This Sunday on WWE Network is the Backlash pay-per-view that is built around a big match between Edge and Randy Orton. It was set up a few weeks ago when Orton challenged Edge to a regular wrestling match because Randy thinks he’s better than Edge even though Edge beat Orton at WrestleMania in a match where they brawled around the WWE Performance Center. It is Edge’s first regular wrestling match in nine years. As we reported yesterday, the Edge vs. Orton match was taped this past Sunday, but we don’t know the result. We’ll see what happens on Sunday at Backlash.
To promote the match, Edge did a long interview with ESPN’s Arda Ocal and here are some of the highlights.
Edge spoke about how you can’t say definitively what the greatest wrestling match ever and he had a good explanation of his viewpoint.
“I’ll preface all of this with saying there’s no such thing as the greatest match ever. You’re not going to be able to say definitively, what is the greatest song of all time? What is the greatest painting of all time? What is the greatest movie of all time? What is the greatest band of all time? It’s impossible, because there’s no general consensus — you can have great matches, but what is the greatest is going to be different to almost everybody.”
“Vince [McMahon] is a promoter, and he’s promoting, but it’s like hyperbole. I mean, to me [the greatest match is] not possible. So that takes that pressure out of my mind immediately.”
Edge noted that he found out in early May that WWE was going to use the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever” tagline and he thought it was a rib.
“I just laughed because I didn’t think it was serious. Then I realized fairly quickly it was. Then my reaction was, is this wise, because anytime you say something the greatest ever beforehand, you’re setting yourself up for failure. And I don’t ever want to think that way. I need to think the opposite of that. I can’t control the court of public opinion. I need to do and be proud of the work that I put in. All I can do is take it as if this is all just a bonus and in a weird way, a compliment. Or it’s a giant rib. I don’t know.”
A rib is a joke in wrestling vernacular in case you don’t know. Edge went on to mention some great matches in wrestling history.
“If I were to look at it on paper and go right, first proper wrestling match back in nine and a half years and they want to bill it as the greatest wrestling match ever … I mean, that’s pretty pressure filled. But I can’t look at it that way, I really can’t. I just have to understand that it’s promotion and it’s hype. I always go out with a mindset to try and have the best match that I’ve ever had. So I don’t look at it in terms of a contest — will it measure up to Steamboat vs. Savage or will it measure up to Shawn [Michaels] and [The Undertaker]. All I can do is measure up against myself, and especially at this juncture in my career, I’m just happy to be out there.”
“This shouldn’t even be happening. Let alone for the company, and let’s call it straight, Vince, to think that he can bill this the ‘Greatest Match Ever.’ Would I have preferred they not billed it as that? Absolutely. But I also know there are times where heels get dug in the sand and there’s no changing it.”
Edge is a wrestling fan for life that was asked about what he thought some of the greatest matches in wrestling were. As you can tell by his answer, he knows a lot about wrestling history.
“It’ll change daily. One day, it could be Bret Hart vs Dynamite Kid from Landover, Maryland, a 12-minute match for Coliseum home video. The next day could be Stan Hansen-Andre the Giant in All Japan, where Andre worked the arm to take away the Lariat. The day after that, it could be Terry Funk and Nick Bockwinkel. Then it could be Mr. Perfect and Bret Hart. Taker-Shawn, whether it’s Bad Blood or it’s the WrestleMania ones. Barry Windham and Ric Flair in Battle of the Belts 2. [There’s] never going to be one greatest match. It always changes, and it depends on the mood I’m in and depends on what I want to watch. There’s not just one match that I go to and say OK, that’s the one.”
Lastly, Edge explained why he’s returned to WWE to feud with a familiar rival like Randy Orton rather than somebody new.
“There was a reason that this whole incarnation of Edge started with Randy. I know people want to complain about, ‘when are you going to work [with] new guys?’ Pump the brakes. Just remember here that I’ve been off for nine years. So, for me, I needed to know exactly where I was. And there’s nobody better for me to do that with than Randy. Because Randy is still at the stage where he can get in there with anyone and have a good match. I needed a sense of comfort to be able to take a lot of the questions off the plate for me.”
Check out the full interview on ESPN right here.
TJR Thoughts: I really liked Edge’s point of view regarding the match. You can tell that he didn’t want it to be called the “greatest wrestling match ever” in terms of billing the match, but it is what it is and he can only do the best that he can.