As an industry, wrestling has produced some of the most memorable moments in pop culture history. People all over the world remember the exploits of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Triple H and The Undertaker. They were guys who put the WWE on the map during the Attitude Era. But the wrestler who’s stuck with me the most is Edge. The Rated R Superstar grafted for years to get to the top of the company until he was forced to retire because of a neck injury.
So, when Edge came on a UK tour with Inside The Ropes, you know I had to be there. I saw Living On The Edge: An Evening With Adam Copeland at the Comedy Store in Manchester. Hosted by Kenny McIntosh, the event was everything I’d hoped for and more.
A performance that reeked of awesomeness
Kenny kicked off the show by asking Edge about his thoughts on the Becky Lynch situation. Edge mentioned that he only ever comes back when he can further a storyline, which is what he did with the Becky vs Charlotte story. The similarities between the Becky and Edge characters made for an entertaining segment. Edge’s dedication to telling a story came through in his words, a major reason he became my favourite wrestler.
The event was broken down into different aspects of Edge’s career, starting from his early days in the WWF, to becoming a multiple world champion in the WWE. This set the stage for some of the most hilarious wrestling stories I’ve ever heard. A memorable one involved Edge’s strangest experience with Vince McMahon at the 2005 Royal Rumble. On his way into the ring, Vince tore both his quads. Edge said he remembered the entire hallway being cleared out so McMahon could walk to his limo without anyone stopping him. Torn quads be damned. Nothing can stop Vince McMahon and his pride.
Another great story involved Edge’s experiences with Eddie Guerrero. He recalled their rivalry and the no disqualification match they had on Smackdown in 2002. As both of them were perfectionists, they wanted to go all out in the match. When a match features a sunset powerbomb off a ladder and Eddie grunting “we’ve got ‘em now, Ese,” you know you’ve achieved something special. The fact that the spoken word event took place on the 13th anniversary of Eddie’s death made the story more emotional.
The conversation moved into Edge’s time as one of the most despised heels in the business. It was interesting to hear that Vince was the only one who believed Edge could pull off being world champion when he cashed in his Money In The Bank contract on John Cena. Adam laid out his favourite moments from his feuds with Cena and The Undertaker. Great anecdotes from this section included Edge having to ad lib over the infamous segment he did with Cena’s dad and his storyline with Vickie Guerrero.
Crowd participation at its finest
The best shows involve audience participation and the Manchester crowd were up for everything. Whether it was clapping every time Adam called his best friend a dick, or shouting random D-Von Dudley chants, the Comedy Store came alive. I couldn’t stop laughing and that came down to the quality of Edge’s storytelling and Kenny’s interview techniques.
During the night, one phrase stood out to me (and it wasn’t just “a bag of prison ass.” Definitely stealing that). Edge described his career as “a theatre of the absurd”, which I thought was a perfect way to sum up wrestling. Anything can happen in wrestling. It’s off the wall, crazy, challenging, brutal, amazing, emotional, rewarding and exhilarating all at once. It’s performers like Edge who made me a fan of the business. He set out to live his dream and never stopped until he earned his reputation as one of the greatest of all time. There will only ever be one Rated R Superstar.
Inside The Ropes does regular spoken word events with wrestlers. If you’re a fan of the industry then go to their website to keep up to date with shows in your area.