Personally one of my favourite professional wrestlers of all time is Adam Copeland, better known to the wrestling world as Edge. He is always on point when he’s in the ring, Edge had a way of completely bringing you into the moment, brining you into the match and forcing you to care. I remember J.R. making the call, and I forget where it was said, but I believe it was SummerSlam 2008, saying that Edge had the ability to tell you the entire story simply by the look in his eyes. And it is completely true, Edge was never built like John Cena or The Big Show, Edge looked quite lanky next to those men, but the intensity that he transmitted through his facial expressions in his matches put him in the main event. Not to say that his eyes were the only thing to land Edge in the main event, as one of the only thing better than Edge’s work in the ring is the real life story of where he came from and just how damn hard he worked his entire life to ensure that he made his dreams come true.
Honestly I should admit that one of the things that drew me to Edge was the fact that he’s Canadian; as a Canadian myself we don’t get nearly as many hometown heroes as we should. Edge grew up an only child of a single mother household, a mother who had to work multiple jobs to keep food on the table for her son. Edge grew up a wrestling fan, and his mother somehow managed to get tickets for Edge when WrestleMania 6 came to Toronto, edge grew up an hour away from the SkyDome. In one of the most beautiful moments in our sports in my humble opinion is when Edge walked out on the WrestleMania 18 stage, 12 years later and in his home, in the SkyDome. Now the match may have been fairly average, but that moment to me epitomizes the beautiful sport of professional wrestling. It’s also just a great message of you are able to do whatever you want, you simply have to be willing to work for it.
Edge won a essay writing contest that the 1st prize was wrestling training, allowing Edge the opportunity to get trained and start his dream, something he may not have been able to get the money together for had Edge not won that contest. Edge trained, worked the independent scene all across Canada for years, to the point where he was barely scraping by, when he got the call from the WWE. Edge trained in the WWE development system, then floated around on the WWE roster for a while, when Christian made his debut with Gangrel and all three men formed The Brood. Some of the freakiest and most vivid memories of my childhood involve The Brood terrorizing different members of the WWE roster. Coming up from the hole in the stage, surrounded by a ring of fire, that , pounding music and of course, the best part of The Brood, the bloodbaths. The lights going out, coming up and someone was soaked in blood were horrifying, and thinking about it now, nobody ever got even kind of hurt with a bloodbath, but it made for phenomenal television.
Edge and Christian then went on to form one of the greatest tag teams to ever step into a ring, and I would say probably the most hilarious, those 5 second poses were absolutely hilarious, top notch entertainment. In 2004 when Edge started being talked in the same breath as the World Heavyweight Championship I’ll admit I did not think Edge desrved to be in that spot. Let me clarify I believe I was 12 at the time and could not have been more wrong, which Edge proved in 2005 and beyond. The stories, the matches and the promos, my god the promo work done by Edge for matches like Matt Hardy at SummerSlam 2005, Mick Foley at WrestleMania 22 or Terry Funk and Tommy Dreamer for ECW One Night Stand 2006 were unbelievable, just tremendous work, not to mention those matches are all absolute classics. For me Edge’s best program was with The Undertaker and Edge’s work going into the 2008 Hell in a Cell with Taker was simply off the page, Edge was crazy, and you had to believe it.
Edge made it to the top of the professional wrestling world when he faced The Undertaker at WrestleMania 24 for the World’s Title. In 2011 however Edge shocked the wrestling world when he announced that his neck was in such bad condition that he had to retire. Honestly I had stopped watching wrestling but started again about the start of 2011, to see that promo from Edge was crazy, it was obvious it was not a work, but I had simply never seen anythign like that in all my years watching Raw. When Edge said the line that he grew up in front of us, he showed up in 1998 a boy and was leaving in 2011, the World’s Heavyweight Champion and as a man. Edge then went on to be put in the Hall of Fame and delivered one of the best Induction speeches we’ve ever seen. I always knew I loved pro wrestling, but Edge was able to teach and show me why, show me the true beauty of pro wrestling. It’s the ability to capture people’s emotions, make them deeply invest into what you’re doing, no matter what that may be, to the point where when you’re done, members of the audience will have tears in their eyes; because you did a damn good job.