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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Is Edge Slowly Becoming a Legend?
(and getting no credit for it)
July 2, 2007 by James "JT" Thomlison


Ask yourself this, and please try and be as honest with yourself. If you have no time to contemplate, no time to think, you simply had to respond immediately similar to word association; if someone walked up and asked you if you thought Edge was one of the best ever, what would you say?

Yes, I used the word ever. Not currently, ever. I'll be honest, with no line of thought I would have immediately said no. I think most of you (unless you're a super Edge fanatic) probably answered no as well. But is that really the case? As I was watching SmackDown on Friday, it got me thinking about Edge and it made me realize that greatness might be happening in front of our eyes and we don't even realize it.

Don't get me wrong, most people will tell you that Edge is one of the hottest things going on right now, and I will certainly not call him a legend, but it is the fact that he is potentially becoming a legend is what I feel may be being overlooked. With that in mind I decided this week to take a look - comparatively with Shawn Michaels - at the career and accomplishments of Edge, and see if maybe we indeed ARE watching (and have watched for years) a legend being born before our very eyes. Before I start though, I want to make a couple of things crystal clear.

A. I am not calling Edge Shawn Michaels. Edge is NOT Shawn Michaels, and chances are no matter what status he attains he will never BE Shawn Michaels. Michaels is a legend the likes we may never see again. This is not a comparison between the two; I am merely using Shawn's career and mirroring it against Edge's because Shawn is a legend, and Edge's potential to be a legend is what I am trying to predict.

B. Another reason that I use HBK is because he is 9 years older than Edge, and got into the business 8 years before him, so they are relatively close on that note. If you take into account that Shawn took a few years off, this makes perfect sense because I am essentially talking about what may be in say, 5 years.

C. Obviously, Shawn's single career even if you do the comparative math has been much longer and he was also on top as a single's performer much longer than Edge. Again, potential is key word here, not just what has happened up to this point. With that in mind, let's get to the list! (Info will be for Edge, HBK's provided in parenthesis)

TALE OF THE TAPE!

*Stats/Info will be for Edge, HBK's provided in parenthesis*

Wrestling Ability: Above Average (HBK: Legendary)

Promo Ability: Excellent (Legendary)

The "Look": Good (Above Average)

The "It" Factor: Continuously improved over the last 10 years (Legendary)

Charisma: Excellent (Legendary)

In Ring Psychology/Storytelling: Good (Legendary)

Selling: Above Average (Legendary, although overly zealous at times)

Face Role Character: Above Average (Legendary)

Heel Role Character: Excellent (Legendary)

TITLE HISTORY!

Other - King Of The Ring Tournament: 1-Time (HBK: 0)

Other - Money In The Bank Match: 1-Time [2 by beating MITB winner Kennedy], (0 - Although never participated)

Other - Royal Rumble Match: 0-Time (2)

European Championship: 0-Time (1)

WWE Tag Team Titles: 9-Time (2)

World Tag Team Titles: 3 [total of 12-Time], (1) [total of 3]

Intercontinental Championship: 5-Time (3)

WWE Championship: 2-Time (3)

World Heavyweight Championship: 1-Time [total of 3-time], (1) [total of 4]

OTHER STUFF TO REMEMBER!

*Fun with bullet points!*

  • Edge and Shawn Michaels both wanted to be wrestlers at a very early age; Shawn at 12, Edge at the even earlier age of 6.

  • Edge and Shawn Michaels have both held not only the WWE Championship, but the World Heavyweight Championship as well; although, Edge is only the second man to do it since the brand split (Kurt Angle).

  • Edge is the first and only superstar to defeat John Cena for the WWE title, something Shawn Michaels couldn't do; or at least, hasn't done yet. Edge has also defeated the Undertaker for the title, again something HBK hasn't. Shawn Michaels, however, is the only man to beat Bret Hart twice to capture the WWE Championship.

  • Edge has been in the main event scene about a fourth of the time HBK has in his career (2 and 8 years, respectively). In that time, he has held the championship slightly over a fourth of the time HBK has (117 and 424 days, respectively).

  • Edge has twice been one of the last four men in the Royal Rumble. Shawn has had a little better luck, winning it twice and also being one of the last two men in (2007). In one of Edge's two instances making it that far, he was eliminated by none other than Shawn Michaels.

  • Head to head in televised single's matches, Edge holds the advantage over Shawn Michaels with a 3 - 2 record. In tag matches against one another, they are also very close in record.

    As I said before, Edge is not Shawn Michaels. The fact is Shawn Michaels had a lot more exposure for a lot longer time. While Shawn was thrust to the top fairly quickly, Edge has had to take his time. He spent MUCH longer in the tag ranks, and MUCH longer in the mid-card scene; there is no denying this.

    But reviewing his accomplishments made me realize that maybe we do overlook a few of the legends - maybe not later in life - but at least as we're watching them currently. Edge will never be Shawn Michaels, but I wonder if in making that comparison, we can recognize that he has certainly accomplished (and continues to accomplish) great things despite how long it has taken for his career to find the path of success. I answered the original question with "no". I now get the strong feeling that if someone asks me that question in 10 years, I will immediately answer yes. Pay attention to Edge people, for I feel we may be watching one of the great ones form right before our eyes.

    By James "JT" Thomlison (View/Submit your feedback here). Email the author here.



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