There’s a well know saying that if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. But what happens when you start as the former and end up as the latter?
Case in point â€“ Edge.
Prior to his latest move back to Smackdown, Edge announced a campaign to eradicate everything stupid from WWE. He started with the Raw GMail (TM Andy Wheeler) and moved on to Jack Swagger’s eagle. As a side note, I kinda liked the eagle so it hurt a bit to see him get destroyed by Edge. Still, I liked the general idea. There were and still are too many stupid things in WWE and it was time to get rid of them. Edge was also on a roll. After a disappointing return earlier in the year he finally became fun to watch again. It seemed like he too after Randy Orton, in that he continued to act like a heel, yet the audience embraced him and accepted him as a face.
And then it happened, a feud with Kane. I will write a separate column about Kane and his reverse Midas touch but this one is about Edge. It seemed like for the first time in his career, Edge could have been a credible champion. Sure, he’s won nine WWE and World Heavyweight championships, but not one of those title reigns was credible and positioned him as a force to be reckoned with. As the ultimate opportunist, he usually weaseled his way into a title reign or relied on the power of Vickie Guerrero to save him from trouble. This could have been different. He could have properly won a title on his own against a monstrous opponent and be a real champion.
However, Edge’s feud with Kane took a wrong turn and became the epitome of everything that Edge wanted to destroy. Edge’s kidnapping of Paul Bearer has quickly turned fans away. It had nothing to do with his title matches, it positioned Edge as the heel in this feud and turned Kane and Paul Bearer into sympathetic victims. Worse of all? It was so badly written and delivered that there is no hope for redemption. It’s like a weird mixture between Wile E. Coyote cartoons and SAW movies.
But there is another problem. Realistically, there is nobody on the entire Smackdown roster for Kane to feud with other than Edge. That roster is so depleted that right now it has only three wrestlers that can carry the championship with any credibility â€“ Kane, Edge and Rey Mysterio (And even that’s a stretch). Jack Swagger could have been a contender but the only change Swagger experienced after winning the title was that he became a jobber that carried around a title belt rather than a jobber that did not carry around anything. Alberto Del Rio will be a main eventer in the future but it’s too soon for him. Who else is there on Smackdown? Nobody.
WWE is now paying the price for screwing up the pushes of guys like John Morrison, MVP, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. In 2009 Jim Ross hailed Morrison as the next HBK but his booking did not match JR’s praises. Now on Raw he is getting a renewed push, but had he received a proper treatment when he had momentum, he could have been a true main eventer on Smackdown by now. MVP had a great feud just a year ago with the Miz but did not get any supporting booking after that. Ziggler is only now establishing himself as a serious midcarder and will probably be ready for an upper-mid card or main event feud sometime in 2011. Swagger? He’ll need a whole lot of work before anyone would buy him at the top of the card again.
WWE seems to realize that they were stupid and failed in pushing new people and now try to fix this situation. The Miz had a proper push to the main event, even if his first week as champion was not booked well, in my eyes. Daniel Bryan is lighting the Raw midcard on fire, Wade Barrett found his spot quite quickly and other deserving wrestlers are also being treated well. I just hope this isn’t too little too late but in any case. To quote Edge, WWE’s failure to push new talent until now was STUPID STUPID STUPID, but now they are fighting their own stupidity.