InauguRated-R

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May 18, 2007

Out of chaos came clarity.

After seeing numerous title opportunities slip out of his grasp over the past few months, Edge knew he couldn't fight the system any longer. He had to rise above it.
 
In a brilliant stroke of Machiavellian mastery, the Rated-R Superstar worked the system like a seasoned lawyer works over a gullible jury. And it paid off in spades, as he now wears World Heavyweight Championship gold around his waist after one of the greatest 48-hour spans in WWE history.
 
As the SmackDown locker room and fans worldwide eagerly await its champion's inaugural address tonight, one has to wonder what else Edge could possibly have up his sleeve as he prepares for his title match with Batista at Judgment Day in St. Louis Sunday.
 
Edge's title honeymoon was short-lived. A grueling span of matches and title defenses over the past weekend culminated in a non-title loss to HBK in Edge's Raw sendoff. 
 
"I admit it, [Michaels] was on fire, and I didn't try my hardest. I didn't bring my ‘A' game because I'm saving myself [for Judgment Day]," Edge told WWE.com post-loss. "I can't wait to get away from here … get away from Raw, and from this crummy audience. I can't wait."
 
Now, in a role reversal from last week, Edge will walk to the ring to address SmackDown fans as the targeted one. He wears the coveted gold that all WWE Superstars toil and grind their whole careers to achieve.
 
It's also a title that, in the eyes of many in the locker room, Edge plucked away from a battered and bruised Undertaker in controversial fashion, thanks to the legal document sealed in the Money in the Bank briefcase.   
 
But controversy is drawn to the Rated-R Superstar like bees to honey. The self-proclaimed innovator of the Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match celebrated his first "banked" WWE Championship win over John Cena with a "Live Sex Celebration" on Raw the following night. He also stole his girlfriend Lita from fellow Superstar Matt Hardy, and used the surrounding controversy to help catapult his career to new heights.
 
Knowing that, to what lengths will Edge go to celebrate his triumphant return to SmackDown this Friday? 
 
Many Superstars thought Edge's title grab was cowardly and reeked of opportunism. They felt Edge should have done the honorable thing, challenging the veteran champion face-to-face — Deadman-to-man, so to speak.
 
To others, it was a gorgeously planned gambit. Edge let Batista and Undertaker destroy each other for a third time in a steel cage, then picked up the pieces, stealing the title after a convenient (and somewhat suspiciously timed) beat down from Mark Henry crippled the champion further.
 
But the record books are blind. A win is a win, no matter the means. And with the championship comes the prestige and the paranoia of being at the top of the mountain. It's a situation Edge knows all too well as a past holder of every major heavyweight championship in WWE.
 
Flashbacks to the last time used the now-infamous briefcase to take a title must haunt the new champion. Edge was beaten by Cena one month later to regain the WWE title gold.
 
What schemes will the Rated-R Superstar employ to make sure this "Money in the Bank" windfall doesn't go bust in similar fashion this Sunday at Judgment Day?  
 
We hope to find out in Edge's inaugural address tonight on SmackDown.

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