Rated-R reasoning?

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November 21, 2007

Survivor Series was supposed to be the night when Batista and Undertaker finally put an end to their rivalry, a night when one man proved his dominance against the other. Instead, thanks to the return of a very bitter Edge, it turned into a night The Phenom will never forget, and one that even The Animal -- who was victorious inside Hell in a Cell thanks to the Rated-R Superstar's shocking return -- probably wishes had ended differently.

While everyone must live with the effect of Edge's actions, no one knows exactly what motivated him. Well, no one except the Rated-R Superstar himself -- but as he said in a WWE Mobile on AT&T exclusive video, he won't give anything away until this Friday night on SmackDown.

Until then, everyone is left to speculate just why Edge chose Survivor Series -- and Undertaker's match, specifically -- to be the locale of his bitter return. After all, there are a few things you don't do in life: You don't spit into the wind, you don't tug on Superman's cape and you most certainly don't screw with Undertaker.

Could it have been revenge by association? It was Undertaker's brother, Kane, who was responsible for putting Edge out of action. One swift kick from the Big Red Monster tore Edge's pectoral muscle back in July, forcing the Rated-R Superstar out of action and prompting Theodore Long to make him surrender the World Heavyweight Championship. Revenge is a dish best served cold, so why not extract it by screwing Kane's brother during one of the biggest matches of his career? Edge has a reputation of being devilishly cunning, and it's not far-fetched to believe that he's the kind of guy to make a grudge extra personal by involving family. It could even be a revolving case of revenge; Edge screwed Undertaker to win the title back in May, so his baby brother took it upon himself to get retribution in July, and now we're back around the circle again. Stranger things have happened in WWE.

Maybe, however, there's more to it? Sometimes, getting revenge at a precise moment is satisfying, even if it takes a long time … say, perhaps, eight years? That's how long it's been since Undertaker kicked Edge and the rest of his Brood brothers out of the Ministry of Darkness. Has Edge been carrying a grudge since then, just waiting for the right time to strike? When JBL had Undertaker on his tail a few years ago, he brought in former Ministry members Gangrel and Viscera to help his cause. Why couldn't Edge be in the same boat?

Another theory is one that can best be described as the "lesser of two evils." Naturally, any time a former World Champion returns to action, regaining the gold is usually his utmost priority; just look at The Animal and The Phenom themselves when they returned from injury in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Edge has beaten both men this year, but his history with Undertaker is shakier. He only pinned The Deadman after he was exhausted from a Steel Cage Match with Batista and decimated by a Mark Henry attack. Edge picked the bones of his carcass and basically stole the World Heavyweight Championship, while The Phenom was sent to the shelf for four months. Undertaker would've most certainly come after the Rated-R Superstar upon his return -- except Edge was on the injured list himself.

It would make sense then that Batista is the lesser of two evils; Edge didn't screw him over like he did Undertaker, so Batista wouldn't have any extra added motivation to go above and beyond just defeating the Rated-R Superstar, right? Edge may think so. Plus, thinking long-term, a championship normally can't change hands on a disqualification. So, if Edge regained the gold and still had Batista or Undertaker -- or both -- on his tail, he could always just get himself disqualified. Lose the battle, but win the war by retaining the title? The Rated-R Superstar isn't above that, or taking the easier way to the top.

Come Friday night, all speculation will be moot as Edge will hopefully fulfill his promise and explain why his Rated-R Return played out the way it did. No matter what the bitter former champion has to say, though, there's one thing Edge needs to beware of: Undertaker and Batista's reaction.

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