by Kevin Kelly
How many times did the team of Edge and Christian snap us to attention with a version of that catchy opening line to kick off one of their wildly entertaining promos? From there, a cheap shot at the local sports franchise would lead us to a knock against their future opponents. Witty, refreshing and charismatic, the formula worked.
Once in the ring, the precise teamwork began. Sound tag team psychology, great presence and positioning and footwork better than Bill Clinton around the truth carried Edge and Christian to seven trips to the altar, virtually married to the World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Titles. Quick, durable and talented, the formula worked.
But like a marriage, sometimes divorce is inevitable and good for both parties. Such was the case for Edge and Christian. How many more times could they win the gold? How many more chances would they have to take in high-risk matches? Just like the Rockers a decade ago, it was time for E&C to spread their wings. A talented tag team becomes two invaluable singles stars. But just like the Rockers, it is a formula that doesn't always work.
For young fans unfamiliar with the Rockers, Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty were a young, dynamic team that had run its course. The split made sense but only Shawn became a star. Marty became the WWF's version of Pete Best. The comparisons between the Rockers and Edge and Christian are understandable on paper but that is where they should end.
Marty Jannetty could have become a star but he was his own worst enemy, a problem that neither Edge nor Christian will have to deal with. But could something be looming that dooms either Edge or Christian?
Children grow up and leave home. Birds mature and leave the nest. But neither is a guarantee of success. When the bird leaves the nest, the fledgling must fly. It gets one chance or it becomes a young, feathered meal. The young bird must fly with confidence. Even if it is not skilled at flying solo, the bird has to act like it is. It must have the confidence within itself, belief that it can and will be done. Could a lack of confidence haunt the new singles stars?
Edge has it easier than Christian. The fans already liked him and now the spotlight is all on Edge. Christian's task is much greater. He must get the fans to hate him by both actions and words. It's easy to speak and be despised but to tell a story in the ring and really generate hatred is a huge adjustment. The team of Edge and Christian could always do it with double-teaming. Cheating gets that kind of response. But cheating alone is much tougher. Can Christian do it?
Yes he can and he will. In fact, Christian knows how to do it now. While it is straight out of "Cliché Central," Christian is a student of the game. He studies and learns. Just like the bird leaving the nest, Christian has to have the confidence within himself. That is what he is searching for now.
Confidence is the difference that will determine whether Christian will truly succeed on his own. Not only Christian, but the creative forces as well have to believe that Christian can and will fly. The solution in my opinion is not to surround him with new people, especially those that are searching for their own identity. Christian is a star but to break through to the upper echelon, he must fly on his own believing he can get there.
Seven years ago, a young man from Toronto left the nest, wanting to become a World Wrestling Federation Superstar. Before Christian began his Federation career, he was asked in an interview during a training camp what he would do if he didn't make it in the Federation? Christian said that he never thought about being anything but a star. He had the tools, the desire and the confidence that he could make it. The formula worked.
* credit WWF *