Reexamination: Edge vs John Cena is the WWE's Greatest Rivalry
Last week, I entered the latest Creature vs Creature contest. The subject was to present the greatest feud in wrestling history. Immediately names like Austin/McMahon or Rock/Austin are top contenders to the accolade. Being that the contest called for us to differ from others, I faced a dilemma. It’s been years since those feuds and numerous rivalries have arose since then.
I wrapped my mind around John Cena vs Randy Orton. Ill-fated and ill prepared, I chose arguably the best rivalry of the decade. After I posted it, I felt it wasn’t to the best of my ability. Though everyone has their own opinion, one comment caught my attention. They informed me that Cena’s feud with Edge was better than Orton’s.
I later realized that he was right.
As a huge Edgehead, I felt foolish to ignore any of his various feuds. A person of Edge’s heel persona is to draw emotion from fans such as anger and shock. When Edge cashed his MITB on John Cena in 2006, I was infuriated. Then I thought to myself, perfect.
That’s what made the Cena/Edge feud great. It’s ability to draw the emotion of its viewers. Along with the many surprises, crowd reaction and outside factors involved. The rivalry was simply “history”. Take a look at the first that came from Cena/Edge.
It was the first MITB cash in. Edges first reign as the WWE Champion. The first time it seemed like someone else had the attention besides Cena. Besides benefiting Edge, the rivalry gave a different view of Cena from a fan’s standpoint.
He was human simply. Cena was riding an awesome wave of momentum those 200-plus days as the WWE Champion. He beat every single person there was to beat excluding Triple H. While it wasn’t a problem with me, fans like change. One guy holding and defending the belt countless times can’t be entertaining.
Cena would continue his momentum three weeks later though. But the damage was already done. Edge was officially the "Rated R Superstar." From the live sex celebration to the feud with Mick Foley, Edge took the ball and he ran with it.
But it wasn’t over there. Edge and Cena both won their Wrestlemania contest. Edge immediately refocused his attention on the WWE Championship. While he had a large bump in the road named Triple H, Edge let his intentions be known. While Cena continued his reign, Edge’s character took a more sinister turn.
Instead of the cocky blonde we knew and loved, Edge character changed dramatically out of hate for Cena and the opportunity for the WWE Title. Cena was everyone’s hero while Edge was perhaps the most hated superstar at the time. Thanks to the Hardy/Lita situation.
Reignited after Edge cost Cena his WWE Championship on two occasions against RVD, we neared the boiling point. On an episode of RAW, everything exploded in our faces when Edge shocked the world again after stealing the WWE Championship out of Cena’s grasp. That’s what makes Edge so great at what he does. No matter what the scenario, you love to hate the guy.
The feud obviously continued when Edge defended against Cena in his hometown. His devious ways caused Edge to retain his WWE Championship. Attempting to usher in a new era, including a new WWE Title belt, Edge looked towards the future. It wasn’t meant to be.
Cena didn’t go away. He beat Edge endlessly. Throwing Edge in the "Long Island Sound." Another positive about this feud, they never let it grow stale. There was always a point where you were shocked or humored. Edge gave Cena another match for his championship.
A TLC match. In Edge’s hometown. Can the odds be greater for the "Rated R Superstar?" But Cena endured all of Edge’s tricks and Lita’s interference to regain his title. A cage match ultimately ended the early form of their feud with Cena retaining and Edge setting his sights on DX.
Cena continued his wave of momentum while Edge was lost in the mix with DX and Orton. HBK prevented any thoughts Edge had off challenging Cena at Wrestlemania and Cena had the task of defeating HBK in front of him. An injured Kennedy and MITB later, Edge was the World Champion on Smackdown while Cena’s dominance on RAW continued.
Their paths crossed in the WWE Draft on numerous occasions afterwards but the feud seemingly was history.
Until No Way Out 2009. Edge just lost his WWE Championship in a Elimination Chamber. Well establishing himself as the "Ultimate Opportunist" since his exit from RAW, Edge attacked Kofi Kingston and stole his place in the match. Problem is that the match was for Cena’s World Championship.
Once again, shocked we were. Edge endured adversity through the match but pinned Cena then Mysterio to win the World Title. Who would’ve thought Cena would lose the title under those circumstances? Not me.
Cena/Edge was restarted. But this time with the inclusion of the Big Show and Vickie Guerrero. Cena even blackmailednGuerrero for a spot in the original Edge vs. Big Show main event at mania. But once Cena gets on a role, there’s no stopping him. In the triple threat match at mania, Cena withstood a double team by both to win the World Title again.
Problem is, he pinned the Big Show. The rematch was set for Backlash 2009 but this time, it was something different. This time it was more emotionally driven. Highlighted by a unbelievably awesome promo by both men. Discussing their past, disgust for one another, and the impending end to their feud. Edge simply told Cena he “hates” him. For stealing his World Title and taking away the biggest win of his career at Wrestlemania.
The stage was set. The End was near. A perfect way to put an exclamation point in Cena’s words perhaps the “Greatest Rivalry in Sports Entertainment History”.
That it was. Despite a valiant effort by both where none could get the better of the other, Big Show cost Cena the title.
Now the question is why is this greatest rivalry ever? For one the feud brought many surprises. In a rivalry, both competitors must have had the advantage over the other at least once. While Edge has beaten Cena more times than Cena’s beaten him. Unlike Cena’s other feuds, none of the matches ended with some horrible ending.
Summerslam 2009 period.
Like I said above, Edge made Cena seem human. He ended the talk of John Cena being unbeatable. Edge had the mental advantage over Cena each time excluding Backlash 2009. Also unlike usual Cena matches, we weren’t exactly sure if he would beat Edge or not.
Nowadays it elementary to predict a Cena win.
Besides all of that, this feud has it ALL. Quoting Cena himself the feud had wives, girlfriends, managers, lacky’s, his dad, Edge’s hometown, Cena’s hometown, Elimination Chambers, TLC Matches, briefcases, history, championships and Wrestlemania.
Name one feud to accompany that many factors?
That’s why it’s the Greatest Rivalry Ever….
Don't think so? Watch the video.
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