Every year, the night before Wrestlemania, WWE holds their prestigious WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. It is a wonderful evening where WWE Superstars, and Divas, and fans come to celebrate those men and women who have been chosen as the best of the best. I have been to several of these ceremonies, and it is a great time.
Videos are played showing a brief overview of the inductee’s career, and then a wrestler, or a celebrity who is associated with the inductee comes out and gives a little introduction speech. The big moment comes when the inductee comes, and the audience stands for him or her, and he or she gives their speech.
[ad 6]The speeches from many of the inductees are awesome. Hearing road stories, and jokes, and such was so much fun. I have always respected the business, but I really gained a lot more hearing stories of struggle, and triumph. There is a lot of emotion involved as well, even if you watch the induction in person, or even just the edited versions on television. The inductions I have seen in person ran the gamut of emotions. There was the highly emotional induction of the late, great, Eddie Guerrero in 2006. There was the induction of Rocky Johnson, and Chief Maivia where the man who did the inducting, the Rock had the place rolling in the aisles in 2008.
The Rock’s making fun of Chris Jericho was priceless. There was the bittersweet induction of Sherri Martel in 2006, who passed away a little while later. I was also honored to see the induction of the man who I thought would NEVER be inducted (or rather would never accept due to that night in Montreal), Bret Hart in 2006.
The induction I saw in person that I loved the most was Ric Flair’s induction in 2008. He told stories, and had the room laughing, and really stole the show, as was expected. He thanked a lot of people, as expected, but there was a great, now surreal moment looking back in hindsight, when he wanted to thank someone, and the person was Edge. Flair then praised Edge as a worker, and discussed their being in that great TLC match. Flair then talked about how Michael Hayes asked him about doing the match. The camera showed Edge shedding tears. Who would have known that four years later, Edge would wind up also a Hall of Famer?
As most WWE and wrestling fans know, on April 3, 2011, Edge successfully defended his World Heavyweight Championship against challenger, Alberto Del Rio. A few months prior to the match, Edge had been experiencing some excruciating pain, especially in his neck. His arms would also tremble uncontrollably. All Wrestlemania week, Edge would later say in future interviews, he went around with his eyes closed because he was in so much pain, but he didn’t think he had what doctors told him he had. He did not miss any scheduled appearances during Wrestlemania week. Little did he , or WWE fans know , Wresltemania 27 would be his last.
On April 11, 2011, during Monday Night Raw, it was announced that Edge was going to make some sort of announcement, and the announcement could be that he would retire. The announcers, Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler speculated as usual. AT about 10:15pm, Edge comes out, and makes the sad announcement that due to the MRI revealing damage to his neck, he was told to retire, and tearfully thanked the fans, and walked to the back. On the follow SmackDown, he relinquished the World Title. The actual condition that Edge has in his neck is spinal stenosis where the spinal canal is narrowed. He said in a later interview he only has 1 cm of spinal fluid on one side of his neck and 0 on the other.
Edge has gone on to go with the WWE on their European Tour to say goodbye to the fans over there as he was booked already, and didn’t want to go back on his obligation. Christian who became the #1 contender after Edge gave up the belt defeated Alberto Del Rio at Extreme Rules where Edge came out in a Jeep causing the distraction. Edge has appeared in Haven on SYFY, and will be doing Season 3. His movie, “Breaking The Rules” will be out in April as will his DVD, “Edge: You Think You Know Me.” Source: WWEDVDnews.com
That being said, on January 9, 2012, on Monday Night Raw, nearly 9 months after Edge was forced to retire, WWE announced that he was the first Inductee of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012. This is a tremendous honor for Edge who is, at age 38, the youngest inductee the Hall of Fame has had. Edge has won just about every title in the WWE since his debut in June of 1998. He was the winner of 31 Titles at the time of his retirement, the most of any Superstar. Some of his highlights are: 11 World/WWE Titles, 5 Intercontinental Titles, 2010 Royal Rumble Winner, 2001 King of the Ring Winner, and 2005 Money In the Bank Winner. Of course, we can’t forget his prowess as a tag team wrestler with 13 Tag Titles total, notably 7 Tag Team Title Runs with his most famous partner, and real life best friend, Christian.
Edge was a master craftsman in the ring whether it was in those high flying matches such as ladder matches, table matches, or the tables, ladders, and chairs matches when he and Christian were in their feuds with the Dudleys, and the Hardy, or when he was in his singles career having great matches with the Undertaker, and John Cena. I always felt he was very underrated as a worker, as his matches , especially the singles matches were awesome. His earlier work with Kurt Angle, especially the Hair vs Hair match, was awesome. Great job from both.
I already was sold on Edge as an awesome worker. I also thought he was pretty good on the mic, but it was the Matt/Lita/Edge triangle bit that really clinched it for me. After Matt Hardy cut that sub par promo, Edge rescued it with a promo that just blew me away. I was like, “this guy has some really great promo skills.” Of course, what emerged was a great promo man, and an awesome heel. Edge was just an incredible, slimy heel. The more the fans booed, and shouted at him and Lita, the more Edge fed off of it, and raised his game. He had very good matches also, as well as his talk show, “The Cutting Edge.”
Edge would go on to cash in his Money In the Bank briefcase on John Cena, on January 8,2006, winning his first WWE Championship. Edge would go on to have great feuds with Cena, and then Mick Foley where he and Foley would have a great, show stealing match at Wrestlemania 22. Edge and Foley would later team up as heels. Edge also wound up winning and losing the WWE belt again to John Cena.
Edge eventually moved to Smackdown in May 2007, where he would finish up at,save for a brief stay at Raw in 2010. Edge would have feuds with Batista, and a brief feud with Kane before a Pectoral injury would take him out for four months which lead to Edge feuding with the Undertaker, and becoming one of Undertaker’s best opponents.
I have seen a couple of their matches in person, and Edge and Taker had incredible in ring chemistry. Edge would have a little group called “the family” which consisted of his girlfriend who became his wife (kayfabe) Vickie Guerrero (at times she was Smackdown GM) the two Edge heads (Now, Zach Ryder, and Curt Hawkins), and Chavo Guerrero (no longer with the company) at one point.
Edge’s final feuds were with Dolph Ziggler, and Alberto Del Rio. Edge had an excellent match at the Royal Rumble with Ziggler who Edge defeated for his World Title despite some interference, as Edge could not use his spear per Vickie Guerrero’s edict. Edge went on to have a brilliant Elimination match at Elimination Chamber along with Rey Mysterio, Drew McIntyre, The Big Show, Wade Barrett, and Kane, especially the last ten minutes. At Mania, Edge and Del Rio, despite the baffling decision by WWE to put a World Championship match on first, and make an 11 Time World Champion a curtain jerker, had a very good match, and retained his title.
He then had to retire, but he retired on top.
[adinserter block=”1″]Even though injury cut short a brilliant career, Edge leaves a legacy of brilliant matches, and fans and other wrestlers can learn a lot from his career. He was a very determined person who never gave up. He loved this business as a child. He lost a favorite uncle, Gary Copeland, at age 8, and to try to cope, he sat in front of the television, and saw Hulk Hogan, and the rest is history. He has suffered countless injuries, several of them devastating, and had surgery on his neck, on his shoulder/pectoral, and his Achilles. He could have retired several times, but he came back. Unfortunately, this injury , he could not overcome. It sad, but he has left a great legacy of entertaining fans. He could make a fan laugh, cheer, cry, or get mad that they want to jump the rail and kick his butt.
Edge has done everything in the WWE that he has wanted to do. He is one of the very few wrestlers who retire on top. He has given so much to WWE fans. He is so deserving of this honor. I am very proud of him.
Congratulations Edge on your impending Induction into the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame.
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead