I’m sure many WWE Friday Night SmackDown fans wouldn’t mind seeing the show switch from the PG Era to more of a “Rated R” feel. Of course, that transfusion would come courtesy of the Rated R Superstar, Edge. Undoubtedly, the WWE Universe would be giddy over the notion of the future Hall of Famer serving the show in some kind of capacity on a weekly basis.
However, I’m here to say that SmackDown doesn’t need help from Edge to be successful. Well, it’s not that he can’t help turn the show around.
But given the fact that he would only be able to serve the show in a limited capacity, Edge (aka Adam Copeland) is probably incapable of boosting Smackdown’s ratings long-term. The only way would come via a permanent return to in-ring action.
However, Copeland was forced to retire shortly after WrestleMania in April with a career-ending neck injury. For those of you only looking for “one more match!” on SmackDown from the Rated R Superstar, don’t count on it.
That’s because if Edge were to reinjure his neck in action, he’d likely spend the rest of his life confined to a wheelchair; safe to say, that’s not worth getting back into the squared circle again. Beyond that, Edge could always return to the show in a non-wrestling role.
Short-term, it would be great seeing Edge as a manager, possibly for his brother Christian upon Captain Charisma’s return from his own injury. And many of those Haterade sipping fans would love to see SmackDown General Manager Teddy Long replaced by Copeland. Or you could even bring the controversial “Cutting Edge” back on a weekly basis.
That’s well and good, but bringing Edge back as a SmackDown regular probably wouldn’t solve the show’s long-term ratings woes. It would spark interest amongst fans for a couple of months, and that’s likely it.
In the modern history of WWE, there haven’t been many figures that have elevated the ratings for sustained periods of time in non-wrestling roles. The closest to actually achieving this were Eric Bischoff and Paul Heyman, and that couldn’t have worked out too well, as neither is with the company today.
There are a few sensible ways WWE can help spike SmackDown’s popularity, and none of them involve Edge. First, you have to take the World Heavyweight Title off of Mark Henry. It was a feel-good story when Henry was finally rewarded for his loyalty, but enough is enough. The guy can’t wrestle!
Second, it’s time to seriously elevate the likes of Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett to the point where they’re regularly competing for the World title. Both of these guys have the potential to carry the brand for years to come.
Finally, let Daniel Bryan cash in his Money in the Bank. It would be another feel-good story to see a wrestler so dedicated to his craft finally reach the top of the mountain—even if it’s only a short stay at the summit.
As for Edge, let the guy enjoy his retirement. God knows he’s done enough for SmackDown in the past and it would be unfair to him to have him try to revive the show’s fortunes. It looks like fans are going to have to be content with PG, because that R rating isn’t coming anytime soon.