In 2008, two of the greatest WWE Superstars of all-time stepped inside a ring together many times. What would ensue was pure magic, however, this magic has somehow been overlooked over the course of time. It was overlooked in favor of Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho, which was for good reason. Still yet, I fail to understand how this great rivalry is nearly forgotten by some.
This rivalry was between one of the most decorated wrestlers in WWE history, “The Rated R Superstar” Edge and The Phenom, The Deadman, the one and only Undertaker.
Today, as this two part series concludes, I will look back at the Edge versus Undertaker feud that took place throughout later 2007 and the majority of 2008. Enjoy.
Due to the submission injuring several superstars, Vickie Guerrero banned the Hell’s Gate move that Undertaker had been using to finish off her fiancé in their past two matches. In addition, since he had shown no remorse, Vickie stripped The Undertaker of his World Heavyweight Championship.
Undertaker would be competing at Judgment Day for the title, which Vickie claimed to be in the interest of fairness. The other participant was to be determined with a series of matches throughout the night on Smackdown. The winners of these matches would advance to an over the top rope battle royal in the main event.
At the end of the night, Batista had conquered all and became the new number one contender to the vacant World Heavyweight Championship. However, Vickie interrupted his celebration, saying Edge had just been medically cleared to compete, therefore the match was to continue.
Edge ran out and Speared a stunned Batista off the apron and was declared the winner. At Judgment Day, Edge would take on The Undertaker for a fourth time.
After pre-match introductions wrapped up, it was time for The Undertaker and Edge to go at it in their third straight pay-per-view bout. The Undertaker’s chokehold had provided the advantage for him thus far in the series, but with that now banned, how was Undertaker going to manage to defeat the Rated R Superstar?
Edge and Vickie were hoping that was a question that The Phenom would not be able to answer. Out of his large arsenal of moves, the now banned submission was the only one Edge hadn’t found a way to counter.
Edge ducked several jabs from the dangerous fists of The Undertaker before Undertaker pounced in the corner. Edge weaseled his way out of the corner only to be tossed across the ring.
The Undertaker was looking to channel his anger in a positive way on this night. He had been wronged by Vickie, Edge and La Familia as a whole, but he couldn’t allow his anger to get out of control. Meanwhile, that’s just what Edge wanted. Edge wanted The Undertaker’s anger to force him into a mistake.
It was a human game of chess. Edge tried to use to speed to avoid the striking game of The Undertaker, while ‘Taker tried to use that striking game to neutralize Edge. Early on, the upper hand went to The Undertaker.
Edge began to take control after whipping The Undertaker into the steel steps. His knees buckled, and Edge noticed that. He took advantage of Undertaker’s weakness throughout the match, employing the strategy of cutting this massive human being down to size. His power game and even striking ability would then be sacrificed, making him easy pickings for the Master Psychologist to defeat to regain the title he so desperately wanted.
Undertaker struck back when he reversed Edge’s attempt to steal his move, Old School. Enraged by such disrespect, he battled back into the match with a shoulder bump, a Chokeslam into the corner and a big boot. He went for the cover; 1, 2, kickout.
Undertaker continued his offensive attack, nailing Old School and calling for a Tombstone. The problem being, Edge had reversed the Tombstone nearly every time in their trilogy of matches up to this point, and did again with the Edge-O-Matic with a distraction from Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins.
Edge removed the turnbuckle padding as Charles Robinson ejected his cronies from ringside. Nevertheless Undertaker would attempt the Last Ride only to be countered into an Edgecution. Hook of leg; 1, 2, no!
Undertaker moved out of the way of a Spear, reversing and hitting a Last Ride into the corner. Undertaker’s cover to follow would be broken at two with a rope break.
Undertaker lifted Edge for Snake Eyes, but hesitated as he saw the exposed turnbuckle, giving Edge ample time to reverse. However, Undertaker would soon nail Snake Eyes to turn the tables on the Master Manipulator.
Undertaker rebounded off the ropes for a boot but was the victim of a Spear out of nowhere; 1, 2, no!
This became a war of attrition like it was the previous May when Edge cashed in on The Deadman to spark this rivalry, as the crowd willed ‘Taker back into it.
Edge fought out of one Chokeslam but fell to the second. Undertaker collapsed and licked his wounds momentarily, cover; 1, 2, no! That split second cost The Deadman dearly.
Undertaker followed Edge to the outside. He clotheslined Edge over the barricade, sending both men careening into the crowd. The race to the ring begun as the referee’s count reached five.
Undertaker was slightly ahead until being hit in the head by Edge. Edge now neared the ring as the count reached six. His hand on the apron at seven, with Undertaker still dragging behind. Who was going to make it? Would either man make it?
At eight, The Undertaker pulled Edge from the apron. At nine, Undertaker slid in and Edge slammed against the barricade. TEN! It was over, The Undertaker was your winner, via count out!
The referee grabbed the title and placed it in the cold hands of The Undertaker as Vickie Guerrero excused herself into the arena.
Undertaker held his title firmly, as if it were a football, as Vickie began her announcement; “It is common knowledge…” she paused as the WWE Universe voiced their displeasure for her.
“I am here to make an announcement!” she stated, only garnering louder boos.
“It is common knowledge that a championship can only be won by pinfall or submission. Not via disqualification or count out. Therefore, the World Heavyweight title remains vacant!”
She then focused on The Undertaker; “Undertaker, you are not the new champion!”
The Undertaker had been screwed again by La Familia. A champion cannot lose the title by count out or disqualification, but being that there was no champion, the title should have changed hands under those circumstances.
Venting his ire, Undertaker picked up Edge from ringside and hit the Tombstone despite Vickie’s pleas to stop. Vickie fell to her knees, crying before sharing final words with Undertaker; “You son of a bitch!”
She headed the back, Undertaker exited the ring and Edge was pulled from the ring by Ryder and Hawkins. This was far from over.
In response to his actions from Judgment Day, Vickie Guerrero placed The Undertaker in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match at the One Night Stand pay-per-view against the man who revolutionized the TLC match; Edge.
They had battled over the World Heavyweight Championship for over a year, and it was all going to culminate in the most extreme match in the title’s history. And if Undertaker was to lose this match, he would be banished from the WWE forever.
With both the World Heavyweight Championship and the glorious career of The Undertaker hanging in the balance, this match shaped up to be one of the most important matches in the history of professional wrestling.
Think of what the WWE would be today if The Undertaker had never step foot inside a WWE ring, or a wrestling ring period. Think about if Mankind had never been pushed of the Hell In A Cell structure, or if the WrestleMania undefeated streak had never happened. How different would the landscape of World Wrestling Entertainment look?
The Undertaker controlled things early on, looking to take out the sneaky scavenger Edge out as soon as possible to give him no chance to somehow sneak away with the victory as he seemingly did best.
Edge’s gameplan was to use the familiar environment to his advantage. Use the tables, ladders and chairs to inflict pain on The Deadman in ways only he knew how. He had the “home field advantage” so-to-speak, and he planned on using that to walk away with the title he felt belonged to him and finally put an end to The Undertaker.
It would be both men, however, that brutalized the other with the weapons surrounding the ring. Undertaker to keep his offensive roll going and Edge to give himself more time and eventually take the upper hand.
He took the upper hand by grabbing a steel chair, by instinct, to send The Undertaker’s leg drop to screeching halt. He dissected the knee of his opponent in the next several minutes, shades of the previous pay-per-view.
Edge made his best Adrian Gonzalez impression in front San Diego crowd, swinging for the fences (or Undertaker’s head) with a steel chair. The second blow causing Undertaker’s eyes to become glassy. In all likelihood, he had no idea where he was at by this point.
Edge stumbled around ringside yet walked with purpose. It was only a matter of time until the Rated R Era was upon us once more.
He Frogsplashed The Undertaker from the announce desk through a table. When Undertaker miraculously re-cooperated in time to intervene in Edge’s ladder climb, Edge hit an abrupt Spear to stop him in his tracks.
Next was simply an attempt to maim The Undertaker, smashing his knee in the ladder and following up with a variation of the con-chair-to. Sinister? Perhaps, but The Undertaker couldn’t win the title if he couldn’t climb the ladder.
Edge grabbed a bigger ladder, one that would take him right to the title. After two vile, unprotected chair shots vibrating the skull of The Undertaker, Edge got greedy. He wanted to take one more shot, but Undertaker hit a low blow, which was revenge for a blow Edge had taken on him earlier.
They met on the apron, where Undertaker Chokeslamed Edge onto a ladder. The ladder buckled and bent as Edge slammed onto the floor.
As Undertaker began his ascension, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder assaulted him. Placing him on one table and under another. Hawkins climbed to the top rope but Undertaker resurrected himself and cleaned house, sending the former tag team champions through separate tables on the outside.
Edge Speared The Undertaker off the apron and climbed up the rungs of the ladder, with light shining in his eyes and gold sparkling in the distance. However, The Undertaker came crawling back into the ring and hit a devastating Last Ride off the ladder through two tables.
Undertaker climbed the ladder, still heavily favoring the knee that Edge had injured through the course of the match and even weeks prior.
Like a pack of rabid wolves came Chavo Guerrero and Bam Neely to destroy The Undertaker’s hopes of unhooking the championship that swayed ominously thirteen feet above his head.
Neely and Guerrero swung chairs from each side of The Deadman, aiming for his head, but it was their heads that would be smashed with steel.
Bodies everywhere. Carnage everywhere, The Undertaker looked to climb one final time to finally claim the title that had been wrongfully forced from his grasp.
Edge stirred as The Undertaker slowly but surely neared the title. Fully standing, Edge pushed The Undertaker off the ladder and into the four tables awaiting him at ringside.
Edge ascended the ladder and unhooked the gold to absolute silence. The capacity crowd was startled in disbelief. They had not only witnessed Edge become the World Heavyweight Champion with the help of four other men, but they had just witnessed the termination of The Undertaker’s storied WWE career.
The man richly entrenched in the fabric of everything that was good about this great company was now banished. And standing tall was a sleazy, slimy, parasite of a man who pursued every shortcut possible to reach to the top.
What was going to happen to Friday Night Smackdown from here? More importantly, what was the future of the WWE after this history-making match?
After having a make-out session with his wedding planner—Alicia—caught on camera and revealed by Triple H during his wedding ceremony with Vickie, he was left to pick up the pieces of a crumbling relationship. To make matters worse, he had lost his World Heavyweight Championship to CM Punk via his own tactics, Money In The Bank.
He would apologize to Vickie the next week on Smackdown, an apology she would accept. However, she had already done something that he may not like; she had reinstated The Undertaker and scheduled a Hell In A Cell match at the upcoming SummerSlam.
Edge would seek advice from the man once pushed off the cell by Undertaker in Mick Foley. Foley, though, told him that only he could help himself. Only he could reach deep inside himself and become the man who was once the greatest superstar in all of WWE. If the Edge we had been seeing the past number of months stepped inside Satan’s Structure against his arch-nemesis, he would get destroyed.
Edge responded by attacking his WrestleMania 22 opponent, and promptly writing him off WWE television for years to come. He would attack his best man, Chavo Guerrero, and nail him with a vicious con-chair-to. He’d flip Vickie out of her wheel chair and say this was the Edge that needed to come to Indianapolis, Indiana on August 17, 2008. If he was going to go to hell, he was going to drag Vickie down with him.
Edge’s smile as the bell rang told the story of the past couple weeks. He had been unsociable and un-intimidated. He was cold and calculating, chomping at the bit for his date with destiny rather than fearing it as the old Edge would have.
Despite being the aggressor early, The Undertaker was the dominant man. He quickly turned the smile Edge previously sported upside down, letting him know that this was his territory. His playground. JR described the tone of the match best when he called it physicality personified.
The Undertaker utilized the structure to brutalize the Rated R Superstar. Ironically, the only thing Rated R about Edge at this moment was the beating he was taking.
Edge would recover from a Snake Eyes off the steel steps to elbow Undertaker plus send him into the steel. He’d continue with the offense by ramming The Undertaker’s gut into the steps. He’d grab the steps and would rebound them off the skull of The Phenom upon him getting up. Suddenly, Edge was no longer about flashy offense, but he instead had morphed his style into one that would play The Undertaker’s devilish game.
That being said, he did attempt to make himself more comfortable when setting up two tables outside the ring. He went for a suplex on the apron but Undertaker reversed into a Chokeslam attempt. The game of counters—as the entire rivalry had been—wore on when Edge answered with a neck breaker off the ropes, saving himself in the process.
Edge grabbed a steel chair from under the ring, his gameplan now clear, smashing The Undertaker’s head with it when he ducked in-between the ropes. Two more chair shots inside the ring would follow, this coinciding with him pulling out a third table. This table would be positioned right behind his stirring opponent.
Next were two ladders, one in which he pulled inside the ring. He smacked Undertaker twice more with the unforgiving steel before placing Undertaker on the table.
He climbed up the ladder with a chair in-hand, crashing down onto The Demon from Death Valley, sending him through the wooden table. He’d crawl to the cover; 1, 2, no!
This was the first near fall or even attempted fall, perhaps a sign of the mindset these two entered with; maim and destroy.
Undertaker interrupted a con-chair-to by grasping the neck of Edge. A Chokeslam wasn’t to be, but he would soon ground Edge with a right hand.
The Undertaker now controlled this match until Edge came flying off steel steps for a Spear into him and the cell wall, both of which unceremoniously collapsed from the jaw-dropping maneuver.
This is a match where casualties are guaranteed! -Jim Ross
The hell was not only inside the cell, but on the outside. Undertaker regained the advantage with a cut open forearm, using the cell wall, announce table and barricade to aid him in his destruction of the former world champion.
Edge would duck a TV monitor shot from The Undertaker and soon collapse the monitor of Undertaker’s head, effectively turning the tables.
Speaking of tables, Edge ran across the Smackdown and Raw announce tables to Spear Undertaker through the Spanish announce table.
The next several minutes of action would be back-and-forth with neither man really establishing dominance. Both were hobbled and dazed from an already grueling, career-shortening encounter. Undertaker would survive a camera shot to the head and a Spear while Edge survived a Chokeslam and a Last Ride. Through every peak and valley, this amazing journey wore on, for better or for the worse. The better for the sake of our entertainment, the worse for the bodies of these two men. The human anatomy wasn’t nor is to this day built to take so much punishment. One must witness the match firsthand to appreciate the spectacle that these two Hall of Fame worthy superstars gave us.
Edge climbed the top rope for Old School— sacrilegious in the mind of Jim Ross—only for Undertaker to dismiss school, a dismissal Edge’s man region wouldn’t enjoy.
Undertaker climbed to the top rope and nailed a Chokeslam out of the ring and through the two tables on the outside. He recovered Edge from the carnage to hit a Spear on him, and then follow up with a camera shot to his skull to make this great rivalry come full circle as it slowly met its end.
Revisiting history, next was a con-chair-to to Edge leading to a Tombstone. The crowd counted along with the referee; 1, 2, 3! The Undertaker had received the vengeance he so greatly sought for months in one of the most physical confrontations in WWE history.
Vickie Guerrero and her family, once Edge’s La Familia, clapped to the sight of The Undertaker reigning victorious.
Undertaker headed up the ramp before seeing Edge moving around in the ring. He headed back, looking to do just a little more damage to his rival.
He set up a ladder and placed Edge on it. Edge, basically stuck in an unconscious state, didn’t move as ‘Taker grabbed another ladder from under the ring and placed it right next to the first one.
He climbed and had some choice words for the man who had caused him so much pain and suffering. He slashed his throat in a gesture, symbolically meaning the end was about to come for Edge.
He hoisted Edge in the air for a Chokeslam that thrusted him through the ring. He dropped to his knees and motion for fire—thus fire came bursting from the hole in the ring.
The Undertaker had sent Edge straight to hell!