Edge: Playing The New Game
July 15, 2006 by John Crook
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First, allow me to introduce myself. This is my first submission for OWW, and may be my first ever wrestling column... I forget, I may have written for a newsletter some years back. Eh, doesn't matter. The name is John, I'm 22 and been a wrestling fan since 1995 when I saw my first Royal Rumble (perhaps a column on that for a later date).
As some of you may (or may not) have guessed from the title, this column is about the newly crowned, two-time WWE Champion, Edge. I know a lot of you MFer's (that's Matt Hardy fans!) out there don't exactly love the guy, and hey, if I knew him personally, I'd probably not invite him to my next birthday bash.
That said, he has been one of the most consistent and entertaining characters since his return from neck surgery in 2004. We've watched him evolve from a vampire wannabe, to a geeky Gen-X tag team extremist with Christian, to a serious-minded fan favorite to the perverted "Rated R Superstar" we have nowadays. And with each evolution of his character, we saw him step it up in the ring. Whether it was matches with The Hardy Boyz, The Dudley Boyz, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, or John Cena and Rob Van Dam, Adam Copeland (Edge) has never taken any steps backwards. Which reminds me of a certain guy who was just getting big at the time Edge was breaking in...Triple H.
Some of you will probably laugh and think, "Well, that fits. They're both egotistical jerks." Maybe so, maybe not, I don't really care. The thing, and I'm sure many fans who have been around at least as long as me will agree, right around the year 2000 we saw Triple H become the perfect heel. He could piss off anyone, anytime, anywhere. He didn't even need to rely on cheap heat to do it. He'd say he was gonna kick The Rock's ass, and he'd do it--- albeit with some help, but so what" He's a heel, so he can do that. He had a hot chick we all wanted on his arm- Stephanie McMahon (YES, she was hot back then!) And he had the most important aspect of his character...the World Title.
Let me further spell out the comparisons for you:
Triple H started as a blueblood in the WWF, that snobby rich guy we all went to high school with. He was moderately successful, winning the Intercontinental Title which at the time didn't mean squat in the WWF. He really didn't start moving however, until he joined up with Chyna and Shawn Michaels to form DX. You all know that story. Point is, he had found his perfect partner in HBK. They played off each other perfectly, and despite being heels, were EXTREMELY over with the fans because not only did they put on great matches, they were funny as all hell.
Edge, as I mentioned, got stuck in The Brood upon breaking in. He wrestled singles and tags (but with GANGREL, because Christian was Light Heavyweight Champion) at the time. They got buried at the bottom of the barrel in the Corporate Ministry crap, but once that was done, he and Christian were allowed to go out on their own and find their niche in the tag ranks. Again, he found his partner, and they let their goofy personalities translate on-screen into not only hilarious "5 second poses" and a whole new vocabulary ("reeking of awesomeness", "chumpstain", etc.) but also, jaw-dropping ladder and TLC matches.
Back to HHH. After reforming DX with Shawn Michaels out on injury, he feuded with The Rock over the IC Title for most of the following summer and fall. The Game decided he had taken the DeGenerates as far as he could, and hooked up with the McMahon family. People don't remember this, but he had to get through feuds with Kane and X-Pac, as well as the New Age Outlaws before finally getting a shot at the World Title at Summerslam '99 I believe it was. Don't hold me to that. Mankind pinned Stone Cold, and the next night Triple H beat Foley. He had an unremarkable first reign with the lowlight being the only man to lose a title to Vince McMahon. He won it back in a Six-Pack Challenge, but still, there was no real "buzz"...at least not in my opinion. I really don't think Triple H's career took off until his feud with Foley, where he beat him back to back months in a Street Fight and Hell in a Cell, then became the first heel to retain the title at WrestleMania.
Edge also went through a long period as a babyface after splitting from his original partner, albeit solo, outside of here-and-there team-ups with Hulk Hogan, and Chris Benoit to name a few. He, like Triple H, had many good feuds over the IC Title and a few others over no titles (Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle). It took an internet scandal, preceded by feuds with Benoit and Michaels to truly get him over as a heel, but once he beat Matt Hardy to a bloody pulp at Summerslam, the fans REALLY hated him. Normally, this could be a career killer...but like Triple H, Edge used his heat to his advantage.
Granted, there was only a month or two between the time Triple H dropped the title to The Rock in 2000 and the time he won it back, but I don't know about everyone else, I really wanted Triple H to get the title back. Think of The Rock as John Cena of the time. Granted, The Rock was way more charismatic, and had also won the title a SICKENING four times in two years, but in terms of having the SAME MATCH over and over and over...yeah, that was The Rock. Triple H had really caught my interest, he was the best heel I'd seen since Shawn Michaels. So I, and I think a lot of others, were waiting for Trips to get that belt back in the Iron Man match Judgment Day 2000.
That brings us back to Edge. When he won the title from Cena in the cheapest of fashions at New Year's Revolution, a lot of fans were pissed, a lot were intrigued, but EVERYONE watched. It was a poor title run, much like HHH's first, but it gave us the impression that hey, Edge really IS a main event guy. And between Royal Rumble and a couple of weeks ago on RAW, the internet talk was "When is Edge finally going to get the title back from Cena"" It was Rock syndrome all over again...yeah, most of us liked the guy, but we needed someone fresh with the belt. Also, I'm NOT sure if this is accurate, but I believe Edge was the first man to win the title on a live WWF/E event since Triple H beat Mankind for his first reign. I might be wrong on that, though.
Their gimmicks are different, but very similar. They both have a hot girl on their arm. They both love to remind us how great they are. They'll both laugh in your face, and it doesn't take either much to get pissed off. And if you REALLY make them mad, they won't think twice about bashing you with a sledgehammer, or crushing your skull with a ConCHAIRto...whichever works.
In closing, I won't make the mistake of putting Edge in Triple's H class...yet. He still has a long way (and about 8 World Titles) to go for that. But remember, in my opinion anyway, it wasn't until Triple H's third reign that he really seemed to catch on as "legit". It seems to me that Edge may even be ahead of schedule in that regard. Only time will tell, I guess.
Feel free to respond by sending mail to OWW, or e-mail me directly at email@example.com. I'm always open to wrestling chatter, but I must warn you: I'm old school, I'm jaded, and I won't respond nicely to "EDGE SUCKS CUZ HE SCREWED MATT HARDY, HARDY BOYZ 4 LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!".....or things of that sort. Lata, fans.
by John Crook ..
Jon Rosaler wrote:
Well, no, the title changed hands on Raw on numerous occasions since Triple H beat Mankind. The WWF/E one last time when Stone Cold Steve Austin defeatedKurt Angle for it in 2001 and the title never changed hands on Raw ever since until July 3rd, 2006.
Blake Gregory wrote:
Most of all, I have to agree with you about this article. There are a couple of points I'd like to say though. Number 1- Lita is not that hot. If you hear her talk, she sounds like she has got something caught in her throat that makes me wanna turn the TV on mute everytime I hear her. She also dresses like a $2 whore nowadays, and her haircut seems to have come from a number 4 sized bowl which has been cut around.
Number 2 is that, Edge still isn't a legit Main event player,and his first title run showed that. If you are a legit main event player, then surely you would have the title for more than 3 weeks, would you not"
Other than that, it was a pretty good article.
Jose Aguirre wrote:
I love your column. Edge has been my favorite wrestler ever since I saw the horrible matches RVD has put, and the incident with pot doesn't help him either. Anyway, the only thing that is wrong with your article is that Lita is really gross looking. She looks ghoulish and old. Plus Stephanie McMahon has a nice butt.
[I forgot to sign my name] wrote:
There was another WWE Championship reign in between Triple H vs. Mankind and Edge vs. Cena vs. Van Dam. Steve Austin defeated Kurt Angle for the title on RAW in 2001, three weeks after Angle beat Austin for it at Unforgiven. That's when William Regal turned on WWE and joined The Alliance.
Antoine Newman wrote:
That was a good column. I never thought of similarities between Edge and Triple H but I can see it now after reading your columns. As far as title changes on WWF/E live events. I don't know if I'm accurate but there have been some changes at live events between Triple H beating Mick Foley and Edge's win.
9/99 Smackdown- Vince McMahon beat Triple H 1/00 Raw- Triple H beat Big Show
10/01 Raw- Steve Austin beat Kurt Angle
9/03 Smackdown- Brock Lesnar beat Kurt Angle
gary vallier wrote:
i enjoyed the this but i'm not a edge fan personally i think edge sucks he sleep with matt hardys girlfriend and he cashed in the money in the bank briefcase when john cena was weack i wounder if he could beat john cena without using weapons cheating or attaking him when he's weak
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