The Edge: From Orangville kid to WWE champ
By Malcolm Johnston
Toronto’s testosterone levels are set to spike tomorrow when WWE Smackdown comes to town. We caught up with The Edge, the current WWE heavyweight champion, who opened up to us about making it big, the Edgucator (his signature move) and his Mount Everest aspirations.
How did a boy from Orangeville become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion?
I won a contest by the Toronto Star. You had to write an essay about why you wanted to be a wrestler, and the winner would get free training. So I thought, “OK, this is my shot.” So I wrote this essay and the manager said, “Come on down so we can take a look at you.” So I went down the next week, no insurance on my car, made it down there. They called me and said, “OK, you’re the guy, we’re going to train you for free.” Coming from a single-parent household, I would not have been able to afford the $3,000 at 17 years old to start. I would have eventually done it somehow, but that sped up the process massively.
What was your argument in your essay?
I basically said I’m willing to starve to make it. It didn’t expect it to be all limousines and things like that. I assumed it was going to be pretty lean for a long time, and maybe for the entire career. But I just wanted to do it.
And was it pretty lean?
It was pretty lean for the first five years or so. A good payday was $75 a night, but you’d have to usually drive 20 hours to get to it, so you’d spend more than that in gas. I remember doing shows in little pubs and taverns in Toronto where I’d pay for my wrestling licence, which was $75, and then get paid $40. You did it to cut your teeth and get some form of experience and just get your name out there.
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