The months leading up to any WWE pay-per-view event are often full of rumors about returning wrestlers coming back into the fray. While there were plenty of rumors about who would return at Royal Rumble 2020, not everyone suspected that Adam "Edge" Copeland would return to the WWE. After he slid into the ring during the epic Royal Rumble match at the end of the event, the crowd went wild. Now, fans everywhere need to know if it means he is back and here to stay.
Is Edge back in the WWE? The Superstar returned at Royal Rumble.
The main event at Royal Rumble 2020 was well underway and WWE Superstars were dropping left and right in the 25-man match. Suddenly, Edge emerged as entrant 21 and the crowd was shocked. He was one of a handful of surprise returning wrestlers at the event and he proved he could hold his own after spending years out of commission. Naturally, he sparked tons of questions and hopeful tweets among fans who are more than ready to welcome him back as a formidable foe to some of the big WWE stars of today.
Edge’s neck injuries forced him to step back from the WWE for nine years.
In 2011, Edge left the WWE after 15 years as a premier wrestler for the company. In an episode of Raw, he explained to fans that his multiple neck injuries had been the catalyst for him retiring earlier than he may have wanted to. Because he was diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis and he wasn't cleared by WWE doctors to continue to wrestle, he informed fans that he was retiring from the WWE at the time.
While he was retired, he landed a role on 'Vikings.'
While Edge was out of commission from the WWE, he continued to work in the world of entertainment. Some of that work included WWE-related TV specials, but he was also in a few different shows. Edge landed the role of Kjetill Flatnose on Vikings, credited under his real name, Adam Copeland. Since Vikings came to an end at the beginning of 2021, it would make sense for the multi-hyphenate performer to now have enough free time to transition back to the WWE.
Initially, Edge denied all rumors of coming back to the WWE leading up to Royal Rumble.
Back during an August 2019 episode of the podcast E&C's Pod of Awesomeness, Edge was totally mum about his return to the WWE. He admitted at the time that he felt physically able to wrestle, but that he didn't think he was up to par with the WWE's standards. For those reasons, fans assumed that he wouldn't be returning anytime soon.
"To be perfectly honest, I think I could do a match tomorrow," he said on the podcast. "I might be blown up, but I'd be OK. It's just from what I know with the WWE medical staff, they won't allow. It is what it is, right?" Clearly, his go-ahead from the WWE medical staff came after, or he was just playing coy.
It appears that Edge signed a new WWE contract after all.
It was nine years since Edge last fought in the ring for a WWE title, but after 2020s Royal Rumble rumors began swirling that he signed a new WWE contract. WrestleVotes tweeted at the time that the star signed a new three-year contract with the WWE. Less than a year later, the contract leaked, confirming the details of his new stint in the famous league. In 2021 alone, Edge is set to make $3 million.
Edge's return to wrestling hasn't come without difficulties, as his 2021 'SmackDown' appearance resulted in him leaving in a stretcher.
During the week of Sept. 10, 2021, Edge faced off against Seth Rollins in an episode of WWE Friday Night SmackDown, and the results weren't great for the returning fighter. Seth ended up winning the match through a variety of stomps and kicks to Edge's face, one of which connected and damaged the veteran WWE star's neck. This was a worry for him when he returned to fighting, as that area was already compromised after his last neck surgery.
Right when the match was called in Seth's favor, medics immediately rushed the stage and took Edge off on a stretcher. He was seen a few minutes later receiving medical attention in an ambulance outside of the arena. Seth didn't comment much after that event, telling viewers, "Maybe I don’t feel anything at all," with regard to the injuries he apparently gave Edge.
Edge hasn't spoken out about his injuries on social media yet, but we wish him a speedy recovery.