A native of Orangeville, ON, WWE's Edge (né Adam Copeland) made his debut in the then-WWF on a June 1998 episode of Monday Night RAW. In the eight-plus years since, the charismatic Canuck has made his mark as one of the company's leading Superstars, swinging ably from heel (bad guy) to babyface (good guy) and back again. Having held the WWF/E Tag Team, Intercontinental, and World Heavyweight Championship belts all multiple times over, the 32-year-old is currently in the mix with the likes of John Cena and Triple H for the World Heavyweight crown on a weekly basis.
So how difficult was it growing up as a Leafs fan?
EDGE: The [Harold] Ballard years were pretty abysmal. There were some lean years there, which of course made me despise the Canadiens because they were one of the dynasties of the era. When I was a kid I would always root for the underdog, and the Leafs… well, they still are the perennial underdog (laughs).
EDGE: Yeah (laughs).
Our boy Aaron Downey says he played minor hockey with you. Do you remember him?
EDGE: Oh yeah, he's got these big old mitts, that's why he has a good punch. He's a good guy; he grew up in Shelburne and I grew up in Orangeville, and those are neighboring towns. We ended up meeting up here and there throughout both of our travels, and I remember I was in the States watching ESPN one night and there he was taking out some dude with one punch. I think it was their "Highlight of the Night" (chuckles).
What kind of player were you?
EDGE: Big. I was there strictly to hit and to make sure nobody got over the blue line.
Was there a lot of referee interference during your games?
EDGE: (laughs) Not so much, no. That came later in my career.
What current NHLer would make the best WWE Superstar?
EDGE: I always said Scott Stevens, even though he's not playing right now, would have made a great wrestler because of the impact of some of his hits. That one hit he laid on [Paul] Kariya in the Finals, where you could see Kariya wake up and his breath suddenly fill up his visor, or the hit where he took out [Eric] Lindros… He was just a physical, physical player, and I remember seeing him years ago, when he was still playing for the Capitals, all jacked up just wearing his hockey pants without a shirt on in some photo, and thinking, "Damn, hockey players look like that?!" He's definitely the guy that jumps to mind for me, even though he's retired.
You're not doing the tag-team thing so much anymore, but if you were, would Stevens be your ideal partner, then?
EDGE: I don't know who I'd pick as a tag-team partner, actually. Maybe somebody small and quick, like a [Martin] St. Louis (laughs).
Who do you like better: Crosby or Ovechkin?
EDGE: Crosby. Ovechkin might end up with more points, but as an all-around player I think down the road everyone will realize Crosby is more important to his team. He's more than an individual with impressive point totals.
What's worse: a crosscheck in the back or an unprotected chair shot?
EDGE: An unprotected chair shot. No doubt about it. Every time it happens you taste copper; it's like sucking on a penny. I think that's a sign of a concussion.