WWE Hall of Famer Edge recently spoke with Arda Ocal of ESPN to promote Sunday’s match against Randy Orton at the WWE Backlash pay-per-view.
There’s been a lot of criticism over WWE booking the match as “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever” and Edge weighed in on that. Edge believes the billing is a non-factor as pro wrestling is an art, and art is subjective. Edge said there is no such thing as the greatest match ever.
“I’ll preface all of this with saying there’s no such thing as the greatest match ever,” Edge said. “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.”
Regarding the billing for Sunday’s match, Edge said it’s all about business and marketing, and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is a promoter.
“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 found out about the billing in early May when talking with Vince and RAW Executive Director Paul Heyman. When he was first told he wasn’t quite sure how to react with what was being presented.
“I just laughed because I didn’t think it was serious,” Edge said. “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.”
Edge was also asked if he’s physically and mentally ready to reach the level that is needed due to the high expectations that come with the billing.
“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,” Edge said. “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 revealed that he’s been given a lot of freedom in the creative he’s had since returning to WWE earlier this year. However, he knew he wasn’t going to be able to change the billing for Sunday’s match.
“I’ve been given a lot of freedom, in terms of writing my promos, and in terms of storyline, but [the way] the match is being billed was one that I realized that was not going to be able to get changed,” he said. “I’d rather be in the arena, doing the sweating and doing the fighting, and rather than, commenting on someone else in there trying to do it.”
Edge gave an idea of what to expect at Backlash and said we might see a different Edge than people are used to seeing.
“I just need to go out there and do my thing and try and do it the way I want to do it, which is with a lot more storytelling and a lot less [having a] crutch on [things like] ladders and tables and things of that nature,” Edge said. “Go out and tell a story that will involve selling. It might be a different Edge than people are used to seeing, and there might be a bit of a learning curve for everyone watching to go, OK, this is what he’s doing this time around. It’s not going to be a choreographed dance with a lot of flips. I never really worked that way, but it’s especially not going to be that way now.
“I want my matches to look like wrestling matches where the two guys are trying to beat each other, instead of working together to do some kind of crazy choreographed thing. I’ve been in matches like that, too, so don’t get me wrong, but where I’m at now that’s what I want to try and accomplish.”