TJR Review of WWE Untold: The Champ is HeRe (Cena vs. Edge Rivalry in 2006)

TJR Review of WWE Untold: The Champ is HeRe (Cena vs. Edge Rivalry in 2006)

A new episode of WWE Untold premiered on WWE Network a few days ago. It’s a documentary series featuring comments from the key individuals talking about whatever the subject is. For this episode, the focus is on John Cena’s feud with Edge over the WWE Title in 2006. What I will do here is recap the documentary on WWE Network and then post the full match reviews of the two matches they are focusing on at SummerSlam 2006 and Unforgiven 2006. The trailer is below.

WWE Untold: The Champ Is HeRe official trailer (WWE Network Exclusive)

The synopsis on WWE Network looks like this:

“The Champ is HeRe
John Cena and Edge share the stories behind their combustible rivalry that led to an epic Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match at Unforgiven 2006.”

There were interviews with John Cena and Edge. Cena was in a suit while Edge was in one of his t-shirts. They were not in the same room at the same time, but they were in a studio.

There were clips showing highlights of the early parts of the careers of Edge and Cena. Edge said that his goal was to have zero percent of the audience to like what Edge did. He felt John needed that. A clip was shown from New Year’s Revolution 2006 when Edge cashed in Money in the Bank on John Cena, who had just won a grueling Elimination Chamber match and Edge hit a Spear to become the WWE Champion for the first time.

Cena said that the reason that Edge (he said Adam referring to Adam Copeland throughout the interview, but for the sake of this review I’ll write Edge) and him fit so well is that they both are from the same mold. Cena talked about how Edge was a wrestling fan just like Cena is.

Edge said that the first time he met John was when John was wearing the colors to match the local team. Edge spoke about how Cena was on Smackdown, so he was with Edge and Rey as the “Ruthless Aggression guys” he said with a smile. This was in the second half of 2002. Edge said there’s a look and something there with Cena. John talked about how he failed, then he succeeded by working his way up at every level as we saw a clip of Cena’s rapper gimmick in 2003 that really took off for him. John Cena Sr. talked about how he taught his kids that hard work pays off and to stay with it. Cena said that what happened to him was a chance to walk down that ramp every week.

Edge said it didn’t matter how many wrestling moves you do if you don’t have a character that connects and John understood that. Cena spoke about how Edge was introduced as lackeys in a group, then Edge & Christian were really good as a tag team (WrestleMania 17 clip with Edge’s spear on Jeff Hardy) and Edge was so good as a tag team performer, people thought maybe Edge wouldn’t make it. Edge spoke about how he didn’t know who “Edge” was until everything kinda clicked in. Edge said there was a point where he felt like he started to swim and he thought that was 2006. Edge: “That’s when everything clicked.”

TJR Thoughts: I agree with that assessment from Edge. It was when he really started to take off as a heel. I would also add that the second half of 2005 was really strong when he was first aligned with Lita, then they had the feud with Matt Hardy and the crowd was so into it. That feud helped get him to that main event level in 2006.

Natural Rivals

Edge was shown doing a promo saying he won the title fair and square. Edge spoke about how their characters were polar opposites on everything because Edge would do anything it takes to win while John would never give up. Edge said that Cena was to kids what Hulk Hogan was to Edge. Edge said that Hogan had Roddy Piper, so Edge wanted to be the Piper to Hogan and the fact that they’re doing this thing (the documentary) means that it worked.

Bruce Prichard spoke about how Edge and Cena needed one another. Bruce said that it showed the work that they had gotten to at this point. Sam Roberts spoke about how Edge was Cena’s greatest rival.

Cena said that he loved making things more personal in a storyline. Cena talked about how Edge was being brought to West Newbury to film something with John’s dad and then they went to West Newbury, Massachusetts. A clip was shown from when Edge and Lita went to John’s house. Cena Sr. said that Bruce Prichard from WWE called him saying they wanted to film something and Cena Sr. said of course. Prichard talked about in their head they thought about it one way, but anything can happen. Edge and Lita were shown in Cena’s home and they were causing trouble with Cena Sr. yelling at them to get out of the house.

Edge talked about how Cena Sr.’s dad had an interesting delivery. John said that his dad’s segment with Edge, he pretty much channeled his greatest showman vibe. They showed more clips of it. Prichard said that Cena Sr. turned it into something that wasn’t genuine, but then it was a bit too over the top. Edge questioned the Cena merchandise on the wall and Cena Sr. told Edge that John will kick his ass at SummerSlam. A clip was shown of Edge slapping Cena Sr., who took a big bump into the couch and on the floor. Cena Sr. did an over the top promo after that.

Cena said that Edge called him after that saying Edge thought they alright, but he was nice about it. Edge said that when they got to Raw and Vince McMahon saw the footage, Vince thought it was the worst thing they have ever filmed. (I can think of plenty worse!) Cena Sr. did a Vince McMahon impression complaining about the footage. Edge said that he had to adlib over the footage because WWE didn’t like the dialogue. Cena Sr. said that they got a mileage out of the footage.

TJR Thoughts: That’s pretty funny that WWE hated what Edge footage with Cena Sr. because of how over the top Cena Sr. was. I know that in the years that followed, Cena Sr. made regular indy appearances in his local promotion, so not only was he a big time wrestling fan, but he was quite the character as well. The idea behind the house visit worked in the sense that it did make the feud more personal with Cena (Jr.) wanting revenge on Edge for hitting Cena Sr. in his home.

WWE Title Match at SummerSlam 2006 in Boston

The main event of SummerSlam 2006 was Edge defending the WWE Title against John Cena in Boston at TD Garden, which is Cena’s hometown city. I’ll post the full review of that match at the bottom of this review.

Cena Sr. said that fans were coming up to him asking him what’s going to happen and he hoped that John would win. Cena spoke about how he was ready to go any time he was out there. Cena said that as a performer, this is what made him feel ten feet tall – that strong audible reaction. Edge said that his goal was always to make John cheer and he thought the fans would cheer in Boston, but it wasn’t easy. Cena Sr. spoke about how there were five guys behind him chanting “Cena Sucks” and said that they were wearing Cena t-shirts while doing that.

Cena said that he loved it when a group of people have so much energy when it viscerally negative toward him. Cena also loved it when the energy was overwhelmingly positive because it lifts you up. Cena: “It’s all so f**king wonderful.”

Edge talked about how the story was that if he was DQ’d then he lost the championship. The finish saw Lita put the brass knuckles on Edge’s hand without the referee seeing it and Edge said that felt old school. Edge said that he thinks that was an Arn Anderson call. Lita was in the ring as Cena slammed her down, then the referee checked on Lita and Edge hit Cena in the back of the head with the brass knuckles to the head. Edge covered and won by pinfall. Jim Ross on commentary: “Son of a bitch!”

Cena Sr. said he was disappointed for the fans that wanted John to win, but he was happy that the feud would continue one step further in Canada.

The Spinner Belt

Cena said he was meticulous about the details of the spinner belt version of the WWE Title. Edge matter of factly said he hated the spinner belt.  Edge said that they told him they were going to do a Rated R Championship for Edge, so he went to work and drew it up.

Edge: “When I got back, they were like, ‘Well, no; we’re just going to put your logo in it.’ Like, that’s it? Edge wouldn’t want a spinner belt. That, to me, is the one championship that needs to look like a championship and not like somebody’s hubcaps.”

There was the famous clip of Lita tossing Cena’s Spinner WWE Title into the Long Island Sound water. Cena thought it was great while adding it was the end of a chapter, so they would start a new one. Edge’s new WWE Rated R Title was shown with the sticker on it.

Cena said that the cool thing was that it kept their story going. Cena: “You took my property, you threw it away.” That’s what the story was and that made it personal. They showed a clip from Raw when Cena beat up Edge all over the building and they were out in the Long Island Sound water. Edge said he didn’t know it was the most polluted body of water in the United States. Cena tossed Edge off the edge and into the water. Edge said that he realized it when the divers were fully covered. Edge said that he went home and was sick for a week.

TLC Match for the WWE Title at Unforgiven 2006 in Toronto

John Cena vs. Edge: Unforgiven 2006 - WWE Championship TLC Match

Cena Sr. spoke about how he drove to Rochester, New York to meet up with his son Steven and they drove to Toronto to go to Unforgiven 2006. Cena Sr. thought it was a short ride, but it wasn’t that short to him. (It’s about 3 hours with Toronto traffic that could make it a lot more.) Cena Sr. spoke about how there were questions about how the response would be and Steven had to calm him down.

Edge said when he first came out he knew it would be special, but that positive reaction hit him. Edge said main eventing in your hometown for the WWE Championship in such a high-profile match against that generation’s Hulk Hogan was very, very special. Edge spoke about how he wasn’t able to control his pride and that’s the one thing he wishes he could have done – turned that crowd against him. Edge said that was the one thing if he could have a take back, he would try for that.

John Cena’s was entrance was shown with the majority of the crowd booing him. Cena said that many times the daunting task of the performer is to decide what they are painting. Cena said that when you walk into a TLC match with Edge, “it’s like a day off because he invented it.”

Edge said that in a TLC Match, you’re going into the trenches together and hopefully you’re coming out of it unscathed. Cena said that his philosophy is that you are in control in a match like that. Cena said it’s not the first time – the joy is being able to play the game and feel the contact. Edge spoke about how John was a very physical performer. Cena: “It was great.”

Cena Sr. spoke about how sitting right behind him was Edge’s mother and Cena Sr. told her it would be alright because the guys had great chemistry together.

Edge spoke about how Cena put the STF while he was trapped in a ladder. Since the ladder added an extra distance from John’s arms, Edge actually passed out from it. Edge said he heard an alarm thinking he was late for an Air Canada flight, then when he came to it was him making the noise and he was looking at the Air Canada logo. Then it was about to get to the next thing. Cena said he never knew that Edge was in any sort of jeopardy. Cena admitted they probably could have done the match without that spot.

TJR Thoughts: I had never heard that story before where Edge was legitimately passed out for a few moments there. That’s pretty scary to think about. Thankfully, Edge was okay and they got through the rest of the match just fine.

When Edge got back up, Cena hit him with a ladder to the head. Cena spoke about having a fear of heights. Cena Sr. chimed in saying that John (Jr.) was like him in that way because Cena Sr. said his kids would laugh at him when he would climb a ladder because he would hug like it was his last day. Bruce Prichard said that Cena was afraid of heights, but they wished him to have a good match.

Cena: “I have a fear of heights. Once again, I only did what I knew I could do. And through the match, I knew every spot I did was hopefully a new take on a maneuver that fans have already seen tens of thousands of times before. Also, since it hurts every time you fall off a ladder, you get a gauge of what to expect. That helped me through the process.”

They showed more big spots in the match like a Spear from Edge off a ladder and when Lita tipped over the ladder in the ring to send Cena over the top rope through a table on the floor. That was one of the biggest bumps of Cena’s career.

Edge said that Cena was very trusting of him while adding that he was going to do much stupider things in the match anyway. Edge spoke about a big bump he did where was pushed off the ladder, he missed the first table on the floor and hit the second table. Edge said it was a bad landing, but you just kind of shake it off and they were near the end. Bruce talked about how Edge and Cena both are the types of performer that were going to have more energy and ability in that time to do the harder stuff.

Edge spoke about how they needed a finish that had to be an exclamation point, not just a period to finish this. Cena recalled asking Edge if it was necessary to do that final bump with Edge saying he was adamant that was the way it had to go down. Edge met Cena at the top of the ladder with Cena speaking about how he wouldn’t have taken a bump like that. Edge said that they tried to create those moments that live on long after you do. Edge said he could trust John with his body to help Edge survive that. Cena admitted that by the time we perform that he wouldn’t do it if he couldn’t hit the target. Cena Sr. explained Cena hitting the slam on Edge off the ladder through two tables – it was the FU slam through two tables.

TJR Thoughts: It was a huge spot. I think another thing people won’t notice on the first glance of the clip is that referees Mike Chioda and Jack Doan are both holding the ladder to keep the balance. It was such a big bump from about 15-foot-high that if they were off balance at all, it would have been an even worse landing for Edge. The referees being there was a smart move because it helped Edge’s landing. Good job referees!

Cena Sr. said that his heart went through his throat because this kid was going through two tables and when he hit the bottom, he wasn’t moving. Cena Sr. was thinking “get up, get up” because Edge wasn’t moving.

Edge said he had a huge sense of relief because he felt like it was a job well done and he felt like Toronto got one hell of a main event. Edge said that this was the storyline that made sure that Edge was going to be there. Edge said that Cena was already there, so Cena was able to help Edge be sustainable from this. What you hope for and the goal should be for every storyline is that both characters are stronger after it’s over. Edge said he thought that both characters made massive leaps and bounds through that storyline.

Cena said he hopes everyone watching knows how gifted, amazing and caring that Adam (Edge) is. Cena said that Edge has given so much to sports entertainment while giving so much to the fans and he’s aware of what the fans have given him.

TJR Thoughts: There was a really good shot of Edge after the match as he stared out at the crowd that was cheering him for an incredible performance. That wasn’t shown on the broadcast, but it was cool to see it here because it showed how much it meant to Edge to get that kind of response from his hometown crowd.

Cena: “I loved, loved that match and the only one I could celebrate with after was my dad because he was the only swinging d**k in the building that was cheering for me. He didn’t know I was going to do that. I just wanted to hug my dad. For that moment, I can’t hear anything – I can hear my father’s breath. That’s a way for me to tell my dad I love him and to mean it.”

TJR Thoughts: That’s a pretty cool story from Cena. I should add too that one of Cena’s brothers was also there, so there were at least two people cheering for John that night!

Cena Sr. said that you can never take away his son and he said he loved his son while adding that he’ll always love his son. Cena Sr. got the final word: “Love ya, kid.” That was the end.

This episode of WWE Untold had a runtime of 35:49 on WWE Network.

John Cena and his dad discuss their tender moment at Unforgiven 2006: WWE Untold sneak peek

 

Final Thoughts

I thought it was a great documentary between the top face of the 2000s in John Cena and one of the top heels in Edge. They were both right in talking about how they were opposites as character with Edge correctly saying that he needed Cena to get to that next level and Cena certainly benefitted from having a rival like Edge. The TLC match was definitely the best match they ever had together. It was one of the best matches of 2006 and I think they had the best WWE Feud in 2006 as well.

The highlight of these WWE Untold episodes, to me, is that you get the perspective of the superstars years after the rivalry took place. Being able to get their thoughts 14 years later is cool because it’s different than if it was a few months or a year later. There’s so much time that has passed since then, so you can tell how much they both appreciated the storyline that they had. They were smart to involve John Cena Sr. in the feud because that made it about more than the WWE Title. It was a personal rivalry of good vs. evil and the fans totally bought into it. Yes, some of the fans booed Cena and a lot of them booed Cena in the Unforgiven match, but as a story it worked because it was about Cena getting revenge for Edge disrespecting John’s dad.

Good stuff here. If you like these guys and remember the rivalry, I recommend checking it out. The WWE team does an awesome job on these documentaries.

I have reviewed previous episodes of WWE Untold as well:

* I Am The Game (Triple H vs. Mick Foley 2000)

* Angle vs. HBK (WrestleMania 21 in 2005)

* Kurt Angle vs. Shane McMahon at King of the Ring 2001

Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan)

That’s Gotta Be Kane (Kane’s Debut at Badd Blood 1997)

* Rey, Eddie and The Rumble

There have been other episodes, but I have not reviewed them all.

Now it’s time for the match reviews.

WWE SummerSlam
TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts
08/20/06

WWE Championship: Edge (w/Lita) vs. John Cena

Pre-match notes: Edge was the heel WWE Champion and Cena was the face challenger. This was a Raw match.

The stipulation is that if Edge is disqualified then he loses the WWE Title.

Cena was aggressive early. Cena charged in against Edge against the turnbuckle, Edge moved and Cena went shoulder first into the ring post leading to Cena bumping to the floor. Edge took control with stomps to the back. Edge with a dropkick that led to Cena going to the apron, Edge charged and Cena bumped into the barricade at ringside. When Cena got back in the ring, Edge hit two elbow drops to the back. The fans were booing Cena and they cheered when Edge hit a spinning back kick. Cena came back with a whip into the corner followed by a Fisherman’s suplex for two. Edge took control again as he tossed Cena over the top to the floor. Cena ran the ropes, he tried for a cross body block, Edge ducked and Cena hit the mat. Clothesline by Edge got a two count followed by a headlock. Cena with a kick to the face, but Edge nailed a big boot to the face of his own that got a two count. Edge went up top, Cena punched him down, Edge was crotched, but Edge headbutted Cena to knock him down. Edge with a clothesline off the top for two. The fans chanted “Let’s Go Cena” and “Cena Sucks” with JR not mentioning the part about the crowd chanting “Cena Sucks.” Edge slapped on another chinlock, Cena got back up and fell back to break free. Cena with a flipping neckbreaker.

Lita brought a chair into the ring, Edge grabbed it and tossed it out of the ring because he would be DQ’d if he used it. That allowed Cena to make the comeback with clotheslines, the shoulder tackle and a spinning slam. Cena hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop. Cena wanted the FU, but Edge countered and hit the Impaler DDT for a two count. They went to the turnbuckle again where they each tried moves and Cena got a victory roll for a two count. Cena charged in, Edge with a boot to the face, Edge cross body block, Cena rolled through and had Edge in his arms. Lita on the apron, Edge charged, Cena moved and Edge knocked Lita off the apron to knock her down accidentally. Edge and Cena did a double clothesline spot to knock them both down. Edge hit a sitout neckbreaker that was good for a two count. Edge set up for a Spear, he charged in and Cena tripped him up with a STFU submission. The crowd was going crazy for this. Lita was about to hit Cena with the title, but Edge pleaded with her not to do it. The crowd was going crazy as Edge got his hand on the bottom rope. Lita put brass knuckles on the right hand of Edge as the ref was looking at Cena. Lita went into the ring, she jumped on Edge’s back and Cena slammed her off. The ref was busy checking on Lita, so Edge took advantage with a brass knucks shot to the back of the head. It was more like a forearm to the back, but Cena sold it like he was out. Edge put the brass knucks into his tights. The referee didn’t see any of it. Edge turned over a knocked out Cena and pinned him. JR: “Son of a bitch!” The match went 15:41.

Winner by pinfall: Edge

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a pretty good main event match. The ending was controversial leading to another match between them. I think they could have done more in the match to create a few moments where it looked like Cena might win. The best look for Cena was when he had the STFU, but that was really it. I just think they could have built up the drama better. It felt like a regular match between them and not something that was worthy of a main event of a major PPV. I know I’m being harsh, but in a PPV main event it should be more than what they did.

 

WWE Unforgiven
Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario
September 16, 2006

WWE Title Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match: Edge vs. John Cena

They brawled early on as Cena hit shoulder tackles, Edge with a hard slap, Cena punched him and Edge nailed a neckbreaker with the crowd cheering for that. Cena avoided a chair shot and hit a suplex. Edge avoided a corner charge and hit the Edgecution DDT. Edge opened up two chairs in the ring, Cena went for a move, Edge slipped out and hit a reverse DDT onto the chairs. That looked rough. Cena knocked Edge down when he climbed a ladder, but Edge came back with a clothesline. Edge hit a dropkick off the barricade while a ladder was set up against Cena’s face. A ladder was set up against the turnbuckle, so Cena hit a hip toss that sent Edge onto the ladder. Cena teased putting Edge through two tables outside the ring, they brawled on the apron, Edge nailed a forearm and Cena tripped him up on the top turnbuckle. Loud “Cena Sucks” chant from the crowd. They did a spot out of the corner where it was going to be an Edge powerbomb through a table, but they messed it up. With the table still there, Edge gave Cena a powerslam through the table. Cena was on the floor, so Edge ran across a ladder that was against the turnbuckle and jumped over the top to take him out. That was risky because he almost fell when trying to step on the ladder.

Back in the ring, Edge hit Cena in the back with a hard chair shot. Edge set up the Conchairto, but Cena tripped him up to avoid it. Cena with a flipping neckbreaker sent Edge face first into a steel chair that was on the mat. Cena applied the STFU on Edge while he was trapped in between the ladder. Edge tapped out, but it doesn’t mean anything in this match. Cena hit Edge in the face with the top of the ladder and then Cena slammed the ladder onto Edge. Spinning slam by Cena, then he teased a Five Knuckle Shuffle and stopped. Cena climbed the ladder and hit his fist drop off the ladder. Cena set up a table in the ring. Edge had a chair and nailed Cena in the head with a stiff chair shot. Ouch! There’s another thing on this show that you won’t see in WWE today. Cena was on a table, Edge put another table on him and went up top, but Cena punched him to stop that.

Cena grabbed a bigger ladder from under the ring. He set it up in the middle of the ring while Edge was still in the floor. Cena slowly climbed, Edge jumped off another ladder and hit a Spear to knock Cena down. Cool spot with the crowd cheering. Edge up the ladder, Cena got up, Edge jumped in his arms and Cena gave Edge a Powerbomb into a ladder that was set up in the corner. With Edge on the floor, Cena nailed him in the head with a chair shot although not with as much force as Edge hit Cena with. Cena climbed the ladder, got his hands on it and Lita showed up. Lita tilted the ladder so that Cena fell back backwards right into a conveniently placed table outside the ring. That’s a risky bump, but it turned out fine. Edge crawled back into the ring first. Cena got back into the ring as Edge reached near the top of the ladder. Lita hit Cena in the back with a chair, but Cena bounced into the ladder and that sent Edge crashing through two tables that were outside the ring (he missed the first one) outside the ring. Damn! That one looked bad too. Cena picked up Lita and hit the FU (later named the Attitude Adjustment) to send her out of the ring. Cena set up the ladder for the climb. Edge was able to crawl back up. Two refs were in the ring even though they wouldn’t normally be there in a match like this. What they were really doing was steadying the ladder for the big ending. Cena put Edge on his shoulders and gave him the FU through two stacked tables that they set up beside the ladder. Huge bump! One of the biggest bumps I’ve ever seen in WWE. This followed a crazy bump that Edge did outside the ring a few minutes earlier. Cena grabbed the title, looked down at Edge and brought the title down to win the match after 26:28 of action. JR: “Good God what a match!” Damn right.

Winner and New WWE Champion: John Cena

Analysis: ****1/2 That was an awesome match. I think it’s the best match these two ever had and they had a lot of good ones. I didn’t remember the match going 30 minutes. It makes me the appreciate the effort that both guys put in to deliver a classic matchup. That final spot was one of the most definitive endings to a WWE Title match that you’re ever going to see. Edge always got a lot of credit for coming up with creative spots in these kinds of matches, so I’m sure a lot of it came from him. Cena definitely played his part in making it a classic match as well. Lita was a factor in saving Edge, but she also played a part in costing Edge the match. She retired from WWE two months after this. Matches like this really helped to make TLC one of the best gimmick matches that the WWE does. This was one of the first Cena matches where he really proved that he could come up with awesome performances in big matches. It didn’t happen all the time, but he delivered in this case because Edge helped to bring out the best in him.

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That’s where I’ll wrap it up. Thanks for reading.

John Canton

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @johnreport