I have to admit that I’m thrilled Edge won a Royal Rumble before his career was cut short. I will admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of Edge or Christian early on, meaning back in the Brood, even though I’ve always been a huge Gangrel fan. I know, it doesn’t make any sense. But then I watched the feuds that E&C had with Hardy Boyz and Dudley Boyz. The TLC Matches, the way the six of them worked together, the way E&C made the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz look that much better.
The 23rd annual Royal Rumble was on January 31 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. The dark match showed Gail Kim, Kelly Kelly, Eve, and the Bellas defeating Maryse, Katie Lea Burchill, Jillian Hall, Alicia Fox, and Natalya. The PPV started with Christian defeating Ezekial Jackson, with William Regal, to retain his ECW Championship. Miz defeated MVP to retain his US Championship. Sheamus defeated Orton via DQ when Cody Rhodes got involved with the match by attacking Sheamus. Due to this Sheamus retained his WWE Championship. Mickie James defeated Michelle McCool, with Layla, to win the Women’s Championship. Taker defeated Rey to retain his World Heavyweight Championship.
The Royal Rumble Match started with Dolph Ziggler and Evan Bourne as entrants one and two. CM Punk came in at #3 and eliminated them both at the same time. Punk then got on mic and started boasting about what he would accomplish in this match. JTG came in at #4, but was eliminated in :25. Khali came in at #5 and challenged Punk physically in the match. Beth came in at #6 and eliminated Khali by kissing him and dragging him over the top rope and off the apron. Beth wiped her mouth, but was then eliminated by her now boyfriend, Punk. Were they dating that far back? Ryder was #7, but he was hit over the head with Punk’s mic and eliminated. Trip came in at #8 and really dominated Punk, then Drew McIntyre who was #9. Trip eliminated Punk, then the ring started to fill up with entrants. Kane came in at #12 making it his 12th consecutive Royal Rumble Match, breaking his record from the year before. HBK came in at #18, Cena at #19, Big Show at #22 and Mark Henry at #23. HBK and Trip eliminated a number of entrants, separately and together, clearing the ring, before HBK hit sweet chin music and eliminated his best friend. HBK eliminated a record 39 people in all of the Royal Rumbles he’s entered, breaking SCSA’s previous record. Big Show and Henry tried to eliminate each other when R-Truth, #25, eliminated them both! Jericho entered at #28, Edge at #29, and Batista at #30. Edge speared all the competitors in the ring, then eliminated Jericho. Batista eliminated HBK. HBK tried to get back into the match, but was stopped by a ref. Cena then eliminated Batista before Edge eliminated Cena to win the match. The WWE likes to throw surprise entrants into the Royal Rumble Match and have them win.
Edge didn’t announce right away which Championship he would be going after at WMXXVI. At the Elimination Chamber PPV HBK cost Taker the World Heavyweight Championship, then challenged Taker for WMXXVI. Jericho won the World Heavyweight Championship and Edge announced he would be going after Jericho at WMXXVI. In their match Jericho hit Edge with the Title belt, then hit a code breaker to get the win. After the match Jericho attempted to really hurt Edge, but was speared through the barrier for his troubles. On March 30th Edge had speared Jericho, so Swagger thought this was the perfect time to cash in his MITB contract. Swagger won the World Heavyweight Championship and transferred to Smackdown. Edge and Jericho went on to face each other at Extreme Rules in a Steel Cage Match where Edge came out on top.
This was the blow off of their feud as the following night Edge was drafted to RAW. On April 30th Edge said goodbye to the Smackdown fans and turned on them by calling them puppets, then tried a sneak attack on his former partner, Christian. Edge was a villain again as he moved to RAW. Edge and Orton started to feud, much of it because Orton didn’t want to re-form Rated RKO, and Edge wanted to go after the Tag Team Championship. Edge and Orton faced off at Over The Limit, but it ended in Double Count Out.
At the Fatal 4 Way PPV Orton and Edge were involved in a Fatal 4 Way Match with Sheamus and Cena. Interestingly, every Superstars in this match received pop as they came to the ring, no matter heel or face! The match came to a rather abrupt end when the Rookies from the first NXT appeared and attacked Cena. Edge tried to help Cena, but was himself attacked. Through all the commotion Sheamus pinned Cena and won the WWE Championship. It was the next night that Nextus was given its name and a voice.
Edge failed to win the RAW Money In The Bank Ladder Match. At SummerSlam Edge was involved in a 7 On 7 Elimination Tag Team Match with Morrison, R-Truth, Jericho, D-Bry, Cena, and Bret Hart. The match lasted 35:18, and while Edge was pinned by Heath Slater, Cena made Wade tap out to the STF for the team to get the win. The following night on RAW the members of Nexus faced off in singles matches with the members of the team the faced the night before. Nexus won every match except Young who lost to Cena. On the 900th episode of RAW (I was there), Edge disqualified himself in a 5 On 5 Elimination Match against Nexus, then got into a feud with the Anonymous RAW GM!
The Anonymous RAW GM cost Edge a number of matches. At Night of Champions Edge participated in a Six-Pack Challenge Elimination Match with Orton, Sheamus, Wade, Cena and Jericho. Orton won the WWE Championship. Then at the Hell In A Cell PPV, Edge defeat Swagger in a singles match.
Through this whole time Edge had continually been getting into verbal/email struggles with the Anonymous RAW GM. Edge actually knocked over the podium and beat up the laptop, all to the delight of the fans. During this time Edge went from being a villainous heel to being a beloved face with a few screws loose, but in a way that endeared the fans to him that much more. The night after Hell In A Cell, on RAW Edge was traded to Smackdown for Punk due to Edge destroying the the laptop. This ended Edge’s brutal feud with an inanimate object!
On Edge’s return to Smackdown he defeated Swagger. On October 15th he defeated Dolph to become part of Team Smackdown the the Bragging Rights. The teams fought back and forth until Team RAW was up 5-2, but they forgot all about the power of the spear! R-Truth was speared, then eliminated. Then JoMo was speared, pinned, and eliminated. ADR then tagged in and was eliminated by Punk. 619 on Punk and the score was 2-2. 619 on Big Zeke and somehow Rey got the three on him. Edge in with a spear and the three. Edge held the Bragging Right cup high in the air as they celebrate, Hornswoggle was there as their mascott.
Edge went on to feud with Kane, much of it over Kane’s father Paul Bearer. At Survivor Series Kane and Edge fought to a Draw, so Kane retained his World Heavyweight Championship. Edge retaliated by putting Kane in a wheelchair and pushing him through the barrier. On November 12th Bearer cost Edge a match, so Edge fought back by kidnapping Bearer. Edge did horrible things to Bearer, but also fake things like running over a dumm that looked like Bearer. In the end it was Kane pushed over ladders that he thought had a dummy on top of, but it was Bearer and he was badly ‘injured’ or ‘killed’, but I’m not sure which as they never really said. From that the pair went into a Fatal 4 Way Match at the TLC PPV. ADR and Rey were the other two entrants, but it was Edge who came out the victor and the World Heavyweight Champion. Edge and Kane ended up fighting in a Last Man Standing Match that Edge won and was the blow off of their feud.
Edge started to feud with Dolph and his lady love Vickie. Vickie was acting Smackdown GM, so she fired him, stripped him of the Title and awarded it to Dolph. Teddy Long returned later in the night, rehired Edge and put him in a World Heavyweight Championship Match against Dolph which he won to win back his World Heavyweight Championship. ADR won the 2011 Royal Rumble Match and challenged Edge at WMXXVII, but was unable to beat Edge.
Edge retained the World Heavyweight Championship until the Smackdown following WMXXVII. On the RAW after WMXXVII, Edge came out to the ring for an announcement that virtually no one knew anything about. We all know that that was the night he had to retire for his physical health. While I understand what it is like to be held back by your body turning on you and making it virtually impossible to get many things done, but I’ve always been this way, Edge now knows what he’s missing and that has to be terribly hard. I was in tears the night he retired, but we have to remember was a storied career Edge had. He did so much for us, made us happy and mad. I’m glad he got when the getting was good. I hate to imagine what could have happened if he hadn’t been checked out and something horrible happened in the ring. I can’t wait to see him getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as he deserves it.