by: Terri Bey
As everyone who follows the business of professional wrestling through this website knows, it is once again time for the men, and women voters to decide who they think should be inducted into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame. It is a huge honor for a worker, promoter, announcer, etc to be inducted into this Hall of Fame because it is voted on by the current and former wrestlers, promoters, announcers, and writers in the business that follow the site.
Every year, a new class of candidates become eligible for induction, and it is not easy to become a first ballot Hall of Famer, as wrestlers such as Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and even the Undertaker have had to wait a few years to get in.
This year's ballot includes a one John Cena, who is the top money maker for the company. Since his debut in 2002 on Smackdown, John Cena had to climb up the ladder, and eventually was pushed to be the top guy of WWE, and the company's biggest babyface. Many people feel that his good guy act has gone stale to the point that he should turn heel. Due to the fact that he sells so much merchandise, I doubt that will happen.
However, this guest column is not about Cena. I am writing this column about a man, who not only was one of John Cena's best adversaries, and helped Cena get to the top through their feuds, but a man that I am advocating for induction for the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame as this will be his third year on the ballot. That man is none other than Adam Joseph Copeland, also known by his ring name of Edge, who on March 31, 2012 by unanimous vote, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
There are a few major reasons why Edge should be inducted into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame. One, when he was unfortunately forced to retire due to spinal stenosis in his neck on April 11, 2011, he had retired with 31 Titles which was more than anyone had in the company.
The highlights of Edge's achievements are as follows: 11 World/WWE Titles, 5 Intercontinental Titles, 13 Tag Team Titles (with 5 different partners), a Royal Rumble win, the first Money in the Bank winner, US Title Winner, King of the Ring winner, and the co holder of the Hardcore Title with Mick Foley in 2006. He pretty much has won everything, with the exception of the European Title. One can say that a lot of his World/WWE reigns were short. I personally put that on WWE Creative.
Edge, even as a tag team wrestler with his longtime friend Christian, has had great matches throughout his career. As everyone also knows, like many wrestlers, Edge has had his share of injuries. He unfortunately suffered several catastrophic injuries which would be career threatening, but he would always come back, and continue to have great matches. Like most wrestlers, the injuries, plus age, would slow him down, but he still would excel in the ring until the very end.
Everyone knows about the great Ladder Match at Wrestlemania 10 between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon. Well, Edge and Christian, the Hardy Boyz, and the Dudley Boys , at least in my opinion did them one better with their Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches. Once Edge got to become a singles wrestler, he had a great Hair vs Hair match with Kurt Angle in 2002.
In 2003, he suffered the neck injury, and was out for a bit over a year. He had a feud with Randy Orton over Orton's Intercontinental Belt which he won for his fifth title. Unfortunately, he suffered a groin injury which ended that reign. He started his climb to stardom amid controversy when he won the Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania 21 while news of his affair with Lita (who was in a long term relationship with Matt Hardy) leaked out. The whole thing, which I thought was overblown inadvertently helped create one of the best heels.
Edge (who in his new DVD said that he had beaten himself up over the incident more than people know) used the controversy, and the heat he got to turn himself into such a nasty character, and also helped a growing star named John Cena. John Cena, who was the big babyface was being booed, so on January 8th, 2006, at the New Year's Revolution PPV after retaining his belt in an Elimination Chamber, Cena had to face Edge, who was cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase. After 2 spears, Edge was the new Champion.
On the following Raw, in a huge ratings spike, Edge and Lita had a live Sex Celebration. Edge was also a draw, as during that first reign as Champion, Raw got big ratings. Since then, Edge has had excellent matches with the Undertaker, (including a headliner at Wrestlemania 24), Ric Flair, Mick Foley, Cena (again), and many others. Edge had overcome a torn pec, and an torn Achilles, and still was able to have excellent matches, such as the Elimination Chamber Match in February 2011. The final exchanges with Rey Mysterio were just awesome.
Edge's promo work is not to be overlooked. At first, he wasn't bad, but still a bit stiff, but eventually, once he developed that slimy heel character, he just bloomed into one of the masters on the mic. It really took off during his feud with Cena. The comments the two would say to each other were off the charts. Edge also was awesome as an entertainer. After all, athleticism, and workrate is part of being a wrestler, but entertaining the crowd is just as important. Edge's skits, and facial expressions are awesome. His work with Cena, Vickie Guerrero, Lita, you name them, are just outstanding.
Edge should be inducted into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame because of his legacy. Edge's legacy is that of a man who started as a huge fan as a child who worked his heart out to make it. Ever since childhood, he wanted to be a wrestler, and that is what he did. He was the lucky winner of a writing contest put on by Ron Hutchison, and Sweet Daddy Siki for free training at Sully's Gym, and he worked through all those bumps, and pain. He went on those "Winter Death Tours," and a bunch of territories, when he was finally contacted by WWE, and was signed by Jim Ross.
His work with people like Cena, Guerrero, and many others, to elevate them is top of the line. It would be very appropriate to induct both John Cena and Edge since both worked so well on establishing their legacies. As for Edge, he leaves a legacy of fantastic matches, great entertainment, and a body of work that people will remember. As Adam Copeland said in his WWE Hall of Fame speech, "I had a motto: decide what to be, and go be it., and I did, and now I am a WWE Hall of Famer." He certainly did. Therefore, I feel if one puts his overall accomplishments in his career against just about anyone, I feel he is worthy of induction into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame.