Edge's WrestleMania Win vs. Randy Orton Shows WWE Fans He's Far from Finished

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2020

Credit: WWE.com

Assuming this isn't the end (again) for Edge, The Rated-R Superstar has a lot left in the tank based on his victory over Randy Orton at WrestleMania 36.

This was Edge's first singles match since 2011. He and Orton went nearly 37 minutes in a Last Man Standing match Sunday, though this year's WrestleMania was taped beforehand at the WWE Performance Center.

Neck injuries halted Edge's career in 2011, and he underwent neck surgery in November 2012. While that limits what he can do in the ring, he didn't hold much back against Orton. The former world champion dished out and absorbed a ton of punishment.


🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯 @EdgeRatedR drives @RandyOrton through a table!! #LastManStanding #WrestleMania https://t.co/zqMimJKXo3


"You don't need to count. I'll tell you when to count." @RandyOrton is in complete control of this #LastManStanding Match. 😳 #WrestleMania https://t.co/KqI9cX371j


Start that count, ref. @RandyOrton #LastManStanding #WrestleMania https://t.co/5w4UkuWnme

Edge turned 46 in October. When he signed a contract to return to WWE, he didn't commit to an arduous full-time road schedule. At most, his usage will probably mirror that of Brock Lesnar, who only shows up when it's time to build to the biggest events of the year.

Alex McCarthy of TalkSport reported in January that Edge signed a three-year contract that commits him to 25 dates and at least three matches annually.

The obvious question is how WWE utilizes Edge now that his storyline with Orton appears to be over.

He's not the same kind of attraction as Lesnar, The Undertaker or Goldberg, who are unstoppable monsters until they run into a bigger, more unstoppable monster or need to anoint the next top star of the company.

Edge is more similar to Daniel Bryan. Fans are thrilled to have him back and aren't necessarily expecting him to run through the entire roster.

Perhaps a title run is in store down the line for The Ultimate Opportunist, or he could partake in one-off dream matches against the likes of AJ Styles or Seth Rollins.

However, WWE shouldn't rule out having Edge serve as the bridge for younger wrestlers to get a big push up the card. Assuming we're limiting the options to Raw, imagine how much Ricochet, Murphy, Aleister Black or Humberto Carrillo would benefit from a signature pay-per-view win.

This is something the promotion has executed well with Bryan.

Within seven months of his comeback in 2018, Bryan beat Styles for the WWE World Championship, and he even brought out his own version of the belt. That title reign culminated in Bryan losing to Kofi Kingston at WrestleMania 35, thus providing Kingston with the most memorable moment of his WWE career.

Now, Bryan has aligned with Drew Gulak following their excellent match at Elimination Chamber in March. It's a great partnership given how much their skills overlap, and Gulak should be on stronger footing when the storyline ends compared to when the storyline began.

Edge knows firsthand how getting the rub from an established champion can help burnish a wrestler's reputation.

By the time WrestleMania 22 rolled around in April 2006, Edge had already enjoyed a brief WWE Championship run. His victory over Mick Foley at WrestleMania—and the image of him spearing Foley onto a flaming table—was the final touch necessary to cement his ascendancy.

Monday's Raw after WrestleMania 36 should give fans an idea about Edge's next move. Even before the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic clouded the future of WWE's programming, he likely planned to take a break until SummerSlam at the earliest.

Now that it's clear the current iteration of Edge is every bit as good as he was during his peak, he can fulfill any number of duties for WWE going forward.