It is easy to pass judgment online about a wrestling storyline, but often what is presented on television is entertaining even when it misses fans’ expectations. However, WWE missed another moment with Edge in the World Heavyweight Title Tournament. This marks the most recent scenario where some people got incredibly excited about an act to have their support ignored. While the programming has been better overall, this seems to be a feature and not a bug in the Triple H era. In this case, there is another option that will likely still have support from the WWE Universe. However, a good idea doesn’t negate a great one, which is why it’s a shame that Edge didn’t win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament.
WWE Miss a Moment with Edge in the World Heavyweight Title Tournament
Edge’s Support Was Organic
The primary reason why WWE missed another moment with Edge is that they just made a plan and are sticking to it. That strategy doesn’t account for the facts, Edge had built real support beyond his usual nostalgia. He went on Instagram, talked around a foregone conclusion to a confusing draft-destroying tournament, and ignited interest online in a poorly planned concept. Edge even hinted at retirement. He has done this before, but there has always been a Judgment Day match or significant premium live event to keep Edgeheads complacent. His promo changed perceptions and resulted in a sort of urgency that he gets one last run. However, WWE writers didn’t change their minds.
Howdy! #Smackdown pic.twitter.com/0OTOqgFRDg
— Adam (Edge) Copeland (@EdgeRatedR) May 11, 2023
Wrestling promotions can get in their own way from a fan’s perspective. They are often looking to push a particular talent or a specific look and style over what is objectively the better choice; what the paying customer likes. The comments on the original post showed an outpouring of support. Then content creators on all platforms started asking the question, spreading the possibility even further. When fans of your product are willing to do most of the work, meet them halfway. That isn’t a steadfast rule, of course; some great stories in wrestling and beyond require subversion or a tragic twist that adds to the entertainment value in the end. What makes WWE different from actual sports thought is that WWE can control the drama. So while not every story requires a twist, it is something they can add. Also, timing is crucial to paying off fans’ investment. Timing in an area where it appears WWE has gotten a little relaxed.
Time is Almost Up
Timing has yet to be WWE’s strong suit in 2023, but this is an obvious example of their failure. Seth Rollins is probably going to with the title. He is the only Monday Night Raw superstar competing for Raw’s top prize. Rollins is also very popular with fans and has been for quite a long time at this point. In the weeks after SummerSlam, Friday Night SmackDown will emanate live from Scotia Bank Arena in Toronto. Since the surprise Edge return at Royal Rumble, it’s all felt like borrowed time for the ultimate opportunist and his fans. Rollins or anyone else could easily win the title and go on a lengthy run to WrestleMania. SummerSlam, though may be the last match of Edge’s career if he plans to leave in Toronto. Seth and other deserving champions have got more time, but the lead-up to this summer may be all that Edge has left.
Edge made it clear in his promo that the end is near. There are also a few possible contenders for shows he could announce his departure from this year. That reality is hard for many wrestling fans who grew up watching Edge, but it makes his matches more exciting and builds fan interest if this is his final run in the company. Additionally, fans saw him retire once before, so honestly, expectations are high. Having him lose the belt properly to a talented challenger in an excellent match would go a long way to erase the painful memory of his first retirement. What they do at SummerSlam, or whenever he calls it quits, will likely be good, but taking his title back and carrying it until his last match would have been great.
The Rated R History of the World Heavyweight Championship
In his viral Instagram post, Edge said what most wrestling fans thought. This new title looks suspiciously like an old title. Unfortunately, Triple H has been less than transparent about whether this is THE big gold World Heavyweight Championship or just a new title with the same name that looks a lot like it. However, it looks like Big Gold and sounds like Big Gold; we can be reasonably sure of what it is. Edge famously never lost that title. Instead, he surrendered it, and when he returned, the Universal Championship had replaced its heavyweight predecessor after Randy Orton retired the belt in the years after Edge’s retirement.
Beyond retiring with the title, Edge is a seven-time World Heavyweight Champion. He isn’t just the conversation for the most well-known World Heavyweight Champion with Triple H and Batista; he leads it. This new title is a call back to the championship that had defined Edge’s career, even if it isn’t part of the presentation on TV. It is also a link back to when Roman Reigns was still a college undergrad, not the final boss of WWE. The title should be steeped in legacy and prestige to make it feel less like a consolation prize. Making it Edge’s title he never lost is step one to that process; having Edge shock the world and take it back is step two.
Another Predictable Saudi Arabia Show
The Saudi Arabia WWE shows have become something of a formula at this point. WWE plugs in some nostalgia acts and top superstars into a random match generator. Then they put those matches on before an admittedly appreciative crowd. It is always treated as a big deal and a blast from the past. That makes sense, given the price tag that the kingdom has placed on keeping WWE running in their country. The problem with these formulaic Saudi Arabia shows is that they become easy to predict and ultimately skip for Western audiences that make up most of WWE’s business for the rest of the year. WWE missed a moment to surprise their fans with Edge in a logical way that made sense.
This year does have some surprises, namely the tag team match featuring Roman Reigns and the Bloodline. Now, WWE knows many fans tune out of these shows for personal reasons. It is possible they keep the action away from “must see” on purpose. With the titles up for grabs and this new belt being unveiled this year, a big shocking main event would make sense. It would also have made fans at home and in the arena ecstatic when he hit the spear. With everyone focused on the draft and Seth Rollins, a surprise Edge win would have worked without feeling random. Now that he is gone, the chances of anything interesting happening at Night of Champions is lower than ever.
Tragically Missed Another Moment
Seth Rollins is a name that can absolutely be the new World Heavyweight Champion. To his credit, AJ Styles is a fantastic performer and feels like a fresh challenger after a long main event absence. He, too, could be an interesting and shocking first champion. Although his move to Raw requires an 8-person trade for The OC. However, neither Seth nor AJ is a better option than Edge. Edge mixes the possible shock and excitement of AJ with the main event presence of Rollins.
WWE missed another moment with Edge, and they may not get it back. The story writes itself frankly. Edge had to relinquish that title (or something similar) when his career ended the first time. Ending his career a second time centered on that title is perfect. He is also a significant nostalgia star heading into the Saudi Arabia show, which is always helpful. That the Rated-R Superstar built this ground support entirely off a single social media post. That is a testament to his legendary abilities. WWE’s new consolation prize desperately needs some Edge-like story and prestige to establish itself as equal to the championships of Roman Reigns.
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