WWE's Royal Rumble pay-per-view this year was without a doubt one of the most memorable the company has ever offered up to fans, with the return of the Rated-R Superstar Edge receiving one of the largest pops of the night, at Minute Maid Park in Texas. Out of action for almost a decade, Edge - real name Adam Copeland - was forced to retire from the wrestling business due to several neck injuries, making in-ring competition too much of a risk to his health.
This past weekend however, it was apparent that doctors must have given him the go-ahead to step back into the squared circle, as he entered the men's Royal Rumble match and speared everybody who got in his way. Whilst he didn't walk out of Minute Maid Park as the eventual winner, he would return the following night to Monday Night Raw, proving that his return, for the time being at least, is permanent.
To celebrate one of the most entertaining WWE Superstars of all time making their way back to the company, we got to thinking about some of his most memorable moments to-date! Here are seven in particular which stand out...
7. Winning the first Money in the Bank ladder match
The year was 2005, and WrestleMania 21 was set to play host to WWE's first-ever Money in the Bank ladder match. The winner of the bout would receive the title of Mr. Money in the Bank and a briefcase containing a contract for a championship opportunity, which could be 'cashed in' against a WWE champion at any time in the 12 months following the bout.
Edge would go on to become the first MITB winner, but actually waited until January 8th, 2006 to take his opportunity at snatching a title from a fellow WWE Superstar...
6. Cashing in his MITB briefcase against John Cena
New Year's Revolution was a volatile affair for John Cena, who was busted open in a match against Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, Kane, Carlito and Chris Masters, which just so happened to take place inside the Elimination Chamber! Cena's WWE Championship was on the line, but the champ managed to retain, only for Vince McMahon to step out and declare Edge would be cashing in his MITB privilege.
Flanked by Lita, Edge entered the ring and speared Cena for a three-count, winning the WWE Championship by doing so.
5. Becoming King of the Ring 2001
There was a lot of good money on Kurt Angle to walk away from the 2001 King of the Ring tournament as winner, but Edge would get the upper hand on the former Olympian and walk away with the title of King for himself. It's a label that most Superstars who have taken it on have really ran with, earning them great opportunities in the future. Edge is clearly somebody amongst those ranks!
4. Winning the first TLC match alongside Christian
Edge and Christian enjoyed some incredible matches as a tag partnership, but their most memorable bout without a shadow of a doubt came at the SummerSlam 2000 pay-per-view, when they faced off against The Hardy Boyz and The Dudley Boyz in the first-ever Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the World Tag Team Championships.
Edge and Christian defied the odds to snatch the win, in a fight that's always entertaining, no matter how many times you rewatch it!
3. His live sex celebration with Lita
Looking back, this was a terrible gimmick to bring to the ring, packed full of misogyny by writers who simply wanted to use Lita as a piece of meat for the fans. At the time, it was simply a part of the era. Whether it was the right or wrong thing to do, however, it's certainly always spoken about as one of Edge's most memorable moments inside the ring, where he's doing something other than competing!
2. Cashing in his MITB briefcase against The Undertaker
Edge would become a multi-time Money in the Bank winner in the noughties, cashing in his second briefcase against The Undertaker after the Dead Man was on the receiving end of a brutal and bloody beating by Mark Henry. Though Taker would be able to make it back to his feet, it took just one Spear from Edge for him to be out for the three-count.
1. Winning the 2010 Royal Rumble
Not only was Edge's surprise return this past weekend an iconic moment, but when he came back to the business in January 2010 for the Royal Rumble and won the whole thing, fans exploded with excitement. It's one of the most defining moments of Edge's career Edge would use his WrestleMania championship opportunity to take on Chris Jericho, and whilst he didn't beat the self-proclaimed Greatest of All Time, it's still remembered as a wonderful time for both competitors.
Tagged in WWE