AEW head honcho Tony Khan wasted no time bringing out his newest signee on the post-WrestleDream Media Scrum. The WWE Hall of Famer formerly known as Edge, now working under his real name Adam Copeland (and keeping his non-trademarked “Rated R Superstar” moniker) was grinning ear-to-ear as his new boss introduced him.
Copeland will be “full-time” with AEW. After his most recent WWE run as a special attraction who only worked a few programs per year, Khan said Copeland will be on AEW television “every week”. In the short-term, that means he’ll be on this week’s Dynamite and Collision, and will take on Luchasaurus in his first match for AEW when Dynamite goes head-to-head with WWE NXT on Tues., Oct. 10.
The 49 year old spoke on his decision to join AEW after his WWE contract expired last month, and why he’s taking on a busier schedule for his new company:
“Part of coming here is that I want to contribute. I wanted to help. And I just felt like here, I’d really be able to do that, and have the opportunity to do that.
“I look at an entire fresh roster of faces, and so many talent that I’ve never laid hands on before,and that — that to me, as a person who is driven by challenges, that for me was the biggest thing. I’ve never been in a ring with Samoa Joe. I’ve never stood in a ring with Sting before tonight. After 31 years in the industry, that’s never happened.
“Then I see a guy like Nick Wayne, or I see Swerve. There’s just so many possibilities here, and for me at this stage of my career — that is so enticing, that is so exciting, that is so... I said it out there, after the fact when I came back out there tonight, I felt free. That’s just the word that popped — I felt free. And it felt fun.
“I felt almost like the same feeling I would have when I would come out for my indie shows, back when I was either ‘Adam Impact’ or ‘Sexton Hardcastle’ or something, and it was this brand new thing I always wanted to do. That feeling, I felt it out there tonight.
“And that, at this stage of my career, to feel that? That’s special. That’s — man, come on. 31 years in and to feel that way? That’s a gift. This is all I ever wanted to do, and this feels like an opportunity to come in — and not just come in every three months. I’m going to be there every week. I’m a full-time guy. And I want to do that for as long as that is possible. Because I feel that’s how I can help the most. And more than anything, that’s what I’m here to do.”
Other highlights from Copeland’s time talking to the wrestling press early this morning:
• On Wednesday, he’ll give his “mission statement” and give us some backstory to what we saw in the ring at WrestleDream.
• To illustrate how excited he is, Copeland told the story of flying to Seattle on Friday and calling up Darby Allin to get his suggestions on where to film his introductory vignette. At one point, as he was holding a cameraperson while they hung out the window of an SUV to film the muscle car footage from his entrance, Copeland said he was “cackling”: “I’m 49 years old, this is amazing. What are we doing? This is awesome.” He came back to the word “free” to describe how he feels in AEW.
• Just from “a quick little cursory glance” at the AEW roster, there’s 14 names he’s excited to work with. He again mentioned Joe, and then pointed out he’s also never been in the ring with Jon Moxley or Claudio Castagnoli. Copeland just met Kenny Omega for the first time ever tonight. “There’s a lot here to see, and challenge myself with.”
• He glossed over a question about how his conversations about joining AEW started, focusing instead on the second part about if he’ll be helping out backstage. Copeland said the creative process has always been something he enjoys being heavily involved in. The storytelling element of pro wrestling is why he fell in love with the business, and he “absolutely” plans to be helping out “whoever wants help.”
• He’s always been open to helping other talent, and that (along with his daughter telling him he should “go be with Uncle Jay [Reso, aka Christian Cage] and have fun”) is one of the main things that brought him to AEW: “I thought I could really try and help here. And in turn, that helps the entire wrestling industry, which is the thing that I just love — second behind my wife and my kids.”
• Copeland “sequestered himself” in his hotel room. Allin took them to “sketchy places” to shoot his intro video, where no one cared about him. He snuck out for food and did get recognized once, but playfully asked the kid who recognized him to keep it quiet and he did.
• Asked if Beth Phoenix might join him in AEW, Copeland said he doesn’t know about “the possibility of that in the foreseeable”. But he always wants to be near her though, so maybe. He added that she’s his sounding board for all ideas, always making them better — so if he does it on-screen, her fingerprints are on it. “It’s kind of amazing to be married to a Hall of Famer — it’s pretty cool. Who can suplex you [laughs].”
• It was very important for Copeland to come out to Alter Bridge’s “Metalingus”. The band’s guitarist Mark Tremonti, who wrote the song, is a friend, and has always said he can use it wherever he goes. The music sets the tone for his character, and for him “to get in that place” to perform.