Alternate Reality by Vin Tastic

“World Heavyweight Champion Edge.” It has a nice ring to it. After years of hard work, dedication, recovery from injury, bouncing up and down the card, moving back and forth between WWE “brands”, strong character development, becoming the most prolific tag team champion of all time, winning several second tier titles, one King of the Ring championship, and a brief flirtation with the WWE title, Edge has finally gotten an opportunity for what many speculate will be a long run at the top of the card.

TODAY’S ISSUE: Edge

Edge won the WWE championship twice during his long feud with resident Superman John Cena on RAW, but neither reign lasted very long. His victories were clearly commas in Cena’s Hogan-esque championship story rather than an example of McMahon and company truly getting behind Edge as their top guy. But his position in the company seems to have changed due to the fact that injuries create opportunities, and sometimes you can win by attrition in professional wrestling.

With Batista’s popularity and in-ring productivity fluctuating, and likely affected by his unprofessional attitude backstage, the decision was made to take the big gold belt off his broad shoulder at WrestleMania 23 and add the former Evolution member to the legacy of the Undertaker. The Dead Man won the Royal Rumble match for the first time in his career, chose Batista as his opponent for the big night in Detroit, and increased his impressive win streak at the annual extravaganza to an amazing 15-0, taking the world title in his victory over Big Dave.

The plan was for Undertaker to enjoy another long reign as champion. Although he’s held world championship gold on five occasions, his only lengthy run as the champ came between WrestleMania XIII and SummerSlam of 1997, lasting over four months. His four other reigns have been far shorter, including his first, which lasted only a week. So the time seemed right this late in his career to give the Phenom one more, perhaps final run at the top of the mountain.

Unfortunately, his aging body failed to weather the storm and Mark Calloway suffered a badly torn right biceps shortly after winning the title, and was forced to bow out of active competition until most likely the end of the year or early 2008. This left a gap in the Creative Department’s plans. It would have been easy to have Batista simply defeat ‘Taker in a rematch and press on with his championship reign, but that clearly wasn’t in the cards since Big Dave failed to recapture his crown in two subsequent rematches with the Undertaker and two title shots against the man who would rescue SmackDown! from its current ‘Taker-less, unclear future, Edge.

The same night the Undertaker defeated Batista for the title, Mr. Kennedy won the third annual Money In The Bank ladder match, earning the right to face any champion at any time. Now that ‘Taker would be forced to drop the title, it seemed obvious Kennedy would jump the Man from Death Valley at an opportune moment and take the world championship himself. But this plan was also hampered by injury, as Kennedy suffered a damaged triceps muscle and was put on the shelf himself.

So who did WWE call upon when they needed a credible, capable, healthy heel with plenty of attitude and ability to step up and save the day? They called on Adam Copeland, the wrestler known as Edge.

Kennedy’s injury meant a quick change in plans was required, so while he visited RAW on May 7th, “Mr. Money In The Bank” was manipulated into gambling his future title shot against the winner of the first ever Money In The Bank match, none other than Edge. The Ultimate Opportunist attacked Kennedy before the match, and beat him so severely that by the time the match formally began, Kennedy was already in serious jeopardy and the result was academic. Edge had secured the all-important MITB briefcase for the second time in his career.

One night later, Edge showed up on SmackDown! to cash in his shot against the wounded Undertaker after the Dead Man had successfully defended against Batista in a brutal cage match, followed directly by a savage attack from the returning Silverback, the 400-pound World’s Strongest Man, Mark Henry. Whatever was left of the battered, bloodied Undertaker to defend against Edge was unable to put up much of a fight, and The Rated R Superstar walked out as the new World Heavyweight Champion.

With a chance to carry the title when the company needed him most, Adam Copeland stepped up to the plate and came through like a true professional, like a champion. Look for some of the best work he’s ever produced in the coming months; there’s no limit to what Edge can do with a bright spotlight shining upon him.

Over the past ten years, Edge has established himself as a dangerous man with intensity and ability, daredevil aerial attacks, a well-developed cocky heel persona, the will to do whatever it takes to win, and a desire to sit alone at the top of the pro wrestling world. For his size, Edge is fairly quick and deceptively strong. He’s underhanded, shifty, and not to be trusted. He’s controversial, arrogant, and certainly not lacking in the self-confidence department. But above all else, Edge can perform quality matches against opponents of varying degrees of skill, size, and experience, and never fails to deliver the goods night after night.

I’m a Matt Hardy fan, and when the infamous issue between Adam Copeland, Amy Dumas and Matt Hardy went down, I was angry. Well, I became angry when the incident led to Hardy being released from the company at a time when he was really finding a place for himself in the upper mid-card, although he was apparently the victim of the affair. But because Matt eventually got rehired riding an enormous wave of fan support, and since I realized nobody but those three will ever understand exactly what happened between them anyway, I’ve given up on being upset with Adam Copeland and still find myself a fan of the Edge character. There’s room enough in the WWE for both of them, and we might even get to enjoy an Edge/Matt Hardy program for the big gold belt someday soon.

Hopefully the World Heavyweight Title will remain “on Edge” for a while, and WWE fans can enjoy some high quality wrestling action at the top of at least one of the three cards, wherever the draft finds the Rated R Superstar.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled reality.

p.s. – ”Life has reasons, problems have solutions.” – Keith Baber

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