WWE: Edge – A Decade of Decadence DVD Review

Another profile release from WWE and another profile release that is virtually nothing but matches. As good as most of the aforementioned bouts are, with Edge never having a DVD release focus on just himself, this was ripe for a look back at his childhood and early days in the sport as was seen in the two-disc set featuring the tag-team that helped elevate him to stardom; The Hardy Boys.

wwe-edge-a-decade-of-decadence-dvd-cover

Certificate: 18

Running Time: 540mins

Disc: 3

Chapters – Disc 1

  • A Boy and His Dream
  • Edge v Owen Hart – Breakdown (27th September, 1998)
  • Terri Invitational Tournament Ladder Match: New Brood v Edge & Christian – No Mercy (17th October, 199)
  • 8 Pounds of Gold
  • Triangle Ladder Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Dudley Boyz v Hardy Boyz v Edge & Christian
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Lance Storm v Edge – Summerslam (19th August, 2001)
  • Championship Unification Match: Edge v Test – Survivor Series (18th November, 2001)
  • Singles Superstar
  • Mr. Perfect v Edge – Sunday Night Heat (3rd March, 2002)
  • Hair v Hair Match: Kurt Angle v Edge – Judgment Day (19th May, 2002)
  • Steel Cage Match: Kurt Angle v Edge – Smackdown (May 30th, 2002)
  • WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Edge & Hulk Hogan v Billy & Chuck – Smackdown (July 4th, 2002)
  • Edge v Eddie Guerrero – Unforgiven (September 22nd, 2002)

Extras

  • The Totally Awesome Best of Edge and Christian

Chapters – Disc 2

  • Injury – Return!
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Randy Orton v Edge – Vengeance (11th July, 2004)
  • Street Fight: Shawn Michaels v Edge – RAW (28th February, 2005)
  • Gold Rush Tournament Final: Kane v Edge
  • Love Triangle
  • Street Fight: Matt Hardy v Edge – RAW (29th August, 2005)
  • WWE Championship Match: John Cena v Edge – New Year’s Revolution (8th January, 2006)
  • Overrated
  • Hardcore Match: Mick Foley v Edge – Wrestlemania 22 (2nd April, 2006)
  • 6-Person Tag Team Match: Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer & Beulah v Mick Foley, Edge & Lita – ECW One Night Stand (11th June, 2006)
  • WWE Championship Triple Threat Match: Rob Van Dam v John Cena v Edge

Extras

  • Adam Copeland v Christian – Cornwall, Ontario (10th November, 1997)
  • Intercontinental Championship Match: Jeff Jarrett v Edge – House Show from Toronto, Ontario (24th July, 1999)

Chapters – Disc 3

  • I Equal Ratings
  • WWE Championship Match: Edge v John Cena – Summerslam (20th August, 2006)
  • I Persevered
  • Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Rob Van Dam v Edge
  • Randy Orton v Edge – RAW (30th April, 2007)
  • Money in the Bank – Again!
  • World Heavyweight Championship Match: Undertaker v Edge – Smackdown (11th May, 2007)
  • Last Chance World Heavyweight Championship Match:Edge v Batista – Vengeance (24th June, 2007)
  • World Heavyweight Championship Match: Edge v Rey Mysterio – Royal Rumble (27th January, 2008)
  • My Specialty
  • Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match for the Vacant World Heavyweight Championship: Undertaker v Edge – One Night Stand (1st June, 2008)
  • Hell in a Cell Match: Undertaker v Edge – Summerslam (17th August, 2008)
  • What’s Next – Sequel?

Extras

  • None

As it is, you get Edge (in character) linking over twenty matches spanning his WWE career. There is nothing from his time outside WWE (even though the company own footage of the few matches he wrestled in WCW) and very little to cover the tandem with his on-screen brother, Christian. You have to think that, with Christian’s recent return to the fold, there would have been more E&C matches if the set was being put together now.

The set starts with a brief look at the history of Edge becoming a wrestler (about two minutes) before we’re into the first match; a decent encounter against Owen Hart that is basically there to further the Edge/Gangrel angle and introduce Christian.

It’s a mildly disappointing start, but the second match more than makes up for it as it’s the one that put both Edge, Christian, Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy on the map; the No Mercy Ladder Match, a contest that has lost very little in the near ten years since it first aired.

With the abundance of ladder matches over the years, it’s right that this match is considered the one that revolutionised the stipulation. I know that HBK’s followers will claim he was the one who deserves that honour, but, in my opinion, he was the one who (along with Razor Ramon) introduced the match to WWE television… it was E&C v The Hardys that revolutionised the match into what it has become today.

The action and the innovation on show is astounding and, with hindsight, you can see the evolution of where ladder matches would end up in front of your eyes. This has been on many collections, and deservedly so, and easily takes the “Best Match” honours for the first disc. Rarely has a standing ovation been so richly deserved.

The No Mercy Ladder Match revolutionised the concept by adding two more wrestlers and making it a tag-team situation and, not to be outdone, the next match on the first disc ups the ante once more by adding a third team to the mix.

The tag-team ranks in WWE had stunk for years, but with the three-way rivalry between The Dudley Boyz (who look anorexic compared to their current incarnation), The Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian re-ignited the division and gave the tag titles arguably their last great run.

The Three-Way Ladder Match from Wrestlemania 2000 (incidentally, the first Wrestlemania appearance for all six men), the precursor to the more established TLC match that is synonymous with Edge, is a brutal and hard-hitting encounter (with great high-spots from all three teams) that really shows how great the chemistry is between the three teams and how well-matched they all were.

The only down point is that there is nothing else from this feud on the DVD and that the rest of the matches on Disc 1 just aren’t as good. To be fair to them though, the match with Lance Storm is a smooth little bout and the two against Kurt Angle are fantastic (just not quite good as two ladder matches – close, but slightly inferior). The Test match (outside some nice moves – Test’s spear for one – and the Jim Ross/Paul Heyman commentary) is forgettable, v Mr. Perfect is a throwaway TV match (with a really poor finish), the bout against Eddie Guerrero is good (with a stunning finish), but sadly, would be much, much better if Eddie was alive and they contested it today, while, lastly, the WWE Tag Title win with Hulk Hogan is a passable match, but is more about the story of Edge teaming with his hero.

The one thing I will say about Disc 1 is that you can really see a mid-card act develop into what would become a top-line main-event talent.

Disc 2 starts off with a match between the two hottest heels in the company today… at a time when they were just about ready to crack out of the mid-card ranks and move up into the main-event slots. The match, which is decent enough, is fought before a mostly quiet crowd (something that would never happen today), but the fans do come alive for the last few minutes. The finish is a nicely-worked to-and-fro that, if you don’t know the result, is exciting.

Things pick up for match two as the rules are thrown out the window and Edge takes on HBK in a Street Fight. Disc 2 should have been called “Edge – The Hardcore Years” seeing as how five of the eight matches are fought under various No Disqualification stipulations.

The first thing that stands out is both men wearing street clothes (which is how all Street Fight matches were fought in the old days – usually to preserve the wrestlers’ ring gear), which adds some credibility and allows the match to feel different to a standard wrestling contest. There are some brutal exchanges and Michaels bleeds a gusher after an Impaler DDT onto an open steel chair. The fans are really into the action and it is a real testament to how Edge was growing as a performer.

This is one of those matches that is forgotten until a collection like this brings it back into your conciousness. It deserves to stay there and is one you will watch more than once. The same can’t really be said for the next match; an OK encounter between Kane and Edge that is more famous for being the bout where Lita joined Edge on-screen after starting an affair with him in real life. It’s also the night where Edge won a shot at the World Title to go with his ‘Money in the Bank’ briefcase.

Fortunately, things pick up again with the only match from the Matt/Edge/Lita (who I’ve always had a thing for and who look stunning on this night, with what must be the strongest tit-tape known to wardrobe-kind) love-triangle, a Street Fight from RAW. I personally would have picked the Steel Cage  match they had following this one, but it is still a brutal match (hardly surprising considering, at this point, the two men legitimately hated each other) with a wild ending.

From there, we cut to a match that doesn’t actually have Edge in it as John Cena defends his WWE Championship inside the Elimination Chamber against five other men. We join as three of those men have been eliminated and only Chris Masters and Carlito (who had been aligned together for a few weeks going into the PPV) remained. What there is of this contest is basically Cena getting double-teamed until the surprise conclusion… and the first-ever cashing in of the MitB briefcase. Oh, and Lita still looks hot.

Speaking of hot, it doesn’t get much hotter than fire and, in the Wrestlemania 22 match against Mick Foley, that is exactly what was promised. Foley, who receives a lot of deserved stick for not getting himself into shape for matches these days (and the previous year at ‘Mania when he teamed with The Rock), made sure that this would be the Wrestlemania match he would be remembered for. And, to his eternal credit, Mick Foley v Edge is arguably the greatest hardcore match in WWE history (the shots sound lethal and the action never lets up)… with a finish that is both astounding brutally and astounding visually. This is, without a doubt, the match that made Edge a bona-fide superstar in the wrestling business.  Oh, and Lita continues to be hot.

The remaining two matches on the second disc are both also fought under stipulations where disqualifications are non-existent.

The first of the duo is a belter of a six-person tag that epitomised the “Spirit of Extreme” [tm] before WWE decided to discard said spirit for WWE’s own version of what extreme should be.  All four men and both women do themselves proud with a brutal battle that is a nice companion piece to the previous brawl from Wrestlemania. It also helps that it has Steven DeAngelis, my favourite ever ring-announcer on the mic. Oh, and Lita, for the record, is still looking stunning.

The second of the two is a Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship that was booked a few weeks earlier than it should have been due to Rob Van Dam being busted for drug offences while being both the WWE and ECW Champions. The match follows the standard three-way system of one guy being tossed out so the remaining two can go at it untroubled until the third man returns, hurls one of the other two to the floor and we continue on. There are some nice exchanges and a good finish to round out the second phase of Edge’s career retrospective. Oh, and Lita still brings the eye-candy.

All the matches on the third disc are still very fresh in my mind, so they are, perhaps unfairly, not as nostalgically tinted as the first two discs. That being said, the Summerslam match against Cena is really good with a nice stipulation added to back the heel further into a corner (if Edge is DQ’d, he will lose the title), RVD V Edge is a great TV match, even better is the bout with Orton, while the two PPV title matches against Batista and Rey Mysterio are worth another viewing. The second “Money in the Bank” cash-in against Undertaker in a shocking twist is still as thrilling as it was watching it first time around.

All of this leads us into the last two matches in the set and the last two matches (so far) in the Undertaker/Edge feud. Neither the TLC or HiaC matches come close to their epic encounter at Wrestlemania XXIV (no match in 2008 could do that), but they are both really, really good gimmick matches.

The TLC bout is the slightly weaker of the two, mainly due to the obvious result due to the pre-match stipulation laid out by the Smackdown GM, Vickie Guerrero. That being said, the action is still brutal and intense, with both men going all out to give the fans something to remember.

Closing out the collection, we have one of the better HiaC encounters (hokey after-match shenanigans aside) and a fitting end to the immense Undertaker/Edge rivalry. The brutality is off-the-charts, especially as Undertaker pays Edge back for every weapon shot inflicted upon him over the course of the year. Brutal, hard-hitting, exciting and infinitely re-watchable, this is easily the match of Disc 3, if not the whole set.

Extras

The single extra on the first disc is a hilarious look back at the goofy times of Edge & Christian during the “Five-Second Pose” era of “Bill & Ted go surfing”. The various skits are awesome (gazoos rule and the fashion statements, if you weren’t around the first time, have to be seen to be believed), but one really stands out due to future happenings. Mick Foley (WWE Commissioner at the time) comments on how hot Lita is, with Edge retorting “Yeah, from a distance”… which is odd considering his real-life relationship with the redhead is what really kick-started his main-event push.

Disc 2’s extras are two untelevised matches from Edge’s early days. The first is a dark match between Edge (wrestling under his real name) and Christian that took place before a RAW broadcast. The fans get into it and the match is really nicely worked (hardly surprising; the two men had worked together for years by this point). Matt Striker and a completely out-of-character Edge cover the commentary duties, but really spend the time discussing the story of why the match took place and how he felt at the time.

The second match is Edge’s first Intercontinental Championship as he takes on Jeff Jarrett in the Canadian’s home town. The title was given to Edge to give the fans something nice to remember from when WWE came to town. The match is alright, but it’s only really worth watching for the curiosity value.

The production quality for both matches isn’t that great, but that’s to be expected for what is a dark match and a house show event respectively.

There are no extras on Disc 3.

Overview

The matches on show are a nice selection from the various eras of Edge’s career. There are a couple of bouts that drag the set down, but thankfully they are few and far between.

The links hosted by Edge aren’t between every match, meaning they don’t outstay their welcome, but for anyone hoping to learn anything about the man behind the character, this isn’t the set for you. WWE seem to have got into a habit of releasing profile DVDs without actually profiling the subject. Kane, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Undertaker and others have all had profile releases in recent years that are basically a string of matches and nothing else. Of course, Undertaker, Flair and Guerrero have all had documentary releases in the past, so those sets are, at least, available, but what about those who haven’t got those original releases?

Edge has had a great career in WWE and it would have been nice to hear what people though about him (both fellow workers and other WWE staff) and what Adam Copeland had to go through to get to where he is at today.

As it is, the matches themselves do make up for the lack of documentary and the extras, for once, are all worthwhile viewing. Edge is likeable in the linking segments and genuinely humble when commenting on the two extra matches on the second disc.

Rated “R” for Required Viewing? Required, but not essential.

Points: 8/10

Buy It:

UK:DVD

USA: DVD

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