WWE Hall of Famer Edge recently spoke to Sports Illustrated to talk all things pro-wrestling, including providing an update on his bicep injury and whether he thinks he’ll get another run with the WWE championship. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
How he’s recovering from his bicep injury:
It’s OK. You know, I look at injuries and ask myself, ‘How was it compared to the Achilles tear?’ [laughs]. Compared to the Achilles tear, it was nothing. There was surgery, but I know the drill. I know what I have to do, and I know you have to baby it for the first month, then I can start putting the nose to the grindstone. I can still do exercises for the rest of my body, which is good, so it’s just being careful. It’s a learning experience, too. The doctor that did the surgery said that there was a good chance my tricep was already partially torn going into the match, so I look it as a learning experience. My elbow was sore for probably a month, but I thought it was one of those regular aches and pains. I have a bunch of floating chips in my elbow, so I told myself, ‘Of course it’s going to hurt.’ This is a reminder that I need to listen to those things. At 46 years old, my body is trying to tell me something’s up. Now I have that knowledge going forward if something’s aching.
His transition into acting:
In the nine years I was retired, I did over 100 episodes of television. Looking back at my first movie, which was a WWE film called Bending the Rules, I felt very uncomfortable. I was thrown in the deep end and I had no idea what I was doing. After I retired, I did an episode of Haven. One episode turned into 41. After that, I started taking classes and diving deep into the process of acting and watching movies the way I used to watch wrestling—peeling back the layers, seeing why actors made certain decisions, asking myself how it made me feel and why it made me feel that way—then I started to find a comfort level in that and a confidence. Fast-forward to Vikings, and now I have the chance to work in a drama and a period piece with accents and a cast full of incredibly talented people. If you can’t hang with them, you will be left on the cutting room floor. So with Money Plane, even with a cast that includes Kelsey Grammer, I walked in feeling confident. I also walked in knowing I could still learn, because that should never stop.
What attracted him to his newest project Money Plane:
I thought the script was fun. For an hour-and-twenty minutes, you can forget about everything else and just enjoy a throwback 90s, tongue-in-cheek action movie. And you have Kelsey Grammer, Thomas Jane, and all of the people involved in it, and that’s when I said, ‘Great, I can’t wait to share scenes with them and pick their brains.’ And for me, there were personal ties. Kelsey Grammer was my mom’s favorite actor, bar none.
Feeling nervous at his Rumble return:
I can truly say that was the first day in my wrestling career when I was nervous. Even before my first match way back in WWF in ’96, I wasn’t nervous. I felt ready, I was confident, I was young and indestructible. This was the first time that I’ve wrestled having had kids. I think that was the big thing for me. I’m coming back from this injury that was supposed to be impossible to come back from, so that was on the table. And I have kids at home now. There are a lot of responsibilities involved in this, so that was really nerve-wracking, and that was foreign to me. I wasn’t used to feeling nervous. Going back to Jay, that was the first time he’d seen me nervous. Beth [Phoenix, my wife,] and I weren’t together before when I wrestled, so she didn’t know what I was like. Jay knew I didn’t get nervous. So when I was nervous, that changed everything for him. Even the hiding and all that, the strangest thing for me was coming to grips with having nerves for the first time. I can’t say I really liked it, and I’ve had them for all three matches now. I better quickly come to grips with it [laughs].
Whether he thinks a run with the WWE championship is in his future:
In terms of my character, that should be the goal. For every character, that should be the goal. Every character should be based around trying to win the title—going for the title and fighting against other people going for it, then other issues grow from that. To me, the whole thing should be based around going for a championship. That should be the goal of every character on the show. For me, I’m looking to tell some really compelling stories that are based around simple things. If you look at what is happening with Randy Orton, and we have a lot of history, it all starts with the fact that Randy Orton tried to sneak up on Edge at the Royal Rumble and then Edge one-upped him. That’s where this whole story, this whole incarnation of Edge-Orton, starts. That’s it, and then we’ve built on it from there. Our match at Backlash—can Edge do it? He thinks he can by targeting a weak spot on Orton, the shoulder. Orton targets Edge’s weak spot, the neck. That’s the story, and that’s how simple all of it can be. It doesn’t have to be this grand, manufactured thing. It’s wrestling, you’re trying to win the match. How do you win the match? By going after a weakness. And you can do little things within that story to make it more nuanced. That’s what I want to do, with a whole new crop of people I’ve never stepped in there with. That, to me, is super, super exciting.