“The Rated R Superstar” debuted in the WWF in 1998. Originally, his persona seemed to be a mainstream version of ECW’s Raven. Edge made his PPV debut at SummerSlam 1998, teaming with Sable in a mixed tag team match against Marc Mero and Jacqueline. That fall, Edge joined Gangrel and Christian to form “The Brood,” a group primarily known for their unique entrance.
The Brood was absorbed by The Undertaker’s “Ministry of Darkness” in 1999. They participated in a very controversial moment at WrestleMania XV, hanging The Big Boss Man from the Hell in a Cell. Soon after this, The Brood was booted from The Ministry. Gangrel also forsook Edge and Christian, forming “The New Brood” with The Hardy Boyz.
Even though Gangrel started the epic feud, both teams set their sights on winning the managerial services of Terri Runnels, competing in the first ever tag team ladder match. The Hardy Boyz were victorious, but both teams made their mark. Edge and Christian actually teamed with The Hardy Boyz at Survivor Series 1999, having won each other’s respect.
Both teams challenged The Dudley Boyz for the WWF Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania 2000 in a Triangle Ladder Match. Edge and Christian captured the titles, then they turned on the fans. Even without the crowd support, they dominated the tag team division for the next year by defeating The Dudleyz and The Hardyz in the first ever TLC Match at SummerSlam 2000 and TLC II at WrestleMania XVII. Edge won the 2001 King of the Ring tournament, defeating Kurt Angle in the finals, which caused dissention between he and Christian, who became jealous of Edge’s success in singles competition. The duo eventually split up and battled each other for the Intercontinental Championship.
Edge had rivalries with the likes of William Regal and Eddie Guerrero in 2002 and had two more reigns as a tag team champion. One with his boyhood hero, “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan, and another with Rey Mysterio. Edge injured his neck early in 2003 and was out of action for well over a year.
When Edge returned in 2004, he won the Intercontinental Championship from Randy Orton, but he and his fans became frustrated with his inability to live up to his potential and become the World Heavyweight Champion. He was actually jeered in his hometown of Toronto at SummerSlam 2004. Edge snapped and cost Shawn Michaels the World Heavyweight Championship at Taboo Tuesday 2004. At WrestleMania XXI, Edge won the first ever Money in the Bank Ladder Match, guaranteeing himself a title shot within the next year. He also became vilified for his relationship with Lita, which lead to heated rivalries with both Kane and Matt Hardy. Kane crashed Edge and Lita’s wedding and tombstoned the priest. Edge waited until New Year’s Revolution 2006 to finally cashed in his title opportunity, defeating John Cena after Cena had successfully defended the WWE Championship in an Elimination Chamber Match.
Edge’s title reign was brief and he inexplicably blamed Mick Foley. Edge defeated Mick Foley in a Hardcore Match at WrestleMania XXI, then resumed feuding with John Cena for most of 2006. After trading victories with John Cena, Edge formed another tag team with Randy Orton, called “Rated RKO.” Despite their potential, this duo never really synced and dissolved their partnership early in 2007.
Edge won the Money in the Bank contract for a second time, defeating Mr. Kennedy, then he cashed in to steal the World Heavyweight Championship from The Undertaker. Ironically, Edge tore his pectoral muscle in an altercation with Kane and was forced to relinquish the title. Edge returned and began a torrid love affair with Vickie Guerrero, the new G.M. of the SmackDown! brand. Edge was in the main event of WrestleMania XXIV, defending the World Heavyweight Championship against The Undertaker. The Undertaker remained undefeated at WrestleMania, winning the title, and he also bested Edge in a Hell in a Cell Match at SummerSlam 2008.
Edge’s on-again-off-again relationship with Vickie Guerrero continued to payoff as he made a surprise return at Survivor Series 2008 to win the WWE Championship. He then lost the WWE Championship at No Way Out 2009 in the SmackDown! Elimination Chamber Match, only to win the World Heavyweight Championship later that night in the RAW Elimination Chamber Match. Since Vickie Guerrero wasn’t the G.M. of RAW at the time, no reasonable explanation was ever given as to why this title change was permitted. Because of a bizarre love triangle with Vickie Guerrero and The Big Show, Edge lost the World Heavyweight Championship to John Cena in a Triple Threat Match with The Big Show at WrestleMania XXV.
Edge formed yet another tag team, this time with Chris Jericho in the summer of 2009, but suffered an Achilles tendon injury and was replaced by The Big Show. Chris Jericho and The Big Show became the Slammy Award winning “Tag Team of the Year 2009.” Edge returned and won the 2010 Royal Rumble Match, making him one of the most decorated WWE superstars of all time, but he failed to capture the World Heavyweight Championship from Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXVI.
Edge was one of the superstars who united against “The Nexus,” a faction of upstarts who invaded RAW in the summer of 2010, then returned to SmackDown! and won the World Heavyweight Championship from Kane at TLC 2010. As his career began to wind down, Edge had several successful title defenses against Dolph Ziggler, who was Vickie Guerrero’s new charge, before his final match, successfully defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania XXVII. Christian was in Edge’s corner for his final match. Edge was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Christian one year later on the eve of WrestleMania XXVIII.
Rob Van Dam – Mr. Monday Night – Mr. Pay Per View – The Whole F’N Show – was a breakout star in the hardcore promotion ECW… Extreme Championship Wrestling. He, along with the “Homicidal, Suicidal, Genocidal, Death-Defying” Sabu, held the ECW Tag Team Championships, but it was Rob Van Dam’s 23 month reign ECW Television Champion that set him above all the rest. His greatest rival may have been Jerry Lynn, who was dubbed by many as the “The New F’N Show.” Unfortunately, the promotion went out of business before RVD had the opportunity to become the ECW Champion.
RVD arrived in the WWF in 2001 when several former ECW and WCW competitors incomprehensibly banded together to form an anti-WWF “Alliance.” As bizarre as the circumstances were, RVD was instantly embraced by fans for his brazen personality and world class athleticism, eclipsing the popularity of more well known superstars. RVD won the WWF Hardcore Championship three times that year, battling the likes of Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, and The Undertaker. After the misbegotten invasion came to a merciful end, RVD won his first of six Intercontinental Championships from William Regal at WrestleMania XVIII in Toronto. The WWF was then re-branded as the WWE. RVD was drafted to Monday Night RAW and contended with Eddie Guerrero for not only the Intercontinental Championship, but to also see who the true master of the “frog splash” was.
Additionally, RVD retired the WWE European and Hardcore Championships during the transitional period. RVD was defeated by Brock Lesnar in the finals of the 2002 King of the Ring tournament and, at the time, was considered one the greatest superstars to have never won any world championships. It seemed like that injustice would finally be rectified at Unforgiven 2002 when he challenged Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship, but “Nature Boy” Ric Flair interfered in that match and cost RVD his long awaited opportunity.
RVD formed an odd couple tag team in 2003 with the “Big Red Monster” Kane. These two raised the ire of RAW General Manager, Eric Bischoff, and were actually bumped from the WrestleMania XIX card in Seattle to make room for the Miller Light “Catfight Girls.” Though RVD and Kane eventually won the WWE Tag Team Championships, fending off many of Eric Bischoff’s hand picked challengers along the way, they never bonded and Kane turned on his partner, defeating RVD in a “No Holds Barred” Match at SummerSlam 2003.
RVD successfully defended the Intercontinental Championship against challengers such as Chris Jericho and Christian before being defeated by Evolution’s Randy Orton at Armageddon 2003. RVD then formed another partnership in 2004 with Booker T and together they defeated Evolution members Ric Flair and Batista for the tag team titles. After their successful title defense in a Fatal 4-Way at WrestleMania XX in Madison Square Garden, RVD and Booker T were drafted to SmackDown!, but their partnership did not carry over. RVD formed yet another team, this time with Rey Mysterio, and they too won tag team gold. The RVD / Rey Mysterio combo came to an abrupt end when a severe knee injury sidelined RVD for most of 2005. He made a surprise return at ECW One Night Stand and vowed to make a significant impact when he returned to the ring fulltime.
RVD fulfilled that promise in 2006, once again as a member of the RAW roster, by winning the “Money in the Bank” Ladder Match at WrestleMania XXII in Chicago. He cashed in his guaranteed title shot at ECW One Night Stand II. It was the crowning moment of his hard fought career, defeating John Cena for the WWE Championship and being awarded the ECW Championship by Paul Heyman. The man who had been branded as the greatest superstar to have never won a world championship now held two at the same time. RVD lost the WWE Championship to Edge on RAW in a Triple Threat Match which also involved John Cena, then lost the ECW Championship to The Big Show after surprisingly being double crossed by Paul Heyman. RVD never received a one-on-one rematch for either title. In 2007, RVD banded together with fellow ECW Originals and they were victorious in an 8-Man Tag Match at WrestleMania XXIII in Detroit with RVD scoring the winning pinfall. It was the final PPV victory of RVD’s WWE career for several years as he allowed his contract to expire in the spring of that year, but he was a surprise entrant in the 2009 Royal Rumble Match.
RVD signed with the “boutique” TNA Wrestling in 2010. It wasn’t too long before he won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship from “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles. He was then forced to vacate the title after being injured by “The Monster” Abyss. RVD never regained the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, but did have a reign as the TNA X-Division Champion before leaving the company in 2012. He then returned to WWE at Money in the Bank 2013. RVD defeated United States Championship Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam, but it was via a DQ, so the title could not change hands. Rob Van Dam is currently setting his sights on Alberto Del Rio and the World Heavyweight Championship.