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In the middle of his brush with the Big Red Machine last week on SmackDown, the Rated-R Superstar tore his left pectoral muscle within Kane's clutches. As a result, Edge's doctors have ordered surgery, and have stated that he will be out of action for four months. Just days before his scheduled championship defense against his injuring party at The Great American Bash, Edge came to Laredo, Texas, to announce that he will be unable to compete on Sunday.
However, the best laid plans of the Ultimate Opportunist were abolished as SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long informed the champion of a critical clause in the WWE rulebook. Under official WWE edict, a World Champion must defend the title within a 30-day period in order to keep the gold. As Edge stood in sheer disbelief, Long was forced to strip the self-indulgent Rated-R Superstar of the World Heavyweight Championship in the center of the ring. The shock and abhorrence in the eyes of the now-former champion spoke loud -- almost as loud as Edge's comments for WWE.com, just moments after being stripped of his prize.
"I'm still the rightful champion," asserted the injured Rated-R Superstar. "My pectoral muscle is hanging on by a single fiber; literally hanging from the bone. Theodore Long comes out and strips me of what I've worked for my entire career -- from childhood until now. My mood is obviously not great right now. I'm disgusted."
Though Edge would have the world believe differently, Long's decision wasn't an attempt to target the notorious and controversial champion, as the GM further explained to WWE.com.
"It clearly states in the WWE rulebook that the holder of the World Heavyweight Championship must defend the title within that period of time," Long contended. "Edge can't do that, so I had no choice but to strip him of his title. Nothing's personal. I'm just doing my job."
As Edge made perfectly clear in a very long-winded address celebrating himself, he is no stranger to injury. In his near decade-long career, the Rated-R Superstar has been met by physical wounds of all kinds, but never as the World Heavyweight Champion.
"I go out there and put my body through hell," exclaimed the Ultimate Opportunist. "I've broken my neck, dislocated my shoulder twice, torn my other peck, my elbows are mush, I have two protruding discs in my lower back. I even got bit by a brown recluse spider that turned into a flesh-eating disease -- the list goes on. I still go out there and prove that I am the best."
But according to Edge, enduring the damage that accompanies the life of a WWE Superstar -- not to mention a champion -- is not for anyone but himself.
"Why do I still do this? Not for them. I do it for my pride," added the emotional Superstar. "I don't give a rat's a** what the fans think. I never have. That's not how I operate."
Was it our fans who drove Kane to stalk the Rated-R Superstar and ultimately lead to his injury last week? Perhaps that's where the blame will fall in Edge's reddened eyes.
"I know that fans will be happy with this, and that pisses me off," Edge stated. "I've come to the realization that our fans never will appreciate me. But they had to live with me as their champion, and when I return and become a four-time World Champion, they'll have to deal with me again."