Can you imagine what it would be like to work with one of your heroes? Likely surreal in ways, but also gratifying to know that you’ve reached a level of mastery where you can perform with someone you idolize. That’s what happened to Adam Copeland, or as the WWE Universe better knows him, Edge. Early in his childhood, Edge discovered pro wrestling and got attached to the colorful, larger-than-life characters, like Hulk Hogan.

Thanks to his single mother’s tireless work at two different jobs, Edge was able to attend WrestleMania 6 and witness the battle between The Ultimate Warrior and Hogan for the Intercontinental and WWE Championships. Though Hogan was unsuccessful in the bout, Edge noted that the moment was crucial in his decision to pursue pro wrestling for the remainder of his days, which he revealed on Kurt Angle’s podcast.

Fast forward to July 4, 2002 – it’s Independence Day and an exciting night of in-ring action is ahead for an episode of "WWE SmackDown." This would become an evening that the young, determined Edge would likely have never thought possible, as he was to challenge for the WWE Tag Team titles with his hero, Hulk Hogan.

What added to the occasion was that this was Edge’s first match in over a month due to an arm injury, and in Hogan’s case, it was the first time he dropped the "Hollywood" Hogan music and went back to his "Real American" entrance theme.

Hogan and Edge’s legacy as a team

The team of Hulk Hogan and Edge proved themselves to be a force to be reckoned with, defeating Billy and Chuck to become the new WWE Tag Team Champions in 2002. In the match, Edge took most of the punishment before Hogan tagged in to clean house for the win. A rematch took place the following week, with Hogan and Edge emerging triumphant once more.

The two then feuded with The Un-Americans – the team of Lance Storm, Test, and Edge’s former tag partner, Christian. Their rivalry would build up over a few weeks until the Vengeance 2002 pay-per-view, where The Un-Americans used underhand tactics to defeat the champions and effectively put an end to the alliance as Hogan and Edge transitioned into separate stories.

In 2018, Hogan praised Edge on Twitter, calling him one of the greatest performers. Hogan was confident that if Edge’s career was not halted due to injury, he would have surpassed even him to become one of the greats. Edge responded proudly to the praise he received from his childhood hero. "[The] compliment will resonate with me until I’m the old, surly, uncool grandpa who tells all the grandkids, back in my day I teamed with Hulk Hogan."

Despite injuries and subsequent surgeries, "The Rated-R Superstar" made a full return in January 2020, appearing as a surprise entrant in the men’s Royal Rumble match.