Well, there are two words in the English language that no sports fan or fan of professional wrestling ever wants to hear in the same sentence with the name of their favorite athlete or wrestler.
Those two words are injury and retirement. They are the words that will make a fan cringe.
When a fan hears the first, they wonder, "How long will so-and-so be out?" When a fan hears the second, their heart really sinks because they know that word means, "So long. Farewell."
Of course, it doesn't apply to a one Brett Favre, but I won't go there.
In this article, I am going to discuss the impending retirement of a young man I proudly call my hero. He is WWE Superstar, and current World Champion, Edge.
I admit, this is going to be tough to write because I know in a past interview in an Asheville, N.C. newspaper, Edge did say he had about two years left in wrestling. The fact that the story going around that his contract is up sometime in 2012 and that he plans to leave, just brings this dreaded reality that much closer.
As it has been reported, Edge said at a recent house show in his hometown in Toronto, "I might only have a couple more of these visits left in me, and I want to end my career in Toronto. Maybe, if 'Mania (is) here."
Even though I have been hearing the stories and reading interviews with him discussing the end of his career, to actually read this just breaks my heart. When I saw the video of his speech on YouTube, it just hurt so much, even though I know that he has had a great career and during all of it, he has suffered a lot of injuries.
I have to confess, I am going to miss him, even though I want him to have a happy life after wrestling.
I did watch wrestling as a young child with my dad late at night. I remember a wrestler named Stan "The Man" Stasiak was my favorite. However, my mother put the brakes on that, so I never watched wrestling until I moved to Lexington, Ky. in August of 1998 and got cable.
It was in September of 1998, when I was switching through channels, where I came across WCW Nitro, saw some wrestler hit another guy with a chair and I was hooked.
I would go back and forth between WWE and WCW for a bit, go online and check out various wrestling sites to follow wrestling and such. It was the infamous "Finger Poke of Doom" between Nash and Hogan that made me a WWE fan permanently.
I also befriended people online and one particular friend (RIP) would mail me old tapes with HBK and Hart and the Bulldogs, etc.
Well, now, how did I become such a huge Edge fan?
Well, when I first started, I admit, I liked his work a lot. I enjoyed his tag team work with his partner and best buddy, Christian. My goodness, were they awesome. I loved the "five-second poses" and the kazoos and streamers.
They were a fun team. I loved their feuds with the Hardys and the Dudleys.
Anyway, when they started pushing Edge as a singles competitor, I liked him. However, the guys I loved were HHH, Steve Austin and The Rock.
Unfortunately, the poor kid suffered a broken neck and was out for 14 months (he also suffered foot and hand injuries during the comeback process), so I didn't really get a huge chance to really get into him.
Even when he returned and he got the IC belt from Randy Orton, he got hurt again with a groin injury.
What really got me into him was when he became the most despised person on the planet in 2005. I don't know what it was, but it was like a light bulb went on. I loved how he took a very difficult situation and just turned himself into the biggest heel on the planet.
I just loved it.
I loved it when he cut his hair in July of that year as well.
I was just hooked.
Since then, I loved the "Rated R Couple" angle with Lita. I loved his feuds with John Cena and Mick Foley. I loved it when WWE put him and Randy Orton together and made Rated RKO.
I loved their feud with DX. Being the HHH and HBK fan, I loved seeing four of my favorites working together. That was such a fun time. His later work featuring his pairing up with Vickie Guerrero and being the Ultimate Opportunist, was also awesome.
When I met him in March of 2007 at an autograph signing, I was taken aback how sweet he was. Sometimes a fan can get so caught up in a wrestler's character, one can forget they are just playing a character.
In total, I have met him three times. He is truly a great guy.
When I read his book, I just really admired him that much more for overcoming a lot.
He has been a real inspiration to me. He has overcome so many devastating injuries: broken neck, torn groin, torn pectoral muscle, torn Achilles, etc.
He talks in his book about his upbringing, as he was raised by a loving single mother who worked two jobs. Thankfully, he won an essay contest for free training at Sully's Gym by Ron Hutchison and Sweet Daddy Siki, and the rest is history.
Edge has had a great career. He has won 10 World Titles, five Intercontinental Titles, 13 Tag Team Championships (with several different partners), he is a King of the Ring winner and has won the 2010 Royal Rumble, etc.
He has nothing left to prove in WWE.
I am going to miss him. I really look forward to seeing him every Friday night and every month on PPV. I really think it will be a huge loss when he does leave because he is so talented.
It really is a shame that injuries have taken such a toll on him. It really isn't surprising considering he did so many of those TLC matches and such.
However, he has to have a life after wrestling, and I want him to walk away in fairly good condition. His long-term health is more important at this point.
He will be missed, though.
So in closing, I want to say the following: Thank you, Edge. You have literally busted your rear to entertain me and millions of fans. It will be sad to see you leave, but you have had a great career and you deserve the best.
Thank you for everything.