After a nine-year absence, Edge returned to the ring and defeated Randy Orton in a nearly 40 minute Last Man Standing Match at WrestleMania 36. Edge talked to Corey Graves on the WWE After the Bell podcast and discussed his feelings on the match.
“I’d like to think I’m a realist and everything, and I’m actually really, really proud. I really am. I go on what my gut tells me, and my gut tells me that we had a fight. And it’s what it needed to be. You weren’t going to see two guys creating these extreme high spots within the parameters of a last man standing match. To me, It wasn’t a last man standing match. It was a last man standing fight. This story was dirty. It was ugly. It was personal. It feels like it should take place in the bowels of a boiler room or something. Like it shouldn’t be pretty. It shouldn’t be fancy. It should be two guys that are just beating the piss out of each other.”
“It had to be a fight and initially, I had ideas of drones and going on rooftops. And again, we’re filming during you know, sunlight so that’s not going to work. Okay, cool let’s shift focus here. How do we do this? No, right. It’s a fight. Let’s just go fight and that’s what we did, and for that, I’m very proud. I’m also very proud of the fact that after nine years off I could go for 40 minutes.”
Edge was asked if he had any second thoughts about having his comeback match, especially with there not being a single fan in attendance.
“No, no, I really didn’t have any. We had a lot of things that we had to adapt around on top of doing it within the empty arena, the time that we filmed, it didn’t coordinate with the ideas we had, so we find that out on the day, hours before. So we had to change everything, and that’s truly what you saw, was a 40-minute audible, and I’m proud of that. I’m proud that we, without uttering two words to each other, were able to do that. I’ll always be able to look back, and again, I thrive on challenges and I love challenges and talk about a massive challenge, so can we do this? Can we pull that off? It’s a very very challenging thing on top of the challenges that were already there. But again, that’s part of the gig it’s part of your job.”
Edge’s return match did have its critics, who felt that the match dragged on for too long. Edge responded to those critics saying that the only opinion he cared about was WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart, who called him and let him know he was a fan of the match.
“It wasn’t even anything that we realized we were just going, and again, just it just ad-libbing and fighting, so by the time it was done, someone told me it was like 42 minutes long. I was like, ‘really? Okay. Well damn, cool. My wind is good,’ but I am very, very proud of it. And you know, I heard there’s feedback that it was too long and it’s this and it’s that. Listen to me, all of the feedback I’ve gotten personally to myself or to my social media feeds has been all positive.”
“When I have Bret Hart call me and tell me that he loved it because it looked like a fight, well, I don’t care what anybody else says from that point on because his opinion to me has more weight than absolutely everyone anywhere. Nobody’s going to top this opinion to me, and if he liked it and he thought it was a fight, good. Mission accomplished.”
“I mean everyone’s entitled to their opinion. It’s wrestling. It’s art. it’s subjective and whatever blows your hair back, but Randy and I have broad shoulders, and we can weather the weight of a minuscule militia of malcontents who will just want to complain about everything. [They] complain about the length of a wrestling match during a pandemic. Like really? Come on, but they’re also the same people are going to complain that Bill [Goldberg] and Brock [Lesnar] went for 4 minutes. I just think there’s a segment of people that enjoy not enjoying things and dwell on negatives.”
Edge was also asked about who he wants to wrestle in WWE in the future. He listed a lot of names including Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Adam Cole, Velveteen Dream, Keith Lee, Tyler Bate, WALTER, Shane Thorne, Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, Roman Reigns (Edge said the way he and Roman felt at the Rumble was similar to how he felt with Angle, Randy, Undertaker, Jeff Hardy in the past), Baron Corbin, Aleister Black, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins (he mentioned their history) and Drew McIntyre. Edge also said that there were a lot of names that he was forgetting as well.
Thank you to WrestlingInc for transcribing the quotes.
Matt’s Musings: No matter what your opinion of the Edge and Orton match at WrestleMania is, I hope we can all agree that seeing Edge back inside a ring is amazing.