The WWE may have have started its downward spiral when Edge announced his retirement from the business in 2011 when he was still one of the top draws in the company and the business and one of the most unsung wrestlers of the era.
This, my friends, is a huge mistake.
While he started out as a tag team partner of Christian and a member of “The Brood,” there was something about the 6’5,” 241-pound Canadian superstar that worked – every night and in every arena. And when he hung up his boots because of a neck injury, which also coincided with other WWE wrestlers on the IR or suspension list, it left an indelible mark on the business which has not been filled.
It was akin to Kurt Angle leaving the WWE – the one true “wrestler” who took his singlet and traveled to Florida to wrestle in TNA. That void has not been filled as well.
Understand, I do not think Edge (Adam Copeland) is the reason for the fall of the WWE, he is merely a symptom that helped the downfall. When wrestlers get hurt, promotions adjust. They did in WCW when Sting tore up his knee. They did when Ric Flair left for the WWF. They did when Hulk Hogan left the AWA amid controversy.
To put his career in perspective when comparing him to a Shawn Michaels or Triple H or John Cena, Edge won 31 championships in WWE, including eleven world championships (the WWE Championship four times and the World Heavyweight Championship a record seven times), five Intercontinental Championships, one United States Championship, 14 world tag team championships (a record 12 World Tag Team Championships and two WWE Tag Team Championships), and is one of only three wrestlers (Kurt Angle and Big Show being the others) who has held every currently active male Championship in WWE.
He also had an unofficial co-champion reign with Mick Foley as Hardcore Champion (which would put his title count to 32.) In addition to his championship accolades, Copeland won the 2001 King of the Ring tournament, the first Mr. Money in the Bank in 2005 and 2007 when he defeated Mr. Kennedy, which he is also the winner of the match to reclaim and cash in the contract, becoming the first to cash in and win both world titles.
He won the Royal Rumble match in 2010 making him the only wrestler in history to achieve all three of those accomplishments (all taken form his wiki page on the Internet).
Edge coming back to the WWE this week serve many purposes. It shows his love of the business. It promotes his WWE video. It may form an in-ring reunion with Christian. And it may allow him to speak his peace about the current state of the company. But what it does not do is get him back in the ring, which is what the WWE needs from him now more than ever.
But on a night where we should all see clearly, reflection only allows us to see how great Edge was for the business. We will never know how great he could have been moving forward.
[amazon_link id=”B00DBPBQB8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: Summerslam 2013 DVD[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”B00CS7PJY0″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ] The Best of WWE at Madison Square Garden[/amazon_link]