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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
NEWSFLASH: Edge Retires
April 11, 2011

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com

 

Moments ago on the 4/11 edition of Monday Night RAW, current World Heavyweight Champion Edge announced his retirement, presumably effective immediately (Edge entered the ring to announce his news with the belt, but purposely removed it and left without it). Ergo: a secondary effect of Edge's announcement is that the SmackDown Title is now vacant, and Edge can lay claim to retiring at the very top of his game.
 

If the announcement sticks (you know how pro wrestling retirements are), it'll be remarkable in that "going out on top" aspect. I am not a guru of old-tymey wrestling, nor of lesser organizations, but a guy genuinely retiring as champion isn't something that's all that common. In terms of sheer "whoa" impact, the closest comp I've got to how I felt tonight during Edge's announcement was Shawn Michaels' "I Lost My Smile" speech, where he vacated the title, but was back less than 4 months later to chase it.
 
Edge didn't "lose his smile," but he made it clear that his overall health was not what it once was, and that he received bad news this past week on that front that forced his hand. Having already had spinal fusion surgery in 2003, and having weathered plenty of other injuries since, he's a cat who might be on his 6th or 7th life. And even though he gets 9, why not save a few back in case he ends up getting into a wreck with a drunk driver or catching the latest swine flu?
 
From what I can gather (which isn't much as of 11pm Monday), this is a decision Edge made after last week's TV tapings (where he was involved in an angle where Alberto del Rio won a title rematch against him), but not so soon thereafter that news spread. It was a pretty well kept secret until about 30 minutes till airtime.
 
After two phone calls tonight, I have two differing theories on what happened to cause this huge bummer: Edge significantly hurt himself at SD tapings (check the Spear he gave to Brodus; he appeared to hit his own head pretty hard), or lingering injuries finally became too much and Edge got bad news when WWE conducted an extensive series of head-and-neck exams on everybody at TV tapings last week (I know for a fact the check-ups did happen, I have no idea what Edge's revealed). It could be one, it could be the other, it could even be both.
 
At this point, it's late on a weeknight, so I won't be doingmuch more investigative reporting for you. But I think it's worth noting that if this is a Real Deal, Edge handled it in a pretty awesome way.... he gave a retirement speech, but it almost seemed like he was more concerned that WE (the fans) feel OK with it than HE feel good. Or that the two were of equal importance.
 
Edge said that after talking with Christian, he wasn't going to wallow in self-loathing: he had an incredible career, and if this is how it ends, it ends with his last match being a successful World Title Defense at freakin' WrestleMania. He wanted us to feel as good about that as he did, and cut a "goodbye" promo that still allowed for us to be smiling as he cut it. Maybe with a tear welling up in our left eye, but still smiling.
 
I definitely suggest youtubing it if you are one of the 10 million or so lapsed wrestling fans who still try to be tangentially aware of wrestling happenings, but don't actually watch the shows anymore.
 
As for moving forward? We'll obviously know a lot more after SD tapings tomorrow, but one assumes they just nudge Christian one spot upwards, and he and del Rio fight at the PPV for the now-vacant World Heavyweight Title.
 
Edge's level of involvement in such a match (and going forward) is another area of interest for me... his contract was expiring next year (in June-ish, I believe), and he was planning to retire, anyway. But till then, he could conceivably be called upon to perform other duties. 
 
It basically comes down to how bad off Edge is, and whether he can be of further use to WWE while he's still getting paid. If things are so bad that this is something that's been simmering for longer than we knew (perhaps even being the main cause of Edge's "upset" win at WrestleMania, so he could go out on a high note), maybe tonight was it.... but if this is a new twist or a precautionary move? Hey, Edge can hang out, help his old pal Christian reach new hights, and who knows what next year's WrestleMania might bring in terms of a FOR REELZ final retirement match before the dude's contract expires.
 
Hey, if Edge, Cena, HHH, and Taker are all asking me to fantasize ahead to next March, then *I* am allowed to fantasize on my own about tonight being a sham, and Edge having a One Year Plan to go out on an even higher note.
 
And if he doesn't? Man alive, he still had a monster of a career, and he reminded us of most of the high points tonight while trying to take care of us poor fans, and trying to soften the blow of his news. I loved the trip down memory lane, and the smarty-pants part of me knows that there really wasn't much more for Edge to do in the way of entertaining me.
 
And yet: I can't deny feeling pretty sad.
 
To Edge: godspeed. To OO Nation: I'll have the full recap of tonight's RAW (new #1 Contender, and other antics) for you soon. Keep checking back for it.


  
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PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 
 
E-MAIL RICK SCAIA

BROWSE THE OO ARCHIVES

Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.

 

 


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