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Edge's Career Explained Following His WWE Retirement Announcement
Edge signaled he plans to retire from the WWE in a year, so we thought it's a good time to look back at his storied career.
With 31 to his name, Edge has won more titles than anyone in WWE history and is widely regarded as a true legend of wrestling with an improbable rise to the top and a lot of bumps along the way.
Training And Debut
Edge loved wrestling from a young age. He even won a superlative in his high school yearbook for “most likely to win the WWE Championship." Around that time, he won free wrestling lessons at his local gym in an essay contest. After Edge graduated from Humber College, where he began training three days a week.
He made his professional debut in Toronto in 1992 under the ring name Sexton Hardcastle. Over the next few years, he wrestled for various promotions across Canada, the U.S. and Japan before a short stint in WCW. In 1996, Bret Hart’s manager, Carl De Marco was hired by WWE as the President of WWE Canada and pushed for Edge’s hiring.
With that, Edge began wrestling with WWF for $200 per week while the company paid off his college debt, but he didn’t have an official contract yet. This meant he was allowed to wrestle for other promotions. He wrestled in Canada and trained with Christian under the tutelage of Hart who put in a good word at the WWF for them.
In 1997, Edge finally received a developmental contract with WWF and debuted on RAW on June 22, 1998.
Tag Team Champion
His first major feud in WWF came when he, Gangrel, and Christian formed a trio called The Brood. Gangrel betrayed them, joining their new rivals, Matt and Jeff Hardy. This was the start of their infamous Hardy Boyz feud.
At WrestleMania 2000, Edge and Christian captured the Tag Titles in a wild match against the Dudleys and Hardys that led to the creation of the TLC match. The teams continued to feud and pass the title around including winning the first triple threat Tag Team TLC match at SummerSlam 2000 and the rematch at WrestleMania X-7, which is considered one of the greatest tag team matches ever.
At the 2001 Royal Rumble, Edge and Christian lost their titles to the Dudley Boyz. It was around this time Edge emerged as a singles star following his shocking 2001 King of the Ring victory.
He went on to win the Intercontinental title at SummerSlam but was betrayed by Christian and the two feuded for a while. Edge eventually lost to Christian at Unforgiven 2001.
Afterward, Edge was drafted to SmackDown. He formed a team with Rey Mysterio and they made it to the finals of the new SmackDown Tag Team Championship tournament. Their match was voted match of the year 2002 by the Wrestling Observer.
After Mysterio and Edge split, Edge suffered his first serious neck injury, which sidelined him for over a year. In March 2004, Edge returned and was drafted to RAW where he quickly captured his fifth Intercontinental Title by defeating Randy Orton. Edge successfully defended the title numerous times, but was stripped of it by Eric Biscoff after a groin tear.
Singles Career and World Championship
When Edge returned, he had a new, violent mean streak. He began pursuing the World Title and started a feud with Shawn Michaels. Edge won their match at the 2006 Royal Rumble and rode his momentum to WrestleMania 21 where he also won the first Money in the Bank match.
Edge eventually lost the title to Cena as well as a subsequent rematch, and he blamed the second loss on special guest referee, Mick Foley, which began one of the most violent feuds in WWE history. It culminated in a hardcore match at WrestleMania 22 that Edge won.
At June’s One Night Stand event, Edge helped RVD beat Cena for the WWE Title. Edge then won a number one contenders match and on the July 3, 2006 episode of RAW, he won his second WWE Championship by pinning RVD. This would reignite the feud between Cena and Edge, which became one of WWE’s most intense rivalries.
Edge retained the title numerous times via disqualification and cheating, prompting a TLC match for the Championship challenge from Cena that Edge lost.
On the Oct. 2, 2006 episode of RAW, DX interfered with Edge’s chance at the WWE Championship, which forced him to approach Randy Orton and ask for help in fending off his new foes. The two formed the unlikely team of Rated-RKO. A few weeks later on RAW, the two defeated Roddy Piper and Ric Flair for the Tag Team Championship.
Rated-RKO continued their rivalry with DX before finally losing the titles to the all-star team of HBK and John Cena. That's when Edge made a bold move by calling out the Money in the Bank holder at the time, Mr. Kennedy. Edge challenged him to a match for the briefcase and won, becoming the only superstar to hold the contract but not win it via a ladder match.
On May 11, Edge cashed in his contract against an injured Undertaker on SmackDown to become World Heavyweight Champion. Edge successfully defended his title before another torn Pectoral forced him to give it up.
When he returned, Edge began an on-screen relationship with SmackDown General Manager, Vickie Guerrero, who was able to grant Edge another championship opportunity. At One Night Stand 2008, Edge regained the title for the third time after Guerrero tilted a match against The Undertaker in his favor.
Unfortunately for Edge, CM Punk gave him a taste of his own medicine and cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to take the title.
Edge laid low for a few months before making a surprise return to SmackDown, replacing Jeff Hardy in a triple threat for the WWE Championship that he won. The following month at No Way Out, he failed to defend his title in the Elimination Chamber. Later that night, he attacked Kofi Kingston, who was supposed to compete in the second Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship and took his place.
Edge ended up defeating Mysterio and winning the match. After losing the title to Jeff Hardy at Extreme Rules 2009, he returned to the Tag Team Championships with Chris Jericho. Edge then suffered an achilles tear that doctors claimed would sideline him for more than a year.
Only seven months later, though, Edge returned as a surprise entry in the Royal Rumble match, eliminating John Cena. From there, he appeared on the Oct. 29 SmackDown in which he won a Triple Threat match, becoming the World Heavyweight Championship contender. At TLC 2010, he defeated Mysterio, Kane, and Alberto Del Rio to seize his sixth Heavyweight Championship.
First Retirement And Return
After defending his Championship at WrestleMania 27, Edge appeared on RAW to deliver a shocking and emotional blow to the WWE Universe: Doctors had diagnosed him with Cervical Spinal Stenosis, forcing him to retire or risk death.
Fans cried as Edge’s emotions poured out while he thanked them for making his dreams come true and joining him on his wild ride. He relinquished his title that night and left WWE.
While Edge appeared sporadically on WWE television over the next few years, it never felt the same. Fans knew he was itching to wrestle.
Rumors ran rampant that Edge would return, but none of them seemed realistic until 2020. At the Royal Rumble, Edge made a surprise return by entering the match at No. 21. In what's been called the most triumphant return ever, the moment elicited one of the loudest crowd reactions in wrestling history.
Unfortunately, Edge tore his tricep for a third time while battling Randy Orton soon after. Seven months later, he returned and proclaimed he would win the 2021 Royal Rumble. Despite entering the match at No. 1, Edge became the third person to ever win from that spot.
At WrestleMania 37, Roman Reigns dominated both Daniel Bryan and Edge to retain the WWE Championship. Edge then lost his Championship rematch to Reigns due to interference from Seth Rollins. He and Rollins then feuded for the next few months before Edge won their trilogy of matches.
On the Feb. 21, 2022 episode of RAW, Edge started a new faction called Judgment Day with Finn Balor, Damian Priest, and Rhea Ripley. However, they soon turned on their creator.
That takes us to RAW last week wherein Edge defeated Damian Priest in the main event before announcing his retirement next year. Only time will tell if this was a true confirmation of retirement. If it is, we still have another year left to watch Edge live his dreams and we should soak up every moment.
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