On January 26th, one of the greatest WWE superstars made his return after being written off to never be apart of competition again. To the absolute roar of the Royal Rumble crowd, Edge made his return to the cheers and tears of a thrilled WWE Universe after nine years.
Edge eventually went onto WrestleMania 36, where he faced off against Randy Orton in a solid match. There is no question that Edge aged, which is something critics tend to do over time and not many fans expected a wrestling classic. Edge, 46, hasn’t wrestled in a singles competition since 2011. Fans were just happy to see the ‘Rated R Superstar’ back in action.
The WWE has promoted the rematch between Edge and Orton at Backlash as the “greatest wrestling match ever”. Even Edge himself, recently spoke with ESPN claiming to have laughed when he was first told the company’s plan. The laughing quickly stopped when he realized the WWE was serious.
Yes, they are actually serious. The WWE has created multiple promo packages, theme music and all around hype for this to be the greatest wrestling match ever. Instead of fans being invested in the solid buildup and rivalry between Edge and his former partner, they are now more invested in the ‘what the hell’ syndrome.
If Edge is able to pull off a five-star match with Orton, instead of being praised for an impressive feat at his age, fans will be disappointed if it’s not legitimately the best wrestling match of all time. The only thing saving this match from being degraded if there are any slow moments is the fact there will be no fans in attendance.
The WWE is running the risk of exposing Edge, who’s understandably not the wrestler he once was to no fault of his own. It may seem crazy to see fans turn on Edge after his amazing return, but nearly ever single return that was met with excitement has ended in disdain at one point or another. This has become evident with legends such as Goldberg, Brock Lesnar and The Rock.
Is that a negative though? Edge is a beloved wrestler and fans were upset to see him go in 2011, but he’s not necessarily admired for his ability to be a great babyface. Edge is one of the greatest heels of all time and most would argue he was at his very best as a heel.
As it stands right now, there is no way Edge would be able to pull off a great heel. The fans have too much love for him and it would be difficult for fans to accept him putting over one of the company’s babyfaces.
Is it possible that the WWE actually wants the fans to slowly turn sour on Edge after his match with Orton? It likely wouldn’t happen at Backlash, because most fans are going to put the blame on the WWE, not Edge, for not living up to the hype.
However, what happens when the WWE starts booking Edge to go over the younger heels of today? We have seen that plan turned down by fans when aged stars such as Batista have tried it. This could potentially unlock Edge’s next great heel run and could end up making for some great WWE TV if it’s executed appropriately.