AS I SEE IT 2/3: Edge gives us a Rumble moment to remember
Well, the road to Wrestlemania has begun. We also got a reminder of why in wrestling…you never…ever… say never.
We react to matches, and we react to stories being told, or even to great spots. But there are very few real MOMENTS like we saw at the Royal Rumble when, after nine years, Edge returned to wrestling. The Rumble is usually one of my favorite WWE PPVs in the wrestling year. One or two old faces usually make an appearance. Every year (except this one) Kofi Kingston finds a creative way or two to avoid elimination. There’s a story that we know will be told. We know the table will be set for Wrestlemania.
But there aren’t moments like we saw January 26.
Any wrestling fan…any WWE fan…remembers the April 11, 2011 RAW where, seemingly out of nowhere, Adam Copeland emotionally talked about his career and physical toll wrestling takes on those in it, talking about his earlier neck injury and cervical vertebral fusion. He then stated that he had recently felt numbness in his arms, and while able to passed basic-strength tests prior to Wrestlemania, WWE made him get a MRI result which showed cervical spinal stenosis. Much like Bryan Danielson with his concussion diagnosis, doctors would not clear him to be in the ring, with concerns of Edge potentially suffering neck-down paralysis or worse.
From all appearances, Copeland seemed to have started a successful new career as an actor, which included playing Kjetill Flatnose, a recurring character on the History Channel’s “Vikings” as well as Dwight Hendrickson, one of the leads on the popular SyFy television series “Haven” a 2011 recurring guest arc on Sanctuary, and an installment of the popular film franchise Highlander: Endgame, and the WWE produced Bending the Rules opposite Jamie Kennedy. Copeland’s other television appearances include playing himself on shows such as Clash Time, the Weakest Link, Mind of Mencia, Deal Or No Deal, and MADtv.
But then recently, rumors had been making their way around. There was even a picture, actually from years back, of Edge staring at an open suitcase with his gear obviously visible. He did his best to try to deny them, as late as the day of the Rumble with an Instagram post:
“Mom is at work and Dada and the girls are having an Octonaut Pizza party. Ruby is still mastering the mask. Cape and masks courtesy of a certain Psycho Killer. That sentence is very odd. I occupy a strange corner of the world. Thanks @nxtciampa”
Those online weren’t buying it…but most fans figured they were only hoping.
Then came the Rumble, the buzzer, and “You think you know me” played, followed by what was legitimately one of the biggest WWE crowd pops in years. You know it’s a big crowd pop when it literally blasts over the top of the entrance music after the first few notes.
Beth Phoenix’s tweet shortly afterwards(?) about what happened was a hilarious followup:
“Hey Adam…I got a sitter for Sunday…what do you want to do for date night? “
Last Monday in the main event segment, Edge came out and spoke to the crowd…followed by Orton. Orton, who’s been sort of babyfacing it in recent weeks, started reminiscing about Team RKO, and suggesting they get together again…before what we all had to know was coming, an RKO on Edge, then doing a conchairto on Edge. Of course, everyone concerned sold it as another neck injury to Edge.
So it looks as though we’ll get Edge vs. Randy Orton at Wrestlemania, unless Vince McMahon feels moved to rush it after the two firings of WWE’s co-Presidents, Michele Wilson and George Barrios last week, which came as a prelude to what are presumably negative fourth quarter FY 2019 and or overall FY 2019 financials later this week.
Whenever it is, the road to get there ought to be fun….as beginning tonight on Monday Night RAW, Orton tells fans “why he did it”.
On a sadder note last weekend, we saw the tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, as well as two of Gianna’s basketball teammates, their parents, and the pilot of the helicopter flying them to a basketball game at Brand’s Mamba Basketball Academy. It served as a reminder to always tell those in your life that you love them, and to put aside grudges whenever possible, for last Sunday proved all too well that we aren’t promised tomorrow.
Even Super Bowl Sunday served as another such reminder of the same message, as it was the third anniversary of the death of Philadelphia wrestling superfan and friend Kevin Hogan in a tragic car accident. As I read social media this past weekend, Hogan’s passing is still mourned among wrestling fans and friends in as real a way as millions will mourn Bryant’s death will be in the years to come.
Until next time…