SmackDown has featured some of the best talents in the World of wrestling, since it’s inception in 1999 and has not only rivalled WWE’s flagship show, Raw but even beat it in the ratings for a period in the early-2000s.
There is a whole list of wrestlers who could lay claim to being the best superstar ever to represent WWE's blue brand; however, this article will argue that the ‘Rated R Superstar’, Edge, is the greatest performer in the history of WWE SmackDown.
First of all, Edge was there right from the beginning, not just from its original incarnation.
He played an important role in Smackdown’s early days as a unique brand and was involved in significant feuds with the likes of Kurt Angle. Angle and Edge had a number of memorable matches in 2002, none more so than their ‘Hair vs. Hair’ match at Judgment Day, which resulted in the ‘Olympic Hero’ being shaved bald.
It was through working with people such as Angle, and also teaming with his childhood hero, Hulk Hogan, that Edge was earmarked as a potential main event star for the future and he certainly lived up to these expectations.
During Paul Heyman’s time as SmackDown’s head writer, Edge would become part of the infamous ‘Smackdown six’ and feature in some highly acclaimed matches, alongside his then tag team partner Rey Mysterio, against Angle & Benoit and Los Guerreros.
This would become arguably the best era in SmackDown’s history and, all six men would go on to become World Heavyweight Champions in the future, that is if you include Chavo Guerrero’s ECW World Title reign. While this period would prove Edge’s worth as a top star, it wasn’t until a few years later that he would become the bonafide main event star we all know today.
After spending three years on Raw, Edge would return to the blue brand in 2007 as an entirely different entity, having earned his first World Heavyweight Title reign during his time on Monday nights, and would become the face of SmackDown.
Edge went straight into the main event picture upon his return, by cashing in his second ‘Money in the Bank’ contract on a tired Undertaker and winning the Championship.
This run would see Edge establish his ‘Ultimate Opportunist’ persona, by manipulating a relationship with then-Smackdown General Manager, Vickie Guerrero and using her and the rest of ‘La Familia’ to pick up cheap victories to hold on to his World title.
By proving himself in great matches against the likes of The Undertaker and Batista, Edge would cement himself as one of WWE’s top talents, but for me, the things that make Edge one of the elite SmackDown performers in its history came a few years later towards the end of his career.
During his final run on Smackdown in 2010/2011, Edge would become somewhat of a locker room leader and use his ‘experienced veteran’ standing in the company, to elevate some of the younger talents on the roster.
A feud with Dolph Ziggler would help the ‘Show-off’ develop into a main event star for a brief time on Smackdown, and the two men would have a lengthy feud over the World Heavyweight Championship.
Alberto Del Rio would also benefit from working with the ‘Rated R Superstar’ in his early months with the company and, as it would transpire, this would be Edge’s final feud in the company. It is this reputation that I feel places Edge above some of SmackDown’s other significant historical figures as he improved not just himself, but the entire roster during his tenure.
Over his thirteen year career, Edge became synonymous with SmackDown and proved that he could have stellar matches with a variety of different wrestlers, from Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio to The Undertaker and Batista and everyone in between.
His 2002 bout against Eddie Guerrero in a ‘No Disqualification’ match, is widely considered one of the greatest matches in Smackdown’s history. He also had a storybook ending to his career and went out on top, by winning his final match at WrestleMania 27, against Del Rio and retiring as World Heavyweight Champion.
The following year would see Edge deservedly inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame.
Although his career was cut short by some significant neck and spinal injuries, he accomplished more than anybody could have imagined and will go down as one of the best WWE has ever seen, both as a tag team and singles competitor.
It is for the numerous reasons mentioned above that I believe that Edge is the greatest Smackdown superstar in history.
Do you agree or do you think someone else deserves the moniker of Smackdown’s greatest ever superstar? Let us know what you think and join the discussion in the comments below.
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