Edge shocked the wrestling world when he returned to the ring at the Royal Rumble this year, after being forced to retire 9yrs prior due to a neck injury. Edge recently talked to ESPN and explained what made him decide to return to the ring after such a long absence.
“It started dawning on me that this could be a possibility when Sheamus came to town, and we were filming an episode of his Celtic Warrior workout show. He wants to do different challenging things that he hasn’t done before, and I love to mountain bike. … In the process of doing that — this stupid competitive thing — I’m flying down a mountain I hit this one jump, and I wiped out.”
“It’s a pretty gnarly wipeout. I was going probably 20, 25 mph, landed on these stones, rolled right up to my feet. But I’m fine. I was all cut up, but my neck was fine. Couple that with doing all of these fight scenes over the years on sets — some pretty physical stuff, especially with Vikings — and I thought, ‘OK, I feel really good.”
After getting cleared to return to the ring by doctors, Edge then had to get himself back into ring shape.
“I talked to [Triple H, Paul Levesque], and I said, ‘I can’t go to a ring anywhere because people will start seeing me. I can’t go to the PC.’ So they sent me a ring. I got a warehouse space, and I set up a ring and basically had my own personal ‘Field of Dreams,’ and I just got in there and got to work. Thankfully, I’m married to another Hall of Famer (Beth Phoenix) who can pick up and body slam me, which you can’t say for a lot of wives. The Revival, they both live in Asheville, so they’d come, and they’d get in there with me, and they’d put me through my paces.”
“I was keeping up with them. I wasn’t tired, and I wasn’t sore, and I thought, ‘OK, this is going to happen, and this is going to happen at a level that I wanted.’ I didn’t want to come back and be anything less than what I was. I’m going to have to work differently. I’m going to have different limitations … I still want to be able to go in there and be able to go half an hour.”
Even after all the preparation for his return, Edge admits that he was still nervous when the time actually came.
“The one place I never had any doubts was in a wrestling ring, that felt like that was my one sanctum that I didn’t have questions. I felt like this is where I could go and always have that under control. This was the first time where I felt nervous because there were so many different variables that I never had to encounter before. I’d never wrestled having children before. I cannot get hurt, and I’m also doing it with two neck surgeries under my belt, and [I’ve been] retired for nine years. Nine years is a long time.”
“As soon as I slid in the ring, it went right into just instinct. That’s when all nerves dropped and everything just went back to, ‘This is what I do. This is what I know better than anything else.’ I’m running toward a guy that I just have so much chemistry and history with. It had to start with Dolph Ziggler. He set the entire tone for this whole thing with that one bump he took from the spear.”
Edge will now go on to have his first singles match in nine years when he faces Randy Orton this weekend at WrestleMania 36.
“For so long, I never thought this would happen again, right? What that taught me is to appreciate it all, and no matter what it is, you pull the positives. That’s all you can do. The positives are always there. … And it’s a strange time, but it’s also a time where we can hopefully help people for a few hours enjoy themselves. And for me, as a performer, that’s an honor and a privilege, and that’s not lost on me after not being able to do this particular form of entertainment for nine years.”
“Is it disappointing that it’s not in front of an audience? Of course it is. I’m not going to lie. But at the same time, I look at the challenge, and I go, ‘OK, how do you tell a compelling story?’ And in my mind, I picture everyone at home and how they’re going to react and how they’re going to come out of their chairs and how they’re going to get angry and just get lost in it. And if we can do that, then that’s all we set out to do.”
Edge reportedly signed a three-year contract with the WWE, meaning that this weekend’s match will not be his last.
“Physically, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with that grind that all the young ‘uns are doing right now. I put in my 15 years of that, so now I can come back, and honestly, more than anything, I just want to help teach. And the best way for me to teach is to be in there in the ring with you and show you how to listen.”
“I have a vision. I believe if you can visualize it, you can make it happen. I have a vision for the whole thing, I’m not going to spoil it, though. When it is time to walk away, I want people to say, ‘Oh, my God, I think he was better this time.’ That’s the challenge. This story has never been written before. No one has ever taken nine years off. No one has ever come back from a triple-fusion. It’s a blank canvas, and the story I want to try and tell, I just want it to be compelling. I want it to be fun for everybody.
“Like I said in the first promo back, man, I just hope you come along for the ride with me because I am going to have a blast.”
Matt’s Musings: Of all the matches that are taking place this weekend, Edge’s is the one I am looking forward to the most. Hopefully, this will be the first of many more matches for Edge, with him getting to retire on his terms this time.