HEYDORN’S TAKE: It was cool seeing Edge win the Royal Rumble

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR (@zheydorntorch)

PHOTO CREDIT: Wrestling Inc

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Was Edge returning at the 2020 Royal Rumble the last truly cool moment before the COVID-19 pandemic halted the world and all sense of normalcy? Outside of certain things with family and friends, it was for me. I’ll tell you what, though: that moment seems like a lifetime ago. It feels like a moment from a world long, long ago in a time period of wrestling far, far away.

Edge winning the Royal Rumble this year and staking his claim to a main event championship match at WrestleMania 37 reminded me of that long-ago time. It was cool to watch. Sometimes, that’s enough.

I understand all the arguments against the Edge win. He is an aging star. He is a step slower in the ring. There are other 365-day-a-year performers on the roster that feel fresher. The new talent needs time to shine. I get it. I get it all.

To those arguments, I say, “Oh well.”

Trust me. I don’t say that to be difficult – I say that because it’s the truth. Edge’s return to the WWE is a fascinating story. It’s a story that wasn’t on the periphery of anyone’s brain until late in 2019. Given his history with neck injuries, his abrupt retirement and seemingly efficient dive into the life of a normal man, there wasn’t a reason to pine for his return.

Who knows how long Edge can keep this run up? Because of that uncertainty, there is nothing wrong with running him as far as he can go. Edge understands the game. In every appearance since his return, he’s come across as a big-time star. His promo abilities have drastically improved since his first run in the company and his ability to tell intriguing stories is more pronounced than most in WWE right now. Outside of a handful of other acts in the company, Edge feels like a major deal. Let’s sit back and see what happens.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this type of short-term cool factor outweigh potential positive long-term effects. Example? Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24. Many of the same arguments against Edge winning apply here. Shawn was an aging star. Did he really need the win? Someone young could have benefitted from the moment. Like with Edge, all true statements. Are you willing to trade in that match? I’m not. And yes, a young act retiring Ric Flair would have given birth to a new star, but it wouldn’t have been as cool as the classic the world saw instead.

Edge winning this year’s Royal Rumble is smart for WWE business too. Looking at the chess board, Edge vs. Roman Reigns is a fresh matchup that can root itself in a handful of stories including family, Edge’s return to the company, the fact that he used to be the face of Smackdown, and his quest to regain a championship that he never truly lost. Old star or not, that’s good stuff from Edge and stuff that’s not on the table for an infinite amount of time. There is no issue in running with it while it’s available.

Edge in the main event of WrestleMania again? That’s like Tom Brady winning the Super Bowl again on Sunday or LeBron James winning yet another NBA Championship this summer. It’s cool to watch. You got me.

There is a plethora of reasons to root against those outcomes in favor of thinking three moves ahead. A young Patrick Mahomes securing another ring is influential and important to the NFL’s future. The NBA needs new stars getting to the top and carrying their teams to victory. It’s logical, yet at the same time, sometimes it’s just cool to kick back and watch the top players do what they do as top players. Edge too.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S TAKE: HEYDORN’S TAKE: Don’t hold me to this – WWE Royal Rumble 2021

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