Dave LeGreca and Bully Ray welcomed Edge onto the Busted Open podcast to discuss his feud with Randy Orton, as well as his overall return to wrestling. Edge talked about the reason why he wanted to return and the things he has taken with him during his career in movies and television.
“What I wanted to do in coming back was to really try and tell some more nuanced, layered stories, the stuff that got me hooked on wrestling,” Edge stated. “Bret Hart matches, Jack Brisco matches, Dory Funk matches, Terry Funk matches, Nick Bockwinkel matches [and] Curt Hennig matches and from the promo perspective, having nine years on sets and being able to work with some of the people that I had to work with and had to keep up with because I worked with some beast. If you couldn’t keep up, you’re going to get left on the cutting room floor, so I realized OK, I got to study. I got to work.”
Edge continued, “I got to try and keep up, and I started peeling back acting the way I used to with wrestling, and that nine years of retirement and doing I think ended up at 100 episodes of television by the time I came back. It was key. It was so huge, and when people ask me now, ‘What would be your first bit of advice for an aspiring wrestler or somebody who’s in the business and trying to make that next step?’ Take acting classes because right now, more than any other time, with no audience in a room, you’re essentially cutting a monologue or an audition. If you don’t got chops, it shows.”
One aspect of Edge’s return that has been widely praised is his promo work. Edge revealed that he has been given a lot of creative freedom to do what he wants to do, including writing his own promos.
“I have been given almost full carte blanche,” Edge revealed. “There’s a couple things that I tried to go against, but I realize that the lines were drawn, and that wasn’t going to get changed. So that was fine, but the promos, I’m writing them. The storyline arc, I put it together.”
“You have to sometimes make chicken salad because tore my triceps. So, what do we do here? How do we how do we navigate this? It’s all a work in progress really, but I’ve been given so much freedom, and that has been so much fun.”
Edge talked more about crafting the storyline for his Backlash match against Orton. He said he views matches now as a director instead from the viewpoint of a wrestler.
“Back to being on sets all these years,” Edge said. “I would shadow directors, and I would see how they laid out their stories and see how they would position these shots and why would they would get this angle or this take and in the editing process use this take because everybody was stronger in that performance and on close-ups.
“It was huge for me. When I’m coming back, I’m looking at this like a director. I look at the totality of the storyline, and I’m looking at it as a director as opposed to a wrestler. I sat down with Vince and had that discussion. I said, ‘I need to look at the Backlash match as a director, not as a as a pro wrestler,’ and that I think has really helped my mindset in terms of trying to paint this story.”
Edge was asked whether younger talents have gone up to him asking him for advice. He said that many have, and he talked about the importance of character and doing what is right for your character.
“Almost all of them, which which is refreshing,” Edge admitted. “I’m like, okay, good, and my advice might not necessarily work for you. So, as in anything, you’re going to have a bunch of people in your ear when your first coming in. So, you have to filter through what can work for you, and that can be confusing too because if an Edge or an Undertaker’s giving you advice, you feel like okay, I got to use that, but it might not work for you.”
Edge continued, “I do think there are tent poles that can work for everybody. Some of them are what I just said: flesh out your character, take some damn acting classes and always keep that part of your character that is an element of you, because you have to have an element of you in order for it to to read and translate to that audience. They’re not gonna necessarily know what the difference is. You’ll know.”
Edge told a story about working with Dolph Ziggler at the 2011 Royal Rumble in Boston. He talked about the experience he showcased to Ziggler and how he wants to do that with some dream opponents that he named.
“I remember working Dolph at the Royal Rumble one year, and it was in Boston. I think the spear was banned, and Vicky was there,” Edge recalled. “I said to him beforehand like, ‘Listen, this is Boston. I’ve been champ at this point. I think 10 times. At a certain point, in the beginning of this match, they’re going to get with you.’ He was like, ‘What? What?’ I was like, ‘Trust me on this. We just got a ride through it and know where we’re going, and by the end they’re just going to be reacting.’ Sure enough, about probably four minutes in, they start getting with Dolph.”
Edge continued, “He’s like, ‘What? How? What?’ It just comes through years and years of feeling audiences and having wrestled in Boston 42 times before that. And that’s the stuff I want to be able to teach an Aleister Black or a Damian Priest. Just to get in there with them and let them feel how it can be, and how easy it can be if you’re listening and if you have your mind in the right place.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Busted Open with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.