WWE Backlash's 'Greatest Wrestling Match Ever' Branding Did A Disservice To Edge And Randy Orton
When an event is billed as the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever” before the match even happens, something is amiss. For weeks now, WWE has been hyping that the blood feud between Randy Orton and recently unretired Hall of Famer Edge would culminate in the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever” at their Backlash pay-per-view.
Backlash came and went, but Orton and Edge were disserved by their own company. Their match was everything fans could want, and actually a highlight of both men’s careers. With that type of moniker attached, though, not only does it do a disservice to so many more matches that might be more deserving of that title, but two the two men involved in this bout, as well.
WWE brought in legends and icons like Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, and Ric Flair to try to explain why this match could live up the marketing and hype surrounding it. The problem is they couldn’t, which is unfortunate for talents like Edge, who is already a Hall of Famer, and Orton, who is a retirement speech away from his own induction. WWE booked them into a corner over–what, exactly? It has been reported that Vince McMahon feels as though the roster is lacking star power so instead of this match taking place at SummerSlam, it was pushed forward to Backlash and marketed in this manner to get people’s eyes on the product.
If this match-up had been dubbed “Battle of the Icons” or even “A Decade In The Making,” the hype would have at least been realistic. When you put any two wrestlers into a situation like this, it’s a lose-lose–even if those are two of the best talents on WWE’s roster today. Yes, Edge and Orton put on one of the best matches of the year, but wrestling is art and art is subjective. When you say something is a masterpiece before you finish painting it, that leaves plenty of room for speculation and skepticism.
Both of these men have had storied careers and are legends in their own right. They didn’t need some overhyped gimmick added to what was already going to be a strong bout worthy of being the main event of any pay-per-view. It could have been a fine match on its own, and exponentially better than their Wrestlemania encounter, but calling it the greatest of all time is an insult to them as well as the fans.
If you want to dive deeper into the weird world of wrestling, check out GameSpot’s weekly podcast Wrestle Buddies. Each week, Mat Elfring and Chris E. Hayner talk about the fun side of wrestling, from silly gimmicks to their favorite PPVs. Also, they occasionally interview wrestlers. New episodes arrive every Thursday, and you can check it out on Spotify, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.
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