"If you'd ask me if I'd go back and do all this again. All the way back from being hired by JR. If you'd ask me if I'd travel all the roads, log all the miles, hop on all the flights, all the sleepless nights, all the surgeries, all the injuries, the metal rods in my teeth, all of it. If you ask me if I’d do it again...in a heartbeat."
Those were the famous words muttered by Adam Copeland, aka Edge, on April 11, 2011 during an episode of Monday Night RAW.
Just 24 hours prior to that, Edge was defending his WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio at WrestleMania in front of 71,617 inside the Georgia Dome.
Edge was successful that night, managing to retain his title, but little did the WWE Universe know that everything was about to change.
Standing in front of a packed out arena on the following RAW, Edge announced that he had to retire from WWE due to severe neck issues that could have paralysed him or even cost him his life.
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In one of the most emotional and moving segments in RAW history, the then 37-year-old revealed all to those in attendance and the millions watching around the world.
He opened up and cut an emotional figure as he seemingly ended his professional wrestling career, going out on top as the World Heavyweight Champion.
Edge addressed all the issues that had hampered him during his career, and admitted that he was starting to feel numbness in his arms.
He then went on to reveal that he passed basic-strength tests prior to 'Mania, but was then sent by WWE for further testing. That is when an MRI result forced him to retire.
There was a serious chance if he continued to wrestle, he would suffer paralysis from the neck down, or even worse, lose his life.
If you're a WWE fan, you remember where you were when you watched Edge retire on Monday Night RAW. You remember the emotion you felt, and you remember just how hard it hit you.
His own emotion outpoured during the segment and it was visible for all to see just how badly it was hurting him that he had to retire and go out not on his terms.
This is WWE, this is World Wrestling Entertainment. Yes it's scripted, but the bumps and the spots are real.
Look at Paige. Look at Daniel Bryan. Both have had to retire due to the business. Yes the latter returned, and there's hope for Paige also, but it's a scary business.
Despite saying he wasn't going out on his own terms, Edge had won it all in the industry.
He got his first major push in WWE as a tag team specialist with his long-term best friend Christian. They put on absolute classics with the likes of The Hardy Boys and The Dudley Boyz, and their chemistry together shone through every TV set.
Whether it was wrestling, promos, sketches, whatever it was. Edge and Christian were gold.
Then it was time for the Rated-R Superstar to go solo. Edge even admitted that people doubted he'd make it as an individual. Boy how wrong they were.
Every feud he had was must-see TV. Whether he was battling for the Intercontinental Championship, the United States Championship, the WWE Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship.
He impressed in a team alongside Christian, but he thrived as a solo competitor.
Whether he was a heel or a face, it didn't matter to Edge, he'd work it. He could go from the most hated guy in the company to the most loved in a drop of a dime. That's what separates the good from the great.
It was unquestionable, Edge was on the fast track to greatness and to the Hall of Fame.
That night on RAW when he announced his retirement, it felt like WWE had truly lost a great. He was so accomplished in the ring and was so accomplished on the microphone. He simply made everything look so easy, and that's a good measure of defining greatness.
Lo and behold, on March 31, 2012, Edge was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
And that's where we thought Edge's story with WWE would end. An illustrious career which was sadly cut short but then acknowledged and remembered a year later.
But this is WWE. Never say never when it comes to WWE.
August 11, 2019 is the next important date in Edge's remarkable comeback story.
It was SummerSlam and it was in his hometown of Toronto, Canada. Of course, he was going to make an appearance at one of WWE's biggest pay-per-views, but getting physical was surely out of the question?
Edge speared Elias that night, and although it wasn't anything major like a match or a crazy spot, it was a glimpse. A tease.
Fast forward a few months and then reports emerged that the now 46-year-old had signed a new contract with WWE. The details of said contract were not revealed, but it raised suspicions and certainly attracted a lot of attention.
However, if you asked him straight out was he returning, he'd still say no, as he did many times on Twitter.
Then comes the Royal Rumble on Sunday.
Everyone was talking about it, there were murmurs that he could be back. Those murmurs then turned into reality when number 21 came down to the ring for the main event.
You think you know me
POP. A pop that only the true greats get. The place erupted and rightfully so.
SPEAR. SPEAR. Two quick spears burst Edge back into the spotlight, and he looked absolutely incredible doing it. Shredded in terms of physique and agile around the ring.
Yes he got eliminated by Roman Reigns, finishing third, but that wasn't the point. That wasn't the important part. The important part was that Edge, the Rated-R Superstar, one of the greatest of all-time, was back in the ring.
If you ask me if I’d do it again...in a heartbeat
Edge is getting his chance to do it again. And no matter how WWE book him, or not matter what he does from now until he retires again, it's going to be an enjoyable journey.
Not just for Edge, but for the entire WWE Universe.
To end, like the great man himself said on RAW last night, "Listen, I'm not fooling myself. I don't know how long this will last. I don't know how long it's going to last. But I hope that all of you join me on this ride."
We will, Edge. We will.News Now - Sport News