AEW’s Adam Copeland On Wrestling Tribalism And Wrestling The Dangerous Kyle O’Reilly

Adam Copeland discusses Tribalism in the AEW and what's it like to go toe to toe with Kyle O'Reilly
AEW Adam Copeland Edge

Adam Copeland talks about how he feels about wrestling tribalism and working with Kyle O’Reilly. Copeland has been asserting himself as a very dominant force in AEW as of late and is the current TNT Champion.

Adam Copeland was in WWE for most of his career and was known as Edge. He first joined the promotion in 1996 and was an active wrestler until 2011 when he was forced to retire. In 2020 he made his return to WWE and in-ring action. He competed in WWE until 2023 when he left for WWE’s biggest rival, AEW.

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Many fans saw Adam Copeland’s departure as a betrayal to WWE and them giving him a chance to wrestle again. Copeland was recently a guest on Insight with Chris Van Vliet and he voiced his opinion on wrestling tribalism and why he thinks it is stupid.

“I think silly personally, only because when I was growing up I wanted to watch everything I could. If I could get my eyeball balls on Continental or Mid South or NWA or BC Allstar. I wanted to watch it all cause I wanted to see what was going on. You know at that stage, it was you got what you could get from the after magazines and that was it.”

Via Wrestling Inc.

Human Nature

AEW Adam Copeland Edge
Courtesy Of AEW

Tribalism is something ingrained into human DNA. The competition and loyalty to one side over another is something which has been a major part of history. However, liking one wrestling promotion over another is not a life or death choice. Liking WWE more than AEW doesn’t mean the fan will be executed, so it shouldn’t be treated like it will.

It is all just wrestling and for fun and entertainment. Copeland goes on to compare tribalism to his fandom of hockey. He is a fan of a certain team, but will watch other teams because he is such a fan of hockey.

“I don’t know, I don’t understand the allegiance to initials, but then I think about people with their favorite teams … but I’ve always been the same with like hockey. I love the Maple Leafs but I love hockey so I’ll watch the Boston Bruins against the Florida Panthers because I know it’s going to be a great game, just the way I look at it.” 

Adam Copeland’s Wisdom

AEW Adam Copeland Edge FTR Bryan Danielson
Courtesy Of AEW

Copeland thinks if you are a fan of wrestling you should watch everything. The ease of access to different wrestling promotions should make tribalism rare, but it has increased it. This is especially true for AEW and WWE fans. Many are extremely loyal to one over the other and refuse to watch the rival promotion. 

Pro wrestling is fun and entertaining. Get as much as you can get from wherever you can get it. One of the most fun things about watching pro wrestling is seeing a wrestler before they are huge and knowing that someday they will be a megastar. Seeing Sexton Hardcastle go to WWE to become Edge and then become The Rated R Superstar is one of the best things about wrestling and tribalism stops that from happening.

RELATED: Cody Rhodes Expresses Disappointment in the Diminishing of His Role in Creating AEW

AEW Adam Copeland Edge
Courtesy Of AEW

Since moving to AEW, Copeland has been very active and making the most out of his remaining years as an active wrestler. Most recently he has been doing an open challenge he has dubbed “The Cope Open.” His most recent challenger was Kyle O’Reilly. Copland praised O’Reilly on X/Twitter and thanked him for pushing him in the match.

“Tonight was just an example of why I came to AEW. To get in there with a talent like Kyle O’Reilly in his hometown, 25 years after his dad brought him to see his first wrestling show, which I was on. You fast forward 25 years later and there we are in the main event for the TNT Championship and his dad is here tonight. I know it didn’t end the way that he necessarily would have wanted it to. But what an absolute pleasure and a privilege to get in there with a talent like that and just wrestle.”

Seeing O’Reilly challenge Copeland is not something we would have seen in WWE. This is another example of why fans need to watch whatever they are able to. To see great matches between waning stars and future stars.

Do you agree with Adam Copeland that wrestling tribalism is “silly” or does it have a place in wrestling? Why do you think tribalism is still so prevalent in wrestling? Do you think fans should watch as many promotions as possible or pick a small few? What did you think of the Copeland vs. O’Reilly match? Let us know on social media if you want to see Copeland become the AEW World champion this year.

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Sources: Insight with Chris Van Vliet, Wrestling Inc., AEW, Wrestling Inc.


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Robert Watson

Just a guy reading comics, watching wrestling, and wondering if aliens exist