WWE's Edge on Life After Pro Wrestling: "I Did Everything I Set Out To Accomplish"
At last year's WrestleMania, Edge was successfully defending the World Heavyweight Championship in one of the biggest matches of the night. But only eight days later, Edge announced his retirement as a result of ongoing neck issues, making his match at WrestleMania XXVII the last one of his career.
Still, going out as the champ isn't so bad, especially when you're being inducted into the Hall of Fame in Miami by your long-time tag team partner Christian less than a year later. With that honor just a few days away, Edge talks about his WWE accomplishments, what his role with WWE will be moving forward, and how nice it will be to watch WrestleMania XXVIII as a fan.
Cultist: At WrestleMania XXVII you defended the World Heavyweight Championship, then announced a few days later that you had to retire. It's been less than a year, and you're being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Were you surprised when WWE announced that you would be inducted so soon after your career had ended?
Edge: Yeah, I was. I won't lie, I assumed it would happen at some point. But I figured it would be 10 years down the road when I've got a nice big belly on me and a massive beard or something, when I look like Brian Wilson. I didn't expect it now. But obviously I'm happy and honored and it's still a little surreal to me. I think it will probably all kick in when I actually walk out to say my speech. But it shocked me a little bit. When they first asked me I was like, "This year? Really? Cool. Alright, let's do it."
Actually, no. I'm able to retire content with the fact that everything that was on my checklist, and then some, got accomplished. When I first started my career, there wasn't a Money in the Bank match and I ended up winning the first Money in the Bank. There wasn't a TLC [tables, ladders and chairs] match and that's a match we kind of created. On top of the things I did want -- the Tag Team title, the Intercontinental title, the U.S. title and the Heavyweight titles -- these other things came about during my career that I never would have thought possible to accomplish because they weren't around. In that respect, I feel really good and it wasn't hard to hear the news that they gave me. Sure, there's an initial kind of "Whoa! Now what do I do with myself?" But once I got my head around that, I was like, "Well, I did everything I set out to accomplish." I wanted to wrestle Bret Hart, but he was already retired, so that wasn't a possibility. Perfect world -- retiring in a match against Christian in Toronto at a WrestleMania would have obviously been great. But there's only so many perfect things you can have happen, and everything else I was pretty much blown away by. Retiring at 'Mania as the World Champ is a pretty good way to go. I'll take that.
Your former tag team partner Christian is inducting you into the Hall of Fame and will also be returning from an injury at WrestleMania. Where will you be during his match? Any chance you might be ringside or get involved in any way?
I'll just be watching from up in a guest suite or something, relaxing and feeling no pressure whatsoever and enjoying it with my family. It will be the first time I've been able to do that. I'm always at WrestleMania running around like a chicken with its head cut off, getting everything finalized. Honestly, a lot of the responsibility for the matches fell to my shoulders. This year I don't have to worry about that, and I can just sit up there, take it all in, and truly enjoy it as a fan. I haven't done that since WrestleMania 13.
When it comes to Christian, he's coming off an injury, and it was a tough injury. It was a high ankle sprain and they suck. It's just a hard one to heal and come back from. So I'm just happy he's been able to get back in time for this show and get on the show.
Since your retirement, you've been somewhat involved in some of his recent successes. Prior to that, you also helped elevate the careers of others, such as Zach Ryder. Do you see yourself ever transitioning into a mentor or managerial role now that your in-ring career is over?
I loved "Classie" Freddie Blassie, "Captain" Lou Albano, and Bobby Heenan. They were wrestlers who were able to translate that into being managers. But I just don't picture myself doing that, or even being able to. It would be awesome to get into some kind of crazy pink lamé suit and go out there with some velvet pants on or something and try to pull off some cheesy, yet awesome, mid-'80s Grand Wizard style, but that would involve me being on the road. I'd rather be a manager from the sidelines at home. I've always been close with Dolph Ziggler and I've really enjoyed his work. He'll call me and ask me stuff, and I'm happy to tell him what I think. I was tired of the road, so I can maybe see doing something like that more than being on the road again.
I can see myself doing something more in a backstage capacity, and maybe going out and searching for talent. That wouldn't involve too much traveling or anything like that. Like, maybe going to an independent show and seeing if there's anybody that's got it once a month. That I can see doing, because then I'm just sitting and watching shows and helping guys who really want it.
My buddy does independent shows down in North Carolina and I went to a show -- I hadn't been to a show since SummerSlam, and even then I didn't watch any of the matches because I was just catching up with everybody -- so it was fun to sit down and watch guys who are just getting their feet wet and just starting to cut their teeth. Then, when I came back, they said, "Did you see anything?" And I was like, "Actually, yes I did." And I was able to say, "Here are some things you can work on," and I could see the light bulbs going off. It was kind of fun. But I don't want to do anything that involves being out for extended periods anymore.
You also are the star of the latest WWE Studios movie Bending the Rules. With that, as well as the upcoming WWE Network in the works, do you foresee doing more acting and that kind of stuff for WWE?
I've had fun with the acting, and that's kind of what it all boils down to. Whatever I do going forward, I want it to be fun. Creatively stimulating, but also fun. I've had the luxury of doing a job that I always wanted to do, so for my entire adult life I've had fun. That's so rare for people to be able to say, and I know I'm beyond blessed to be able to say that. I did the 9-to-5 factory stuff, and it was hard work. Wrestling is hard work too, but it's damn fun. So whatever I do moving forward is going to have to be fun just to get me up and out. Acting has been, and that's why I've done a couple of those things. I did the movie, I'm doing season three of Haven, we start shooting that April 18, then I've got a couple of ideas blowing around that could end up on the Network, but it wouldn't really involve acting. I think maybe just going around, talking to kids about Be a STAR [anti-bullying alliance], something like that.
Edge's Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place Saturday at American Airlines Arena. WrestleMania XXVIII comes to Sun Life Stadium Sunday. Visit wwe.com/shows/wrestlemania.
Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.