We had some fun with the “greatest thing WWE’s ever done” idea over WrestleMania weekend. And I think everyone’s emotions are turned up to 11 due to the strange, frightening time we’re all living through, together yet apart.
So keep that in mind when you read that headline. But I watched the latest WWE 24 this morning, and for 75 minutes of “Edge: The Second Mountain” I was either grinning ear-to-ear, fighting back tears, or covered in goosebumps. Sometimes all three. From talking to my colleagues here at Cageside and fellow wrestling fans on the internet, I know I’m not alone in thinking this was a standout production from a team that routinely puts out great work.
The documentary premiered last night (Sun., April 5) after WrestleMania 36 Night Two. As its subject tells us from the jump, when he was approached about doing a WWE 24 at last year’s TakeOver: Toronto, the special was supposed to be about his life after wrestling. Edge had had thoughts about possibly wrestling again while doing stunt work on shows like Vikings, or after his mountain bike incident with Sheamus. But he was still resigned to the fact it would never happen.
After spearing Elias at SummerSlam (something his wife Beth Phoenix was not happy about, by the way), he got a call from another company. AEW isn’t mentioned, but there’s no effort to make it seem like it wasn’t Tony Khan’s promotion. The process of their offer, Edge telling them he would give Vince McMahon right of first refusal if it was possible at all, and then doctor after doctor telling him he was cleared is covered fairly transparently.
In addition to just being informative and compelling, much of why the special is so, well, special, is because of how likable and relatable Adam “Edge” Copeland and Phoenix are. He’s still a fan, grateful for this opportunity and looking to make the most of it for not only himself, but also fans & future Superstars. She’s protective of her partner - he is the father of their two daughters, after all - but never in anything but a loving, collaborative way.
We also get to spend time with their circle. Edge’s lifelong friend Jay “Christian” Reso is here, of course. But so are guys Edge has mentored like Dash Wilder, who joins Beth as a secret comeback training partner, and Tommaso Ciampa, who marks out about being friends with a hero, but also leans on him when faced with injuries like the ones Edge experienced.
This thing has a great soundtrack, too. Not surprising from Pearl Jam fanatic Edge, but good songs that perfectly fit each scene help the entire production a great deal.
The road back to Royal Rumble and the beginnings of the Randy Orton program are here, complete with new behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. All those things are great, but what brings the whole documentary together is the woman it’s dedicated to.
Edge’s mother, Judy Copeland, died in 2018 shortly after Phoenix lost her father. It was a low point for their family, but was also around the time Edge started to think about the possibility of returning. While he was in Toronto last summer, Edge met up with Christian to go through a box his mother left for him, a time capsule of sorts which reminded him of his lifelong passion for pro wrestling.
Whether or not you buy it will depend on your personal beliefs, but it’s hard to not be moved by Beth’s belief that Judy might have been guiding her son toward this comeback.
If you’re an Edge fan, “The Second Mountain” is absolutely must see. But I can’t imagine any wrestling fan wouldn’t love it, too. Or anyone, for that matter.
Right now, couldn’t we all use an hour or so with people who love one another, supporting each other as they work toward their goals, and trying to bring joy & inspiration to those around them?
You can stream WWE 24 - “Edge: The Second Mountain” on the Network at this link.