Photo credit: WWE.com.
The two dipped into the arsenals of legendary colleagues as they attempted to put one another away:
Ultimately, Orton resorted to underhanded tactics to create an opening. Edge had him locked in the Anti-Venom before a well-placed knee to the groin broke the hold.
From there, The Viper lined up a punt and connected for the victory. He had a few words for Edge after the match as well:
Orton and Edge clashed in a Falls Count Anywhere match at WrestleMania 36 in what was the latter’s first singles match in nine years. It was one of the longest matches in the history of The Show of Shows, and The Rated-R Superstar managed to beat his rival.
It seemed as though the issue between Edge and Orton was officially squashed, but when they both returned on Raw a few weeks ago, The Viper made it clear he didn’t believe the best wrestler won at WrestleMania.
As a result, Orton challenged Edge to a traditional wrestling match at Backlash. The Rated-R Superstar didn’t initially accept, but he cut a passionate promo the following week and said he would face his former teammate at Backlash to show that heart and desire can beat natural talent.
WWE then began heavily pushing the notion that Edge vs. Orton would be “the greatest wrestling match ever.” While Edge is a WWE Hall of Famer and Orton will surely be enshrined one day as well, the tagline put them in a difficult spot.
Both Superstars are great in-ring workers, but they aren’t considered to be on the level of Shawn Michaels or Bret Hart historically or even Daniel Bryan or AJ Styles currently. Because of that, it was clear they would have a hard time living up to the billing.
Also, Edge had been out of action for nine years with an injury, and Sunday’s match was only his second singles match back and third match overall since the Royal Rumble in January.
Without any bells and whistles to protect him as there were in the Last Man Standing match in April, he had to rely on the basics and concepts that helped him become an all-time great.
Orton is considered to be one of the most talented wrestlers in the business. That doesn’t always translate to great matches, though, and it can be argued that a lack of motivation at times has contributed to it, but motivation seemingly hasn’t been an issue for him in recent years.
He has undoubtedly been doing the best work of his career on the mic, and his in-ring work has been solid as well. He has become such a reliable performer that WWE trusted him to work with Edge and get him back up to speed upon his comeback.
It has been clear since Edge returned that he and Orton have chemistry. Their promos have been something special, their storyline has been compelling and their wrestling has been good, even if it isn’t truly the “greatest ever.”
Edge vs. Orton was a quality attraction for a pay-per-view that is often seen as secondary in nature, and it was a good way to either extend the rivalry between the two men or put a bow on it.
Orton’s victory suggests there could be a rubber match in store, which will allow WWE to advertise another big-time encounter down the road. It could be a long time away, though, after Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter‘s Dave Meltzer reported Edge suffered a torn triceps during the bout.
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