I was in high school when Edge debuted in the World Wrestling Federation back in 1998, and he instantly became one of my favourite performers inside the squared circle. While he had great in-ring abilities that helped set him aside from the lesser talented wrestlers, he also had a charisma that just made him always entertaining to watch. It was this rare charismatic gift that helped propel him up the ranks in the WWE during his 13-year career, albeit, not without some bumps (both literally and figuratively) along the way.
You Think You Know Me? The Story of Edge is the latest biographical DVD released by World Wrestling Entertainment, and it’s a wonderfully put together tribute to the career of one of the most underrated superstars in WWE history.
The way the WWE chose to structure it is quite interesting and works very well. It begins in Toronto (Adam Copeland’s in-ring “hometown,” though he was born an hour or so outside of it in the town of Orangeville) where Edge appreciation night will be taking place at the upcoming Smackdown! taping the next evening.
To those who don’t know, Edge had to retire somewhat prematurely after WrestleMania XXVII, after an MRI revealed that another big bump on his already injured neck could lead to permanent paralysis. This was discovered the day after his ‘Mania match, and it forced him to come out and announce his retirement that same night on Monday Night Raw. The news came out of the blue in an industry where they’re always trying to stay one step of Internet report sheets, and many believed it had to be a work of some sort (part of the storyline). However, it soon came to light that his retirement was indeed true and just like that Edge was gone. So fast, in fact, that he was never given a proper goodbye, which is what led to Edge appreciation night that September, when Smackdown! returned to Toronto; which, as stated above, is where the DVD begins.
What happens is we see Edge, half a year into retirement, talking to a Toronto radio show host about his career. This interview, while a lot shorter in reality, is sprinkled in throughout the biographical portion of the DVD, which helps give a feel that Edge is looking back on his career while giving this interview. It’s a nice touch that helps make for some nice segues throughout.
Adam Copeland’s Early Years
Edge was coming up back when wrestlers still had those hard road stories, about working in gymnasiums in the middle of nowhere out in Alaska where they wrestled in front of 20 people, then helped take down the ring equipment and slept on gym mats that same night. It was a time of paying your dues, and Copeland did just that, most of the time right alongside his best friend Jay Reso (Christian) and Terry Gerin (who they quickly nicknamed Rhino, of ECW fame).
While he did pay his dues, his transition from a guy wrestling wherever he could, to that of a WWE developmental talent was still considered a fast one. About five years after he seriously began working anywhere he could wrestle, he was given an entry-level contract with the WWE, and that quick transition was due mainly to his skill and dedication to his work inside the ring.
Still, You Think You Know Me? covers quite a bit of his earlier days, and helps set the foundation for what could easily be considered an underdog story due to simply how hard it is to break into the business, let alone reach the levels Copeland was able to hit. During this portion of his biography we hear from his incredibly supportive mother, Christian, Rhino, his school friends, and his first wrestling trainers who chose an essay Copeland wrote for a contest in order to get free training. Bret Hart, Chris Jericho, and C.M. Punk all share their thoughts on Edge’s early career as well.
It’s an interesting look back at how Edge got into the WWE, even for someone who’s read his autobiography “Adam Copeland on Edge” (which he wrote with no ghostwriter), back in the day.
Edge Begins to Brood in the WWE
It was great to see some of this older footage of Edge’s earlier WWE career, when he used to come out with Gangrel and Christian as part of the Brood. I’d forgotten about the “blood baths” that would see the lights go out, and then come back up to a wrestler or valet covered in a blood-like substance, with The Brood laughing on their way back up the ramp.
It was interesting to watch Michael Hayes and other WWE higher-ups talk about how Edge just had this charisma about him that both men and women adored. It was also something to watch as Copeland talk about how The Brood was meant to propel Gangrel to the next level, but he knew deep down that Gangrel just didn’t have it in him. Copeland took this opportunity to take matters into his own hands, and it was here that Copeland began his now infamous mic work.
Climbing the WWE Ladder(s)
It’s no secret that the match that helped put Adam Copeland, as well as three other young talents onto the map was the tag-team ladder match that pitted Edge & Christian against The Hardy Boyz.
The DVD covers this portion of Edge’s career at solid length, and has some great footage intertwined with it. It’s also quite honest, as Copeland talks about his frustration about how he and Christian were being left on the backburner while The Hardy Boyz took center stage. It wasn’t until their WrestleMania TLC match that Edge and Christian solidified themselves as the best the tag-team division had to offer. This, of course, leads to some awesome parts about Edge & Christian, and their crazy, wild antics of high-fiving and five second poses that really made them stand out from the rest of the pack.
There’s also a great portion of the DVD dedicated to Edge breaking off on his own, and how hard it was to get people to take him seriously as a true threat to the singles division. There are some great interviews here, as well as a great many storylines that Edge went through on his way to becoming recognized as one of the best the business had to offer.
The Rated-R Superstar
Much like The Rock, it took becoming a heel for Edge to truly take that next step in the WWE – and much like The Rock, it resulted in some of his most memorable interviews and matches as well.
It’s also during this time that the WWE delves into one of the most controversial storylines they’ve had in recent years, which was the love triangle between Edge, Lita and Matt Hardy. The reason why this was so controversial is because it actually happened in real life. Now, one may think this would be a one-sided perspective of the events, with it being Copeland’s DVD and all, but that’s not the case at all. In fact, not only does Amy Dumas (Lita) talk about the events, but Hardy himself is actually interviewed as well. It’s quite interesting to see how things went down, especially from the mouths of those who were involved, and how much it actually hurt Copeland personally to have his co-workers and friends see him in a different light.
The DVD also covers Copeland finally attaining the WWE Championship in memorable and controversial fashion, which led to him being dubbed “The ultimate opportunist” by WWE announcer Michael Cole. From there it also covers his anger at how the WWE dropped the ball with his first title run, as they quickly reverted back to Cena holding the belt after just a few weeks, and how that anger drove him to work even harder to prove himself.
There’s also quick coverage of his work with his childhood hero, Hulk Hogan, as well as him doing his best to help some of the younger talent make it to the next level.
One thing Copeland makes clear throughout the DVD is how he has absolutely no regrets, and while he shows up from time to time on WWE TV, he doesn’t miss it in the slightest. This is something that’s rare in the business, especially coming from someone who made it his life’s goal to make it in the business; however, it’s also refreshing.
So often there are wrestlers who work past their prime, and eventually become a shell of their former self simply because they can’t let go (see Ric Flair). That’s not the case with Copeland, who retired quite literally on top – as World Heavyweight Champion – and now takes pleasure in living life to the fullest outside of the ring. It’s admirable, and a personal serenity that I’m sure we all hope to achieve someday.
The matches are ones selected personally by Adam Copeland, though he himself admits there just wasn’t room to include as many as he would have liked to. Of course, the WWE is quite good at making sure that matches aren’t constantly repeated on these DVD sets, so certain big matches of his that are found on other sets are likely not here for that reason as well. That said, there are still some absolutely fantastic matches to be found here, because as Cena says in the biography portion, Copeland just “never had a bad match.”
Adam Impact Vs. Christian Cage (South Indian Lake – 1995)
4-Team Elimination Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Edge & Christian Vs The Hardy Boyz Vs Too Cool Vs T & A (King of the Ring – June 25, 2000)
No Disqualification Match: Edge Vs. Eddie Guerrero (Smackdown! – Sept. 26, 2002)
Intercontinental Championship Match: Edge Vs. Randy Orton (RAW – July 19, 2004)
Loser Leaves RAW Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Edge Vs. Matt Hardy (Oct. 3, 2005)
Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match for the WWE Championship: Edge Vs. John Cena (Unforgiven – Sept. 17, 2006)
Street Fight: Edge Vs. Shawn Michaels (RAW – Jan. 22, 2007)
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Edge Vs. Undertaker (Wrestlemania XXIV – March 30, 2008)
Pick Your Poison Match: Edge Vs. Christian (RAW – May 17, 2010)
Fatal 4-Way TLC Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Edge Vs. Kane Vs. Rey Mysterio Vs. Alberto Del Rio (TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs – Dec. 19, 2010)
World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match: Edge Vs. Rey Mysterio Vs. Big Show Vs. Kane Vs. Drew McIntyre Vs. Wade Barrett (Elimination Chamber – Feb. 20, 2011)
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Edge Vs. Alberto Del Rio (Wrestlemania XXVII – April 3, 2011)
The audio and video for the DVD are fantastic, and really keep the viewer engrossed throughout. There are a few moments where the sides of the screen are pulled into full screen format for those watching on widescreen TVs; however, it’s not distracting at all, as the story is just that interesting to watch.
Disc 1 Special Features:
The special features included on disc one are just a few stories that weren’t added to the biography portion of the DVD due to pacing issues I would suspect. There are some highly entertaining pieces to be found here, so it’s definitely worth hitting “Play All” and sitting back for an additional fifteen minutes and enjoying.
The Ninja Star – This is a quick story that helps explain how Edge & Christian began talking back when they were younger, and in hindsight, what catapulted their friendship to the eventual heights it hit.
P.T.A. – This is more backstory as far as Copeland’s early training days went. It was a mind over matter type regime that he had to put his body through at the end of each session.
Working in WCW – Here Copeland quickly touches on his brief stint in WCW, and how it wasn’t a place he wanted to work in due to how they treated all their young talent (such as Jericho).
Credgely – My favourite extra, hands down, and some stuff I wish the biography had delved into some more. This is the real comedy gold that was Edge & Christian back in the day, and their work with Commissioner Mick Foley is classic. It’s only five minutes in length, but they could create an entire DVD of just these three and it’d be well worth purchasing.
Real Emotion: Raw – August 8, 2005 – This is an interview that present day Edge introduces, telling us that it’s the interview he feels shaped his character the most, and helped him move up the ladder in the WWE. It really is a great promo.
You Think You Know Me? The Story of Edge is a really well produced biography, filled with many of the major highlights throughout Copeland’s storied career and told in a way that makes its almost two-hour runtime easy viewing. Copeland is an incredibly interesting person, and someone whose relaxed, down to earth demeanor really gives off a welcoming vibe that lets you know he’d always stop and say hello if you passed him on the street. As for the DVD itself, it’s definitely one to purchase for both fans of Edge, and wrestling fans in general. Highly recommended.
WWE Home Video presents You Think You Know Me? The Story of Edge. Featuring: Adam Copeland, Jay Reso, C.M. Punk, Chris Jericho, John Cena, Michael Hayes, Rhino, Bret Hart. Running Time: 7.5 Hours. Rating: TV-14. Released on DVD: April 10, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.