Living on the Edge: The career of Adam Copeland

BY Ryan Murphy

April 14, 2011

Edge retires

Edge’s final run in WWE would begin in grand fashion at the 2010 Royal Rumble, when he made a shocking return to the ring. That night, he won the 30-Superstar Rumble contest, making him the only Superstar to win the King of the Ring, the Royal Rumble Match and the Money in the Bank Ladder Match. The victory earned him a one-way ticket to WrestleMania where he would face his former ally Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship, but The Ultimate Opportunist came up short in their match.

From there, he returned to Raw and battled rivals like Randy Orton and The Nexus. His most memorable confrontation during this time wasn’t with a human, though. In October, Edge became so irritated with the anonymous Raw GM’s computer that he smashed it in the center of the ring. It was something every member of the WWE Universe wished they could have done, but the brash act resulted in The Rated-R Superstar being traded back to SmackDown.

The final months of Edge’s career were great ones. He won his tenth World Championship at WWE TLC in December and successfully defended it against opponents like Kane and Dolph Ziggler. After being wrongfully stripped of his title by Vickie Guerrero, Edge beat Dolph Ziggler to win the World Heavyweight Championship for a seventh time — his eleventh World Title overall.

He took on Alberto Del Rio after that, fending off The Mexican Aristocrat and his cronies with the help of his best friend, Christian. At the time, Edge did not know his days in the ring were numbered. However, it is appropriate that many of his final bouts were tag matches alongside the Superstar with whom he first made his mark in WWE.

Edge’s last big match was at WrestleMania XXVII against Del Rio. Many thought the brash millionaire would win the bout. It was his destiny, after all. But The Rated-R Superstar defeated him that night, then destroyed Del Rio’s prized Rolls Royce after the match for good measure. Raising havoc with Christian with the World Heavyweight Championship in his hands, it was the perfect way for him to go out.

Then, during Raw on April 11, 2011, Edge announced his retirement. His spine had suffered too much damage, and he would never be medically cleared to compete again. It was a sudden announcement. Up until that night, he was still scheduled to face Alberto Del Rio in a Ladder Match at Extreme Rules. But there it was. The career of one of the greatest Superstars in WWE history was over.

It was a depressing moment, but there was no reason to feel bad. Edge had done it all in sports-entertainment — maybe more than any other Superstar. Classic matches. Unforgettable rivalries. Endless title reigns. Dream come true? He accomplished more than he ever dreamed possible.

Whether the WWE Universe never sees Edge again or if he returns every week is unclear. Perhaps he will step into a General Manager role and wage war with Vickie Guerrero. He could easily open up a school for aspiring WWE Superstars and craft the next generation of talent. Or maybe he’ll just quietly go back to being a fan, watching the action from the crowd with the same wonder he had on that perfect night in Toronto when he saw Hogan and Warrior clash at WrestleMania VI.

Whatever happens, there’s only one thing left to say: Thank you, Edge.