Everyone has dates in their lives that they either cherish, like their and/or their loved ones’ birthdays or wedding anniversaries, or dread, such as the date of the death of a loved one.
For me, April 11, 2011, while no one in my life died, for me, it felt like it was the end of the world. Actually, in a way, it was kind of like a death, and I will explain what I mean in a second. A year ago today, I got up, and for some reason, I was thinking about WWE Wrestler Edge that morning.
I didn’t know why. I mean, it was a Monday, and Raw was that night. I went on about my day by doing housecleaning, surfing the Internet, and taking care of my beagle, Ace Frehley. I saw online on one of the sites I belong to that there was gonna be a huge announcement on Raw. My player for some reason could not play it. I decided to be surprised. Just as well, because I was in for a shock. I was on twitter, and I was watching “Tough Enough,” and this WWE Bumper thing comes on with then World Champion Edge’s image and below it, it was saying “Retiring?” I was STUNNED. I was like WHAT? Well, I had been hearing that Edge had been having some injury problems through some contacts, and had some neck problems. I, myself, could see for the previous several months going into Mania 27, that something was not quite right with Edge’s neck as I noticed he constantly shook his left arm and his hands a lot, and other things.
I had the pleasure of meeting Edge three times. The man is one of the sweetest guys you would ever want to meet. From people I had spoken to, my opinions were confirmed. Edge had just returned 14 months prior from a devastating Achilles rupture suffered on July 3, 2009 at a house show in San Diego against Jeff Hardy. I was thinking “How could this be happening to such a sweet man who went through so much just to get back, and now this?”
Edge broke his neck, and came back after 14 months. I knew he was on “borrowed time,” but he came back. He came back from a horrible pectoral injury in July of 2007. The man had become my hero of sorts because no matter how bad things got, he never gave up. My mind was in all different directions. I was hoping it was an angle, but deep down, I just knew it wasn’t.
Well, finally , Edge came out. Fans on twitter were hoping, like me (it is only natural), it was an angle. When I saw his face walking to the ring after speaking to John Cena, I knew . He was done. Edge gave his speech, as my boss, Eric Gargiulo, mentioned in his awesome blog, http://camelclutchblog.com/edge-retires-on-wwe-raw-one-year-ago-today/ , this afternoon about Edge’s retiring one year ago today. I just broke down weeping. It was so hard to take.
After he was over, and was shown hugging everyone, that was all I could think about. I didn’t care about the rest of the show. Everyone on twitter had emotions from being sad, to being shocked. Even typing this I still have that empty feeling and I feel like bursting into tears. It still hurts one year later. I remember crying into the night, and going to bed about 3am. I cried off and on for about a week. I remember reading all the Tributes. Before I blogged here, I wrote a Tribute for Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer. There were those fans who said “He is not dead!” Well, no, he isn’t, but I think what fans like myself are “mourning” is the “death” of his career that was cut short due to the spinal stenosis in his neck. The following SmackDown was sad as well when he gave up the belt, and also when you saw the extra footage of him getting honored by the wrestlers.
Now, that a year has gone by, it still hurts. It does not hurt as much, but it does. As Eric pointed out, WWE is STILL trying to replace him as far as having that big star presence on Smackdown. I definitely agree. Edge was a very special talent. I wish they had handled Edge a lot differently while he was in WWE. I wish his title reigns were a lot longer than they were. His return from the Achilles in 2010 was very much mishandled. I mean, saddling him with that “Spear, spear, spear.” routine was NOT the way to go. Edge was a natural heel. I know he was gone a long time, but they should have brought him back as a face, and did the quick heel turn. WWE’s turning Edge every five minutes wasn’t helping him. WWE’s ineptness as far as booking him in a feud with a damned computer, and then giving him that gimmick where he was against everything that was “stupid,” was, pun intended, STUPID.
It was like WWE had plans for everyone else, hell, even the janitor, but they had no idea what to do with Edge. However, Edge somehow made it work, and never became stale. I also never thought his performance in the ring suffered either. Sure, he was an older athlete, and there was some decline, but I never thought there was any credence to some of the hysteria I saw from the so called IWC on message boards either. Nonetheless, the man is one of the best to put on the tights. Edge is a WWE Hall of Famer, winner more titles in WWE than ANYONE in the company. He may be gone, but he is sure as hell not forgotten, at least by this Edge fan.
On April 10, 2012, WWE released “You Think You Know Me: The Story of Edge” on DVD and Blu Ray. I have the DVD, and my recommendations is : GO GET THIS DVD. It is fantastic. The Documentary ALONE is worth it. The documentary features Edge, his mother Judy, and his friends, Mike Pongracz, Christian, and Rhyno. Also featured are the men who trained him, such as Ron Hutchison, Sweet Daddy Sikki, and Bret “Hitman” Hart. John Cena, Lita, Matt Hardy and Michael P.S Hayes are in the video as well.All discuss how Edge went from a small town boy living with his single mom, broke as could be, to become one of the top superstars in WWE.
The documentary is shot in different places as well, which I found to be very cool. You start with him in Toronto , at a radio station around the time of that “Edge Appreciation” Night on September 13, 2011, and he is giving an interview about his retirement. The documentary then shifts to Edge at his home talking about the early days, and then you have commentary from different people, etc.
The documentary bounces around between the radio station, Edge’s home, and Edge being outside in the North Carolina mountains, and kayaking. He is telling part of the story about how when he retired, he felt better knowing he would be coming back to Asheville, NC, and describes the city. You can see great shots of the city. There is a great shot of Edge walking across a river with his husky, one of his four dogs. Edge reveals that he wants to take a cross country tour all over the United States.
Ron Hutchison, and Sweet Daddy Sikki talk about the training, and meeting a young Edge. They both talked about how hard they worked the class. The documentary goes into how Edge and Christian were two best friends who loved wrestling, and Edge’s love for his mom, Judy. The DVD gets into Edge being called up from Carl DeMarco in 1996, and goes into Edge’s WWE career. It goes into the Brood, and how Edge became a star from the trio with his promo. Edge said that (paraphrasing) “Dave (Gangrel) wasn’t a great promo.” Mick Foley talked about Edge’s superstar potential while in the Brood.
The DVD, of course, goes into his singles career, and his neck injury, and such. One of the more interesting parts for me was the handling of the “Love Triangle.” Edge and Lita talked about their involvement, and Edge said “I screwed up.” Edge also said that “I beat myself up more than anyone could imagine.” He then said that he just took it and made something with it, as “Strangers who did not know the situation or thought they knew (because Matt Hardy put it out there) where making signs commenting on it.” William Regal commented that Edge had gone through a lot of personal upheaval, and as Regal was a friend, he stood by him. Edge and Lita talked about being “ostracized” because of what happened.
My personal opinion: Kudos to William Regal for being a real friend.
The DVD goes into his becoming WWE champ and the Live Sex Celebration and his feud with Cena, and his having his chip on his shoulder. All of this is awesome. I praise John Cena who was one of the very few , per the DVD, who thought Edge being the Champ would work. Edge talkes about how there were those amongst the “powers that be” who did not think he was champion material, who said he had terrible singles matches (Me again: What were those dopes smoking?). Edge revealed that Vince McMahon believed in him, and told him (Edge), “Prove me right.” Well, Edge surely did. Chris Jericho commented about Edge being made a new star, and Jericho then said (again, paraphrasing) that those who thought Edge could not make it as a top star were “stupid.” John Cena , again, praises Edge as “Einstein,” and credits him for helping him become a big star. Edge talked about how Cena was becoming a great worker, and talked about headlining a PPV in his hometown of Toronto, and getting cheered where two years prior, he was booed.
My favorite part of the DVD comes where they talk about his feud with the Undertaker. (Me: Edge’s best feud is with Cena, IMO. My favorite feud is with Taker, and maybe Batista as well). The DVD goes into his feud with Batista first. Batista talks about how he enjoyed working with Edge. Edge does reveal that his neck problems started to return during this feud. Zach Ryder and Curt Hawkins come on and talk about how lost they were, and email Edge about an idea they had. I am guessing that the idea was to be the Edgeheads because that is what they became, and they went into being La Familia. Edge talked about how happy and honored he was to be headlining Mania 24, and having Undertaker trust him, and talked about their 5 match feud. He then goes into talking about his time out in 2008 after SummerSlam due to burn out. The DVD goes into the Ultimate Opportunist Era when he returned in November 2008..
The DVD finally goes into the sad ending where he talked about these very painful neck and arm tremblings and such. He noticed on an episode of Smackdown where Brodus Clay hit him in the back with a chair, and his arms went out. He knew then something was up. Edge was determined to finish out his contract which actually ended March 31, 2012, so he wanted to at least make Mania 27. They did do some sort of test, per the DVD and it showed something was up with his neck. Lita also revealed that Edge was having neck pain going into the PPV. (Me: I remember that episode. Something didn’t look right either.) Edge said he got through the match, and Lita said, Edge told her he was fine after the match, had no pain. He told her he was happy with the match.
Edge said he got the MRI on Monday, and then got the news, and was told he was done.
The documentary ends with him on the radio station, and then they show some of the “Edge Appreciation” night. There is a shot of him at home with his dogs as well. The extras were pretty neat. The first one was “The Ninja Star” where Edge and Christian discover some “Ninja” symbol of some sort, and become friends. The PTA one had something to do with school. “Working in WCW.” was about Edge working that one match he had as “Damon Stryker” He and Rhyno discussed getting the job and driving 24 hours straight. Edge said he would never work at WCW because he knew he would not be used right. “Credgeley” was Foley, Edge and Christian discussing their segments on WWE TV. Edge himself introduces the last extra by saying it was the first promo where he showed real anger. It was “Real Emotion: Raw August 8, 2005.
The rest of the matches are already on other sets but they include the TLC Match from TLC 2010 between Edge, Del RIo, Mysterio and Kane, Edge vs Del Rio at Mania 27 , and Edge vs the Undertaker at Mania 24, plus others.
The DVD is brutally honest. Edge, and the others don’t sugar coat anything. It is highly recommended for not only Edge fans like myself, but WRESTLING fans.
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead