After Edge affixed himself as a ten-time WWE World Champion at WWE’s TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view, it was only appropriate to take a look back at the career of “The Rated R Superstar.” Edge: A Decade of Decadence DVD chronicles Edge’s first ten years with the WWE, a decade that can only be described as decadence. The term refers to Edge’s moral decay throughout his storied career. But while historians may see it that way, wrestling fans simply know it as being an opportunist.
The following is rated D for Decadence.
The DVD starts off with Edge sitting on the couch with a tub of popcorn and a soda about to watch a movie. The movie is his life in the coveted squared circle with faux MPAA Rating Screens revealing cinematic trailers on major story arcs in his career. Unfortunately there are no documentaries divulging any behind the scenes drama, or exploring his at-home life. The wrestling matches play one after the other, with brief intermissions that bring us back to Edge summing up what we just saw and what we are about to see.
Now, not many wrestlers could get away without showcasing some documentaries; but then again, no one has ever been as devilishly charismatic than “The Rated R Superstar.” Without a documentary, questions about the splitting of Edge and Christian, The Love Triangle, or even his injuries remain unanswered. Though, most likely, these topics were discussed in Edge’s autobiographical book Adam Copeland on Edge. Yet, it would have still been nice if we had gotten some insight from the man himself.
Edge and Christian
On Disc 1, Edge faced Owen Hart in a losing effort at Breakdown due to an outside distraction from an unknown blond-haired Canadian eerily resembling Edge. He would later be revealed as Christian, Edge’s then-storyline brother, and they would go on to be one of the most respected tag teams in WWF history. On the DVD: The Terri Invitational Tournament Ladder match against New Brood (The Hardy Boyz w/Gangrel) and the Triangle Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania 2000 showcases Edge and Christian in some of their most memorable moments, including winning the 8 pounds of gold at WrestleMania. The disc also contains a special feature with a compilation of Edge and Christian’s funniest promos entitled: The Totally Awesome Best of Edge and Christian. And yes, Edge’s nuts are safe for consumption.
On Disc 2, one of the special features contains a dark match in Cornwall, Ontario between Adam Copeland and Christian. At the time, Adam (Edge) was already contracted by WWE, and Christian was not. So the dark match attempted to impress WWE Officials into hiring his best friend. The dark match is a rare treat because footage of dark matches are usually never shared for public viewing.
Many may not recall, but Edge’s first WWE title was not the WWE Tag Team Championship, but the Intercontinental Title won against Jeff Jarrett at a live-event in 1999. And lucky for us, Disc 2 contains Edge’s first grasp of championship gold in the Special Features. Though Edge would lose the belt the following night at WWE’s Fully Loaded, Officials were impressed with the concept of Edge as a future champion.
Edge and Christian’s first WWE Tag Team Title reign occurred after defeating The Hardy Boyz and The Dudley Boyz at WrestleMania in a precursor to what would be known as the TLC match. Also featured on the first disc is Edge’s eighth Tag Team reign with Hollywood Hulk Hogan on July 4, 2002.
Edge’s second and fourth I-C title reigns, available on Disc 1, were against Lance Storm and Test, respectively. Edge’s fourth reign also coincided with the unification of his WCW United States Championship, thus retiring it for two years. Later to be revived by the late-Eddie Guerrero at Vengeance 2003.
His fifth, and final, I-C title would not come until after his neck surgery. His return came with a declaration to take down Evolution; thus claiming the title against his future tag team partner Randy Orton at Vengeance 2004. The match, which can be seen on Disc 2, showcases the talents of both superstars as future main-event players.
Also on the Disc, the culmination of Edge’s career peaked when he cashed in Money in the Bank to win the WWE Championship from John Cena at New Year’s Revolution. The act would not just go down as a memorable moment in WWE History, it would also earn him the moniker “The Ultimate Opportunist.” Though the reign lasted a mere three weeks, Edge would go on to win his second WWE Championship six-months later in a triple-threat against John Cena and defending champion Rob Van Dam.
Edge’s successful title defense against John Cena in the challenger’s hometown at SummerSlam kicks off Disc 3. However, losing the belt to Cena at Unforgiven, and failing to win Money in the Bank at WrestleMania 23, prompted Edge to elevate his status as “The Ultimate Opportunist” to the next level when he defeated Mr. Kennedy (Mr. Anderson) for his MITB briefcase. The final moments of Undertaker’s Steel Cage title defense against Batista is available on Disc 3, with Edge showing up on Smackdown to cash in briefcase number two to claim his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Edge’s successful championship defenses against Batista and Rey Mysterio are also available. Yet, his defense against Mysterio at Madison Square Garden was his second World Heavyweight Championship won in a Triple Threat Match at Armageddon.
And the TLC match for the Vacant World Heavyweight title at WWE One Night Stand against The Undertaker marked Edge’s third World Heavyweight Championship, for a total of five WWE World Championships. Which is remarkable that in ten years, Edge became a twelve-time Tag Team Champion, five-time Intercontinental Champion, a United States Champion, two-time Mr. Money in the Bank, and a five-time WWE World Champion. Love him or hate him, you have to pay the devil his dues.
The Gold Rush Tournament Final against Kane is available on Disc 2, which saw Lita, Kane’s storyline wife, turn on him and side with Edge. And Jim Ross’ commentary could not have been better with him seething the words, “That’s the man’s wife!”
Lita would stand by Edge in classic encounters against Matt Hardy, John Cena, Mick Foley, Rob Van Dam, Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer, and Beulah.
At the SummerSlam title defense, you can see both Edge and Lita walking hand-and-hand as the WWE Champion and WWE Women’s Champion, respectively.
The Street Fight between Matt Hardy and Edge is available on Disc 2.
Final Thoughts: Since Edge’s first eleven years in WWE is considered decadence, should 2010 be considered Edge’s Year of Decency? He did return to the Royal Rumble as a major fan favorite and targeted his former tag team partner Chris Jericho. Yet, being drafted to Raw did set Edge back to his dastardly ways. But his move back to Smackdown, and using his powers of manipulations for good, has set Edge back on the right track of decency. Yet, how long will it be before Edge deviates back to his rule-breaking self?
In the two years following the DVD set, Edge claimed his third and fourth WWE Championships at Survivor Series 2008 (his return match) and Royal Rumble 2009. His fourth, fifth, and six World Heavyweight titles were won at No Way Out 2009, Backlash 2009, and this past TLC: Tables, Ladders, & Chairs 2010. Thus making him a ten-time WWE World Champion.
He also co-held the WWE Unified Tag Team Championship with future rival Chris Jericho, making him a fourteen-time Tag Team Champion. Yes, Edge is “The Ultimate Opportunist” in every way imaginable.
My favorite matches featured on the DVD, aside from Edge vs. Randy Orton at Vengeance 2004, were his hardcore matches at WrestleMania 22, and One Night Stand 2006. Those two matches truly showcased him as “The Rated R Superstar,” which is hard to come by in WWE’s new PG era.
My only gripe with this DVD set is that there is not a single tag team match featuring Rated-RKO. It could have at least featured them winning the championships against Ric Flair and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
Other than that, the DVD is fantastic and a must for any Edge-Head.