April 15th, 2024

Canada’s Adam Copeland enjoying new challenges in All Elite Wrestling

By John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press on March 19, 2024.

Wrestler Adam Copeland poses for a photo in Toronto, on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. The 50-year-old Copeland, originally from Orangeville, Ont., but billed throughout his career as a Toronto native, could have finished his Hall of Fame career at World Wrestling Entertainment but decided to jump to the newer All Elite Wrestling in October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO – Adam Copeland has never been interested in playing it safe.

The 50-year-old Copeland, originally from Orangeville, Ont., but billed throughout his career as a Toronto native, could have finished his Hall of Fame career at World Wrestling Entertainment under his old guise of Edge, but decided to jump to the newer All Elite Wrestling in October. Changing promotions has given him the opportunity to work with a whole new roster of wrestlers that he has never faced before.

“It was the idea of the challenge of it and a whole fresh new blank canvas,” said Copeland on Tuesday, standing in a corridor at Toronto’s Coca-Cola Coliseum. “At this stage of my career, at this age, to be able to look at something go ‘hey, there is an entirely blank canvas with a new palette that I can paint with.’

“That’s super exciting and there was nothing wrong with staying in the same place for another year and kind of doing the same thing. But it also might have gotten boring.”

AEW’s lineup of young, talented wrestlers includes Winnipeg’s Kenny Omega, Hamilton’s Ethan Page, Samoa Joe, Swerve Strickland, Maxwell Jacob Friedman, and “Hangman” Adam Page, among others.

“I could have gone the safe route and just kept doing what I really know or maybe, just maybe, check what’s out over here,” said Copeland. “This simply is going to be a lot of fun.”

But first, Copeland has to “address the elephant in the room” and wrestle a familiar foe in Christian Cage, the promotions TNT champion. The two were best friends in high school, came up in the business as a tag team winning seven championships together, and then became bitter rivals in singles competition.

They will complete a trio of matches on Wednesday night on AEW Dynamite when they face each other in an “I Quit” match. The violence-filled fracas stipulates that the winner must force the loser to say that he gives up.

“This feels like the end of a 40-year story, and so much of it is real, you know? That’s fun to play with,” said Copeland. “Also, our audience knows it’s real.

“They know we’ve been best friends for that long. They know everything that we’ve done to get to this point, and the fact that we ended up at this point, at the same time, here we are at the end of the trilogy, in our hometown match.”

Although wrestling in Toronto holds emotional significance for Copeland, his opponent is less romantic.

“The location means nothing to me, to be honest with you,” said Cage in a phone interview from London, England. “I could care less if it’s in Toronto or any arena anywhere in the world.

“I’m just sick and tired of Copeland trying to leach off of my success, trying to steal my spotlight like he’s done throughout our entire careers.”

Copeland laughed at his old friend’s pragmatism.

“He’s also a really (bad) human being. So there’s that, but I’ve just learned how to navigate that,” he smiled.

AEW Dynamite’s stacked card on Wednesday features Winnipeg’s Chris Jericho against FTW champion Hook.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2024.

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