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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Edge Was My "PWI 500" Pick

We're not quite ready to compile our 2011 "PWI 500" just yet, but there has been informal discussion about who--at this point at least--is most deserving of the top spot. Until last night, I was prepared to make a strong argument for Edge. He's has a magnificent year, topped off by a successful World title defense against Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania that none of our senior staffers was able to predict.

I know that a wrestler's career body of work is not supposed to be a criterion for the "500," but Edge has given so much of himself to this sport that it would have given me great pleasure to see him earn this one final honor. Unfortunately, there is one criterion for the "500" that has to be adhered to: The ranking is only for active wrestlers. Edge no longer qualifies for consideration.

I'm reasonably sure that Edge knew of his condition before taking on the dangerous Del Rio at WrestleMania. Thankfully, unlike Del Rios' title hopes and his Rolls-Royce, Edge escaped unscathed and will have a one more fond memory as he moves into the next phase of his life.

Stu Saks
Publisher

8 comments:

Jeremy said...

With all due respect, I feel like the "active" rule is far too strict. What would happen if a wrestler theoretically retired a day or two before you made your final decision? After 11 months, 3 weeks, and 6 days of active wrestling they would get disqualified from PWI 500 contention?

Personally, I believe that if a wrestler is active for anything over six months of the twelve month grading period then you need to rank them. It's a crying shame that a wrestler can do so much and then have their accomplishments ripped from their hands due to circumstances beyond their control. Reward Edge and others like him for having the sense to listen to doctors. Far too many wrestlers haven't and that refusal ended up contributing to their untimely passing.

Pro Wrestling Illustrated said...

It's certainly worth further internal discussion, Jeremy. Thank you.

Stu Saks

Dabiggchill said...

I'm sorry, but really.. this little award isn't the biggest thing in the world. Jeremy acts like because Edge doesn't get this that now his career is incomplete. You should follow your tradition. Hell, Edge should be punished for knowingly going into the match just to self serve himself to walk out with the title w/o having to put anyone else over. No one walks out retired w/ the belt. This is prowrestling, not Boxing. This now makes the next champ look like Tommy Gunn... a paper champ. That hack Christian is now in the title picture and really does not deserve it. He's very untalented, better than Matt Hardy or Jannetty, but really.. that's not saying much. Christian is a mid carder at best. He has zero charisma.. Del Rio deserved to be put over at Mania, if Edge knew it was his last match. Now Edge helps cripple the biz that he says he loves. With so little true young stars Del Rio could have used the rub to put him over as a true contender and deserving as champ. Now they are left with nothing, but at least Edge got his 5 seconds of flash photography w/ his buddy, and I mean the belt, not that hack.

Bob Durso said...

Ummm... going by how it's been presented, Edge didn't know how serious his condition was until the WWE made him get the MRI after WrestleMania. They were planning on him defending the title against Del Rio in a ladder match at Extreme Rules until he got he results of the MRI. There has been nothing that has been said that indicates Edge knew he had stenosis of the spine before WrestleMania.

I'm not saying that if Edge knew about this before WrestleMania then he would have dropped the belt to Del Rio. That's really up to the WWE. They do have the final say in who wins.

In regards to the PWI 500, I will side with the idea that Edge should not be eligible. I am a fan of the work he has done in the ring and do think that the past year was one of the best of his career. However, I've felt that the PWI 500 was a ranking of the top 500 wrestlers in the world today. While what determines the rankings mostly comes from factors of the previous year, the overall decision is "Who is the best currently?" PWI already has the Achievement Awards which recognize the accomplishments of the past year, regardless of who's active by year's end.

Jeremy said...

Thanks for the reply, Stu. It's good to see what I've always suspected as being true: PWI considers everything the fans have to say.

---

With all due respect, Chill, it sounds like you're letting your personal bias towards Christian cloud your judgment about Edge. All of this talk about his skill... what does it matter?

Obviously we don't know anything but it seems like Edge feared the worst but didn't know anything positive until after 'Mania. Yes, it's nice for a wrestler to put someone over when they leave but sometimes it doesn't happen and it's not the end of the world. Edge has done more than his fair share of star-making; most recently being Dolph Ziggler.

I've never been big on the "follow tradition" line because that implies that the old way is always the right way. Personally, I need to hear a better argument than tradition.

---

You make a compelling point about the 500 Vs. the achievement awards, Bob. However, I believe that in some ways they overlap. After all, the top ten always have their personal top five moments from the year long grading period listed. Not to mention the difference between a list compiled by the PWI staff and one voted on by fans.

To me, not having Edge on the list would make it feel empty. Obviously we can't predict the list but I'm willing to bet that a lot of people are going to move up in the ranking like Dolph Ziggler, Kane, Alberto Del Rio, Christian, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho (assuming he returns before the list is compiled) etc. and they'll all probably have something in common with their entries: they'll mention Edge.

He's been everywhere in the WWE this last year. To make him a footnote in the PWI 500 without an actual ranking due to a forced retirement just feels hollow.

Bob Durso said...

Thanks for the response, Jeremy. I completely understand your opinions and think that they are absolutely good reasons to have that argument. I'm still going to stick to my side, but in all honesty, I wouldn't have a strong opinion on what the final decision is. If Edge is included, that's awesome. It would be nice to see him get one last ranking. If he isn't ranked, his PWI 500 record is still extremely impressive, making the list every year since 1997 and being in the top 10 for a total of 6 times.

Coming from this, I actually have a question for PWI. Has the decision that a retired wrestler is ineligible always been a factor in your selections for the PWI 500, or is this extremely recent? The reason I am asking is because of this: Shawn Michaels did not make the list last year due to the fact that he retired even though the grading period included a World tag team title reign and having a MOTY with 'Taker at WM26. However, in 2008, Ric Flair was ranked #19. Of course, Flair did come back out of retirement for the 748th time in 2009, but at the time of the release of the 2008 PWI 500, he was 100% in the state of being retired. Was this an oversight for that year, or was the rule that recently-retired wrestlers were ineligible not around yet?

Anonymous said...

pwi

I love your mag and all. Edge should be in the pwi 500. what if your favorite superstar like John Morrison or your favorite broski
zack ryder lest wwe for tna or quit.

edge,hbk,jbl, or anybody deserves to be to be in the top 500 the year that/after they retired

so change the rule to any wrestler retired CAN BE ON THE LIST THE YEAR THEY RETIRE OR YEAR AFTER(depending on when they retire)

Anonymous said...

edge is still under contract... therefore still a wrestler for wwe but has just not wrestled :Dxx