A Ruff Look at Edge

Last night, Edge retired on Monday Night Raw. It was everything we wish it could be. He was given the microphone and allowed to just say whatever he wanted. It was everything one could ever hope for in a wrestling retirement speech. The whole time I was watching the match, all I could think of was the phrase, “Damn you.” Relax, it wasn’t about Edge. The whole time I watched that speech, all I could think about was the fact that I didn’t believe it. I kept on waiting for Del Rio’s music to hit or the Miz’ or the Corre’s or CM Punk’s. Here was one of the greatest wrestlers of the past decade pouring his heart out to us and saying goodbye and all I could think about was who was going to interfere in his speech. My “Damn you” was for all the others who had made a retirement speech so meaningless. I thought of Scott Steiner being wheeled out to the ring by his brother Rick. I thought of Tommy Dreamer weeping about his retirement in time for Steve Corino to come and interfere with his speech. I thought of Arn Anderson’s speech to Curt Hennig (“I’m not giving you a spot in the Horsemen. I’m giving you MY spot.”) and the spectacle it became the next week followed by the angle where Curt Hennig joined the nWo  at WCW Fall Brawl. Not to mention all the Terry Funk, Mick Foley or Ric Flair retirements.

The “Damn you” went to wrestling. Retirement speeches never mean anything anymore. Either they’re angles (like when Kevin Nash lost the retirement match to Hogan, Bagwell/Hennig had their retirement matches in WCW’s dying days or Savage-Warrior’s Wrestlemania match) or empty promises (Foley, Flair and Funk). Can we stop doing stupid angles revolving around retirement? No fans believe it any more until the point something happens like Edge retiring out of nowhere like last night.

Do I think we’ll be completely angle-free from Edge’s retirement? Of course not. That would make no business sense from the WWE. But for at least one night, we got to witness Edge go out and say his good-byes to the fans the way he wanted to. Very classy move by the WWE. There are fewer soldiers more loyal than Edge. He never went to WCW or TNA or anywhere else, even though they would have paid top dollar for him.

What comes next from this? Does Edge go in the Hall of Fame? Only if they want their HOF to be legitimate. And why not a career as a broadcaster? I know Jerry Lawler looks 20 years younger than Edge, but that’s only because he has the finest plastic surgeons in Memphis working on his face. The time will come when it’s time to replace Lawler. With all love to Booker T, it might be nice to see different choices available to do commentary. As time goes on, maybe make Edge a manager or a commissioner role. The guy is one of the best talkers of his era. Don’t let that asset go to waste.

I could bore you with story after story of what Edge meant to me. I remember his first match when he beat Jorge Estrada of Las Boriquas by countout. I remember him and Christian with their poses. I remember the great TLC matches. I remember the Guerreros-Benoit & Angle-Rey & Edge era on Smackdown. I remember the Matt Hardy feud with Lita and how big that was. I remember him cashing in his Money in the Bank and winning the title for the first time. I remember the first time my wife saw him and did a double-take (true story). Edge is like a little kid we watched grow up in front of us.

WWE, I don’t thank you very much, but thank you for giving Edge one night where everything was ok. Work your angles from here on. I give you full permission. Just please do not bring out a little person (“midget” for the politically incorrect). That’s not funny. But angle your little heart out from there.

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This entry was posted in ECW, fighting, Hall of Fame, Pro Wrestling, Raw, sports, TNA, Uncategorized, WCW, Wrestling, WWE. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Ruff Look at Edge

  1. Very well-said, sir. I hadn’t thought about it until I read this here, but you’ve captured my feelings precisely. I didn’t believe that it was for real either. Keeping a lid on something this big rarely happens in wrestling, and there had been NO news of it at all. As Edge spoke, the realization that I was watching something legitimate gradually dawned on me, and I was pained that the little voice in the back of my head kept asking who was going to interrupt him. It’s pro wrestling’s own fault that fans don’t believe stipulations in matches, retirements, or firings anymore. I truly WANT to believe in them, but it just isn’t possible most of the time. Like you, I’ve watched Edge for his entire career, and wrestling won’t be the same without him.

    Your wife and I had the same reaction, it seems. 😉

  2. ThinkSoJoE says:

    Well said, my friend. I didn’t have the lingering feeling of “who’s going to interrupt,” but I think that’s mostly because I had watched it afterward and had already had it spoiled for me. For me, I assumed that it would be carried over to SmackDown where Del Rio would goad Edge out of retirement to defend the World Heavyweight Championship. Then when I found out that this isn’t a work, that one of the greatest Superstars of all time was really, legitimately, retiring, my thoughts shifted to the fact that Alberto Del Rio can now claim to have ended Edge’s career and use that to get over just a little more.

    By the way, do you know how much I hate Ric Flair every time somebody mentions wrestling retirement? I was at his Hall of Fame induction in Orlando, and his “last match” with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIV. I was happy knowing that I’d witnessed the beautifully done ending to one of the most legendary careers in the history of this business, and then he shows up and wrestles – on free TV, no less – for TNA. Oh well, at least I’ve still got the fact that Steve Austin hasn’t wrestled a real match since I saw him face The Rock at WrestleMania XIX.

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