WWE Edge Neck Injury Full History | Edge Neck Surgery

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Adam Joseph Copeland or Edge, born on 30th October 1973 is a famous Canadian professional wrestler. Edge debuted in WWE on 22nd July 1998 at Raw against Jose Estrada where he took a count-out victory. Since then Edge’s journey has been a roller coaster ride. He has seen ups in his career by winning big championships and he has also seen downs in his career by relinquishing the championships due to his injuries. WWE never stands back in using Edge’s injury as a part of the storyline. Edge’s neck injury is very old and current WWE fans want to know the WWE Edge neck injury full history in detail. Even Edge neck surgery made him retire from professional wrestling. Edge’s story of returning from his retirement is the most inspirational story among the WWE.

Neck injury is a curse for any active wrestler. This injury is so common that it has made retire many wrestling talents at a very young age. Edge, Paige, Daniel Bryan and the legendary ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin are the most common examples of such incidents. Here we are going to discuss Edge neck injury in detail from the beginning, how it all got started till the end, how he recovered and returned again in professional wrestling.

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Edge neck injury in detail

Edge first neck injury

Edge vs eddie guerrero
Image credit – WWE

For Edge, it all began on 26th September 2002 at Smackdown show, where he was booked in a No disqualification match against the late Eddie Guerrero. This match is considered to be one of the best matches of smackdown history.

There was a moment in this match where Eddie Guerrero delivered a forearm uppercut to Edge and he bumped on the ladder laying behind him. That was the turning point for Edge’s career. As he fell on the ladder he heard a snap sound, and he thought it came from the ladder which was not true at all. The crack sound was of his neck’s spinal bone giving up. 

Later in the same match, Eddie delivered Edge a sunset powerbomb from the ladder. Edge’s head hits very hard on the mat, which added misery to Edge’s previous neck snapping when he fell on the ladder. Now both men were down and Edge could feel a tingling sensation on his neck and this tingling sensation started passing on his left hand. But Edge thought it was just a sore neck and he could just get a good neck massage afterward and continue the match. Edge somehow won the match by delivering Edgecution from top of the ladder to Eddie Guerrero and took a pinfall victory in that match. 

Edge continued to wrestle for almost five months after this incident and day by day his problems were getting worse. He started getting Lhermitte Syndrome in his body, he started feeling numbness in his neck and arms. Later he was diagnosed with Cervical Spinal Stenosis. It is a medical condition where the space in the spinal starts narrowing. This narrowing in space starts contracting the nerves that carry body signals. And soon Edge and WWE realized that Edge needs medical surgery.

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Edge first neck surgery

Spinal plate fusion
Image credit – Genesys spine

On 23rd February 2003 at No Way Out PPV. Edge was booked in a segment, where during the event he was attacked backstage by an unknown person and will be off television for a few months. During this time off from WWE, Edge went through a neck surgery on 3rd March 2003 performed by Dr. Lloyd Youngblood and was recommended a year’s rest. 

In this Edge neck surgery, his spinal cord’s C5 and C6 intervertebral discs were replaced by metallic plates across the existing vertebrates. One year later Edge was medically cleared for his in-ring return by Dr. Joseph Maroon a famous neurosurgeon and medical director of WWE. 

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Edge return after first neck surgery

After thirteen months on 22nd March 2004, Edge returned to WWE at Monday night Raw during the WWE draft. This time Edge begins to climb the ladder of success in his career. Edge became a top superstar of WWE during this period. He won many big matches and championships like the tag team championship, Intercontinental championship, and WWE championship. He continued to wrestle for seven years with his surgical neck. But Edge was never the same after the neck surgery. But WWE Edge neck injury full history didn’t end here. 

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Edge second neck surgery

spinal cord

Continued force on his neck due to his wrestling career, again started damaging his surgically repaired neck. He again started losing strength from his arms. Even Edge told that sometimes when he wakes up in the morning he couldn’t even feel his arms. Edge was suffering from post-surgery symptoms which led him to further Spinal Stenosis. The upper and lower sides of the plates which were screwed on his neck were facing extreme force due to his love for wrestling. One more hard bump on his neck could lead him to permanent paralysis or even death.

On 3rd April 2011 at  Wrestlemania 27, Edge defeated Alberto Del Rio to retain his World Heavyweight championship. After that on 11th April 2011 at Monday night Raw Edge announced his retirement informing the WWE universe about his medical condition. And on 15th April 2011 at Smackdown show Edge relinquished his world-heavy title in the center of the ring and said goodbye to his fans and wrestling career forever. 

The second neck surgery of Edge was also performed by Dr. Lloyd Youngblood. This time the surgery includes the extension of the fusion plate to the full spinal cord from C2 to T1 to increase the stability of his neck. Edge second neck surgery was also successfully completed. Now Edge had started focusing on his acting career for his livelihood. He had appeared in Sci-fi series like Haven and The Flash. It has been nine years since Edge took his retirement. The WWE universe seems to forget Edge as new young talents were rising in WWE like Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns.

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Edge return after second neck surgery

edge return at royal rumble
Image credit – WWE

On 11th August 2019 at SummerSlam PPV out of nowhere Edge appeared and speared Elias Samson during his musical performance. This raises the question in every WWE fan’s mind that whether this appearance of Edge was one time or the ultimate opportunist is really going to make his in-ring return. Days and weeks passed but Edge didn’t appear again in WWE. 

After four months of SummerSlam on 26th January 2020 at Royal Rumble PPV, Edge made his in-ring return on the 30 men Royal Rumble match at number 21 and remained among the last three men before being eliminated by Roman Reigns. This time Edge informed the WWE universe that he worked so hard for this moment and now finally he has been medically cleared for competing in the ring. 

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Related FAQ

Why does Edge take retirement?

Edge took retirement due to his neck Injury

When did Edge injure his neck?

Edge injured his neck on 26th September 2002 in a no disqualification match against Eddie Guerrero


Edge truly loves his wrestling career more than anything else. He continuously put his body and life on the line just to compete inside the ring and entertain his fans. Even two neck injuries weren’t enough to hold him back from wrestling. He had a good acting career but he worked every day for his return to WWE. This was all WWE Edge neck injury, full history and Edge neck surgery. His story is really an inspiration for many of the people and other wrestlers.

Does his return inspire you ??

Do tell us your opinion in the comment section below.

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