Edge (wrestler)

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Edge
Adam Copeland 2013.jpg
Adam Copeland in 2012
Birth name Adam Joseph Copeland
Ring name(s) Adam Copeland[1]
Adam Impact[2]
Conquistador Uno[3]
Damon Striker[2]
Edge[4]
Sexton Hardcastle[5]
Billed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)[4]
Billed weight 241 lb (109 kg)[4]
Born (1973-10-30) 30 October 1973 (age 40)
Orangeville, Ontario, Canada[6]
Resides Asheville, North Carolina
Billed from Toronto, Ontario, Canada[4]
Trained by Ron Hutchinson[4]
Sweet Daddy Siki[4]
Dory Funk, Jr.[6]
Tom Prichard[6]
Leo Burke[7]
Stu Hart[2]
Debut 1993
Retired April 3, 2011

Adam Joseph Copeland[8] (born October 30, 1973)[9] is a retired Canadian professional wrestler and actor, best known for his time with WWE under the ring name Edge.

Copeland was trained by former professional wrestlers Sweet Daddy Siki and Ron Hutchinson. Throughout the 1990s, he wrestled in North American independent promotions. During his time in these promotions, he competed in singles and tag team competition, the latter with longtime friend Christian Cage. In 1997, Copeland signed a developmental deal with the WWF and began competing for the company later that year; he made his televised debut the following June under the ring name Edge. In July 1999, he won the WWF Intercontinental Championship at a house show in Toronto, making it his first title reign with the company. He and Christian, billed as brothers and later childhood friends in WWF/WWE storylines, went on to win the WWF Tag Team Championship on seven different occasions. During this time, they gained notoriety in the tag team division, partly due to their participation in Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches.

Overall, Edge won 31 championships in WWE, including eleven world championships (the WWE Championship four times and the World Heavyweight Championship a record seven times), five Intercontinental Championships, one United States Championship, 14 world tag team championships (a record 12 World Tag Team Championships and two WWE Tag Team Championships). He also had an unofficial co-champion reign with Mick Foley as Hardcore Champion. He won the 2001 King of the Ring tournament, the first Mr. Money in the Bank in 2005 and 2007 when he defeated Mr. Kennedy, which he is also the winner of the match to reclaim and cash in the contract, thus becoming the first to cash in and win both world titles; and the Royal Rumble match in 2010, making him the only wrestler in history to achieve all three of those accomplishments.[10] He headlined many major pay-per-view events for WWE, including WrestleMania XXIV. Copeland currently holds the second highest Wrestlemania undefeated streak with winning matches 5-0, behind The Undertaker with 21-0.[11] His streak was ended with a loss in the Wrestlemania 23 Money in the Bank Ladder Match. His overall Wrestlemania tally is 6 wins - 4 losses.[12]

Aside from professional wrestling, Copeland has appeared in the 2000 fantasy film Highlander: Endgame and made guest appearances on television shows, including The Weakest Link, Mind of Mencia, Deal or No Deal, Haven, MADtv and made his movie debut as a leading actor in WWE Studios' Bending the Rules.

Edge was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his long-time friend and tag team partner Christian on March 31, 2012.[13]

Early life[edit]

Copeland was born on in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada,[9] the son of Judy Copeland, a single parent who worked two jobs to support her son.[14] To this day, he has never met his father or seen a picture of him.[15] He became interested in professional wrestling at a young age. His favorite wrestlers included Mr. Perfect, Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Ricky Steamboat, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart.[16] When he was eighteen, Copeland won an essay contest with Sully's Gym; his prize was free wrestling training with Sweet Daddy Siki and Ron Hutchinson[17] in Toronto.[14] Copeland put his wrestling aspirations aside to help pay the bills.[18] He held numerous jobs and then attended Humber College, where he graduated with a diploma in radio broadcasting.[19]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Copeland's essay on why he wanted to be a wrestler won him free training for as long as it took to make him either quit or ready. He trained full days on weekends and an evening mid-week. The school's practice ring was actually a 12-by-14 foot boxing ring, with a harder mat than a typical wrestling ring's. The ceiling above it was low, with exposed pipes, preventing top-rope moves. Copeland later credited this environment with forcing him to drill and improve his technical, mat-based wrestling. His classmates included Johnny Swinger, Joe E. Legend and Rob Etcheverria (most notable for training Gail Kim, Angelina Love and Taylor Wilde, among others).[20]

Throughout the 1990s, Copeland wrestled on the independent circuit in Ontario and the Great Lakes region of the United States under the name Sexton Hardcastle.[21] He became a part of the tag team Sex and Violence with Joe Legend. In the mid-1990s, he wrestled as Adam Impact for Tony Condello's Winnipeg promotion. In 1997, Sex and Violence became part of a larger stable called Thug Life, joining Christian Cage (Copeland's childhood friend), Zakk Wyld, Bill Skullion and Rhino Richards.[6] During his independent career, he won the MWCW Tag Team Championship twice with Legend, and the ICW Street Fight Tag Team Championship once each with Legend and Cage.[22]

The duo of Hardcastle and Cage were known as Hard Impact before changing their name to The Suicide Blondes.[23] They also worked in Japan under the name The Canadian Rockers.[24][25] Copeland also wrestled briefly as Damon Striker against Kevin Sullivan and Meng on separate episodes of WCW Pro.[26]

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment[edit]

Early career[edit]

In the summer of 1995, Copeland worked a show in Ajax, Ontario, where Bret Hart's business manager, Carl De Marco, was watching. Impressed, he suggested Copeland send an audition tape to the WWF. He didn't hear back from them, but some time later, De Marco was appointed President of WWF Canada and told Copeland he'd use his new position to put in a good word.

On May 10, 1996, Sexton Hardcastle replaced Bob Holly's scheduled opponent on short notice in the opening match of a World Wrestling Federation (WWF) house show in Hamilton, Ontario.[27]

After a Grand Prix Wrestling tour in the summer of 1997, De Marco urged Copeland to go to Calgary, where Hart was informally training wrestlers while recovering from knee surgery. He spent his tour earnings on a plane ticket, and landed with no money or place to stay. He called Johnny Smith, whom he'd met twice, and Smith agreed to put him up. Besides food and shelter, Smith drove Copeland to and from the gym and Hart's house, where he trained alongside Ken Shamrock, Test, Mark Henry and Kurrgan.

Copeland returned to the Maritimes for another Grand Prix tour before going back to Hart's house, bringing Christian with him. After this camp, Hart was impressed enough to put in a good word for both men at the WWF.

The Brood; Edge and Christian (1996–2001)[edit]

Edge in 1999.
Christian with Edge (right) in their Brood attire, which they used along with gothic symbols.

Copeland received a developmental contract with the WWF in 1997.[27] On Remembrance Day 1997 in Cornwall, Ontario, he (as Adam Copeland) faced Christian Cage at a Shotgun taping,[28] a match included on WWE Home Video's 2008 retrospective, Edge: A Decade of Decadence.

Upon completing training, Copeland made his WWF television debut on the June 22, 1998 episode of Raw is War as Edge, a loner character who entered the arena through the crowd for his matches.[29] This had been preceded by weeks of vignettes for the character, which included him aimlessly walking around the city streets and assaulting innocent pedestrians.[30] His first televised match was against Jose Estrada, Jr., which ended prematurely by countout when Edge performed a somersault senton from the ring to the outside, legitimately injuring Estrada's neck.[31] In his first pay-per-view match at SummerSlam in August, he served as Sable's mystery tag team partner against Jacqueline and Marc Mero, and bodyslammed Sable onto Mero in a pinning position to pick up the win.[32]

Edge was then placed in a feud against the vampire wrestler Gangrel. During the feud, Gangrel introduced Christian Cage (now going by just "Christian"), Edge's storyline brother, as his ally.[33] Eventually, Gangrel and Christian convinced Edge to join them, and the three of them formed an alliance known as The Brood.[34] The Brood as a whole was later abducted by and converted into The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness. In May 1999, the Brood broke away from The Ministry after Christian was attacked by Ken Shamrock and forced to reveal the location of the captive Stephanie McMahon.[34] The Undertaker chose to have Christian punished for his trespass, but Edge and Gangrel stood by him and betrayed The Undertaker, leading to a brief feud with the Ministry.

Edge captured his first singles championship, the WWF Intercontinental Championship, on July 24, 1999, defeating Jeff Jarrett at a house show in Toronto, Ontario.[35][36] He lost the title the next night to Jarrett at Fully Loaded.[35][37]

Later in the year, he was placed in a storyline angle with The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff). Gangrel soon betrayed both Edge and Christian and formed The New Brood with their enemies, The Hardy Boyz. They feuded with the Hardy Boyz, as they went onto compete in a ladder match at No Mercy in October for the "managerial services" of Terri Runnels and US$100,000, which the Hardy Boyz won.[38] At WrestleMania 2000 on April 2, Edge and Christian defeated the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship in a Triangle Ladder match, which ultimately led to the creation of the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match (TLC).[39][40]

Edge (left) and Christian at King of the Ring 2000 performing their five second pose.

Following this victory, Edge and Christian found success as a villainous duo, winning the WWF Tag Team Title six more times (for a total of seven).[41] During this time, their trademark became the "five second pose" where they performed a pose in the ring for five seconds "for the benefit of those with flash photography" to mock, insult, or otherwise amuse the fans.[42] They also competed as a team in the first three TLC matches, winning the first two over The Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz, at SummerSlam in 2000 and then again at WrestleMania X-Seven.[43][44] At the 2001 Royal Rumble, Edge and Christian were defeated by the Dudley Boyz and lost the World Tag Team title.[44] They unsuccessfully attempted to regain the tag team title at No Way Out against the Dudley Boyz and the Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane),[44] but they succeeded at WrestleMania X-Seven against the Dudley Boyz and The Hardyz in the second TLC match.[44]

Intercontinental Champion and Tag Team Champion (2001–2003)[edit]

Edge went on to solidify himself as an emerging singles competitor by winning the King of the Ring tournament in 2001 and becoming a fan favorite again by siding with the WWF during the Invasion storyline.[45] Christian betrayed Edge shortly afterward,[46] and the two feuded over Edge's Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam that he later lost to Christian at Unforgiven,[47] though Edge later captured the title.[48] Following this, Edge lost the Intercontinental title to Test[49] and shortly afterwards won the WCW United States Championship from Kurt Angle.[50] Edge defeated Test at Survivor Series to unify the Intercontinental Championship with the U.S. Championship.[51]

The following year, Edge was placed in a feud with William Regal for the Intercontinental Championship. Edge, however, came up short in the feud.[52] At WrestleMania X8, Edge found himself in a match with Booker T that was the result of Edge beating out Booker for a fictitious Japanese shampoo endorsement.[53] Shortly after defeating Booker T at WrestleMania, Edge was drafted to the SmackDown! brand in the first WWE Draft Lottery. Upon arriving there, he began a feud with Kurt Angle, which culminated in Edge shaving Angle's head following a hair vs. hair match at Judgment Day in May.[54] Two months later, he would end up winning the WWE Tag Team Championship (later renamed the World Tag Team Championship) alongside Hulk Hogan on July 4, 2002.[55] He then formed a tag team with Rey Mysterio; the two participated in a tournament for the newly created and SmackDown!-exclusive WWE Tag Team Championship. They lost to Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit in the finals of the tournament at No Mercy, the match was voted match of the year by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.[56] After they failed in winning the title, Mysterio and Edge defeated Los Guerreros in a number one contender's match on the October 24 episode of SmackDown! to earn a title shot.[57] On the November 7 episode of SmackDown!, they defeated Angle and Benoit in a two out of three falls match to win their first Tag Team Championship.[58] They soon lost the tag titles to Los Guerreros in a Triple Threat Elimination match that also involved former champions Angle and Benoit at Survivor Series.[59] After losing the title, Edge and Mysterio went their separate ways to focus on their singles careers. At No Way Out, he teamed up with Chris Benoit and Brock Lesnar against Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin), however Edge was attacked and he would not participate in the match, thus the match became Two-on-Three Handicap tag team match. After No Way Out, Edge suffered a legitimate neck injury and had to undergo surgery with Dr. Lloyd Youngblood.[60]

Pursuit of the World Heavyweight Championship (2004–2005)[edit]

The injury kept him sidelined for over a year. He was placed on the Raw brand in the WWE Draft after WrestleMania XX and returned to in ring action shortly after that event. On the April 19, 2004 episode of Raw he and Chris Benoit won the World Tag Team Championship.[61] They continued a close partnership even after losing the title, but it was disbanded when Edge won the Intercontinental championship at Vengeance from Randy Orton.[62] Following a legitimate groin injury in a non-televised match, Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff stripped Edge of the Intercontinental title.[63]

Upon his return, Edge began to show some villainous characteristics centering around his obsession for the World Heavyweight Championship. Edge, Chris Benoit, and Shawn Michaels received a title shot for Triple H's World Heavyweight Championship at Taboo Tuesday in October 2004. Michaels won the audience vote to receive the title shot, giving Edge and Benoit a tag team title shot. During the match, Edge abandoned his partner (although Benoit managed to win the title on his own)[64] and instead interfered in the main event, costing Michaels the championship.[64] On the November 1 episode of Raw, Edge and Benoit lost the World Tag Team Championship with Edge once again abandoning Benoit and sitting in a chair and watching the match. After the conclusion of the match, Edge attacked Benoit, officially turning heel.[65] In a November episode of Raw, both Edge and Benoit competed in a number one contender's battle royal, but they eliminated each other simultaneously at the conclusion of the match, resulting in a draw.[66] As a result, Triple H was forced to defend the title in a triple threat match. In the match, Benoit locked on the Crippler Crossface on Edge, who shifted his weight putting Benoit's shoulders on the mat for a pin. This match also ended in a draw for Benoit and Edge, as Benoit made Edge submit at the same time the referee counted a pinfall for Edge.[66] As a result, the World Heavyweight title was vacated the following week on Raw.

In January 2005, Edge competed in his first Elimination Chamber match at New Year's Revolution for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship. Shawn Michaels (acting as special guest referee) performed a superkick on Edge, in retaliation for an accidental spear by Edge, causing Edge to be the first eliminated.[67] This led to a match at the Royal Rumble later in the month, in which Edge defeated Michaels.[68]

Mr. Money in the Bank and WWE Champion (2005–2006)[edit]

Edge holding the Money in the Bank briefcase.

Subsequently, at WrestleMania 21, Edge won the first ever Money in the Bank ladder match, gaining a contract that gave him a shot at the World Heavyweight championship within one year.[69] Even though he was already a villain, Edge faced even more scorn from the fans due to Copeland's adulterous affair with WWE Diva Amy Dumas, known on-screen as Lita.[70] Dumas had been the girlfriend of Copeland's close real life friend, Matt Hardy. When Hardy suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, he was put out of action,[71] and it was during this time that Copeland began an affair with her while she was still in a relationship with Hardy. Shortly after the incident became public knowledge, WWE released Hardy, resulting in even more backlash towards Copeland and Dumas.[72] After Hardy returned, the real-life situation was translated into a storyline.[70]

Edge was then paired with Lita in an angle where she betrayed her storyline husband Kane, which ended with a stretcher match that Edge won, but shortly before, Kane performed a tombstone piledriver on Lita.[73] On the July 11 episode of Raw, Edge's match with Kane was interrupted when Matt Hardy made a surprising appearance. The situation was a real-life occurrence, with Hardy referring to Edge as "Adam" and issuing a threat to Lita as well.[74] When Hardy was officially brought back to Raw, he and Edge continued their feud, including a match at SummerSlam where Edge defeated Hardy, causing Hardy to have excessive blood loss.[75] They also competed in a Street Fight, which resulted in a no contest when Hardy performed a side effect on Edge off the entrance ramp into the sound speakers and other electrical equipment.[76] They also fought in a Steel cage match at Unforgiven in September in which Hardy defeated Edge.[77] The feud culminated in a "Loser Leaves Raw Ladder Match" at WWE Homecoming on October 3, which Edge won; after the match, Hardy left the Raw brand to go to the SmackDown! brand.[78] Shortly after the Homecoming victory, Edge suffered a legitimate torn pectoralis major muscle that kept him shelved for several weeks.[79] During his time off, he starred in his own talk show segment on Raw entitled The Cutting Edge,[80] dubbing himself the "Rated-R Superstar". Edge used his talk show to start a feud with Ric Flair following Flair's well-publicized arrest in connection with a road rage incident.[80][81] Edge eventually began using The Cutting Edge as a soapbox to run down Flair until, after weeks of public mockery, Flair eventually showed up and attacked Edge.[82] Edge and Ric Flair formally met at the New Year's Revolution event in 2006 in a match for Flair's Intercontinental Championship, which resulted in Flair retaining, after Edge was disqualified.[83]

Edge facing off against John Cena during a WWE house show.

Although Edge had lost his scheduled match at New Year's Revolution, that would not be his only match that evening. The main event of the pay-per-view saw John Cena, the reigning WWE Champion, defend his title in an Elimination Chamber match. After a bloody Cena won the match, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon announced there would be one more match, because Edge was going to cash in his Money in the Bank contract to face Cena for the championship. After spearing Cena twice, Edge covered him for the pin and won his first world championship. This pushed Edge to a Main Event Status[83] According to Edge, he asked to McMahon to have his match after the Chamber, because it had no sense to invoked his match in a normal match, if Edge's gimmick was the Ultimate Opportunist. McMahon gave him his opportunity.[84]

In an interview conducted after the event, on WWE.com, Edge announced that he and Lita would have "hot, unbridled sex" in the middle of the ring on Raw the following night to celebrate his victory. On Raw, Edge held up to that promise by engaging in foreplay with Lita until they were interrupted by Flair, who called Edge a disgrace and "that he was horrible in the sack."[85] Flair, however, ended up on the receiving end of a con-chair-to on the announcers' table until Cena came out to Flair's aid and performed an FU on Lita.[85] The "Live Sex Celebration" segment earned Raw a 5.2 rating,[86] the highest Raw rating in over a year,[87] leading Edge to call himself the "most watched champion ever".[88] Three weeks later, at the Royal Rumble, Edge lost the WWE Championship back to Cena.[89]

He then lost a return match on a special Thursday episode of Raw held in February. Edge blamed special guest referee Mick Foley for his loss, claiming biased officiating and attacked him.[90] At Saturday Night's Main Event, Foley got revenge on Edge by assaulting him with a con-chair-to.[91] They feuded until WrestleMania 22 in April, where Edge defeated Foley in a Hardcore match by spearing him through a flaming table[92] but suffered second degree burns.[21]

Following his feud with Foley, Edge once again challenged John Cena for the WWE Championship. Triple H was involved in a feud with Cena at the time, resulting in a triple threat match at Backlash, where Cena pinned Triple H to retain the title.[93] After Backlash, Edge continued his feud with Mick Foley as they entered a triple threat hardcore match. Foley, however, betrayed his friend Tommy Dreamer with Edge's assistance.[94] Edge and Foley then proclaimed that, because of their brutal match at WrestleMania, they were the true Hardcore Champions.[95] At June's pay-per-view event One Night Stand, Edge, Foley, and Lita defeated Dreamer, Terry Funk, and Beulah McGillicutty in an Extreme rules tag team match.[96]

Later in the event, Edge interfered in the WWE Championship match between John Cena and challenger Rob Van Dam, helping Van Dam win the title after he speared Cena through a table.[96] Edge, who won a number one contender's match for the WWE title to face Van Dam, but was unable to win the title at Vengeance.[97]

Edge, pictured with his custom 'Rated-R' Spinner belt, during his second WWE Championship reign.

Two weeks later on Raw, Edge pinned Van Dam in a triple threat match, after blindsiding Cena with the title belt, to become WWE Champion for the second time.[98] This angle re-ignited Edge's feud with Cena, and he lost by disqualification at Saturday Night's Main Event in order to retain the title.[99] Subsequently, a match was made for the August event SummerSlam with the stipulation that if Edge disqualified himself, he would lose the title. At the event, Edge retained the title by pinning Cena after he hit him in the back of the head with a pair of brass knuckles when the referee was not looking.[100] The night after SummerSlam, Lita disposed of Cena's customized "spinner" belt into the Long Island Sound at Edge's command, who declared it the end of the "Cena era" in his life. Edge later unveiled the new "Rated-R" version of the belt.[101] Cena, however, interfered in Edge's match with a returning Jeff Hardy later that night, chasing him down to the outside of the building, assaulting him, and tossing Edge into the Long Island Sound.[101] The following week, Cena made a deal with Edge: if Edge could defeat him in a match for the WWE Championship, he would sign a contract to move to SmackDown!.[102] Edge accepted, on the condition the match be a TLC match held at September's Unforgiven event in Edge's home town of Toronto.[102] At the event, he lost the championship after Cena performed the FU on him, sending Edge crashing through two stacked tables from a ladder.[103] At one point during the match, Cena locked in the STFU on Edge,[103] who later said he was legitimately choked unconscious, the first time he had been knocked out in a match during his career.[104]

Rated-RKO and feud with DX (2006–2007)[edit]

Edge tagging with Randy Orton as Rated-RKO.

On the October 3, 2006 episode of Raw, interference from the newly reformed D-Generation X (DX) (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) cost Edge his "final chance" at John Cena's WWE Championship in a Steel cage match, though their interference was a response to the interference of Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch,[105] led to Edge approaching Randy Orton and asking him to join forces to defeat DX, which Orton accepted and joined an alliance with Edge.[106] The two formed the tag team Rated-RKO.[107] Rated-RKO became the first to defeat DX since their reunion,[108] and quickly dominated the Raw brand's tag team division to become tag team champions,[109][110] making Edge a record holder of 11 World Tag Team Championship title reigns in his WWE career.[110]

As part of the storyline angle, Rated-RKO attacked Ric Flair with steel chairs to enrage DX on November 27.[111] At New Year's Revolution in January 2007, Rated-RKO faced DX in a title defense, but the match was declared a no-contest when Triple H suffered a legitimate injury during the match.[112] With Triple H out of action, the team continued their on-screen rivalry with remaining DX member Shawn Michaels. Michaels teamed with John Cena to defeat Rated-RKO for the tag team championship on January 29, 2007.[113] Edge and Orton suffered a series of losses to Cena and Michaels in the following months,In April 2007, Edge competed in the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania 23. During the match, Matt hardy threw him onto a ladder and encouraged Jeff Hardy, who was close to the winning briefcase, to finish him off. Hardy then leaped off the 20-foot-high (6.1 m) ladder,and drove him through the ladder with a leg drop, seemingly injuring both Edge & himself The two were unable to continue the match and were removed from ringside on stretchers.After This Edge and Orton also became rivals in their goals of achieving the WWE Championship. Neither Edge nor Orton won the championship, and they lost their claims as number one contenders after a failed match with Cena at Backlash in April.[114]

La Familia and World Heavyweight Champion (2007–2009)[edit]

On the May 7, 2007 episode of Raw, Edge interrupted an in-ring promo by the winner of the 2007 Money in the Bank contract, Mr. Kennedy. Kennedy had said for weeks that he would not cash in the contract until the following WrestleMania, but Edge decided to goad him into a match for his briefcase. Edge attacked Kennedy before the match even started, severely injuring his shoulder, and took advantage of the injury to beat Kennedy and take the briefcase.[115] Edge thus became the first person to gain the Money in the Bank contract twice and the first not to do so in the ladder match.[116] (This was done to give Kennedy time to recuperate from what was originally thought to be a completely torn triceps tendon, but later turned out to be a much less severe injury.)

It did not take Edge long to take advantage of his newly won opportunity. On the May 11 episode of SmackDown!, the main event was to feature Batista facing the World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker in a steel cage match for the title. The match ended in a draw when both Undertaker and Batista were ruled to have hit the floor simultaneously. Afterward, a returning Mark Henry came to ringside and attacked the champion, leaving him a bloody, broken mess in the ring. Edge chose that time to strike, entering the scene as Henry was leaving. He strode to the ring, handed the briefcase to referee Jim Korderas, and demanded that he be given a match as per his contract. As soon as the bell rang, Edge went to cover the champion, but Undertaker kicked out at two. Edge again covered, but only got two. Edge then waited for the spent Undertaker to struggle to his feet, then speared him and covered him for the pin and the World Heavyweight Championship.[117] As a result of this victory, Edge became a part of the SmackDown! brand. Edge then began a feud with Batista and successfully defended his championship title against him at Judgment Day,[118] in a Steel Cage match at One Night Stand,[119] and a third and final time in a last chance match at Vengeance.[120] Edge then began a feud with Kane after SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long announced Kane as the new number one contender for the World Heavyweight title.[121] Edge was forced to relinquish the World title due to a legitimately torn left pectoral muscle injury on the July 20 episode of SmackDown! following an attack by Kane.[122]

Edge alongside Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder, three principal members of La Familia.

At November's pay-per-view event, Survivor Series, Edge made his return, interfering in a World Heavyweight Championship Hell in a Cell match between Batista and The Undertaker.[123] The following SmackDown! show saw Edge and General Manager Vickie Guerrero make their relationship public,[124] making his official in-ring return in a World title match against Batista on November 30, a match that ended after The Undertaker interfered.[125] At Armageddon, Edge won the World Heavyweight Championship, after giving The Undertaker two chair shots and pinning the defending champion Batista (who had been Tombstoned by Undertaker prior) in a Triple Threat match. During the match, Edge used two look-a-likes to distract Batista and The Undertaker.[126] It was later revealed that these look-a-likes were the Major Brothers,[127] who were then repackaged as Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder. Edge also formed an alliance with Chavo Guerrero, nephew of Vickie Guerrero, and on the January 22, 2008 broadcast of ECW, he assisted Chavo in winning the ECW Championship from CM Punk,[128] even though Chavo previously rebuffed Edge[129] and allied himself with Rey Mysterio, Edge's scheduled opponent at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view.[130] The group eventually came under the name of La Familia. On the Valentine's Day episode of SmackDown, Edge proposed to Vickie, to which she accepted.[131]

Edge before facing Undertaker at Wrestlemania in 2008.

At WrestleMania XXIV, Edge lost the World Heavyweight championship to The Undertaker when he tapped out to the gogoplata.[132] In a WrestleMania rematch, The Undertaker defeated Edge once again at Backlash to retain the World Heavyweight championship.[133] Following Backlash, The Undertaker was stripped of the World title by Vickie Guerrero[134] and faced Edge for the title at Judgment Day in May and then again at One Night Stand in a TLC match in June.[135][136] The first match ended with a countout victory for The Undertaker but no champion was crowned due to the circumstances.[135] The second match at One Night Stand saw Edge walk away champion, which also meant Undertaker was forced to leave the company.[136]

On June 29, 2008, Edge faced Batista in a match for his title at Night of Champions. Due to interference from La Familia and a belt shot from Edge, he was able to defeat Batista. The next night on Raw, which happened a week after that year's draft lottery, Edge came out to gloat about his victory as well as the fact that, thanks to the draft, both the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship were both SmackDown property (Triple H, who was the reigning WWE Champion at the time, was drafted to SmackDown and had retained his title at Night of Champions as well). As Edge was leaving the ring, an angry Batista (who had been drafted back to Raw after three years as a SmackDown wrestler) came out and chased Edge back to the ring. He proceeded to assault Edge, finishing with a Batista Bomb in the ring. Just as Batista was leaving, CM Punk ran to the ring carrying the Money in the Bank briefcase he had won at WrestleMania XXIV, with referee Mike Chioda tagging along with him. Since Edge was still out of it from the attack, he did not see Punk come into the ring and therefore was unaware that Punk was cashing in his contract. Once the bell rang, Punk simply hit Edge with a Go To Sleep and pinned him to win the World Heavyweight Championship.[137]

On the July 4, 2008 episode of SmackDown, Edge took his frustrations out on Vickie because he lost the title and told her the wedding was off.[138] The following week, however, after Guerrero saved Edge from a con-chair-to by The Big Show, Edge re-proposed, and the wedding was back on.[139] On July 18, 2008 at the wedding reception, Triple H came out and showed a video of Edge cheating on Guerrero the day before with the wedding planner, Alicia Fox. The angle continued at The Great American Bash in July, when Fox attempted to hand Edge the WWE Championship belt to use as a weapon against Triple H, but was stopped by Guerrero. Edge attempted to spear Triple H but hit Guerrero instead, with the distraction, Triple H performed a Pedigree on Edge to retain the WWE title.[140] Edge attempted to apologize to Guerrero, even though he was seen talking to Fox, but she revealed to him that she had rehired The Undertaker and that Edge would face him in a Hell in a Cell match at SummerSlam.[141] Edge then turned on La Familia during the August 8 episode of SmackDown, performing a one-man con-chair-to on Chavo in the ring, and tossed Guerrero out of her wheelchair, effectively disbanding the faction. The following week, Edge verbally assaulted Guerrero, before he forced her to apologize to The Undertaker for what she did to him. He also mentioned to Guerrero, that it was because of her that La Familia suffered.[142] At SummerSlam,The Undertaker defeated Edge, and after the match, Undertaker chokeslammed Edge off the top of a ladder and through the ring canvas, with flames rising from the hole.[143]

Edge celebrating after winning his fourth and final WWE Championship.

On November 23, 2008 at Survivor Series, Edge returned to WWE after an introduction by SmackDown General Manager and his on-screen wife Vickie Guerrero, replacing Jeff Hardy in the Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship involving champion Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov. He pinned Triple H to become the WWE Champion for the third time in his career.[144] The following month, Edge lost the title to Hardy at Armageddon in a Triple Threat match, which also featured Triple H.[145] At the Royal Rumble, however, Edge regained the title in a no disqualification match, following Matt Hardy's interference.[146] At the February event No Way Out, Edge lost the WWE title in an Elimination Chamber after being pinned by Jeff Hardy, being the first to be eliminated, with the title eventually being won by Triple H.[147] Later that night, Edge inserted himself into the World Championship Elimination Chamber match after attacking Kofi Kingston and barricading himself inside one of the Chamber's pods, proceeding to win his eighth World Championship, last eliminating Rey Mysterio and taking the title over to SmackDown.[148] At WrestleMania XXV in April, Edge lost the championship to John Cena in a Triple Threat match, which also included The Big Show.[149] Three weeks later he regained the championship at Backlash, when he defeated Cena in a Last Man Standing match, after interference by The Big Show.[150] After a successful defense against Jeff Hardy at Judgment Day,[151] he lost the title to Hardy at Extreme Rules in a ladder match, and afterwards said some disparaging things to his on-screen wife, Vickie Guerrero. While Hardy was celebrating, CM Punk cashed in his money in the bank and defeated Hardy to win the World Heavyweight Championship.[152] The following night, Guerrero resigned as the Raw General Manager due to being humiliated, and Edge came out to apologize. Instead, however, he claimed he married Guerrero because she had authoritative powers as the General Manager, and sought a divorce.[153]

Record-breaking World Heavyweight Champion (2009–2011)[edit]

In June, Edge won the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship (the unified version of the World Tag Team Championship from the Raw brand and the WWE Tag Team Championship from the SmackDown brand) with Chris Jericho at The Bash after he and Jericho were inserted into the match as late entries just prior, the win made Edge a record setting 12 time World Tag Team Champion.[154] On July 3, Edge suffered a torn Achilles tendon while competing at a live event in San Diego in a match against Jeff Hardy, and later underwent surgery. It was reported that he could be out of action for up to a year.[155][156] During Edge's absence, Jericho replaced him with Big Show (forming Jeri-Show) and Jericho began to speak badly of Edge, mocking him for his injury. This resulted in Edge beginning an early face turn.

Edge after winning the WWE Royal Rumble.

At the Royal Rumble event on January 31, 2010, Edge returned from injury by entering the Royal Rumble match as the twenty ninth surprise entrant. He quickly eliminated Jericho who had been the 28th. Ultimately, he won the Royal Rumble for the first time in his career after last eliminating John Cena. After Jericho won the Heavyweight Championship from the Undertaker during Elimination Chamber, Edge cemented his face turn after he challenged Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXVI after a surprise attack on Jericho.[157] However, Edge lost to Jericho in the match.[158] The following month, Edge beat Jericho in a Steel cage match at Extreme Rules.[159]

The following night at the 2010 WWE Draft, Edge was drafted back to the Raw brand, also costing Randy Orton a title shot against John Cena by spearing him in a Triple Threat match against Batista and Sheamus.[160] On the April 30 episode of SmackDown, Edge had said goodbye to SmackDown fans. However, Edge turned on the fans by calling them "puppets" for saying 'spear! spear! spear!' and later tried a sneak attack on his former tag team partner Christian, thus becoming a villain once again.[161] After being drafted to the Raw brand and heel turn, Edge began a feud with his former Rated-RKO tag team partner Randy Orton, with both Edge and Orton gaining the upper hand over one another. Much of the antagonism stemmed of Randy's refusal to re-form Rated-RKO with Edge, as Edge wanted to pursue the tag team titles he had been stripped of. Edge beat Christian in a match on the May 17 episode of Raw held in Toronto.[162] Edge and Orton met in a match at May's Over the Limit pay-per-view, with the match resulting in a double countout.[163] At Fatal 4-Way, Edge participated in a fatal four-way match that included Orton, Sheamus, and John Cena for the WWE Championship, though Edge failed to win the title.[164]

The following month Edge participated in the Raw Money in the Bank ladder match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view but failed to win the briefcase. Edge then went on to participate in the main event of SummerSlam in which he and six teammates were victorious in a seven-on-seven elimination tag team match against The Nexus. According to Jericho and Edge, the original plan was to put Barrett Over. At the end, Jericho and Edge would lose against Nexus. However, Cena asked for a change and he defeated Barrett and Gabriel. Jericho said that it was a bad idea, because Barrett wasn't pushed.[165] On the 900th episode of Raw, he disqualified himself, in the main event in a five-on-five elimination match against The Nexus. This saw him enter into a feud with the anonymous GM of Raw, during which the GM cost him several matches. At Night of Champions, Edge participated in a six pack elimination challenge for Sheamus' WWE Championship but once again failed to win the title.

Edge at WWE's Tribute to the Troops in 2010.

At WWE's Hell in a Cell PPV event, Edge defeated Jack Swagger. The next night on Raw, it was announced that he had been traded to the Smackdown brand for SmackDown's CM Punk due to him destroying the Raw GM computer turning him face and ending the feud between the two. On his SmackDown return, he defeated Jack Swagger in his first match. On the October 15, 2010 episode of SmackDown, he defeated Dolph Ziggler to become part of Team SmackDown at WWE's Bragging Rights PPV event. At the event, Edge won the cup for Team SmackDown alongside Rey Mysterio eliminating R-Truth, John Morrison and Team Raw's captain Miz.

Soon after that, he entered a feud with World Heavyweight Champion Kane. He defeated Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio to become the number one contender for Kane's World Championship at WWE's Survivor Series PPV event, which ended in a draw. On December 19, 2010 Edge defeated Kane, Rey Mysterio, and Alberto Del Rio in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs PPV event to win the World Heavyweight Championship for a record sixth time and making him a ten time World Champion.[166] Edge then defended the World Championship against Kane in a winning effort in a Last Man Standing match, thus ending their feud.

Edge would then feud with Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero up through the Royal Rumble and after. After the Royal Rumble, Rumble winner Alberto Del Rio announced that he would challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship, which was held by Edge at that time. On the 600th episode of Smackdown on February 18, acting GM Guerrero fired Edge, and awarded the World Title to her (kayfabe) boyfriend Ziggler. Smackdown GM Teddy Long returned later that night, and rehired Edge. Edge would then defeat Ziggler to become the World Heavyweight Champion for the seventh time, and win his 11th World Championship overall. After the match, Teddy Long fired Dolph and Vickie would follow the next week after losing a tag team match with Drew McIntyre facing Edge and Kelly Kelly.

Edge destroying Alberto Del Rio's car after what would become his final televised match, at WrestleMania XXVII.

At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, Edge successfully defended his World Heavyweight Championship in an Elimination Chamber match by finally pinning Rey Mysterio. After he defended his championship, he was attacked by Alberto Del Rio, but was saved by the returning Christian. Edge and Christian briefly reunited to defeat Alberto and his NXT bodyguard Brodus Clay. At WrestleMania XXVII, in his last WWE in-ring match, Edge successfully defended the World Title against Alberto Del Rio in the opening match.[167]

On the April 11, 2011 episode of Raw, Edge gave a speech about his career and the realities of wrestling. He said he took further tests to his basic strength tests, and an MRI result forced him to retire.[168][169][170] Leading up to this announcement, he had reflected upon his previous neck injury and cervical vertebral fusion, and felt numbness in his arms. This was diagnosed as cervical spinal stenosis, and doctors wouldn't clear him to compete, for risk of neck-down paralysis or death.[168] Later that same week on the April 15 episode of SmackDown, Edge officially relinquished the World Heavyweight Championship, retiring as the World Champion.[171]

Post retirement appearances (2011–Present)[edit]

Edge at the WWE Hall of Fame 2012

On the April 22, 2011 episode of SmackDown, Edge interrupted Alberto Del Rio's mock retirement party for him.[172] At Extreme Rules, Edge made an appearance watching his friend Christian winning the vacant World Heavyweight Championship.[173] At SummerSlam, Christian had Edge return to be in his corner for his World Heavyweight Championship defense against Randy Orton. However, Edge, disappointed by the cowardly tactics Christian used to win his second World Heavyweight Championship, berated him and walked out on him. Christian would later lose the belt to Orton for a second time.[174] On the September 16, 2011 episode of SmackDown, in his hometown of Toronto, Edge hosted The Cutting Edge between Mark Henry and the World Heavyweight Champion, Randy Orton. After the event went off the air they had Edge appreciation night celebrating the career of Edge.

On March 31, 2012, Edge (with his usual long hair cut short) was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Christian, during WrestleMania XXVIII weekend.[175]

Edge made a surprise appearance on the April 23, 2012 episode of Raw, confronting his long-time rival John Cena about Brock Lesnar. He mentioned that despite sharing the biggest rivalry of their careers, they always shared mutual admiration for professional wrestling. In an act of motivation, he told Cena to 'wake up' and beat Brock Lesnar. He also mentioned beforehand that he was not supposed to be on the show that night, also declaring that he would no longer be under contract with WWE in a couple of days.[176] After this, his contract with the WWE had legitimately expired. On the September 21, 2012 episode of SmackDown, Edge made an appearance addressing Team Hell No.[177]

Edge returned on the September 9, 2013 episode of Raw in his hometown of Toronto (being introduced by Tony Chimel, who played up the crack in his voice that would occur when he introduced him in the past), where he hosted his talk show The Cutting Edge having Daniel Bryan as his special guest after Randy Orton was scheduled to be his original guest. Edge was offended by Triple H. Then Triple H brought The Shield and they came with Edge's best friend Christian. When Edge went to go confront Triple H, Edge was escorted from the building. Edge hosted his talk show (The Cutting Edge) on 13 September edition of SmackDown, mocking Randy Orton and then watching as Orton's attack on Bryan backfired, when Orton looked at Edge and then was put in the Yes! Lock by Daniel Bryan.

Other media[edit]

In 2000, he had a cameo appearance as a road bandit in the fantasy movie Highlander: Endgame. Adrian Paul's character remarks, "Looks like you've lost your edge, lad" after defeating him in a sword fight.[178]

In March 2002, Copeland appeared with other WWF Superstars on the quiz show Weakest Link. He was voted out in the first round, and the eventual winner was Kane.[179] On the August 6, 2006 episode of Mind of Mencia, Copeland appeared as Edge as a commentator for "The Royal Religious Rumble". He punched out an actor playing L. Ron Hubbard to stop Scientology from ruling the world and then speared another actor playing Tom Cruise.[180] In March 2007 he appeared alongside Randy Orton, John Cena, and Bobby Lashley on Deal or No Deal.[181] Weeks later he appeared on the sketch comedy show MADtv.[181] Copeland appeared in a Slim Jim commercial where his spicy side causes chaos in a DMV, a restaurant and a hotel.[182]

Edge: a Decade of Decadence, a DVD documentary of Copeland's life, was released in December 2008. The DVD illustrates his wrestling career dating back to 1998 when he entered the WWF.[183]

In June 2011, Copeland appeared on the Syfy series Sanctuary, in the season 3 finale episode, "Into the Black" as Thelo, an Abnormal.[184]

In September 2011, Copeland held a “Edgucational” Essay Scholarship Contest, as an echo back to how he himself got a start in the wrestling business. The scholarship ended up going to one of the students at Squared Circle Wrestling in Toronto. Alysha Verhoven, who has since gone on to work as Leah von Dutch.[185][186][187]

Copeland appears regularly in the Syfy series Haven, which started in July 2011, as Dwight Hendrickson.[188]

WWE Studios released Bending The Rules in cinemas on March 9, 2012, where Edge starred alongside Jamie Kennedy. WWE released the official trailer of the movie on the 28th February 2012 edition of Monday Night Raw. A Documentary movie You Think You Know Me - The Story of Edge includes a look at Edge's life and career in pro wrestling was released on April 10, 2012.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1999 Beyond the Mat Himself Uncredited
2000 Highlander: Endgame Road bandit
2002 Weakest Link Himself
2003 TV total Himself
2006 Mind of Mencia Himself Episode: "Royal Religious Rumble"
2007 Deal or No Deal Himself
2007 MADtv Himself
2011 Sanctuary Thelo Season 3, Episode 20 & Season 4, Episode 2
2011–present Haven Dwight Hendrickson Television series
2012 Bending the Rules Nick Blades

Personal life[edit]

Copeland used to play hockey with retired National Hockey League (NHL) player Aaron Downey.[189] He is a fan of the NHL's New Jersey Devils.[190] As a teenager, Copeland attended WrestleMania VI sitting in the eleventh row at ringside.[191] He was cheering on WWF Champion Hulk Hogan against The Ultimate Warrior, and he credits this match with making him realize he wanted to be a wrestler.[4] Twelve years later Edge returned to SkyDome as a competitor at WrestleMania X8.[4] Edge resides in Asheville, North Carolina.

His autobiography, Adam Copeland on Edge, was published on November 4, 2004. Unlike most wrestlers who used "ghostwriters" to write their biographies, Copeland wrote the entire book himself, in longhand. Mick Foley, who also wrote his wrestling autobiography himself in longhand, wrote the foreword to his book.[192] Copeland does not smoke. He claims he had his first cigarette when he was sixteen, hated it, and has not smoked since.[193] Copeland has several tattoos: a red and black sun on his left upper biceps, which covers a tattoo of a muscular shark which resembled the Street Sharks; a star on his right upper biceps with several smaller stars and two skulls wearing bandanas, adorned with flowers and hearts, below said star tattoo; a tattoo of a cross on his left forearm; and another tattoo of a scroll like piece of paper adorned with the words "Rise Above". All of Copeland's tattoos represent a stage in his career. His sun, which Copeland got while recovering from his neck injury, represents "looking towards brighter days." The cross tattoo represents his time with the Brood, and his star and skull tattoos represent his Rated-R Superstar persona and his self-proclaimed status as the "Guns N' Roses of wrestling". He is close friends with fellow wrestler Jason Reso, otherwise known as Christian.[194] Copeland's favorite band is the Foo Fighters, as he revealed during his Hall of Fame induction.[195]

Copeland has been married two times. His first marriage was to Alanah Morley-Copeland the sister of Sean Morley, whom he wed on November 8, 2001.[196] They divorced after three years on March 10, 2004.[197] His second marriage was to Lisa Ortiz-Copeland on October 21, 2004. The couple divorced on November 17, 2005.[198][199] In December 2013, Copeland and Beth Phoenix had a daughter, and named her Lyric.[200][201]

Controversy[edit]

In March 2007, Copeland became a key figure in an alleged steroid ring and drug investigation. On March 19, Sports Illustrated posted an article on its website in its continuing series investigating a steroid and HGH ring used by a number of professional athletes in several sports. That article mentioned several current and former WWE wrestlers, including Copeland, who was alleged to have obtained HGH.[202] Copeland has previously admitted to using steroids in April 2004 after neck surgery as an experiment on TSN's Off The Record with Michael Landsberg in January 2005. He said he felt it slowed him down, so he quickly got off the substance.[203] According to Copeland, he took HGH after returning from a spinal fusion neck surgery. He was told by doctors that it would help the bones grow back around the screws and plate that were inserted into his neck. He claims to have taken blood tests, consulted doctors, studied the drug, and got prescriptions before deciding to take them.[204]

According to a Sports Illustrated article rotated on August 30, 2007, Copeland was named one of 10 superstars found to have purchased steroids and other drugs from an online pharmacy, a violation of the WWE Talent Wellness program. Copeland was said to have received somatropin, genotropin, and stanozolol between September 2004 and February 2007.[205][206]

In wrestling[edit]

Edge performing a spear on Mr. Kennedy.
Edge performing the sharpshooter on CM Punk.
Edge in his trademark pose at WrestleMania 26 before his title match with Chris Jericho.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Canadian Wrestling Association
    • CWA North American Championship (1 time)[219]
  • Insane Championship Wrestling
    • ICW Street Fight Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Christian Cage (1) and Joe E. Legend (1)[220]
    • ICW/MWCW Mid-West Unified Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Joe E. Legend
  • George Tragos / Lou Thesz International Wrestling Institute
    • Lou Thesz Award (2013)[221]
  • Outlaw Championship Wrestling
    • OCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Joe E. Legend

1 ^ Won during the Invasion storyline.
2 ^ Won the 2007 Money in the Bank contract when he defeated the then–Money in the Bank holder, Mr. Kennedy, on Raw.

Lucha de Apuesta record[edit]

Wager Winner Loser Location Date Notes
Hair Edge Kurt Angle Nashville, Tennessee May 19, 2002 Hair vs. hair match at Judgment Day[54]

Notes[edit]

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References[edit]

  • Copeland, Adam (2004). Adam Copeland on Edge. World Wrestling Entertainment Books. ISBN 978-1-4165-0523-5. 
  • "2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". Wrestling’s historical cards (Kappa Publishing). 2007. 
  • Edge: A Decade of Decadence DVD. World Wrestling Entertainment. 2008. 

External links[edit]