When Edge first arrived on the WWE scene in 1998, he brought with him an undeniable star aura. The rock star hair and full-length trench coat augmented his general coolness, but there was something more to how Adam Copeland carried himself.
More-so than many other WWE pet projects, Edge innately understood wrestling, a fact that reinforced himself with each passing year as he climbed rung after rung into the company's main event level.
"The Rated-R Superstar" was a character that capitalised on the weaknesses and blind spots of others, but Edge himself knew exactly how to accentuate his own copious strengths, more than living up to the potential that many realised was there.
The Early Years
In his teenage years, the Ontario native attended WrestleMania 6 at Toronto's SkyDome, and credits the famed Hulk Hogan/Ultimate Warrior title-for-title clash for inspiring him to become a wrestler. The following year, Adam Copeland won an essay contest, in which the prize was free wrestling training with legendary wrestler Sweet Daddy Siki (SEEK-ee) and veteran Ron Hutchison.
He made his debut in the summer of 1992 taking part in a Battle Royal. Earlier in his career through the Ontario and Michigan-area independents, Copeland worked as Adam Impact, but by 1995 had switched to the curious moniker of Sexton Hardcastle. Together with Joe E. Legend (the future Just Joe of short-lived WWE fame), the two formed the duo of Sex and Violence.
A year later, Mr. Hardcastle received a few bites at the apple of the big time. In early 1996, he wrestled a couple of matches as an enhancement talent for WCW weekend programming, losing to both Kevin Sullivan and Meng, while working under the name Damon Striker. Later on in May of that year, Hardcastle wrestled the opening match of a WWE house show in Hamilton, ON, losing to Bob "Spark Plugg" Holly.
But for the time being, he continued to work the indy scene. Before 1996 came to a close, he and longtime best friend Christian Cage had begun teaming together as The Suicide Blondes, picking up experience together through various promotions.