Look, I still think wrestling is for fucking dorks, but this was a great post I found about some famous wrestler retiring recently. His name was Edge. He looked like one of those porn stars that grunt to much and make you not want to play with yourself...
Via SOS blog
It happens very often in the world of professional sports that we see careers cut short because of injury. The risks and hazards that all professional athletes take when they step onto the field, court, ice, diamond, and pitch (or whatever their sport’s playing field is called) are always high. Sometimes these injuries occur to younger players leaving us fans to ponder questions like “What if?” and wonder about what could have been. Other times we see injuries occur to older athletes that were just hanging for a few more years. Although career-ending injuries strip away an athlete’s ability to walk away on his or her terms…they sometimes turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
Although you probably would not believe it unless you were a fan, professional wrestling is a sport that sees the most amount of injuries besides football. Professional wrestlers land on their backs in a way the human body is not supposed too. There is no off-season in pro wrestling; which means these men and women are landing on their backs, being thrown outside of the ring onto concrete, and jumping off the top rope onto a hard canvas about 250 days out of the year. To say that wrestlers live daily life in pain would be an understatement. It’s amazing what amount of risks pro wrestlers will go through to put on a great show for the fans.
The old school mantra of professional wrestling has always been you suck it up, tape up any injury you have, go out there and perform for the fans. It didn’t matter if you were risking further injury and possibly threatening your ability to walk or even life a pain-free life as you got older. As more awareness about concussions and long-term injuries became prevalent and relevant in today’s sports age, the WWE decided to scale back on high-risk maneuvers and even banned chair shots to the head. Even with a toned down in-ring product, taking the bumps these guys do still leads to pain and injuries.
On the April 11th edition of Monday Night Raw one of the most passionate and talented wrestlers that the WWE has ever seen was forced to retire. Adam Copeland (known to WWE fans Edge) spoke from the heart and let everyone know exactly what the situation was. Edge suffered a broken neck back in 2003 and had to have major surgery performed by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews. He was forced to miss a year of in-ring competition. Fast forward to 2011 where Edge says he started feeling numbness up and down his arms over the past few months. The WWE asked him to take a few physical tests before WrestleMania 27 earlier this month. The lingering effects of that neck injury on top of 8 straight years of physical pain and punishment to his body had finally caught up with Edge. The test results showed that Edge would never again be cleared to wrestling in a WWE ring or he would risk paralysis and spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
The decision was an easy one for the 37-year-old Copeland. He decided to walk away with his head held high and retire from the business as the World Heavyweight Champion. Edge had stated in recent interviews that he had about 2 good years left in him before he would choose to retire on his own. Although that decision ended up being out of his hands and he did not get to walk away on his own terms, Edge had nothing to be sad about. In the WWE, Edge had accomplished every possible achievement there was.
As a wrestling fan growing up in Toronto, Canada, Edge always dreamed of becoming the World Champion just one time. He ended his career as an 11-time World Champion, as well as a multiple time Intercontinental Champion, U.S. Champion, and Tag Team Champion. Edge also won the King of the Ring tournament in 2001 and won the 2010 Royal Rumble. Edge had basically seen it all and done it all in a Hall of Fame-worthy career.
Edge was set to wrestle at May 1st’s Extreme Rules Pay-Per-View in a ladder match for the World Championship against Alberto Del Rio. It truly was a blessing in disguise that these test results came back at the time they did. A ladder match is one of the most brutal matches the WWE has to offer and one wrong bump or fall off the ladder could have paralyzed Edge for the rest of his life.
Watching and listening to Edge announce his retirement on live television made me a little emotional. After all I have been an Edge fan ever since he debuted in May of 1998; and as my other favorite wrestlers such as Bret Hart, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and The Rock retired and left the business, Edge took the top spot as my favorite active WWE Superstar. I was hoping that this would turn out to be some kind of storyline. I sat there waiting for somebody’s music to hit and interrupt Edge. When that didn’t happen I started to get the feeling that this was as real as it could get. Edge walked backstage and was greeted by a standing round of applause from his fellow Superstars. Edge was crying as he hugged his friends and the screen faded to black. Later in the week on Smackdown, Edge officially vacated his World Heavyweight Championship and gave another heartfelt speech. He thanked his mom who was in the audience and let everyone know that he’d go back to his home in the mountains of North Carolina with his wife and dogs. He even asked the fans if he come out to his entrance and music one more time because he would miss it. Edge really does have the best theme music and entrance in the WWE today and I will greatly miss it. He thanked everyone in the WWE and some his closest friends in the business. The show ended with the wrestlers coming out to the entranceway and giving him a standing ovation as guys like Triple H, Big Show, and Rey Mysterio walked into the ring and gave him hugs.
Although he did not get to walk away on his terms, he walked away with his head high and with great respect, dignity, and honor. Everyone will always respect him for the decision he made. Life -and most importantly a pain-free life- should be the most important thing to any athlete in any sport. When you’ve accomplished everything that Edge has in the WWE it is a lot easier to walk away when the doctor tells you too. Many times an athlete will try to be macho and go against the doctor’s orders because they do not want to be perceived as weak or not tough. Sometimes being smart is a lot better than being tough.
Edge will always be remembered as a young guy who came in as an upstart in the WWE and clawed his way to the top of the business through hard work and dedication to his craft. He was always one of the more entertaining guys on the mic and could have match of the night honors on every single card he wrestled on. He was dedicated to taking fans on emotional rides in any storyline he was involved in by his intense promos. From his days as a member of the gothic Brood to tearing down the house in tag team ladder matches and TLC matches with his best friend Christian. To 5 second poses and kazoo themes to breaking off on his own and winning the King of the Ring. To beating Kurt Angle and shaving his hair to winning the Money in the Bank ladder match. To beating John Cena for his first WWE World Title to the Rated R Superstar era where he had a live sex display with Lita. To main-eventing WrestleMania 24 against the Undertaker to returning at the Royal Rumble in 2010 after a year off and winning it. To winning his 11th World Heavyweight Championship…Edge has always been entertaining and exciting to watch. He called himself the Ultimate Opportunist and The Rated R Superstar.
Edge is the epitome of what happens when you start at the bottom, work hard, and succeed and make it all the way to the top. He can walk away knowing he’s left behind an amazing legacy that WWE fans will never forget. Adam Copeland will one day be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and everyone will know that he truly did deserve it because he was that good and all of his peers respected him.
(This is a video tribute the WWE put together for Edge…as always it’s worth watching and really good.)