Being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame is arguably the highest honor that can be bestowed upon anyone in the wrestling industry. But for this year's Hall of Fame headliner Edge, it must be a little bittersweet.
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."
Overall, you've held more WWE titles than anyone else in history, and
set other records in WWE. You obviously accomplished quite a bit in your
career. But since your career was ended abruptly and unexpectedly, is
there anything you had hoped you could do before you retired that you
weren't able to accomplish?
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
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.
Do you think you might want to serve some sort of on-air mentor role,
maybe if they did another season of Tough Enough or something like that?
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
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],
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something like that.