What's Wrong With Edge?
April 16, 2007 by Blake L.
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As I sit here trying to figure out what direction the WWE will decide to go at Backlash, a recurring question seems to come up. That's right, what's wrong with Edge? All the signs seem to point to either John Cena retaining his title and continuing what seems like a decade-long reign as WWE Champion, or possibly Randy Orton coming out with the title. Orton seems to be gathering a lot of support these days, but whose to say an Orton title reign would be any different that the last time? Is this really what the WWE needs? Do we really need to see John Cena with the belt around his waist for at least another month? Once again, what's wrong with Edge?
It makes me wonder why we are even having this conversation. Let's take a walk down memory lane. When Edge defeated Cena at New Year's Revolution last year, it was a scene that we haven't seen in a while in pro wrestling. The fans were jumping up and down, mainly because they were shocked. And the even more likely scenario, the fans were jumping up and down because a new champion had been crowned. What a great day in wrestling history.
The greatness continued the next night. The RAW rating eventually came in at a 4.3 rating, up from the 3.7 rating the previous week. Even the disastrous "live sex" celebration drew a rating above 5, which we later found out was the highest rated segment since early 2005. This success continued, as the ratings continued to rise. Surely Vince McMahon was very excited about this news, right? Having Edge as the WWE Champion seemed to be the cure to all the ratings problems of the past year or so. It seemed as though fans were more interested in the product than it had been in quite some time. As the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
But the company decided to fix this problem called "success". Cena defeated Edge for the title at the Royal Rumble, three weeks after New Years Revolution. Did we see the same kind of emotion from the fans that we saw a few weeks earlier? Not at all. The WWE was fed up with all this success. Ratings were getting too high. So they went with their own motto, "if it ain't broke, find a way to break it." While ratings didn't fall to an all-time low or anything after the rumble, there was still a drop in the number of viewers. There was no point to go this route though. The business has always been about ratings. Whoever draws the most ratings, gets the most airtime. And it seemed like Edge had a point when he said "I equal ratings." It's hard to argue with the facts.
I'm still trying to find the answer as to why Edge's title reign was so short. I guess you could say that this was just a fluke, and that it wouldn't have mattered who won the title from Cena. Sure, Wrestlemania was coming up in a couple months, and maybe McMahon felt as though he couldn't headline the biggest pay-per-view of the year. But three weeks? The higher powers didn't give this title reign enough time to even be taken seriously. We were teased with what we thought was fresh bread, but had it taken away, and then were thrown some stale bread.
But luckily, we got to witness Edge as the WWE Champion again. In July of 2006, he won the title in a Triple Threat match on RAW, by beating Rob Van Dam and John Cena. Another exciting time in pro wrestling was on the horizon! So we thought. While this title reign was around two months long, a definite improvement from the three week fiasco earlier in the year, the company never really seemed to push Edge as "the best." If you're the WWE Champion, aren't you suppose to be considered the best the company has to offer? It seemed as though they were putting a disclaimer on the top of the TV every time Edge was on that read like this....."Don't worry fans, John Cena will be winning back the title very soon. Please don't stop watching." In my opinion, Edge was the best the company had to offer at the time.
All this brings me to Backlash. John Cena vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship. This can be a second chance for Vince McMahon. I know what you're thinking. Edge doesn't have the same kind of appeal he had last year. Well, you're right. He has even more appeal now. Fans love to hate Edge, and by putting the title on him, you can allow them to hate him even more. It's been proven time and time again. Sometimes, fans want to see the bad guy win, and then watch the good guy try to get revenge. Hmmmm, that sounds too familiar doesn't it?
All four men have had their chance in the spotlight. We all know about Shawn Michaels. He's been in the spotlight more than the other three men combined. But he's not the same "Heartbreak Kid" he used to be. Orton has held the title before. However, his title reign didn't quite take off like the higher powers had hoped.
Cena is the WWE Champion. He's been the champion since September 17, 2006. While most people may not totally agree on who should win the title, there is one thing most people do agree on. It's time for a change.
What's wrong with Edge? If we look at the facts, Edge is the most logical choice. Unfortunately, the logical choice never seems to win.
by Blake L. (View/Submit your feedback here)..
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