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WrestleMania 36 match breakdown: Edge vs. Randy Orton

The Rated-R Superstar and The Viper in a Last Man Standing match.

World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton poses for photographers during the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Super Showdown event in the Saudi Red Sea port city of Jeddah late on January 7, 2019. Photo credit should read AMER HILABI/AFP via Getty Images

Update: 4/5 Edge defeats Randy Orton by count out (Last Man Standing)

It was maybe a bit long, and pretty cinematic, but eventually Edge counted out Orton with a Con-Chair-Two on the top of the NXT traveling trailer. You could feel the tension between the two from the opening of the match, which saw Edge take an RKO OUTTA NOWHERE as Orton disguised himself as a camera man to fool him from behind.

Eventually the two took off and went all over the front and back of the WWE Performance Center, from the offices to the storage area. But it was a really well-told story, and an excellent match.

Though it has been a short buildup since the night after the Royal Rumble, the heat between Randy Orton and Edge for this matchup has been terrific. It involves a deep history as rivals, then partners, and even Edge’s real-life wife. Plus some terrific promo work from Orton. Let’s check out what’s brought us to this point.

Edge vs. Randy Orton, Last Man Standing Match

How did this feud develop

Edge came back from nine years of retirement due to a neck injury to participate in the Royal Rumble this year. The crowd went absolutely ballistic, and he was the next-to-last man eliminated before finally being thrown over the top rope by winner Drew McIntyre.

But as soon as the Rated R Superstar says he’s ready to leave on his terms this time, Randal K. Orton had something to say about that. And he did so with two chairs to the head of a guy that’s had multiple neck surgeries. Yeesh.

So much for Rated RKO getting back together. And to explain why he turned on his former partner, he told Edge’s wife Beth Phoenix he was saving him from her. That he should never come back and wrestle, and that she was an “enabler.” Beth is a WWE Hall of Famer herself, so no surprise she slapped him. And then she kicked him... at which point he hit her with an intergender RKO and walked out of the ring.

Where this feud stands now

Two weeks ago Edge rage ran to the ring, and but for MVP, he would have returned the favor on Orton.

Still not sure why MVP was involved, but this was a really well-told story, and should lead to a great match at Mania if Edge’s Royal Rumble performance was any indication.

The pick

It just matters how long does the WWE think Edge can hold on for as an in-ring performer. If he’s fully healthy and can handle the demands of wrestling in the future, even as a part-time performer, they’d be crazy not to have him go over The Apex Predator here.

But if this is just a one-off, and he can’t physically hang in week-to-week, there would be no reason to bury Orton here. Wanna know who wins? Ask a doctor that’s seen the results of Edge’s neck.