Professional wrestling lost one of its biggest stars last week when Edge announced his retirement due to years of nerve damage. Edge has been at the center of controversy in and out of the squared circle and has been known as a baby face and a heel, but nobody can deny that the guy was one of the greatest wrestlers to ever lace up a pair of boots.
The WWE sent Edge off with a nice tribute video and allowed Edge to explain his situation to the WWE Universe on live television but this is my chance to explain to fans why Edge is one of the greatest of all-time.
Edge started his career as a mid-carder who got some television time, but he ended his career as one of the greatest in pro wrestling history not because of his controversial lifestyle, but because he busted his ass night in and night out to prove to the world that he was one of the best. Edge came back from two devastating injuries in his career (a broken neck in 2003 and a torn Achilles Tendon in 2009) just to prove how damn good he was in the ring.
Edge was known by fans as a controversial figurehead in the company, but also one of the best in-ring workers that the company has ever seen. Edge revolutionized many matches: The T.L.C wars that he and his best friend Christian won back in 2000 and 2001, the money in the bank ladder match that he won in 2005 and the ladder matches he had with guys like Jeff Hardy and The Undertaker.
Edge was a respected worker by fans and by his co-workers; he could wrestle with anybody and have a pretty damn good match. Edge’s rivalry with John Cena is a prime example of two guys who were great “dancing” partners inside of the ring. Every time Edge worked with a younger guy, he would always make his opponent look like a million dollars and usually would have a good match that fans would appreciate.
Edge’s career was a long journey that had many twists and turns in the road, but he succeeded at every turn. Edge started out in the tag team division and the team of Edge & Christian became one of the biggest draws in WWE history. The two redefined the art of tag team wrestling. Edge won the WWE/World Tag Team Title a record 14 times with six different partners (Christian, Hulk Hogan, Rey Mysterio, Chris Benoit, Randy Orton and Chris Jericho).
Edge continued to climb up the ranks of the WWE by tackling the Intercontinental championship scene. The matches that Edge had for the title have been known as instant classics and wrestling clinics. Edge and Christian had a stellar ladder match at No Mercy 2001 for the very title and that match was voted as one of the top ten PWI matches of the year.
Edge again would have another classic match for the IC title in 2004 as he went up against an up and comer, Randy Orton. The match that Orton and Edge had really showed not only WWE officials, but also the WWE Universe that Edge and Randy Orton were the future main-event players for the WWE.
The World Championship is the one goal that all pro wrestlers have in mind when they begin their careers. It’s the one materialistic thing in the industry that proves to everyone that the person holding it is the best that pro wrestling has to offer at that time. Edge chased after that title for six years before finally capturing the title in 2006.
His eleven world championship reigns are noteworthy because of the quality of the run and the magical moments provided by Edge. Edge is still to this day known as one of the highest rated WWE Champions of all-time due to his live sex celebration with Lita and his magical T.L.C match with Ric Flair in January 2006.
When people think of great Canadian wrestlers, they think Bret Hart. Well over the past decade, people now have Edge to add to that conversation because of the vast success he's had in his career. Edge is one of the most popular pro wrestlers in Canada.
The Canadian contingency has produced some pretty stellar talent like Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Christian, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit and Lance Storm. Out of all the Canadian performers, I don’t think any of them have been more respected and loved by the Canadian fans than Edge. Edge is a proud Canadian and he really has gotten some amazing fan-fare up in the great white north.
Edge did so much for the WWE in his 13 year tenure and in turn was rewarded with great success in the company. Edge’s departure is one that has left a major void in the WWE because nobody could be trusted to perform in the main-event spotlight like Edge.
Edge to me is one of those superstars that only comes around once in a lifetime, he could do it all from amazing mic-work to five-star matches with anybody. I respect Edge’s in-ring work but I also respect Edge as man for walking away from the company instead of having to be confined to a wheelchair due to injury. His legacy will live on and he may be a first ballet WWE Hall of Famer but no matter how you view the man, you have to acknowledge Edge as one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all-time.