Was the Team EC breakup a good thing?
The End of an Era
By Aaron Williams
"The beautiful thing is the we can [dominate the Federation as individuals] while still being the Edge & Christian Dynasty, and that's something that very few tag teams can say and do."
- Edge (World Wrestling Federation Magazine, August 2001)
Despite reports to the contrary, there are plenty of people who are applauding Christian's betrayal of his brother Edge. These misguided blowhards (case in point, see the opposite page) seem to believe that Christian didn't betray Edge but rather his actions helped them both by liberating each from the other.
According to such logic, the brothers' close professional relationship kept both from fulfilling their individual potential, i.e. they were more concerned with each others' success than their own.
A quick look at history shows that nothing could be further from the truth. Together, Edge & Christian won the World Wrestling Federation Tag Team titles seven times - more than any other tag team in history.
They also achieved a great deal of individual success during this same time period. Edge twice won the Intercontinental Championship and also won the 2001 King of the Ring tournament, while Christian enjoyed a Light Heavyweight Championship reign.
The argument that working as a tandem hampered their individual pursuits simply doesn't hold water. Truth be told, their partnership actually helped them succeed in individual competition. As everyone knows, there is nothing more valuable in the Federation than having a trusted ally with whom to consult, strategize, or if need be, physically prevent others from interfering in matches. Both Edge & Christian had that in each other, helping themselves immeasurably. Today, they no longer have each other and, most probably, will suffer the consequences. To be sure, they will align themselves with other Superstars, but who knows how fruitful those relationships will be. Certainly neither brother will be as trusting of these Superstars as they were of each other.
Unfortunately, Christian's turn on Edge also signals a new era in sports-entertainment. While it's true that associations in this business have always been tenuous propositions and rarely have lasted the test of time, there were always a few partnerships in which loyal fans could believe. These partnerships, especially familial ones, gave hope to those who believe that victory and championships are won by those who not only demonstrate superior athletic talent, but by those who embody such qualities as honor and integrity.
Christian's actions have changed everything - not only for the millions who considered themselves part of the E&C Dynasty, but for all sports-entertainment fans. His actions, along with the Alliance invasion, ensure that the business has now entered the "Era of Instability," where no one should trust in anyone.
Mark my words, Christian was just the first of many. In short order, we may see more familiar partnerships disappear. Will the Hardyz, Dudleyz, Hollys and even the APA be together come WrestleMania X-8? I seriously doubt it.
In a few months, both the Alliance and Federation landscapes will be markedly changed. Those Superstars you cheer now, you may soon hate, and vice versa. Eventually though, some individual or some group of Superstars will restore stability to the Federation and the industry.
The questions are: Who might these heroes be, and when might they appear?
:: ~ ::
Free At Last
By Mr. Big
"Being so cool and charismatic, Christian rarely receives the credit he deserves for his intellectual brilliance and ring savvy"
- Aaron Williams, (World Wrestling Federation magazine, September 2001)
Glory is reserved not for cowards, but for the courageous - those who refuse to stand pat, being content to watch life pass before their eyes. It is reserved not for those who observe life for what it is, but for those who look ahead to what could be. It is reserved not for the reactive, but the proactive who carve their own path to fortune.
Christian has stood in the periphery long enough. He has stood behind his brother Edge since the first breaths of his life. He has always been the younger, weaker little brother.
Even upon joining the World Wrestling Federation, Christian was forced to take a backseat to his brother. Although, as nearly everyone forgets, he won a singles title nearly a year before Edge. On October 18, 1998, in his very first WWF match, the real "Era of Awesomeness" began when Christian defeated Taka Michinoku for the Light Heavyweight Championship.
My Federation sources say that event sparked the only truly brilliant thought Edge has ever had. Seeing an opportunity to have his name associated with a champion, Edge saddled up to his brother and hitched on to the Christian bandwagon.
The following year was basically spent in gyms thought North American, Christian teaching Edge the ins and outs of the business, from backstage etiquette to submission maneuvers to the "five-second flash photography pose."
But where was Christian's credit? It never came Edge was always the one receiving individual title shots, the one in the public eye. Why? Because he was better? Certainly not. Dissenters will point out that Edge is a two-time Intercontinental Champion, but Mr. Big reminds you that his first reign was a one-day disaster. Only after further mentoring from his younger brother was Edge able to sustain a decent championship reign - and look who beat him for the title! His younger, more talented brother.
The bottom line, which Aaron Williams once again fails to see, is that the WWF is an organization which recognizes individual achievement. Yes, a resume which boasts seven tag-team reigns for just one WWF Heavyweight Championship. And while Christian and Edge elated tag-team competition to new heights (see any of the legendary TLC matches), that was simply a precursor of things to come.
So when Christian nailed his brother with a steel chair - effectively ending the reign of Team EC - it was more than just a chairshot. It was a statement: It is my time.
Thankfully, Mr. Big is spared reading Aaron Williams' column before it hits the newsstand, but I would bet he will write something about how important it is to have a trusted ally.
But I offer that throughout history, most legends have stood alone. Christian is not yet a legend, but he has made the first step towards a landmark career. He has all the tools. Just ask Aaron Williams. But then again, he told you Christian's finisher was the "Downward Spiral" when everyone knows it is "The Unprettier." So, what does he know?
Take my word for it. The best finisher Christian ever used was the one man "Con-Chair-To" on his brother. Not only did it end their relationship, it began a whole new, one-man Era of Awesomeness.
*credit WWF Magazine December 2001