A major turning point in the Hall-of-Fame career of Edge was his rivalry with Shawn Michaels in 2005. During a Q&A session on a recent episode of E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness, Edge discussed how much that storyline helped his career.
In late 2004, Edge turned heel for the first time since 2001 by costing Michaels a shot at Triple H's World Heavyweight Championship during Taboo Tuesday. He then entered into a program with Michaels that culminated in a match at the 2005 Royal Rumble, which Edge won. Edge said he enjoyed working with Michaels because they developed great in-ring chemistry in a short amount of time.
"I think that was coming off of the Cyber Sunday or Taboo Tuesday, or whatever that pay per view was where fans voted on who would face Triple H in the world title match. I think that is where the whole angle started. That was when I was first starting to turn heel and was purely focused on that world title. Everything for the character, and Shawn Michaels was the first guy that I worked against with the incarnation of the character. I think we worked a Royal Rumble opener and had a lot of fun and then we had a Street Fight on Raw--I want to say it was in Rhode Island," Edge said. "I obviously always enjoyed working against Shawn. We had a lot of house show matches throughout the years that were kind of thrown together. I remember one in Laredo, Texas, which is a hot arena, about a 8-10,000 seat arena, and I remember we just went out there and put out 35 minutes and had a lot of fun by going out there and having Shawn Michaels and I just wing it. It was always a lot of fun."
Edge said the rivalry with Michaels was pivotal to his development into a main event superstar. Edge had some mid-card success as a singles wrestler, but up to that point he was being used mostly as a tag team wrestler. After splitting from longtime partner Christian, Edge had multiple tag title runs with different partners like Rey Mysterio, Hulk Hogan and Chris Benoit. Edge said he appreciates Michaels accepting the challenge of getting him over because it made the WWE believe he could be one of the top heels in the company.
"I don't know how much creative was put together with our angle with the exception of me being an angry guy pursuing the title, who felt he should be world champion, and I think that Shawn was given the challenge from creative to get this kid over, because if it doesn't happen with you then it's probably not going to happen," Edge said. "Now I know that it was the challenge that he was given if this could work or not, so I guess he helped me prove that I could so thank you Shawn Michaels!"
If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.