del Rio vs Rey Mysterio (TLC Match)
I think it's a rarity not to enjoy a TLC match, and this match is no exception.
After more than 18 months since his last title reign, Edge was able to win the World Heavyweight Championship and thus become a 10-time World Champion (including a record six-time World Heavyweight Champion).
The match included numerous cool spots with its highlight being Del Rio falling off the top of the ladder through a table at ringside.
This might not be Edge's best performance when compared to his past TLC matches. But still, he was able to put a solid performance.
I would also like to add that this was his first-ever World Title win as a face.
Click here for highlights.
17. Backlash (2005): Edge vs Chris Benoit (Last Man Standing Match)
This was Edge's first PPV match after his Money in the Bank win at Wrestlemania 21. And what can we expect when we have two talented superstars like Chris Benoit and Edge in one ring?
Things between both superstars started heating at Taboo Tuesday when Edge left Benoit alone against La Résistance in their tag-team match. He was still frustrated for not getting a title shot as he didn't win the audience voting. This was the beginning of his epic and long running heel turn.
Both superstars had several encounters in the next few months. At Wrestlemania 21, Benoit was so close to win the MITB match before he got knocked off by Edge himself, who ultimately won the match. This led to their match at Backlash.
This was a great back and forth contest with each superstar gaining the upper hand on more than one occasion.
A garbage can and a ladder were used during the bout. Benoit hit Edge with numerous German Suplexes and locked him in several submission maneuvers. Edge made good use of his newly-won briefcase, too.
In the end, and following two spears that weren't enough, Edge was able to win after pulling a brick from his briefcase and hitting Benoit in the back of his head, leaving him unable to answer the 10-count.
Check out the match below.
16. RAW (Jan. 16, 2006): Edge vs Ric Flair (TLC Match)
This match occurred live on RAW and particularly one week after the infamous live sex celebration angle. It was Edge's first title defense after winning his first-ever WWE Championship.
Ric Flair was years past his prime in the 2000s. However, he never failed to amaze us and show that he can still put a great match when needed and this one was a mere example.
It was an emotional contest in which Flair was so close to win the championship. The fact that he was in his hometown and in front of his family added more drama to the match.
But in the end, Edge reached the belt and retained the title.
A great match that you were able to watch for free. In fact, you'll notice that there are several matches from RAW and Smackdown on this list.
Links to the match can be found below.
15. No Mercy (1999): Edge and Christian vs the Hardy Boyz (Ladder Match)
Since the team of Edge and Christian is considered as one of the best tag-teams in WWE history, you should expect to see some of their matches being mentioned, especially that they were involved in more than one epic match and this match was no exception.
This was the final match of the Terri Invitational Tournament. This tournament featured a best-of-five series of matches with the winner earning the managerial services of Terri Runnels.
Edge and Christian were feuding against the Hardy Boyz with Gangrel (who turned on E&C and formed the new brood with the Hardys). The first two matches were won by E&C, but the Hardys retaliated and won the next two matches which led to the deciding match at No Mercy.
Jeff Hardy pushed Edge off the ladder and was able to reach the bag of money for the win.
This is one of the matches that showed us what Ladder matches can involve. Such matches were definitely popular prior to this PPV. But they were taken into a new level in this bout.
The success of all the next TLC and other Ladder matches should all be attributed to this specific match.
Furthermore, all four men cemented themselves as solid superstars in WWE. Both teams received a standing ovation after the match and the next night on RAW.
Here's a video of all superstars discussing this match.
Here are some highlights of the match.
14. ECW One Night Stand 2006: Edge, Lita and Foley vs Dreamer, Beulah and Funk
As soon as I finished ranking the matches, I realized that I left this match out. Therefore, I had to remove another match and place this instead because it can never be bumped.
This was one of the most extreme and brutal matches I've seen on WWE.
After their brutal and insane match at Wrestlemania 22, Mick Foley joined forces with Edge (with Lita) and betrayed his old ECW pals, Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer. This led to the announcement of an Extreme Rules Tag-Team match at ECW One Night Stand. Lita and Beulah McGillicutty (Dreamer's real-life wife) were added to the match during the event.
The match had numerous hardcore and brutal spots. All superstars made a good use of the barbed wire bat, and Mick Foley even took a shot with flaming barbed wire 2 x 4. In the end, Edge speared Beulah, who came in to check after Dreamer, and covered her in a hot-looking maneuver for the win.
Edge had already proved to all fans that he can be a credible main eventer and can hang with the best. However, in this match, he just further pushed his case when he joined three hardcore veterans in one ring and showed that he belonged in there with them.
13. No Mercy (2001): Edge vs Christian (Ladder Match)
Edge and Christian might have had several great matches together as a team. But they also had numerous memorable encounters against each others, and this match was their best.
Many people were begging for those two to feud again after they reunited for a short time. Unfortunately for them, Edge had to retire and their wish will never come true now.
However, I guess we've seen enough from Edge and Christian and if you miss them together, you can check this match for some nostalgia. And with the stipulation being a ladder match, I guess we all knew what to expect from the pioneers of such matches.
The action started quickly outside the ring. The match involved some sick spots and bumps.
In the end, Edge hit Christian with a con-chair-to on top of the ladder which caused the latter to fall down. Edge took advantage and grabbed the Intercontinental Title for the win.
12. Unforgiven (2005): Edge vs Matt Hardy (Steel Cage Match)
How can I not include one of the most popular personal and real rivalries here? Who can forget the real-life issues involving Edge, Lita and Matt Hardy? No need to go through this story again, so I'll stop here.
The rivalry was at its peak during this match. Both superstars had numerous encounters before with Edge winning the first match at Summerslam after brutally assaulting Hardy.
This match was great with Edge delivering another brutal punishment to Hardy. However, Hardy was able to fight back this time and even prevent Lita from interfering.
In the end, Hardy hit an amazing leg drop off the top of the cage for the win. This victory was a nice revenge for Hardy and his fans. Too bad, he lost in the next match and had to leave RAW afterwards.
11. Backlash (2009): Edge vs John Cena (Last Man Standing Match)
Edge and John Cena had more than one great match but I had to go with this one because I consider as the best match in their rivalry. Both men looked great during the match, which involved a lot of storytelling.
The action even spilled outside the ring and through the crowd. No one was able to keep the other down for the 10-count, even though there were numerous close counts.
In the end, Big Show interfered and chokeslammed Cena through a spotlight that exploded. This left him unable to answer the 10 count and thus, Edge won the World Heavyweight Championship.
Edge and Cena had a great chemistry together and this match was a good example.
10. Summerslam (2008): Edge vs Undertaker (Hell in a Cell)
I had to favor this match over their TLC match for various reasons. It was longer with more crazy spots.
Furthermore, it had no interferences unlike the TLC match that involved La Familia members. And by the way, this match did involve tables, ladders and chairs and at a certain point, it looked like TLC inside a Cell match.
The match was scheduled by Vickie Guerrero as a punishment for Edge's betrayal. Undertaker was fired prior to the match due to the stipulation at One Night Stand. But Vickie rehired him and put him against her boyfriend.
Edge put a great performance during the match and was in control for a good time. But all he did wasn't enough to put the Dead Man down. In the end, the Phenom hit the Tombstone Piledriver for the win.
Next, he chokeslammed Edge off the top of the ladder through the ring and down to hell. This was a memorable moment but, of course, not a favorite for the Rated "R" Superstar.
Click here for the highlights of this match.
9. RAW (February 28, 2005): Edge vs Shawn Michaels (Street Fight)
Edge and HBK in one ring. Do you expect anything less than classic? Of course, the answer is NO. Add an insane stipulation like a street fight to the match and you'll get a crazy and brutal bloodbath.
This rivalry started when Shawn Michaels won the audience voting against Edge and Chris Benoit for the right to face then-World Heavyweight Champion, Triple H. Edge felt screwed because of this and cost HBK the match later that night.
Things heated more at New Year's Revolution when HBK superkicked Edge and caused him to be eliminated in an Elimination Chamber match (Michaels was the special guest referee of the match).
Both superstars faced at Royal Rumble where Edge won with the help of some underhanded tactics. This led to another match live on RAW.
Both men came in wearing jeans. The match involved numerous kinds of weapons like ladders, chairs and kendo sticks.
HBK was able to win after a bloody and hard-fought battle. This was one of Edge's last major matches before winning the Money in the Bank Ladder match at Wrestlemania 21.
8. RAW (April 30, 2007): Edge vs Randy Orton
Enough with the gimmick matches involving weapons and let's focus on a singles match.
Who can forget the team of Rated RKO? Who can forget their heated rivalry against DX? Both superstars had a nice run together, but we all knew that they will split one day given their big egos, especially when they started chasing the WWE Title.
At Backlash, both men were involved in a Fatal Four Way match that also included HBK and John Cena (then WWE Champion). During the match, a miscommunication occurred between them. This increased their hatred and things exploded the following night on RAW.
This was a great heel vs. heel match. It's rare to see such matches these days. Both men tried their best to use underhanded tactics and cheat their way towards victory. However, it was Edge who was able to stand tall in the end.
Another match that was shown on regular TV, and another great performance by the Rated "R" Superstar. He showed us that he doesn't always need ladders and chairs to put a great performance and win.
It's interesting to note that Edge won the Money in the Bank briefcase from Mr. Kennedy one week later.
He cashed in the contract few days later against Undertaker and moved on to Smackdown after becoming the new World Heavyweight Champion there.
Click here to watch the match.
7. Judgment Day (2002): Edge vs Kurt Angle (Hair vs Hair Match)
Edge and Kurt Angle had an entertaining rivalry that led to several great matches between the two.
One of those matches were this match that involved a hair vs. hair stipulation with the loser being forced to shave his hair.
We all remember the numerous backstage and funny segments the two had during the feud.
Edge was able to win the match in the end and shave Angle's head. Since then, we had to get used to the bald Angle we know now.
Sorry I couldn't find the whole match. Click here to watch part of it.
The aftermath of the match can be seen here. Sorry for the low quality.
6. Wrestlemania 17: E & C vs the Hardy Boyz vs the Dudley Boyz (TLC Match)
After hard thinking, I had to go with this match. The three teams were coming out of two great and similar matches at WrestleMania 2000 and Summerslam 2000.
After those two epic battles, they had to keep the hype, and surprisingly, they didn't fail to do so.
This match involved more jaw-dropping and breath-taking spots like Bubba Ray Dudley and Matt Hardy falling through four tables and numerous other bumps.
However, the highlight of the match was when Edge jumped off the ladder to spear Jeff Hardy, who was hanging onto the belts in the air. It is considered as the best TLC spot ever.
In the end, Christian was able to reach the belts and secure the victory for his team.
A great match that occurred at the best WrestleMania ever.
5. No Mercy (2002): Edge & Rey Mysterio vs Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit
This is considered by many people as the best tag-team match in the last decade and one of the best in WWE's history. Four extremely talented superstars gathered in one ring.
This was the final match of the tag team tournament that was announced by then-Smackdown GM, Stephanie McMahon, to determine the inaugural WWE Tag Team Champions. Both teams reached the final match successfully and the stage was set for the final match at No Mercy.
What we saw was the innovative double-team maneuvers and speed of Rey Mysterio and Edge vs the great technical abilities of Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit. More than 20 minutes of pure excitement that we definitely miss in today's tag-team matches.
Edge was able to put a great performance and this was one of his best matches. Unfortunately, his team wasn't able to win as he tapped out to Angle's ankle lock. But still, this doesn't take away from Mysterio and Edge's great efforts in this bout.
4. Extreme Rules (2009): Edge vs Jeff Hardy (Ladder Match)
Where do I have to start here? What can I say about this match? Edge and Jeff Hardy faced each others at Extreme Rules in the same match they redefined 10 years before during their famous tag-team match at No Mercy.
These two were bitter rivals during their tag-team wars. They wrestled in countless great tag-team matches and cemented themselves as solid superstars.
The history between both superstars and their undoubted experiences in ladder matches were enough to make us set our hopes way too high as we headed into the event. Fortunately, the match lived up to the hype and even exceeded expectations.
The match had some great and innovative spots, and Edge even took a crazy bump when he fell off a 20-foot ladder through another ladder.
During the closing moments of the match, Hardy pulled Edge through the ladder's rungs and trapped him. He then climbed and grabbed the belt to retain the World Heavyweight Championship while a helpless Edge was watching.
A great and a memorable match for sure. Too bad for Hardy, his title reign was very short, as CM Punk immediately came in and cashed his Money in the Bank contract and took the title from him.
3. Wrestlemania 24: Edge vs Undertaker
I don't care what anybody says here, but this was a great wrestling match and one of the most underrated matches in Wrestlemania history. Too bad it was overshadowed by Ric Flair's retirement match.
Most fans expected Undertaker to be the winner of this match. Well, this might have seemed inevitable, but as the match went on, many people were about to eat up their words.
The match started a bit slow, but the action quickly evolved and we witnessed one of the best Wrestlemania main event matches.
At a certain point, Edge countered every single move performed by the Undertaker from the Chokeslam, the Last Ride to the Old School. It seemed as if Taker couldn't find a way to put the Rated "R" Superstar down.
Edge tried to perform the Tombstone, but the Phenom reversed it and hit his own Tombstone Piledriver. The referee wasn't there to make the three count as he was still knocked out.
Charles Robinson, a substitute referee, made an unforgettable run towards the ring and almost stole the show. Surprisingly, Edge was able to escape the three count.
Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins came in next and tried to interfere, but Undertaker took care of them both. Thankfully, this was the only interference in the match and it was very brief. Edge hit the spear on Taker but couldn't keep him down for the three count.
The Ultimate Opportunist then hit another spear and it looked like Undertaker was down as Edge went for the cover. However, Taker locked the Hell's Gate out of nowhere and Edge had no choice but to tap out, and thus drop the World Heavyweight Championship.
I don't know if anybody expected this match to last that long. And I'm not sure if people were expecting to see a well-prepared Edge put such a great performance.
I consider this as his best singles match ever, and as I said before, he showed that he doesn't always need weapons to put a great match.
Check the highlights of the match here.
2. Wrestlemania 22: Edge vs Mick Foley (Hardcore Match)
I don't know how I can describe this match. Brutal? Extreme? Insane? Violent? Bizarre? Take a look at the photo to the left and decide yourself.
This match was very essential in Edge's career as took him to a new level. I know that prior to this match, Edge was an emerging superstar who had numerous epic battles and took countless crazy bumps.
However, he was introduced to a new type of match at Wrestlemania 22, and he showed that he can perform in such contests. Furthermore, Mick Foley finally had his Wrestlemania moment.
This rivalry started when Mick Foley refereed a WWE Championship rematch between Edge and John Cena on RAW where Edge ended up losing the bout. In the next weeks, he started blaming Foley for the loss and he even attacked him.
This lead to the return of the Hardcore Legend to his Hardcore character. Things heated up between the two and they agreed to face each others in a Hardcore match at the Grand Daddy of them all.
I don't know if people watching at that time expected to witness the violence that was involved.
Edge brutally attacked Foley at the beginning of the match and just when it seemed that he was in full control, things went into a new direction.
After hitting a spear, Edge weirdly held his arm and rolled in pain. It was revealed that Foley wrapped his waist with a barbed wire. Using it, Foley beat down and bloodied Edge. He even wrapped his hand with it after wearing his famous Mr. Socko and applied his signature mandible claw.
The poor Lita tried to help, but she ended up receiving the same maneuver too. Later, Edge took a crazy suplex on thumbtacks.
In the closing moments of the match, Edge speared Mick Foley through the ring ropes and down into a flaming table (that was lit by Lita) at ringside. The fans were left in shock after this.
This was a true hardcore match and one of the most extreme and brutal matches in WWE history.
Click here to see part of the match. I couldn't find the full match because the parts are mixed up on YouTube.
1. Smackdown (Sept. 26, 2002): Edge vs Eddie Guerrero (No DQ Match)
As I went through Edge's matches, I saw that numerous matches can make it on top of this list. Therefore, I decided to go with one of my favorite matches between two of the best in WWE.
Some people might not believe that I chose a regular TV match as No. 1, but all I can say is "so what?" This was a great match between two rising superstars.
Anyone who remembers this match will agree with me that it was an outstanding match. In my opinion, it's a forgotten classic.
Unfortunately, it's not remembered by many people nowadays, but whenever you ask a longtime WWE fan about Edge's best matches, this match will be directly mentioned if that person remembers it.
After two great matches at Summerslam (won by Edge) and Unforgiven (won by Guerrero), the two had a deciding match on Smackdown. But this time, there were no rules.
It was a fast match which involved some vicious wrestling moves by both superstars. Ladders and chairs were later involved in the match, and Eddie Guerrero made a good use of them.
One of the highlights of this match was when Guerrero hit a sunset flip powerbomb off the top of the ladder. In the end, Edge won after hitting an amazing Edgecution from top of the ladder down to the ring.
After the match, Eddie Guerrero received a great standing ovation even though he was the heel.
A fast, insane and awesome match. Surprisingly, it was given pretty long time. And furthermore, we were able to watch it for free on Smackdown, the supposedly B-Show.
Both superstars further proved that they belonged to the main event scene. Too bad they needed a couple of more years to become World Champions.
Rest in peace, Eddie.
Thank you, Edge.
You can check the full match below.
For highlights only, click here.
Thanks for reading.
All thoughts and comments are welcome.