wrestling / News

Edge On Whether The First TLC Match Went Too Far, Reaction to His Royal Rumble Return, WrestleMania Match

April 2, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Edge WWE Raw

Edge spoke with Bleacher Report for a new interview discussing his return to WWE, his match with Randy Orton at WrestleMania and more. You can check out some highlights below:

On getting a sustained ovation at his return at the Royal Rumble: “You visualize it. You hope—you truly hope—that it will be that way. But you don’t know for sure. When I heard that kind of reaction, it overwhelmed me, and it really overtook all of my senses. There were a lot of different nerves that night too, because there were different things in play this time. I was coming back after nine years. Am I in good enough shape to do this? Can I keep up? I have kids now. I’ve never wrestled having had kids before. I can’t get hurt. … Those things are all running through my mind, and it’s the first time that I’ve ever been nervous before a match. And that was a very, very odd feeling for me. And I didn’t like that. But I kind of did too.”

On the TLC match at WrestleMania X-Seven: “It was six young, hungry talents, truly trying to steal the show and to get noticed and make our mark. I think we’d all started to at that point. We’d had the first tag ladder match with the Hardys, and then the Hardys had the tables match with the Dudleys. But this was the first time where all of those combustible elements came together. And I think we all knew. We just all knew. And as a performer, you know when you have the right people in a match and you have something that can be special. We had all of that in spades, and it was time to go out and do it. That doesn’t mean a classic match is always going to happen, but when it does start to happen and you can feel it and you know it, there’s no better feeling. There really isn’t.”

On the TLC match setting a precedent for people to take big risks: “There is that part of me that feels we pushed it too far. At that time, we were young and we were hungry, and we were just champing at the bit to get noticed and to make our mark. And how do you do that when you have Steve Austin firing on every cylinder? When you have The Rock firing on every cylinder? When you have The Undertaker and Mankind and Kane and Triple H—what do you do to stand out, to get noticed, to start creating some kind of a groundswell? Well, we were willing to take risks. And we’d like to think that they were calculated and that they made sense. But I still think we’ve pushed it so far. And when I look at young talent now and I see matches like, ‘Oh, they’re doing so much.’ But then I have to temper it, remind myself, ‘Well, dumbass, you’re partly responsible for this because of the TLC matches.’ I really would love for it to become more story-driven, more selling and more just that type of thing. But I’m also proud of it, you know? And I’m proud of the work we all did. I’m proud of all those guys. And we’ll always share a special bond because of that. Being involved and then on the ground floor of something like that, it’s special.”

On his retirement in 2011 due to spinal stenosis: “It wasn’t really walking away. I feel like it was ripped away. So there was some adjustment, without a doubt. But I also realized that I’d better come to terms and come to grips with it, because I’m told I have no choice. When you’re told you have no choice, it somehow makes it easier because you don’t have to go, ‘Oh, can I still get more out of this?’ No, it’s taken out of your hands.”

On his physical condition: “Now don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely limitations. There’s going to be things that you used to see me do that won’t happen now. I want to be able to craft and tell more nuanced stories and tell more stories with my face and my eyes—definitely more than jumping off ladders.”

On his Last Man Standing match with Orton: “I’m so proud of the whole story and process that we put together. Is part of me disappointed that my first singles match back in nine years is in front of no audience, no live audience? Yeah, of course. You always thrive and feed off of that live reaction. That being said, again, it’s a challenge, and I have to look for the positives. How do we make the best of this? How do we turn this into chicken salad? That’s the goal. That’s a huge challenge. I get off on that. And I truly think that with a performer like Randy Orton, and knowing what I know and knowing what I feel and the ideas I have—man, I cannot wait for people to see this. I think I’m thinking of this in terms of storytelling and being able to emote with facial expressions and drama, and that is just so much fun to me.”