A few days ago, Randy Orton and Edge competed in “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever.” Not my words, by the way, but the words of the WWE! Why promote anything as “the greatest ever?” It just places a huge burden on the participants to deliver something phenomenal. Regardless, it was a very good bout…even great…but the greatest ever? Questionable.
Edge, already a Hall of Famer, has competed in some great matches. Most of them involves tables, ladders and/or chairs. He’s one of the few wrestlers to successfully break away from the tag team division and prove himself in the main event. Unlike Randy Orton, I doubt few people would label Edge ‘boring.’ He’s anything but, competing in some of the most insane/high-risk bouts in WWE history. As I’ve compiled a list of Orton’s Top 10 matches (click here to check it out), I thought it only fair to compile a list of Edge’s Top 10 matches. So without further ado…
Vs Mick Foley (Hardcore Match, WrestleMania 22)
This must be the most violent match on a WrestleMania card by a country mile. Correct me if I’m wrong, but barbed wire, thumbtacks, and a flaming table have never appeared in the same match at Mania, have they? Yes, just like he did with Randy Orton, Mick Foley was willing to engage in a bit of the old ultraviolence with Edge in order to put the youngster over. Just like Orton, Edge even takes a sickening bump onto thumbtacks. Yes, the flaming table spot at the end may be one of the most iconic images in ‘Mania history, but this match is chockful of hard-to-watch spots. A brutal car crash of a match that follows the template of most Foley hardcore matches but manages to up the ante in terms of ultraviolence. Great work from both men.
Vs John Cena (Last Man Standing Match for the World Heavyweight Championship, Backlash 2009)
These two had an epic feud, and I feel this list wouldn’t be complete without one of their matches (and there are plenty to choose from!). I love their TLC match, but I think this one just edges that one out of the picture. This just builds and builds with each spot bigger than the last. There’s an FU (yes, before it was called the “Attitude Adjustment,” Cena’s finisher was called the “FU”) into the crowd, a Con-Chair-To and all manners of other punishing moves that fit a Last Man Standing match perfectly. It’s supposed to be an escalation of brutal moves, isn’t it? One thing that spoils it is the ending, but apart from that, it’s a storming match from the two wrestlers.
Vs Kurt Angle (Backlash 2002)
WWE fans usually talk about their Hair vs Hari match at the following PPV Judgment Day 2002, but for me, this is the better of the two clashes. I think that clash takes too long to build, and the second half flurry occurs without much selling. But this one is spot-on. You wouldn’t think this was a mid-card match with nothing on the line. The two wrestlers fought like the World Championship was on the line. Angle was already one of the best wrestlers in WWE, and Edge was on his rise to the top of singles competition. I’d put this as perhaps his first truly great singles match (please correct me if I’m wrong!). This made people (by people, I mean myself!) stand up and take note of Edge as a singles wrestler.
Vs Jeff Hardy (Ladder Match for the WWE Championship, Extreme Rules 2009)
I’m pretty sure this list could simply consist of ladder/TLC matches, but I’m trying to focus on matches outside of Edge’s speciality. However, I must include this one because I think it’s underrated. You talk about singles ladder matches, you hear about the two between HBK and Razor Ramon, HBK and Y2J, and even the one between The Rock and HHH. But this one is better than the last two mentioned be a long shot. It’s full of crazy spots like you’d expect, but there’s also a level of creativity here that you don’t get in modern ladder matches. The two work together to tell a story as well, which is something you can’t say about some of their stunt matches! Watch out for the innovative finish as well.
Vs Matt Hardy (Cage Match, Unforgiven 2005)
You can talk about a personal feud…and then you can talk about this feud. It stemmed from a real life affair, caused a wrestler to be sacked, and then that wrestler to be brought back due to overwhelming support from the WWE crowd. In a nutshell: Matt Hardy and Lita were dating. Hardy was injured, took some time off, and Lita got a little bit too close to Edge…The cheating became public knowledge, and for some reason, Matt Hardy was fired. However, the crowd wouldn’t stop chanting his name, so eventually WWE brought Hardy back in one of the best “shoot” segments of all-time. He came through the crowd and battered Edge. Was it real? It damned sure felt like it! They had a blistering feud when Hardy returned (he’d obviously come to and understanding in real life with Edge and Lita), and this match was the highlight. You could FEEL the bad blood between the two, as if they wanted to kill each other. It’s a feeling that you don’t often receive as a viewer, but knowing the real life situation absorbed you even more in the match. Oh, and it ends with a leg drop off the top of the cage, something I’ve seen before or since. A great cage match that sometimes feels like a real fight.
And Christian vs The Hardy Boyz (Tag Team Ladder Match, No Mercy 1999)
These four young men (well, they were young twenty years ago!) along with The Dudley Boyz revolutionized the ladder match. But this is the beginning of the revolution, where four young men literally risked their lives to put on a show like never before. Even now, this (the first ever tag team ladder match) is simply awesome (in the truest sense of the word) to watch. It was only a taster of the mayhem these four men (along with the Dudleyz) would create in the next couple of years, and the crowd barely give the tag teams any reaction for the first couple of minutes of the match. But, when the ladders and men start flying, the crowd go wild. Yes, there had been ladder matches before, but they wouldn’t be the same after this one. You talk about raising the bar, you have to talk about this match.
And Christian vs The Hardy Boyz vs The Dudley Boyz (TLC II, WrestleMania X-7)
The image of Edge spearing Jeff Hardy (who’s hanging on to the tag team belts) off the top of a ladder is etched into WWE legend. Like Mankind’s fall off the top of the Hell in a Cell or a bloody Austin trapped in the Sharpshooter, it’s an iconic image. And that Spear is merely one of many insane spots in this sequel. I have a lot of love for TLC I (and the Triple Threat Ladder match from WrestleMania 2000), but like any great sequel, TLC II is bigger, louder, and builds on what made the original great. There’s not much to say about this match without spoiling some of the crazy spots. So if you haven’t watched it, go and watch it right now. A match of absolute insanity. No TLC match has reached those levels since (and it’s doubtful they will).
And Rey Mysterio Jr vs Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle (WWE Tag Team Championship, No Mercy 2002)
If you want one of the best tag team matches of the 21st century, look no further than this match. Yes, it seems like the two tag teams were put together randomly (and they probably were: giving Smackdown its own tag team division meant a lot of random tag teams!). But anytime these four were in the ring, you could expect magic. This is simply magical. Innovative, creative, fast-paced, non-stop…it’s hard to describe the greatness of this tag team match. And because of the controversy around Chris Benoit, you won’t find it mentioned on modern WWE TV. But if you want to see how…beautiful tag team wrestling can be, watch this match immediately.
Vs The Undertaker (WWE Championship, WrestleMania XXIV)
Is this the most underrated WrestleMania main event ever? I say…yes! You usually think of the TLC match and the Hell in a Cell match when you think of the feud between Edge and The Undertaker. But for my money, this is their greatest clash. No weapons, no stipulations, just two wrestlers putting on a show. And what a show it is. It starts off deceptively slow, as the two wrestlers feel each other out…but it escalates and escalates until it you can’t tear your eyes away from the screen. The year before ‘Taker had the best match on the ‘Mania card against Batista, and he does the same here. It’s a shame this match is overshadowed by Flair’s “retirement” match against HBK, but that match is merely very good. This match is brilliant. Easily in the Top 5 WrestleMania main events.
Vs Eddie Guerrero (No Disqualification, WWE Smackdown)
This was once voted one the best Smackdown match of all time…and I’d be hard-pressed to disagree. I could name other matches worthy of the title, but I remember watching this “live” and being absolutely gobsmacked. Feud-ending matches are meant to be reserved for PPVs, aren’t they? But you got this one for free! There’s nothing on the line here, just two men who want to beat each other senseless. And that they surely do with creative and insane spots (creative and insane come up a lot when talking about Edge…). The sunset flip powerbomb off the top of the ladder is the highlight, but there’s so much more than that. Just a damned great match, and probably the zenith of Edge’s in-ring ability.