All it takes is two homegrown Ontario boys with a singular dream. The two life-long friends found themselves united on a path to be the very best. One went on to become one of the most popular and iconic professional wrestlers of all-time, while the other often found himself in his dear friend’s shadow. After more than 10 years, the two wrestlers found themselves overcome with emotion and embraced one another in a passionate hug within the squared circle.
On Jan. 31, 2021, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) put on their 34th annual Royal Rumble PPV event. Arguably the most anticipated PPV in the company’s yearly calender, with a fun concept that never seems to get old. It’s simple; throw your opponent over the top rope, last man standing in the ring wins, and headlines Wrestlemania.
This year’s event is the very first Royal Rumble match WWE has put on since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning there were zero fans in attendance, but that didn’t stop WWE from putting on a great show, with the return of wrestling legends and Ontario natives, Edge and Christian.
Last year, the 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble saw the return of WWE legend Edge, real name Adam Copeland, and the fans in attendance went crazy for the rated-R superstar. In 2011, Edge was diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis, and was forced to retire early. Edge came close to winning the Royal Rumble match last year, coming in third place. This year, Edge re-entered the Royal Rumble match, this time starting the match as the first entrant.
Edge is one of the most decorated professional wrestlers of all-time, having won 31 championships in WWE overall, including the World Heavyweight Championship a record seven times, and the WWE Championship four times, making him an 11 time world champion. Only five men in WWE history have held more world titles than Edge, according to WWE.com.
Bernie Hartemink, a long-time wrestling fan, explained, “I was 25 when I saw Edge and Christian debut in the WWE, and that was in 1998. You don’t want to know how I old I am now!”
He added, “Sometimes a little nostalgia goes a long way, as it brings back old fans like me.”
According to Edge’s autobiography, Adam Copeland on Edge, Christian, otherwise known as William Reso, was born in Kitchener, Ont. Edge was born in Orangeville, Ont.
Christian lived in Huntsville, Ont., before moving to Orangeville, Ont., where he met Adam Copeland, who would become his life long best friend and eventual tag-team partner. In addition, Edge added that the two became fast friends, as they shared a common love for pro wrestling, and a unified dream of one day becoming pro wrestlers themselves.
Christian is a former World Heavyweight Champion, with two reigns, a two-time NWA World Champion, two-time ECW World Champion, and nine-time tag-team champion. Seven of the tag-team title reigns come alongside his most iconic partner, Edge. As good as Christian was, he never saw the same success as his former tag-team partner.
The two Canadians would go on to make it to the final four of this year’s Royal Rumble match, with Christian coming 4th, and Edge winning his second Royal Rumble match. His first win being at the 2010 edition of the premier, fan-favourite event.
Founder of the Knights of the Squared Circle wrestling podcast, Ryan Knight, said, “As a Canadian it was great to see. Edge’s career was sadly cut way too short, and Christian is arguably one of the most underrated wrestlers of all time. After more than 10 years, it was nice for the two of them to finally come back and share a ring together. Even if it might have been for the very last time.”