We are just over fifty days away from WrestleMania 37 and while there are a lot of things that still need to be set up, WWE has already done a few things to get ready for the biggest weekend of the year. A lot of the work was done at the Royal Rumble where two of the WrestleMania main events were set. Bianca Belair won the Women’s Royal Rumble and should be in for a breakout moment. Later in the night, Edge won the Men’s Royal Rumble to earn his own WrestleMania World Title shot….and I can’t really bring myself to care about the whole thing.
Last year, Edge made his surprise return to the ring at the 2020 Royal Rumble, marking his first match in nearly nine years. This set off a feud with longtime associate Randy Orton, which included a pair of pay per view matches. Rumors began to emerge that Edge would be challenging Orton for one of the World Titles at some point in the future, perhaps at WrestleMania 37, but then Edge tore his triceps, putting him on the shelf for the rest of the year.
Flash forward about eight months and Edge won his second Royal Rumble, earning his title shot against either World Champion (which will likely wind up being Roman Reigns). The story makes a lot of sense on paper as Edge was forced to vacate the World Heavyweight Title when he retired in 2011, meaning that he was never defeated for the championship. Edge is also out to prove that he can reach the top of the mountain one more time and defy the odds, even in his late 40s. Everything makes sense on paper, but that is where it starts to fall apart.
Edge holds the record for most championships won in WWE (Not counting R-Truth because who in the world would count the 24/7 Title?), including eleven World Titles. He has wrestled less than ten matches in as many years and has not held a championship since a few weeks after WrestleMania 27. Ten months is an eternity in wrestling and the idea of someone being back in the ring after that much time is almost hard to fathom. That is what brings us to the biggest problem.
I’m not really sure I care enough about Edge to see him in this spot. The story is kind of a nice one, but at the end of the day, Edge has been to the top of the mountain a lot. How much of a difference does it make to have him be a twelve time World Champion instead of just an eleven time World Champion? That isn’t much of a difference and just seeing him do it again doesn’t make him feel that much more special.
Instead, it comes off more as everything stops for Edge, who has already started the Royal Rumble as the #1 entry and survived until the end, defeating about 26 current WWE stars, including some top names who could be a big deal for years to come, and had more than one big moment. That’s already more of a comeback than almost anyone makes and it doesn’t exactly make me want to see him. Edge’s comeback does sound good on paper, but there is a bit of a difference between a theoretical return and one that we are seeing take place at the biggest show of the year.
It’s not like the story is going to be bad. It is going to be perfectly acceptable, if not rather good, as most of Edge’s matches have been so far since his return, but that does not mean it is something I want to see. There is nothing personal between Edge and either of the current World Champions and, despite what WWE seems to think, the Battle Of The Spears is hardly some grand idea that is going to draw tens of thousands of people to Tampa for the show.
There are all kinds of things that can be done with Edge. Have him put some young wrestler over. Have him get in some kind of heated rivalry with some loudmouthed heel (not Dolph Ziggler). Have someone call him old so he needs to prove that he still has it. Remember when he had matches with someone other than Orton? Probably not, as Edge’s last singles match against someone not named Orton was back on April 3, 2011 when he beat Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania 27 to retain the World Heavyweight Championship before retiring a few weeks later.
Yeah remember that? To recap, defying the completely imaginary “time honored tradition”, Edge didn’t put anyone over on his way out of WWE. Both he and the company knew that his neck was barely holding together and then he winds up retaining the title at WrestleMania anyway? That’s an acceptable enough answer, but then he comes back and wins at WrestleMania last year, then wins the Royal Rumble this year and gets to go on to WrestleMania? While mainly feuding with Orton? That’s hardly a great way to use one of the legends that can still get in the ring and doesn’t do much for anyone other than Edge himself.
I completely understand what WWE is going for/hoping for here. Edge is a legend in WWE and has done it all in the company (almost literally in this case). He was a big star in a more successful generation and WWE wants to cash in on that. However, it hasn’t exactly seemed to be working, as Edge appeared on all three television shows the week after winning the Royal Rumble and the numbers weren’t exactly great. While that is not the kind of thing that can be completely blamed on Edge, it doesn’t exactly make him look like the biggest deal in the world.
And really, why should it? Edge is already a major star and WWE does not exactly have the best record of pushing new stars in the last few years. Now, instead of having someone new come out of the Royal Rumble, Edge literally survived the entire field and wins, setting up a chance for him to do it one more time. Isn’t that kind of what he already did by winning the Royal Rumble? How interesting is it to see Edge go from the top of one mountain to go to the bigger mountain after he spent a lot of time in the mountains in the prime of his career?
There is certainly a logical idea behind what WWE is wanting to do, but that does not mean it is something that is going to work out in reality. I’m not sure what WWE can do to fix the story as it isn’t like there is anything specific that can tell them what is going on. Seeing crowds reacting live to this story could be fascinating, but at the same time, it could make for a pretty bad result if things do not pick up a little bit. Maybe it gets better when Edge selects his WrestleMania opponent, but at the moment, we are not getting the most thrilling story. Edge isn’t thrilling me in this spot and there is no one better to explain it than Edge himself.
There was a moment a few weeks ago on Monday Night Raw after Edge won the Royal Rumble that summed up the entire issue for me. Edge started yelling at Miz and said that he didn’t want to hear about Miz being awesome, because Edge did the awesome thing twenty years ago. I’m not sure how much I want to hear or see Edge, now 47, see if he still has it. I was a huge Edgehead back in the day, but that day was a very long time ago. It’s a nice story, but that doesn’t make it an interesting one, which is quite the problem and it is dragging WrestleMania down over the edge.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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