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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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EOTR Retrospective: Edge's Breakout Year In 2005

By @MeenHendrix 

When I hear Edge's nickname, The Ultimate Opportunist, the first thing I immediately think of is the year 2005. He had been running in place for all of 2004 until he became obssessed with becoming the World Heavyweight Champion. So much so that he abandoned Chris Benoit in a match for the World Tag Team Championships because he lost the fan vote to Shawn Michaels for a WHC match with Triple H.

When 2005 spun around, Edge was slowly becoming a main event player. He started the year competing in the Elimination Chamber at New Year's Revolution and would defeat Shawn Michaels at the Royal Rumble. He would go on to win the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at Wrestlemania 21 and continued his winning ways defeating Chris Benoit in a Last Man Standing match at Backlash. Then he was paired up with Lita when she helped him defeat Kane in a number one contenders match.

He would feud with Kane in a fun rivalry in my opinion, which included Kane crashing Edge and Lita's wedding and Tombstoning her. In the end, Edge would come out victorious before jumping into a rivalry with former bestfriend Matt Hardy. Feeling misunderstood by fans because of his relationship with Lita, Edge turned on a whole new level of attitude. He became 10x more cocky than ever and whenever he had the chance, he'd rub his relationship in the faces of fans week in and week out. His rivalry with Hardy would turn into one of, if not the best things about Raw that year.

At Summerslam, Edge defeated Hardy by referee stoppage when Hardy hit his head on the steel ringpost causing him to bleed excessively. They would next face off in a street fight where Hardy did his memorable Side Effect to Edge off the entrance ramp. Next was a Steel Cage match at Unforgiven, where Hardy finally gained retribution and defeated Edge. Edge would beat Hardy in a Loser Leaves Raw Ladder Match, sending Matt over to Smackdown. Edge would end the year feuding with Ric Flair which continued shortly into the new year.

I like this year in particular because Edge was basically untouchable. He defeated Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit, Kane and Matt Hardy all in the same year in some pretty entertaining matches. The Last Man Standing match with Benoit and the Singles match at SummerSlam with Hardy, were my two favorites in particular. The Last Man Standing match was great and the fact that Edge hid a brick in his MITB briefcase and used it on Benoit just made me think to myself, "Holy shit, what wouldn't this guy do to win??"

The ref stoppage at SummerSlam was also a great moment for Edge because once he saw Hardy's split open forehead, he pounced on him and brutally beat him to within an inch of his life. The entire year he knocked down every barrier placed in front of him. His promos became filled with rage as fans viciously booed him. He turned his obsession with the World Heavyweight Championship into an obsession with making his biggest critics eat their own words and it paid off with him cashing in that MITB contract at New Year's Revolution 2006 to become the WWE Champion. Well deserved.



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