Wrestling fans around the world were shocked earlier this week at the sudden retirement of superstar and reigning WWE Heavyweight Champion Edge just a week-plus after defending his title at WrestleMania 27 against Alberto Del Rio.
WWE has reported that Edge, aka the R-Rated Superstar, aka Adam Copeland, is “suffering from numbness and uncontrollable trembling in his arms and hands…symptoms of neuropraxia,” which, according to Wikipedia is “a disorder of the peripheral nervous system in which there is a temporary loss of motor and sensory function due to blockage of nerve conduction.” The disorder is prevalent in both NFL players and in professional wrestlers.
Now, I don’t mean to break kayfabe or anything, but most of us are aware that there are plenty of made-up, contrived story lines in the world of pro wrestling. Yet, everything I’ve seen on Edge’s retirement suggests that his injuries are legit, and that since no doctor will clear him to compete again, his career is over.
If that’s the case, he’s had a phenomenal Hall of Fame career in WWE, and he’s completely warranted in hanging up his tights and walking away.
But what if it’s just another story line?
Sure, Edge underwent spinal fusion surgery back in 2003 and suffered from stenosis of the spine. Like I said, there’s little reason not to believe the stories claiming that the retirement is due to injury.
Except that this is the WWE.
I love pro wrestling as much as you, but...
How many times has the Undertaker risen from the dead? How many times have we heard about other wrestlers’ careers being resurrected after injuries or near-death experiences? How many competitors has Vince McMahon brought back into the fray after suggesting that they’ll be fired and gone forever?
SmackDown this week could very well be Edge’s last stand. And if it is, more power to him. He’ll enjoy his retirement from wrestling and his future in movies, commentating or hair modeling.
But if this is just another of the WWE’s dirty trick, isn’t that an injustice to all of those creaky veteran Randy "The Ram" Robinsons out there who really do struggle to live normal lives because of their chosen profession?