By Will Pruett
I remember sitting in stunned silence one year go as Edge announced his retirement. It seemed to be too soon for a wrestler that I have watched for almost my entire time as a wrestling fan to be forced into retirement.
This release follows the recent trend set by The Rock and Steve Austin's DVD sets. It features sit down interview comments from Edge and various other superstars strewn about a documentary on his career. In that main feature, Edge is candid, honest and often seems in awe of his own career. His humility as he discusses his fandom is truly amazing.
Throughout the documentary we hear from Edge in a variety of settings, but the narrative structure follows him through some media interviews as he promotes "Edge Appreciation Night" in Toronto. He answers questions from different radio personalities spanning from his multiple times as World Champion to the feeling of returning home to Canada. In these moments Edge is powerful in his humility.
The documentary begins with Edge's childhood, including some interviews with his mom. It moves into his early career and Christian and Rhyno are brought in to discuss Edge's early days in the ring. This period of time is very well covered. The dues that Edge had to pay are made apparent. He broke in at a time after the territory system had died and his experience is close to he new way wrestlers have to break into the industry.
In coming to WWE, Edge was faced with a character he did not really know. It had a name and was supposed to be mysterious, but it was not defined beyond that. It discusses Edge's first feuds and his odd program with Gangrel that lead to Christian's introduction and The Brood forming. Edge discusses becoming the spokesperson for the group, which is a detail I did not remember until I watched this.
Moving into the breakout period of Edge's career, the feud with The Hardy Boys is brought up next. Highlights of the first Ladder Match at No Mercy '99 are shown, along with the standing ovation all four men received the next night. This transitions into the three-team feud with The Dudley Boys added in and covers the TLC period of Edge's development.
There are some notable voices missing from this release and it is one of my only complaints about it. As impossible as it would be, hearing from The Dudley Boys and The Hardy Boys about their feud with Edge and Christian that spawned the TLC match and revived tag team wrestling in the early 2,000's, would have been great. Christian's perspective was great, but the absence of the other two teams was noticeable.
Moving into Edge's singles career, it captures his frustration in the upper-mid card. From '01 when he won the King of the Ring tournament to his neck injury in '03 he felt held down. This became especially true as he discussed his comeback in '04 as well. Edge was an established star, but he was missing something. He knew it, the fans knew it and management knew it.
The something he was missing appeared to be anger, which he found in '05 when his real life drama with Matt Hardy concerning Lita (Amy Dumas) was made public. The documentary does not pull punches in this section. Edge admits his own wrongdoing, as does Dumas. It shines as it explains how Edge turned this mistake into the turning point of his career. One bonus in the set is Edge's first promo to Matt Hardy when it became apparent that what should have been Hardy's shining moment would become Edge's.
As Edge becomes the "Rated R Superstar" Mick Foley and John Cena offer their own comments on him. His partnership with Lita and career going through '06 is discussed in depth. As Edge grew into a despicable heel, he also grew into a talented performer that drew passion out of any crowd he was in front of.
The move to Smackdown and his long feud with Undertaker was also discussed, along with his partnership with Vickie Guerrero. This is a great section of the documentary that captures the prime of Edge's career.
My only other complaint about the documentary is the way it glosses over the last few years of Edge's career. They mention the time off after SummerSlam 2008, his comeback with beard, his achilles injury and his retirement. It feels like a great deal of his time as the face of the Smackdown brand is ignored. At only one hour, fifty minutes the documentary had time to expand and expansion was needed here.
Finally, we get to the end. Edge's retirement is handled gracefully, both in the documentary and in the special features. The shock is expressed by the current WWE roster and nothing but contentedness is expressed by Edge. This is one of those moments where Edge is truly amazed by what he was able to accomplish and seems humbled by the experience that he had.
This set has some great special features. It lacks a complete library of matches, but that is probably because the Edge: Decade of Decadence DVD set has most of them. There are no repeats from that set, but that set is necessary to get a full range of Edge's career work. Highlights from this release include my pick for the best Elimination Chamber match of all time (the Smackdown one from 2011), Edge's final match (from WrestleMania 27) and a fun street fight with Shawn Michaels from 2007.
If you're a fan of Edge, this is a must watch. Even if you never really got into his act, the documentary highlights an important and often overlooked career. Edge did not define an era or become the biggest star of all time, but his impact in the wrestling industry is extremely relevant. This release, and especially the documentary, shows just how good Edge was and easily lives up to that career. I highly recommend this set. Even with its few flaws, The Story of Edge does what it sets out to do and highlights one of the greatest stars of the last decade.
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Dot Net DVD Review: WWE's You Think You Know Me? The Story of Edge
Apr 14, 2012 - 10:45 AM
Apr 14, 2012 - 10:45 AM
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