Zooming in on Wrestling - Standing On The Edge Of Glory
December 7, 2005 by Euan Williamson
Recently, the WWE has been desperately trying to find wrestlers that can perform at main event status, and, furthermore, find World Champions that can draw money and sell merchandise. You know the kind of guy..." Steve Austin, The Rock and Hulk Hogan are the obvious ones that spring to mind.
However, with every larger than life character or gimmick that brings in the big bucks, WWE need main eventers that are based on realism and that the crowd can truly relate to whether they are heel or face. There are only so many gimmicks that WWE fans like to have rammed down their throats.
Champions such as Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and HHH get into our hearts just as much, if not more, than the gimmick men as their characters are based on realistic human traits such as pure desire and passion for the World Title, real human frailties such as arrogance and the capability to bend any rule to get what they want and above all, a love of wrestling. Currently, there is one man in WWE's roster that exemplifies all these things and has been waiting in the shadows, crying out for the main event spotlight. He's had me frustrated all year long as I've waited for the man's first World Title.
That man is Edge.
The purpose of this article is to explain, beyond any shadow of a doubt, why Edge needs to be given the World Title sooner rather than later and why it would be in the best interests of the WWE.
Without going into huge details about Edge's career from start to finish (which most of you will know already) let us quickly go through how Edge came to be in the WWE. He grew up in Toronto and won a local competition with the prize being free wrestling lessons. Eventually, he started touring the Indy circuits with his best friend Jason Reso (Christian) wrestling under the preposterous, yet eye catching, name Sexton Hardcastle.
In 1998 he signed with the WWF, along with Christian, and went on to be in one of the greatest tag teams ever with his best friend. I would love to go into detail about the team that was Edge & Christian and how much they reeked of awesomeness, however, that is for another article! This article will concentrate on Edge's singles career and the positives (of which there are many) that lead me to believe he is ready for main event level.
Firstly, Edge is quite clearly in the prime of his life right now. The WWE might be 'sports entertainment' but that does not mean that their wrestlers do not have primes exactly like a footballer or an ice hockey player for example. Edge is 32 just now. For various reasons, wrestler's peaks come at a slightly later age than other sportsmen. I would say that 32 is probably about the peak time for a wrestler to be at his optimum in terms of fitness, strength, speed and general control of all his abilities and Edge is quite clearly a man that is in precisely this position right now. In addition, the late great Eddie Guerrero is living proof that the prime of someone's career can come even later than this as I believe Eddie was perhaps in the very peak of his powers when he so tragically passed away. Therefore, lack of major injury permitting, Edge can have another good ten years at the very top.
Secondly, Edge is a very experienced wrestler. One of the major criticisms I have of the WWE today is that they push people far too early. As I previously said, I think it's a desperate attempt to try and find the next 'big thing', however, I see it as being majorly counter productive to the WWE product. Remember how seasoned Hart, Michaels, HHH and several other stars were in the ring before they got a sniff of World Title success" They were all over thirty years of age. Instead, nowadays, we are given promising youngsters that are being pushed to the moon far too quickly and expected to perform at the top end of the card. Whatever happened to spending years in the tag ranks honing your skills and then going single" Edge has done this. He has performed solidly at the top since 1998 and has pretty much seen it all. He has had experience of a bad injury and has overcome it with flying colours. Edge is an in ring veteran that is still young and fresh with many years ahead of him.
Thirdly, to all intents and purposes, Edge is a WWE superstar through and through. When you think of RVD then you can't help but think of ECW. The same goes with Booker T and WCW. Edge has never wrestled on the big stage with any other company. Furthermore, he truly wanted to be a WWE superstar from childhood. When you think Edge then you think WWE and that's a powerful statement that can't be said about a lot of wrestlers within the WWE locker rooms and this is an attractive thing for Vince McMahon. Again, I shall sight Michaels and Hart as examples of wrestlers that made it to the top of the WWF having been completely loyal to the company.
The addition of Lita to Edge's character has also helped him as it adds strength to his persona and allows him to win matches in an underhanded fashion if necessary. Indeed,this is a vital component for a top level heel.
In addition, Edge has more than proved that he is a superb athlete in the ring that is capable of putting on high standard matches with anyone. He was fairly good in 2001 during his first year as a singles wrestler,however, I think that it was in 2002 that he greatly improved and become nothing less than one of WWE's very best in ring performers. He put on a classic match with Kurt Angle at Backlash that year and then another very decent one with him at Judgement day. Furthermore he put in superb performances against Jericho in a cage, Angle in a cage, Shelton Benjamin and Chris Benoit all on Smackdown. These, in addition to the match of the year contenders that he had with Eddie Guerrero (No dq again on Smackdown and probably my favourite singles match that year) and, once again, Angle clearly showed that he can perform brilliantly week in and week out as a face if required.
This year has been similar in terms of quality. He had a superb feud with Michaels at the turn of the year that culminated in a great match at The Royal Rumble and a brutally intense street fight on RAW. Furthermore, Edge had a great mini- feud with Benoit and put on high quality matches with the likes of Jericho. Moreover, when they were given the time, Edge and Hardy were able to put on excellent matches such as the street fight on RAW and the cage match at Unforgiven, which is my match of the year with only a month to go. Therefore, it has clearly been shown that Edge is a high quality performer that has proved countless times that he can deliver the goods with a variety of opponents. Add that to the fact that they have had him beat at least five former World Champions in Benoit, Angle, Michaels, Guerrero and Orton and you have a very string resume. His only downside that I can see is his finisher 'The Spear'. I think it was a mistake to completely abandon his implanted DDT called 'Edgecution' and, even more so, the interesting looking submission that he used for a while called 'The Edgucator'. I always think that it's a good thing to have an alternative finisher and, ideally, for one of the finishers to be an impact move and the other one a submission.
In addition, Edge is a decent size that means he can work easily with anybody from Rey Mysterio to larger wrestlers such Kane. His style is athletic and his moveset is expansive which allows for diversity from match to match. For example, he can be a high flyer and produce moves such as the hurricanrana, or he can wrestle with strength and vigour and produce a more mat orientated approach. This all adds up in his favour.
The last thing I am going to talk about is Edge's character and momentum. At the turn of last year Edge was definitely on a roll. His character was (and still is) exactly like the one that I mentioned in the first paragraph.
There's no silly gimmick there. Edge is desperate and hungry for the World Title and nothing is going to get in his way. That is realism and I for one understand and buy into that character a whole lot more than a white rapper or a Boogeyman. Sure, Edge behaves disgracefully at times and bends the rules, however, you understand why. His character is all about passion and commitment and the drive to attain his goals and get that title! After a failed face run upon his return in 2004, Edge is completely at home in his heel character. The fans hate him but I know they feel how badly he wants that World Title and he is able to draw good heat. This has been helped by a great improvement in his mic skills and good mic skills are pretty much essential for a World Champion these days.
The only thing I worry about is the momentum. After being on such a role all the way up to the Gold Rush tournament after Wrestlemania XXI, the entire Hardy/Lita situation arose. You could not blame Vince for cashing in a potential money spinner, and as stated previously, two of their matches were great viewing, however, it completely sidetracked Edge's title aspirations and used up valuable time for him to win the title using the 'Money In The Bank Contract'. I had a feeling Edge was going to get his title sometime around Summerslam before the whole sordid Hardy affair cropped up. This latest injury has added further damage and wastage of time, however, I still feel all the parts are in place and his time is now.
In conclusion, I believe I have presented a very strong case as to why Edge should get given the title as soon as possible. The WWE needs new main event performers and, in my opinion, Edge is the complete package and itching to be given the World Title and be put into feuds with the companies top baby faces such as Cena. The man is standing on the edge of glory and, if I could, I would push him over.
by Euan Williamson ..
Erkka Järvinen wrote:
I personally think that Edge has what it takes but i still dont see him winning any titles soon. Even if Edge has the money in the bank contract, WWE will no doubt use it to some kind of a "surprise" match or maybe a triple threat match at WM which Edge would not win. This new Cutting Edge host show might bring something to the table since we all know what kind of a boost ppl get from this. This helps Edge to get some new fresh feuds and highlight his great mic skills and maybe he will get the title shot against Cena with this as well. Edge is a future prospect but i dont think his time as number 1 is yet...but lets remember that patience is a virtue
Lynda Connikie wrote:
I agree i thin edge becoming wwe champion can only benefit the company.
i agree with your point about edge being a wwe boy (they are a rare
breed these days). one of my big concerns about his character is that
he seems to have lost his sense of humor,i personally think that they
are trying to give him too much of an edge (no pun intended) when he
was with christian in 2000 his sense of humor was the main thing about
him without the comedy aspect edge and christian would never of been as
sucsesful as they were. edge can still be a succsesfull heel with a
sense of humor just look at The Rock. if anything i think it would give
his character an extra dimension that the fans would appreciate.
Hey Euan, I thought this was a very good piece It kept me hooked all the way through, and you drew up a very good case as to why Adam Copeland should be 'The Man' on Raw.
The interesting thing here is, I for one have never been a big fan of Edge since becoming a singles competitor. Yes, I agree that his heel mic work has improved vastly, and he is probably one of the best talkers and heat magnets that WWE has to offer. But the reason I don't like the guy so uch is that in the ring, I cannot recall a match where he has got me to sit up and take notice. In my opinion he has never been an innovative singles wrestler and has to be carried more than he lets on.
But that's just my opinion, and you have made a very strong argument, which got even me to double think my own opinion, so well done!
Andrew Betts wrote:
Now I think Edge is a horrible human being but he's a great wrestler it's just plain stupid for him not to have a title shot it's been how many months since WM21 and no title shot why i mean he should be champion at some point why hasn't "Mr. money in the bank" cashed in yet i've got 3 reasons or rather 3 letters why he hasn't had a world title yet Edge would make a great hhheel champion but I guess there can only be one top hhheel on raw and that hhheel has just beaten up Ric Flair so looks like Edge won't get his title shot until hhhell freezes over and yes i meant to add the extra "h" s
Guy Davis wrote:
Wonderful! Someone to credit him for he's done for this businness. If you read his biography, you would understand. He wrote that work of art himself! If he doesn't get the WWE title soon and beat John Cena [another favorite of mine], I will watch TNA full time.
Joshua Maguire wrote:
Good column Euan! Edge is my favorite wrestler. But Knowing WWE, They will
probably waste his contract shot and Put him back to his "I GOT SCREWED
GIMMICK". But Edge is the complete package, and only time will tell when the
WWE will realise that. Good Job
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