Let me set the stage for you.
Close your eyes.
There is a wrestling company in 2021 with an absolutely stacked roster. There are a bunch of talented wrestlers all vying for a golden opportunity. You see, there are 30 guys in this thing called the Royal Rumble. Thirty guys! Obviously a bunch of them. Not like there are only a few spots or anything. Nope, this entire battle is loaded. You have so many to choose from, so many deserving individuals. Most whom who have never won the Rumble and therefore EARN a championship match at WrestleMania – the biggest event of the year! Huge, huge chance.
Talented wrestlers like Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins, Rey Mysterio, Cesaro, Sheamus, AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, Daniel Bryan, Riddle, Elias, Damian Priest, Miz, Ricochet, Big E, John Morrison, Jeff Hardy, Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, Sami Zayn, Ali, Dolph Ziggler and others are all involved. So many great choices. You have a ‘face’ WWE Champion in Drew McIntyre to potentially challenge and a ‘heel’ Universal Champion in Roman Reigns on the other side. Two excellent champs waiting at WM37.
Yet, none of those men won the prestigious Rumble. Not Orton who has done the best work of his career the previous 9 months. Not Big E who is on the cusp of reaching a main event level. Not Daniel Bryan who was arguably robbed of a big Rumble win seven years earlier and may be on his last legs. Not Sheamus who has a ready made feud with the Stud Drew McIntyre on RAW. Not even a Nakamura kind of star who is rebounding in a big, big way. Nope, none of those. Heck, not even a mega-star like John Cena or The Rock coming back for a WrestleMania run.
Instead, the winner of the Royal Rumble match was a 47 year old. A man who just came off a serious surgery/injury and has been on the sidelined the past six months. A guy who competed in zero matches so far in 2021 and only three in 2020. Oh and was retired from early 2011 through 2019 with a legitimate health issue where he couldn’t get cleared by WWE. Did I mention this guy has also been on the Creative Team helping as of late? Oh, and he has a Royal Rumble win to his name already, back in 2010. A full decade plus earlier…and is an 11-time WWE/World Champion who headlined multiple pay-per-views and even closed WrestleMania 24 versus The Undertaker.
Part-timer, 47 years old, been retired, recently injured, multi-time headlining champion and working with writing the shows, entered at the number one spot to win the entire Royal Rumble in 2021…ladies and gentlemen, that is Edge.
Now open your eyes.
If this were Triple H, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, or whoever, everybody would be crying foul. He’s too old! He is always hurt! He is working with Creative behind the scenes! He is already a million time champion! He headlined Mania before and won a Rumble! He isn’t a full-time star who busted his butt and has been on the road for the past year (I know, different circumstances but the point remains). You see, the only difference between all of those horrible examples and Edge is…is…is…what? We love Edge?
We love Edge, thus he gets a pass. Is that it?
Look, I love Edge. He was one of my favorites growing up. He was great, and I was emotionally destroyed with the rest of the WWE Universe when he was forced to retire in April 2011. Same with his big WWE Hall of Fame induction speech, it was superb. I’ve praised his Edge and Christian Show on the WWE Network. I have seen every episode and enjoyed it immensely. Ditto to his return moment at the Rumble last year. I was cranking up the volume with the rest of the world. His feud with Randy Orton was praised, and I was one of those cheerleaders last year. I even gave two thumbs up to the marketing plot of “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever.”
Make no mistake about it, I am an Edge-Head and have been loving every minute of his redemption/comeback story. The journey just to get back, much less the impossible of winning back a title he never lost ten years ago. it writes itself and is inspiring to many who have never given up. All very heartwarming and wonderful. I just…I don’t know. When Bianca Belair won the Womens Royal Rumble Sunday night, I FELT that. When Edge came back last year, I FELT IT! The goosebumps, the chills, the emotion. Edge, now 47, taking all of that to yet another Royal Rumble win and future WrestleMania title shot…
…I didn’t feel it.
By Justin Watry (Twitter: @JustinWatry)