It's finally happened. It's been a sad day for wrestling fans everywhere, and many of us saw it coming. However, I don't think anyone predicted it would happen this soon.
For those of us who have been living under a rock or missed Raw this past Monday, you've missed perhaps the biggest bombshell of the year. Adam Copeland, AKA Edge, has made the painful decision to retire from the squared ring after 19 years of wrestling and 15 years in the WWE.
After numerous injuries, especially considering the nature of his previous neck surgery and the advice given to him, I don't think anyone can or does blame the guy for calling it a day.
I know Edge is unlikely to read the wrestling dirtsheets, let along this site and this post, but I think I say for every other writer and reader on this site how much we will miss Edge, the wrestler, and how much we appreciate what he's done for the WWE and wrestling throughout his career.
However, having said that, although Edge has retired from the squared circle, I think there will always be a place for Edge within the WWE either on-air or backstage. I don't think it would surprise anyone if Edge decided to take a long, well-deserved break from the WWE, but after a few months or a year or two, there would always be a place somewhere in the company for Edge.
Considering the state of WWE losing some big name draws in recent years from Shawn Michaels to Batista and now Edge, the young guys need to be pushed to take over and become the next generation of icons. Edge could come back and play an important part in that process.
Also, considering the recent business goals of the WWE to advance and expand into new fields of entertainment, Edge could become the next Steve Austin in terms of becoming the WWE's action movie star and representative.
Edge was perhaps one of the best talkers in WWE throughout his tenure and even more so in recent years. Edge as both a face and heel has been able to get himself over with his mouth alone and sometimes he had me loving or hating him before he'd even had a chance to step into the ring and either back up what he said or cheat and play the coward.
I think some would agree he had a voice that sells matches and has gotten himself over. I don't think it would be too difficult for him to get other, younger wrestlers over.
Wrestling commentators have been described as storytellers and their role in calling the matches is key. Edge could make a good face commentator which could get the crowd into believing in guys like Daniel Bryan or John Morrison, who can't talk for themselves or drag fans into the moments that happen in matches and ring antics.
A good example of the latter would perhaps be JR's commentary during the WCW Invasion when Kurt Angle came out with the milk truck and sprayed down the alliance which, while hilarious and entertaining, made the event even more memorable (see here). Or how about JR's reaction at Wrestlemania 13 at the end of Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin and how his praising of Stone Cold made some think, "Wow, this guy is the real deal."
I'm not saying that Edge could be the next Jim Ross, but if we look at how well other ex-wrestlers have done on between the commentators desk, like Jerry "the King" Lawler, Taz, Mick Foley and, more recently, Booker T. It just goes to show these guys have a lot to offer.
Also given the state that some believe WWE's commentary is in at the moment, a new voice behind the desk of a guy WWE knew and respected could be a breath of fresh air and could add a new dynamic to either Raw and SmackDown.
Perhaps it is an option for Edge; however, it might be wasting some of his talents by having him restricted to behind a commentator's desk instead of in front of the camera.
Edge has a voice which is easy on the ears, and if he's not in the ring as a wrestler, why not use him to cut promos for guys who can't, and at the same time bring back the old tradition of the manager?
To some degree some WWE superstars have no issue inside the ring, but on the mic there are some who perhaps management and the fans think deserve to be higher up the card. Why not use Edge, a man who could still cut a promo as a face or heel do so for someone else? It's what Paul Heyman in numerous interviews and shoots has highlighted was key to some wrestler's success: exaggerate their strengths and hide their weaknesses. Or in this case, let someone else turn a weakness into a positive.
The once Rated-R superstar could open up his own manager's service or create his own wrestling stable similar to something like Camp Cornette.
It's not only the fact that Edge can talk that would make him a good manager, but the fact that he can sell matches with his body and facial expressions. Perhaps like me you could imagine Edge pacing outside the ring as the wrestler he represents is getting seven shades of blue beaten into his head and on the verge of getting pinned. It is also just as easy to imagining him getting involved on the apron or distracting the referee.
The tradition of a manager may be for many fans of the old, tired fat guy who stands at ringside either holding a tennis racket or an old-fashioned brick mobile telephone but with a new decade can come a new breed of manager.
But there is another option for Edge if he would prefer to keep himself off camera and live the rest of his life low-key.
Edge has changed throughout his career in terms of his wrestling style and has been involved in some of the most extreme matches imaginable. He helped pioneer the TLC match and has competed in everything from last-man-standing matches to the Elimination Chamber and produced some of the best spots in wrestling. Edge perhaps holds a high level of creativity which could be pasted on the other wrestlers.
Also, considering his 19 years in the business, he must have learnt so much from guys backstage, both active wrestlers and older guys willing to offer him advice. Advice that could be passed on to the next generation of superstars. Although, in whatever job Edge may choose to do after his wrestling career, he will perhaps always be able to pass on his experience to the next generation.
From my understanding of the job of a road agent, which is based upon the knowledge of other outsiders looking into an unfamiliar business, it seems that they act as middle-men between the writers and the talent and help book the spots and way matches go down. Considering WWE has a lot of high-flyers like Sin Cara or guys who are still trying to define themselves like Kofi Kingston, certain spots and actions within a match could really get them the push they need to move up the card.
The fact that Edge has been in so many styles of match could perhaps give him more knowledge the way these guys look at a match like this or could help book the match in a way which the older road agents like Arn Anderson, who has never competed in a TLC match or Money in the Bank match have thought about before.
Also considering Edge's promo skills, he maybe able to teach some guys how to talk or tell some guys what they are lacking. Perhaps Edge if he wanted to stay part-time or stay off the road, could work for the WWE as an ambassador to help promote the WWE and its events. This option could also help the WWE if Edge was to be used in a different capacity outside of wrestling.
Let's face it, the WWE is trying to rebrand itself as an entertainment company and one of the main ways it is trying to do so, it seems, is through the big screen. Just look at the poster and try and tell me if you didn't know that Edge was a wrestler, you might guess that he was a rock star or movie star. He even had a cameo appearance in Highlander: Endgame, which would probably make me want to watch it if not for the fact that I've seen the first Highlander film and was not impressed.
So far ex-wrestlers like the Rock and Steve Austin have stepped in front of the camera, the first one becoming a Hollywood movie star. Still active wrestlers like John Cena, Triple H, Ted DiBiase, Big Show and now Randy Orton have stepped in front of the camera in either action, comedy or serious films; maybe it's about time Edge became WWE Studios poster boy and represent the brand. Edge could become big star whom they could build several films around if the first would happen to be successful and gave the studios some sort of credibility.
Given Edge's emotional and physical performance in the ring, perhaps he may be able to become the next Rock in terms of making it big in Hollywood in the way guys like John Cena and Triple H have failed to do (by which I mean be accepted by Hollywood and appearing in mainstream films, not leaving the WWE or wrestling to pursuit it for a few years).
With rumours also of a WWE TV channel in the near future, Edge could perhaps become the channel's host or a TV presenter or personality if needed.
It seems time will tell.
Let's be real. This isn't going to be the last time we see Edge and no, before some smart-ass says it, I doubt we'll see him on next month's TNA PPV. Edge is a WWE good through and through, but he also loves the business too much to just completely leave it behind.
It's cliché, but when a door closes another opens somewhere, and while we may have seen the last of Edge the wrestler, we have not seen the last of Adam Copeland.
There are so many new exciting possibilities for Edge to take now he is retired, but it seems time will tell all. Personally I'd love to see him do all four of these jobs, but only one man knows what he wants.
As the picture above shows, Edge is a smart man, and whatever he's planning we will know about in good time. I also know some don't think Edge will actually retire, especially given the nature of the wrestling business, but while I personally think his speech from Raw was somewhat not as heart-wrenching as I imagined, I think we may need to wait until Friday night to hear his last speech when tears may flow and even hardened internet wrestling fans need a tissue.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment.
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