Crime of passion

Crime of passion

Matt Hardy should have never trusted Edge. The former opponents had forged a mutual respect over the years based on their brutal Tables, Ladders and Chairs battles. Hardy respected Edge so much, he trusted the man to accompany his longtime girlfriend, Lita, on the road while Hardy was home nursing an injury. Then The Rated-R Superstar seduced Lita, betraying his friend's trust and earning the No. 1 spot on's Great Highway Robberies.

Hardy was obviously irate. He lashed out at his former friends, publicly revealing what they had done and vowing that they would pay. When the tensions between the three became an issue in the locker room, Hardy was released from his contract. This, however, did not deter the former ECW Champion. Three months after his release, Hardy made a surprise return on Raw, running in from the audience and brutally attacking Edge until he was pulled away by arena security.

With Lita always close by, the two Superstars began to battle in unbelievably intense bouts, including a Steel Cage Match in which Hardy delivered a legdrop to Edge from the top of the structure. Lita also suffered Matt's wrath, receiving the Twist of Fate on more than one occasion. But things truly began to get out of hand on one edition of Monday Night Raw when an enraged Hardy gave The Rated-R Superstar the Side Effect off the entrance ramp through the stage below.

It had become clear that these Superstars would not stop until one of their careers was ended, so a Loser Leaves Raw Ladder Match was signed. Hardy lost the bout when his former girlfriend held his arms in the ropes, allowing Edge to climb the ladder and snatch the contract.

Hardy had been betrayed and beaten, but he was not out. The multi-time Tag Team Champion made the move to SmackDown where he would ultimately claim the United States Championship and win legions of new fans.

Edge and Lita, on the other hand, became one of the most despised duos in the history of WWE. The Master Manipulator, of course, continued to cheat, earning himself multiple World Championships and the nickname The Ultimate Opportunist because of his willingness to break the rules. And the Diva the WWE Universe once loved was now heartily booed anytime she showed her face. The fan reaction became so harsh, Lita chose to exit WWE in 2006, leaving another man behind.

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