In the weeks leading up to this past Monday night's RAW program, Edge had been giving hints that he was nearing the end of his rope. In what was much of a surprise, Edge announced his sudden retirement, citing that recent MRI results lead to this decision.
His announcement came after he successfully defended his heavyweight title at WrestleMania XXVII, beating Alberto Del Rio. The unexpected news ends his 13-year career with the WWE, a career that saw him win the World Title 11 times, as well as many other illustrious accomplishments.
The Rated-R Superstar underwent a spinal surgery in 2003, which shelved him for almost a year until finally being able to return to competition. Over the years, his body continued to take a beating, and his spinal column narrowed, which has left Edge with numbness and trembling in his arms and hands.
He debuted in-ring back in 1998 before being teamed with his storyline brother, Christian. They would go on to become arguably one of the best tag-teams in WWE history. Edge and Christian scored their first big win at WrestleMania 2000, defeating the Hardy Boyz and Dudley Boyz in a triangle ladder match to win the tag team titles, one of many reigns as tag-team champs. This match led to the creation of the TLC match, which these three teams would make famous over the years.
Alongside all of his success in the tag-team arena, Edge became a powerhouse in singles' competition. He ruled the Intercontinental division, winning the title on several different occasions. That culminated in the unification of the Intercontinental Championship and United States Championship after he defeated Test at Survivor Series in 2001.
At New Year's Revolution 2006, Edge was disqualified in his match with Ric Flair, but later cashed in his Money in the Bank contract just after the conclusion of the main event, the Elimination Chamber, where John Cena had retained his WWE Championship. Two minutes and two spears later, the "Ultimate Opportunist" had won his first World Title.
Always a contender to the title, Edge accumulated an impressive 11 WWE title reigns. He had an impressive arsenal of moves which he has developed during his career, including the Electric Chair Drop, Downward Spiral, Edge-O-Matic, One-Man Con-Chair-To, Edge-u-cator, Edge-i-cution, and most famously, his devastating Spear.
Whether he was a heel or a hero, Edge had what it took, both on the mic and in the ring, to become a complete WWE superstar. He worked his way up from the bottom of the totem pole to become one of the most successful wrestlers ever to get into the squared-circle.
His retirement signals the end of an era and now the torch can be passed to the new generation. During his early years, the locker room was filled with big-time names, guys like Triple H, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Kane, Undertaker, Hardy Boyz, Dudley Boyz, Big Show, Ric Flair, and Shawn Michaels, just to name a few. With few remaining, Edge is one of the last from a truly golden era in WWE wrestling.
He's a sure-fire Hall of Fame inductee with an impressive resume and certainly well deserved for all that he has done for the WWE and the sports entertainment world. Edge has been a part of so many memorable matches throughout his career and he'll forever be a face of the WWE and a role model for those looking to break into the business.
Thank you Edge.