By STEVEN D'SOUZA -- Canadian Press
TORONTO -- The voice of the announcer booms through SkyDome: "Now entering the ring Edge and Christian!"
The duo makes their way down the aisles, their chiselled six-foot tall frames in the spotlight, their long blond hair flowing freely as they streak to the ring surrounded by thousands of screaming wrestling fans.
In the world of wrestling, they are wisecracking brothers known for their high-flying and acrobatic manoeuvres. In real life they are Adam Copeland and Jason Reso, lifelong friends who grew up together in Orangeville, Ont., a small town just an hour north of Toronto.
"It's like living our dream," says Jason Reso, 27, known to WWF fans as Christian. "From sitting in the backyard saying what we're going to do, like we're going to be tag champs, we're going to the WWF, and now actually doing it, it's pretty cool I think."
Together with Copeland, who wrestles as Edge, the two have gone from dreamers to doers in the big leagues of pro wrestling.
"We trained together, grew up together, we went all through school together, roommates in college, the whole thing," says Reso.
"I think everyone behind my back was probably laughing," Copeland, also 27, says of responses to his youthful dream. "I think I had a few people who supported me, one of them being my mother."
After only two years in the WWF though, their success has changed people's perception of their career choice.
"Now when I see people from high school, they come up to me and say 'wow your actually doing it, that's great,'" Copeland says. "But I know they were always doubting me before. I never doubted myself though, that's the important thing."
The success, however, did not come easy. Copeland and Reso had to work a long road before making it to the WWF.
It started with training at Sully's Gym in Toronto under Ron Hutchison. Together they formed a tag team and worked throughout the independent federations, the wrestling equivalent of the minor leagues. It was a far cry from the glamour and spectacle of the WWF.
"I've wrestled in a barn in Tennessee in front of six people, and ate a can of tuna a day, those are the horror stories," Copeland says.
It's a challenge faced by most wrestlers as they try to become stars. But for Copeland, he always had Reso by his side.
"We started together, we've been all over together, been broke and paid our dues together," says Reso, whose youthful appearance masks the hard lessons learned on the road.
"It's not easy, it took us a while to get here," Copeland says. "We starved a lot, didn't make a lot of money and didn't have much of a social life, but in any form of entertainment or sports I think you have to go through that."
For both, it was a necessary sacrifice to achieve their goal.
"You have to train, you have to get your name out there, you have to pay your dues, and go pretty much anywhere you can find work," Reso says. "Even if you're paying more for gas than you are getting for the show."
The hard work paid off. Copeland signed a WWF contract in 1997, Reso few months later. They were immediately paired up in WWF storylines, first as feuding brothers, then as a team. For the two who had been through so much together, it was a natural fit.
"It's fun because we can go in the ring and know what the other one is thinking, and don't even have to say anything," Reso says.
"We kind of challenged each other to do better, not in a competitive way, but in a good way."