Adam Joseph Copeland (October 30, 1973) is a Canadian actor and retired professional wrestler better known by his ring name Edge. He is best known for his time with WWE, formerly the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) for being the 2012 WWE Hall of Famer and the 11th time WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Copeland was trained by former professional wrestlers Sweet Daddy Siki and Ron Hutchinson. Throughout the 1990s, he wrestled in North American independent promotions early in his career. During his time in these promotions, he competed in singles and tag team competition, the latter with Christian Cage, his storyline brother. In 1997, Copeland signed a developmental deal with the WWF and began competing for the company the following year.
After signing with the WWF, he began competing under the ring name Edge. In June 1999, he won the WWF Intercontinental Championship, making it his first title reign with the company. In mid-1999, he and Cage, now going by just Christian, formed an alliance of their own, which led to them winning the WWF Tag Team Championship on seven different occasions. During this time, they gained notoriety in the tag team division, partly due to their participation in Tables, Ladders, and Chairs matches. The team, however, parted ways in 2001.
Overall, Edge has won 31 Championships in WWE, including eleven World Championships (four WWE Championships and a record seven World Heavyweight Championships), five Intercontinental Championships, one United States Championship, 14 Tag Team Championships (a record 12 World Tag Team Titles and two WWE Tag Team Championships), and is one of only two wrestlers (Kurt Angle being the other) who has held every currently active male Championship in WWE.
In addition to his Championship accolades, Copeland won the 2001 King of the Ring tournament, the inaugural Money in the Bank ladder match in 2005, and the Royal Rumble match in 2010 making him the only wrestler in history to achieve all three of those accomplishments.
Aside from professional wrestling, Copeland has appeared in the 2000 fantasy film Highlander: Endgame and made guest appearances on television shows, including The Weakest Link, Mind of Mencia, Deal or No Deal, and MADtv.
Copeland was born on October 30, 1973 in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, to Judy Copeland, a single mother, who worked two jobs to support her son. To this day, he has never met his father, nor seen a picture of him. At a young age, he became interested in professional wrestling. His favorite wrestlers included Mr. Perfect, Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Ricky Steamboat, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. When he was eighteen, Copeland won an essay contest, with Sully's Gym offering free wrestling training to whoever could write a good essay, explaining why they would want to become a professional wrestler. As the result of his win, he was trained by Sweet Daddy Siki and Ron Hutchinson in Toronto. Copeland put his wrestling aspirations aside, to help pay the bills. He held numerous jobs and decided to go to Humber College, where he graduated with a diploma in radio broadcasting.
Professional wrestling career
Throughout the 1990s, Copeland wrestled on the independent circuit in Ontario and the Great Lakes region of the United States under the name Sexton Hardcastle. He became a part of the tag team Sex and Violence with Joe Legend. During 1997, Sex and Violence became part of a larger stable known as Thug Life, made up of Legend, Hardcastle, Christian Cage (Copeland's childhood friend Jason Reso), Bill Skullion, and Rhino Richards. During his independent career, he won the ICW/MWCW Midwest Unified Tag Title holder alongside Joe.
The duo of Hardcastle and Cage were known as Hard Impact before changing their name to The Suicide Blondes. They also worked in Japan under the name the Canadian Rockers. Copeland also once wrestled under the name Damon Striker (although Copeland writes it as Damien Stryker in his book) on an episode of WCW Pro against Meng and Kevin Sullivan. In his autobiography, Copeland states that it was his worst ring name to date.
Copeland was asked to wrestle in a World Wrestling Federation (WWF) match in 1996, now known as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Canadian wrestler Bret Hart, who saw Copeland wrestle, put in a good word for Copeland, which ultimately resulted in Copeland receiving a developmental contract with the WWF in 1997. Coincidentally, Copeland as Sexton Hardcastle first wrestled for the WWF the night after Hart left the company.
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (1998–2011)
Debut; Edge and Christian (1998–2001)
In 1998, Copeland made his WWF television debut on the June 22 episode of Raw is War as Edge, a loner character who entered the arena through the crowd for his matches. His character's persona included him aimlessly walking around the city streets and assaulting innocent pedestrians. His first televised match was against Jose Estrada, Jr., which ended prematurely by countout when Edge performed a somersault senton from the ring to the outside, legitimately injuring Estrada's neck. In his first pay-per-view match at SummerSlam in August, he served as Sable's mystery tag team partner against Jacqueline and Marc Mero, and bodyslammed Sable onto Mero in a pinning position to pick up the win.
Edge was then placed in a feud against the vampire wrestler Gangrel. During the feud, Gangrel introduced Christian Cage (now going by just "Christian"), Edge's storyline brother, as his ally. Eventually, Gangrel and Christian convinced Edge to join them, and the three of them formed an alliance known as The Brood. The Brood as a whole was later abducted by and converted into The Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness. In May 1999, the Brood broke away from The Ministry after Christian was attacked by Ken Shamrock and forced to reveal the location of the captive Stephanie McMahon. The Undertaker chose to have Christian punished for his trespass, but Edge and Gangrel stood by him and betrayed The Undertaker leading to a brief feud with the Ministry.
Edge captured his first singles championship, the WWF Intercontinental Championship, on July 24, 1999, defeating Jeff Jarrett at a house show in Toronto, Ontario. He lost the title the next night to Jarrett at Fully Loaded.
Later in the year, he was placed in a storyline angle with The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff). Soon, however, Gangrel betrayed both Edge and Christian and formed The New Brood with their enemies, The Hardy Boyz. They feuded with the Hardy Boyz, as they went onto compete in a ladder match at No Mercy in October for the "managerial services" of Terri Runnels and $100,000, which the Hardy Boyz won. At WrestleMania 2000 on April 2, Edge and Christian defeated the Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship in a Triangle Ladder match, which ultimately led to the creation of the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match (TLC).
Following this victory, Edge and Christian found success as a villainous duo, shifting their in-ring personas from borderline goth to a comedic pair of "cool dudes", winning the WWF Tag Team Title six more times (for a total of seven). During this time, their trademark became the "five second pose" where they performed a pose in the ring for five seconds "for the benefit of those with flash photography" to mock, insult, or otherwise amuse the fans. They also competed as a team in the first three TLC matches, winning the first two over The Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz, at SummerSlam in 2000 and then again at WrestleMania X-Seven. At the 2001 Royal Rumble, Edge and Christian were defeated by the Dudley Boyz and lost the World Tag Team title. They unsuccessfully attempted to regain the tag team title at No Way Out against the Dudley Boyz and the Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane), but they succeeded at WrestleMania X-Seven against the Dudley Boyz and The Hardyz in the second TLC match.
Singles competition (2001–2004)
Edge went on to solidify himself as an emerging singles competitor by winning the King of the Ring tournament in 2001. and the two feuded over Edge's Intercontinental Championship that Edge won at SummerSlam and later lost to Christian at Unforgiven, though, Edge captured the title later. Following this, Edge lost the Intercontinental title to Test and shortly afterwards won the WCW United States Championship from Kurt Angle. Edge defeated Test at Survivor Series to unify the Intercontinental Championship with the U.S. Championship.
The following year, Edge was placed in a feud with William Regal for the Intercontinental Championship. Edge, however, came up short in the feud. At WrestleMania X8, Edge found himself in a match with Booker T that was the result of Edge beating out Booker for a fictitious Japanese shampoo endorsement. Shortly after defeating Booker T at WrestleMania, Edge was drafted to the SmackDown! brand in the first WWE Draft Lottery. Upon arriving there, he began a feud with Kurt Angle, which culminated in Edge shaving Angle's head following a hair vs. hair match at Judgment Day in May. Two months later, he would end up winning the WWE Tag Team Championship (later renamed the World Tag Team Championship) alongside Hulk Hogan on July 4, 2002. He then formed a tag team with Rey Mysterio; the two participated in a tournament for the newly created and SmackDown!-exclusive WWE Tag Team Championship. They lost to Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit in the finals of the tournament at No Mercy, the match was voted match of the year by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. After they failed in winning the title, Mysterio and Edge defeated Los Guerreros in a number one contender's match on the October 24 edition of SmackDown! to earn a title shot. On the November 7 edition of SmackDown!, they defeated Angle and Benoit in a two out of three falls match to win their first Tag Team Championship. They soon lost the tag titles to Los Guerreros in a Triple Threat Elimination match that also involved former champions Angle and Benoit at Survivor Series. After losing the title, Edge and Mysterio went their separate ways to focus on their singles careers.
In February 2003, Edge suffered a legitimate neck injury and had to undergo surgery with Dr. Lloyd Youngblood. Recovery kept him sidelined for almost a year. He was placed on the Raw brand in the WWE Draft after WrestleMania XX and returned to in-ring action shortly after that event. On the April 19, 2004 episode of Raw he and Chris Benoit won the World Tag Team Championship. They continued a close partnership even after losing the title, but it was disbanded when Edge won the Intercontinental championship at Vengeance from Randy Orton. Following a legitimate groin injury in a non-televised match, Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff stripped Edge of the Intercontinental title.
World Heavyweight Championship contender (2004–2005)
Upon his return, Edge began to show some villainous characteristics centering around his obsession for the World Heavyweight Championship. Edge, Chris Benoit, and Shawn Michaels received a title shot for Triple H's World Heavyweight Championship at Taboo Tuesday in October 2004. Michaels won the audience vote to receive the title shot, giving Edge and Benoit a tag team title shot. During the match, Edge abandoned his partner (although Benoit managed to win the title on his own) and instead interfered in the main event, costing Michaels the championship. On the November 1 episode of Raw, Edge and Benoit lost the World Tag Team Championship with Edge once again abandoning Benoit and sitting in a chair and watching the match. After the conclusion of the match, Edge attacked Benoit. In a November episode of Raw, both Edge and Benoit competed in a number one contender's battle royal, but they eliminated each other simultaneously at the conclusion of the match, resulting in a draw. As a result, Triple H was forced to defend the title in a triple threat match. In the match, Benoit locked on the Crippler Crossface on Edge, who shifted his weight putting Benoit's shoulders on the mat for a pin. This match also ended in a draw for Benoit and Edge, as Benoit made Edge submit at the same time the referee counted a pinfall for Edge. As a result, the World Heavyweight title was vacated the following week on Raw.
In January 2005, Edge competed in his first Elimination Chamber match at New Year's Revolution for the vacant World Heavyweight Championship. Shawn Michaels (acting as special guest referee) performed a superkick on Edge, in retaliation for an accidental spear by Edge, causing Edge to be the first eliminated. This led to a match at the Royal Rumble later in the month, in which Edge defeated Michaels. Subsequently, at WrestleMania 21, Edge won the first ever Money in the Bank ladder match, gaining himself a contract that gave him a shot at the World Heavyweight championship within one year.
Even though he was already a villain, Edge faced even more scorn from the fans due to Copeland's adulterous affair with WWE Diva Amy Dumas, known on-screen as Lita. Dumas had been the girlfriend of Copeland's close real life friend, Matt Hardy. When Dumas suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, she was put out of action, and it was during this time that Copeland began an affair with her while she was still in a relationship with Hardy. Shortly after the incident became public knowledge, WWE released Hardy resulting in even more backlash towards Copeland and Dumas.After Hardy returned, however, the real-life situation was translated into a storyline.
Edge was then paired with Lita in an angle where she betrayed her storyline husband Kane, which ended with a stretcher match that Edge won, but shortly before, Kane performed a tombstone piledriver on Lita. On the July 11 episode of Raw, Edge's match with Kane was interrupted when Matt Hardy made a surprising appearance. The situation was a real-life occurrence, with Hardy referring to Edge as "Adam" and issuing a threat to Lita as well. When Hardy was officially brought back to Raw, he and Edge continued their feud, including a match at SummerSlam where Edge defeated Hardy, causing Hardy to have excessive blood loss. They also competed in a Street Fight, which resulted in a no contest when Hardy performed a side effect on Edge off the entrance ramp into the sound speakers and other electrical equipment. They also fought in a Steel cage match at Unforgiven in September in which Hardy defeated Edge. The feud culminated in a "Loser Leaves Raw Ladder Match" at WWE Homecoming on October 3, which Edge won, causing Hardy to move to the SmackDown! brand.
Shortly after the Homecoming victory, Edge suffered a legitimate torn pectoralis major muscle that kept him shelved for several weeks. During his time off, he starred in his own talk show segment on Raw entitled The Cutting Edge, dubbing himself the "Rated-R Superstar". Edge used his talk show to start a feud with Ric Flair following Flair's well-publicized arrest in connection with a road rage incident. Edge eventually began using The Cutting Edge as a soapbox to run down Flair until, after weeks of public mockery, Flair eventually showed up and attacked Edge.
WWE Champion (2006)
Edge and Ric Flair formally met at the New Year's Revolution event in 2006 in a match for Flair's Intercontinental Championship, which resulted in Flair retaining, after Edge was disqualified. Later that night, after the conclusion of the main event match, the Elimination Chamber, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon appeared on stage and declared that WWE Champion John Cena had to defend the WWE Championship, after he just retained. As a result, Cena was forced to defend the title against Edge, who cashed in his Money in the Bank contract at that moment. Edge defeated Cena in less than two minutes after two spears to become WWE Champion for the first time. In an interview conducted after the event, on WWE.com, Edge announced that he and Lita would have "hot, nasty, sex" in the middle of the ring on Raw the following night to celebrate his victory. On Raw, Edge held up to that promise by engaging in foreplay with Lita until they were interrupted by Flair, who called Edge a disgrace and "that he was horrible in the sack." Flair, however, ended up on the receiving end of a con-chair-to on the announcers' table until Cena came out to Flair's aid and performed an FU on Lita. The "Live Sex Celebration" segment earned Raw a 5.2 rating, the highest Raw rating in over a year, leading Edge to call himself the "most watched champion ever".
Three weeks later, at the Royal Rumble, Edge lost the WWE Championship back to Cena. He then lost a return match on a special Thursday episode of Raw held in February. Edge blamed special guest referee Mick Foley for his loss, claiming biased officiating and attacked him. At Saturday Night's Main Event, Foley got revenge on Edge by assaulting him with a con-chair-to. They feuded until WrestleMania 22 in April, where Edge defeated Foley in a Hardcore match by spearing him through a flaming table but suffered second degree burns.
Following his feud with Foley, Edge once again challenged John Cena for the WWE Championship. Triple H was involved in a feud with Cena at the time, resulting in a triple threat match at Backlash, where Cena pinned Triple H to retain the title. After Backlash, Edge continued his feud with Mick Foley as they entered a triple threat hardcore match. Foley, however, betrayed his friend Tommy Dreamer with Edge's assistance. Edge and Foley then proclaimed that, because of their brutal match at WrestleMania, they were the true Hardcore Champions. At June's pay-per-view event One Night Stand, Edge, Foley, and Lita defeated Dreamer, Terry Funk, and Beulah McGillicutty in an Extreme rules tag team match. Later in the event, Edge interfered in the WWE title match between John Cena and challenger Rob Van Dam, helping Van Dam win the title. Edge, who won a number one contender's match for the WWE title to face Van Dam, was unable to win the title at Vengeance.
Two weeks later on Raw, Edge pinned Van Dam in a triple threat match, after blindsiding Cena with the title belt, to become WWE Champion for the second time. This angle re-ignited Edge's feud with Cena, and he lost by disqualification at Saturday Night's Main Event in order to retain the title. Subsequently, a match was made for the August event SummerSlam with the stipulation that if Edge disqualified himself, he would lose the title. At the event, Edge retained the title by pinning Cena after he hit him in the back of the head with a pair of brass knuckles, this occurred when the referee was not looking. The night after SummerSlam, Lita disposed of Cena's customized "spinner" belt into the Long Island Sound at Edge's command, who declared it the end of the "Cena era" in his life. Edge later unveiled the new "Rated R" version of the belt. Cena, however, interfered in Edge's match with a returning Jeff Hardy later that night, chasing him down to the outside of the building, assaulting him down, and tossing Edge into the Long Island Sound. The following week, Cena made a deal with Edge: if Edge could defeat him in a match for the WWE Championship, he would sign a contract to move to SmackDown!. Edge accepted, on the condition the match be a TLC match held at September's Unforgiven event in Edge's home town of Toronto. At the event, he lost the championship after Cena performed the FU on him, sending Edge crashing through two stacked tables from a ladder. At one point during the match, Cena locked in the STFU on Edge, who later said he was legitimately choked unconscious, the first time he had been knocked out in a match during his career.
Rated-RKO; World Heavyweight Champion (2006–2007)
On the October 2, 2006 episode of Raw, interference from the newly reformed D-Generation X (DX) (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) cost Edge his "final chance" at John Cena's WWE Championship in a Steel cage match, though their interference was a response to the interference of Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, led to Edge approaching Randy Orton and asking him to join forces to defeat DX, which Orton accepted and joined an alliance with Edge. The two formed the tag team Rated-RKO. Rated-RKO became the first to defeat DX since their reunion, and quickly dominated the Raw brand's tag team division to become tag team champions, making Edge a record holder of 11 World Tag Team Championship title reigns in his WWE career.
As part of the storyline angle, Rated-RKO attacked Ric Flair with steel chairs to enrage DX on November 27. At New Year's Revolution in January 2007, Rated-RKO faced DX in a title defense, but the match was declared a no-contest when Triple H suffered a legitimate injury during the match. With Triple H out of action, the team continued their on-screen rivalry with remaining DX member Shawn Michaels. Michaels teamed with John Cena to defeat Rated-RKO for the tag team championship on January 29, 2007. Edge and Orton suffered a series of losses to Cena and Michaels in the following months, building hatred towards one another. Edge and Orton also became rivals in their goals of achieving the WWE Championship. Neither Edge nor Orton won the championship, and they lost their claims as number one contenders after a failed match with Cena at Backlash in April.
On the May 7, 2007 episode of Raw, Edge defeated Mr. Kennedy to win his Money in the Bank title opportunity (Kennedy had suffered a legitimate injury prior to the match), making Edge a two-time Money in the Bank holder. On the May 11 episode of SmackDown!, Edge cashed in his newly won contract against The Undertaker, following Undertaker's title match against Batista in a Steel cage match. Following the match, a returning Mark Henry assaulted The Undertaker. As Henry was leaving, Edge came to the ring with the briefcase and demanded to wrestle The Undertaker, and eventually pinned him after a Spear to win his first World Heavyweight Championship. As a result of this victory, Edge became a part of the SmackDown! brand. Edge then began a feud with Batista and successfully defended his championship title against him at Judgment Day, in a Steel Cage match at One Night Stand, and a third and final time in a last chance match at Vengeance. Edge then began a feud with Kane after SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long announced Kane as the new number one contender for the World Heavyweight title. Edge was forced to relinquish the World title due to a legitimately torn left pectoral muscle injury on the July 20 episode of SmackDown! following an attack by Kane.
La Familia (2007–2009)
At November's pay-per-view event, Survivor Series, Edge made his return, interfering in a World Heavyweight Championship Hell in a Cell match between Batista and The Undertaker. The following SmackDown! show saw Edge and General Manager Vickie Guerrero make their relationship public, making his official in-ring return in a World title match against Batista on November 30, a match that ended after The Undertaker interfered. At Armageddon, Edge won the World Heavyweight Championship, after giving The Undertaker two chair shots and pinning the defending champion Batista (who had been Tombstoned by Undertaker prior) in a Triple Threat match. During the match, Edge used two look-a-likes to distract Batista and The Undertaker. It was later revealed that these look-a-likes were the Major Brothers, who were then repackaged as Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder. Edge also formed an alliance with Chavo Guerrero, nephew of Vickie Guerrero, and on the January 22, 2008 broadcast of ECW, he assisted Chavo in winning the ECW Championship from CM Punk, even though Chavo previously rebuffed Edge and allied himself with Rey Mysterio, Edge's scheduled opponent at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. The group eventually came under the name of La Familia. On the Valentine's Day episode of SmackDown, Edge proposed to Vickie, to which she accepted.
At WrestleMania XXIV, Edge lost the World Heavyweight championship to The Undertaker when he tapped out to the gogoplata. In a WrestleMania rematch, The Undertaker defeated Edge once again at Backlash to retain the World Heavyweight championship. Following Backlash, The Undertaker was stripped of the World title by Vickie Guerrero and faced Edge for the title at Judgment Day in May and then again at One Night Stand in a TLC match in June. The first match ended with a countout victory for The Undertaker but no champion was crowned due to the circumstances. The second match at One Night Stand saw Edge walk away champion, which also meant Undertaker was forced to leave the company.
On the June 30, 2008 episode of Raw, Edge lost the World title to CM Punk, after Batista assaulted Edge and prompted Punk to cash in his Money in the Bank contract and defeated Edge to win the World Heavyweight championship. On the July 4, 2008 episode of SmackDown, Edge took his frustrations out on Vickie because he lost the title and told her the wedding was off. The following week, however, after Guerrero saved Edge from a con-chair-to by The Big Show, Edge re-proposed, and the wedding was back on. On July 18, 2008 at the wedding reception, Triple H came out and showed a video of Edge cheating on Guerrero the day before with the wedding planner, Alicia Fox. The angle continued at The Great American Bash in July, when Fox attempted to hand Edge the WWE Championship belt to use as weapon against Triple H, but was stopped by Guerrero. Edge attempted to spear Triple H but hit Guerrero instead, with the distraction, Triple H performed a Pedigree on Edge to retain the WWE title. Edge attempted to apologize to Guerrero, even though he was seen talking to Fox, but she revealed to him that she had rehired The Undertaker and that Edge would face him in a Hell in a Cell match at SummerSlam. Edge then turned on La Familia during the August 8 episode of SmackDown, performing a one man con-chair-to on Chavo in the ring, and tossed Guerrero out of her wheelchair, effectively disbanding the faction. The following week, Edge verbally assaulted Guerrero, before he forced her to apologize to The Undertaker for what she did to him. He also mentioned to Guerrero, that it was because of her that La Familia suffered. At SummerSlam, The Undertaker defeated Edge, and after the match, Undertaker chokeslammed Edge off the top of a ladder and through the ring canvas, with flames rising from the hole.
On November 23, 2008 at Survivor Series, Edge returned to WWE after an introduction by SmackDown General Manager and his on-screen wife Vickie Guerrero, replacing Jeff Hardy in the Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship involving champion Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov. He pinned Triple H to become the WWE Champion for the third time in his career. The following month, Edge lost the title to Hardy at Armageddon in a Triple Threat match, which also featured Triple H. At the Royal Rumble, however, Edge regained the title in a no disqualification match, following Matt Hardy's interference. At the February event No Way Out, Edge lost the WWE title in an Elimination Chamber after being pinned by Jeff Hardy, being the first to be eliminated, with the title eventually being won by Triple H. Later that night, Edge inserted himself into the World Championship Elimination Chamber match after attacking Kofi Kingston and barricading himself inside one of the Chamber's pods, proceeding to win his eighth World Championship, last eliminating Rey Mysterio and taking the title over to SmackDown. At WrestleMania XXV in April, Edge lost the championship to John Cena in a Triple Threat match, which also included The Big Show. Three weeks later he regained the championship at Backlash, when he defeated Cena in a Last Man Standing match, after interference by The Big Show. After a successful defense against Jeff Hardy at Judgment Day, he lost the title to Hardy at Extreme Rules in a ladder match, and afterwards said some disparaging things to his on-screen wife, Vickie Guerrero. The following night, Guerrero resigned as the Raw General Manager due to being humiliated, and Edge came out to apologize. Instead, however, he claimed he married Guerrero because she had authoritative powers as the General Manager, and sought a divorce.
In June, Edge won the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship (the unified version of the World Tag Team Championship from the Raw brand and the WWE Tag Team Championship from the SmackDown brand) with Chris Jericho at The Bash after he and Jericho were inserted into the match as late entries just prior. On July 3, Edge suffered a torn Achilles tendon while competing at a live event in San Diego in a match against Jeff Hardy, and later underwent surgery. It was reported that he could be out of action for up to a year. During Edge's absence, Jericho replaced him with the Big show (forming Jeri-Show) and Jericho began to speak badly of Edge, mocking him for his injury.
Return from injury and retirement (2010–2011)
At the Royal Rumble event on January 31, 2010, Edge returned from injury by entering the Royal Rumble match as the twenty ninth surprise entrant. He quickly eliminated Jericho who had been the 28th. Ultimately, he won the match for the first time in his career after last eliminating John Cena. After Jericho won the Heavyweight Championship from the Undertaker during Elimination Chamber 2010, Edge went on to challenge Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXVI. However, Edge lost to Jericho in the match. The following month, Edge beat Jericho in a Steel cage match at Extreme Rules.
The following night at the 2010 WWE Draft, Edge was drafted back to the Raw brand, also costing Randy Orton a title shot against John Cena by spearing him in a Triple Threat match against Batista and Sheamus. On the April 30 episode of SmackDown, Edge turned on the fans by calling them "puppets" and later tried a sneak attack on Christian, thus becoming a villain once again. After being drafted to the Raw brand, Edge began a feud with his former Rated-RKO tag team partner Randy Orton, with both Edge and Orton gaining the upper hand over one another. Much of the antagonism stemmed of Randy's refusal to re-form Rated-RKO with Edge, as Edge wanted to pursue the tag team titles he had been stripped of. The two met in a match at May's Over the Limit pay-per-view, with the match resulting in a double countout. At Fatal 4-Way, Edge participated in a fatal four-way match that included Orton, Sheamus, and John Cena for the WWE Championship, though Edge failed to win the title.
The following month Edge participated in the Raw Money in the Bank ladder match at the Money in the Bank pay per view but failed to win the briefcase. Edge then went on to participate in the main event of SummerSlam in which he and six teammates were victorious in a seven-on-seven elimination tag team match against The Nexus. On the 900th episode of Raw, he disqualified himself, in the main event in a five-on-five elimination match against The Nexus. This saw him enter into a feud with the anonymous GM of Raw, during which the GM cost him several matches. At Night of Champions, Edge participated in a six pack elimination challenge for Sheamus's WWE Championship but once again failed to win the title. At WWE's Hell in a Cell PPV event, Edge defeated Jack Swagger. The next night on Raw, it was announced that he had been traded to the Smackdown brand for SmackDown's CM Punk due to him destroying the Raw GM computer turning him face and ending the feud between the two. On his SmackDown return, he defeated Jack Swagger in his first match. On the October 15, 2010 episode of SmackDown, he defeated Dolph Ziggler to become part of Team SmackDown at WWE's Bragging Rights PPV event. At the event, Edge won the cup for Team SmackDown alongside Rey Mysterio.
Soon after that, he entered a feud with World Heavyweight Champion Kane. He defeated Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio to become the number one contender for Kane's World Championship at WWE's Survivor Series PPV event, which ended in a draw. On December 19, 2010 Edge defeated Kane, Rey Mysterio, and Alberto Del Rio in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs PPV event to win the World Heavyweight Championship for a record sixth time and making him a ten time World Champion. After a successful title defense against Kane in a Last Man Standing Match, Edge would then feud with Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero up through the Royal Rumble and after. On the 600th episode of Smackdown on February 18, acting GM Guerrero fired Edge, and awarded the World Title to her (kayfabe) boyfriend Ziggler. Smackdown GM Teddy Long returned later that night, and rehired Edge. Edge would then defeat Ziggler to win back the World Title for the seventh time, and his 11th World Championship overall. After the match, Teddy Long fired Dolph and Vicky. At the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, Edge successfully defended his World Heavyweight Championship in an Elimination Chamber match by finally pinning Rey Mysterio. After he defended his championship, he was attacked by Alberto Del Rio, but was saved by the returning Christian. Edge and Christian briefly reunited to defeat Alberto and his NXT bodyguard Brodus Clay. At WrestleMania XXVII,(In his last WWE in-ring match) Edge successfully defended the World Title against Alberto Del Rio in the opening match.
On the April 11 episode of Raw, Edge announced that he had been diagnosed with spinal stenosis and would therefore follow his doctor's advice and retire from professional wrestling. Leading up to this announcement, he had reflected upon his previous neck injury where his cervical vertebrae had been fused, and mentioned feeling numbness in his arms and losing feeling in them. This was diagnosed as cervical spinal stenosis. Later that same week on the April 15 edition of SmackDown, Edge officially relinquished the World Heavyweight Championship.
After his retirement from Wrestling, Edge had made several "special apperances", the first being the week after retiring with Edge showing up at Alberto Del Rio's mock retirement party. The next would be at SummerSlam Fan Axcess with Edge discussing his future with WWE. At SummerSlam, Edge would briefly turn heel again attacking Randy Orton before turning on Christian, turning face again calling Christian a "whiney little bitch" several times before walking out. Edge would again return to host "The Cutting Edge" with Randy Orton and Mark Henry as guests. Rumors have come out over the internet with Edge going to be re-signed to WWE full-time to become the new GM of Raw SuperShow.
In early 2012, Edge was announced to be inducted into the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame
In 2000, he made a cameo appearance in the fantasy movie Highlander: Endgame, credited as "Road Bandit". During the appearance, actor Adrian Paul remarks "Looks like you've lost your edge, lad" after defeating him in a sword fight.
In March 2002, Copeland alongside other WWE Superstars appeared on the quiz show, the Weakest Link. He was voted out in the first round, and the eventual winner was Kane. On the August 6, 2006 episode of Mind of Mencia, Copeland appeared as Edge as a commentator for "The Royal Religious Rumble". He punched out an actor playing L. Ron Hubbard to stop Scientology from ruling the world and then speared another actor playing Tom Cruise. In March 2007 he alongside Randy Orton, John Cena, and Bobby Lashley appeared on Deal or No Deal. Weeks later he appeared on the sketch comedy show MADtv. Copeland appeared in a Slim Jim commercial where his spicy side causes chaos in a DMV, a restaurant and a hotel.
Edge: a Decade of Decadence, a DVD documentary of Copeland's life, was released in December 2008. The DVD illustrates his wrestling career dating back to 1998 when he entered the WWF.
Copeland used to play hockey with National Hockey League (NHL) player Aaron Downey. He is a fan of the NHL's New Jersey Devils. As a teenager, Copeland attended WrestleMania VI sitting in the eleventh row at ringside. He was cheering on WWF Champion Hulk Hogan against The Ultimate Warrior, and he credits this match with making him realize he wanted to be a wrestler. Twelve years later Copeland returned to SkyDome as a competitor at WrestleMania X8.
Copeland has been married two times. His first marriage was to Alanah Morley, the sister of Val Venis, whom he wedded on November 8, 2001. They divorced after three years on March 10, 2004. His second marriage was to Lisa Ortiz on October 21, 2004, but they soon divorced on November 17, 2005. It was said he had a real life relationship with Amy Dumas (aka Lita) however it was nothing more than a very close friendship with a mutual attraction due to the failing marriage/relationships with Lisa and Matt Hardy respectively. Copeland now resides in Asheville, North Carolina with his girlfriend, Charissa.
His autobiography, titled Adam Copeland on Edge, was published on November 4, 2004. Unlike most wrestlers who used "ghostwriters" to write their autobiographies, Copeland wrote the entire book himself, in longhand. Mick Foley wrote the foreword to his book. Copeland does not smoke. He claims he had his first cigarette when he was sixteen, hated it, and has not smoked since. Copeland has several tattoos. He has a tattoo of a red and black sun on his left upper biceps (which covers a tattoo of a muscular shark which resembled the Street Sharks), a star on his right upper biceps with several smaller stars below it, two skulls wearing bandannas, adorned with flowers and hearts, below said star tattoo, along with a tattoo of a cross on his left forearm, and another tattoo of a scroll like piece of paper that adorns the words Rise Above. All of Copeland's tattoos represent a stage in his career: his sun, which Copeland got while recovering from his neck injury, represents "looking towards brighter days." The cross tattoo represents his time with the Brood, and his star and skull tattoos represent his Rated R Superstar persona and his self-proclaimed status as the "Guns N' Roses of wrestling".
In March 2007, Copeland became a key figure in an alleged steroid ring and drug investigation. On March 19, Sports Illustrated posted an article on its website in its continuing series investigating a steroid and HGH ring used by a number of professional athletes in several sports. Then in a Sports Illustrated article rotated on August 30, 2007, Copeland was named one of 10 superstars found to have purchased steroids and other drugs from an online pharmacy. That article mentioned several current and former WWE wrestlers, including Copeland who was alleged to have obtained HGH. Copeland has previously admitted using steroids in April 2004 after neck surgery to see if, on the recommendation of a doctor, it would help him heal faster, on TSN's Off The Record with Michael Landsberg in January 2005. He said he felt it slowed him down, so he quickly got off the substance. According to Copeland, he took HGH after returning from a spinal fusion neck surgery. He was told by doctors that it would help the bones grow back around the screws and plate that were inserted into his neck. He claims to have taken blood tests, consulted doctors, studied the drug, and got prescriptions before deciding to take them.
- Finishing moves
- Downward Spiral (Leg hook reverse STO) – 1998
- Edgecator (Kneeling inverted sharpshooter) – 2001-2005, 2011; used rarely in between – innovated
- One man con–chair–to - used mainly in hardcore matches
- Spear, sometimes from the second or top rope
- Edgecution / The Impaler (Lifting DDT, sometimes dropped into a sitout position)
- Signature moves
- With Rey Mysterio
- 619 (Tiger feint kick) by Mysterio followed by a Spear or Edgecution by Edge
- Bombs Away (Simultaneous powerbomb (Edge) / springboard seated senton (Mysterio) combination)
- Catapult by Edge into a diving hurricanrana by Mysterio
- Double missile dropkick
- Hurricanrana by Mysterio into a Spear by Edge
- Powerbomb lift by Edge to Mysterio, Mysterio then moonsaults on to the opponent (the opponent(s) is usually standing outside the ring)
- Entrance themes
- World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
- "You Think You Know Me" by Jim Johnston (1998–1999)
- "Blood" by Jim Johnston (used as part of The Brood; 1998-1999)
- "On the Edge" by Jim Johnston (1999–2002, 2004)
- "Never Gonna Stop (The Red Red Kroovy)" by Rob Zombie (2002–2004)
- "Metalingus" by Alter Bridge (2004–2011)
- World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
Championships and accomplishments
- Insane Championship Wrestling
- ICW Street Fight Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Christian Cage
- New Tokyo Pro Wrestling
- NTPW Pro Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Christian Cage
- Southern States Wrestling
- SSW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Christian Cage
- World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment
- WWE Hall of Famer Class of 2012
- World Heavyweight Championship (7 times)
- WWE Championship (4 times)
- WWF/E Intercontinental Championship (5 times)
- WCW United States Championship (1 time)
- WWF/E World Tag Team Championship (12 times) – with Christian (7), Chris Benoit (2), Hulk Hogan (1), Randy Orton (1) and Chris Jericho (1)
- WWE Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Rey Mysterio (1) and Chris Jericho (1)
- Fourteenth Triple Crown Champion
- Seventh WWE Grand Slam Champion
- King of the Ring (2001)
- Mr. Money in the Bank (2005, 2007
- Royal Rumble (2010)
- Slammy Award for Couple of the Year (2008) – with Vickie Guerrero
- Slammy Award for "Oh Snap" Meltdown of the Year (2010) Destroying the Anonymous GM's computer
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Edge holds the most reigns as World Heavyweight Champion at 7.
- Edge is the first superstar to win the title of Mr. Money In The Bank
- Edge is also the second person to have customized the Money In The Bank briefcase.