Adam "Edge" Copeland is focused on fatherhood and acting in post-WWE life

WWE's Edge talks whirlwind week that lead to retirement (1:57)

WWE Hall of Famer Edge discusses the 24 hours in his life after WrestleMania XXVII when he defended his world title but announced his retirement the next night on Raw. (1:57)

When it comes to finding a soft landing in his transition away from the world of professional wrestling, Adam "Edge" Copeland has made it look easy over the past five years.

The WWE Hall of Famer, who was forced to walk away from the ring in 2011 at age 37 following the accumulation of neck and spinal injuries, is a devoted father and has kept busy as a dedicated student of his new passion: acting. His new recurring role away from the ring comes in Season 5 of the historical drama series "Vikings," which airs on History.

"Edge was always a character to me and I still get to play characters every day in my new job," Copeland told ESPN.com. "Right now, I get to sail on Viking long ships and carry an ax. Or read to a rock 'n' roll dog puppet and promote reading."

If the reference to the dog seems random, it's a nod to his newest project, which satisfies two major priorities in his life.

Copeland will be a special guest on a new Amazon Original Kids Series titled "Bookaboo," which debuted Oct. 28 with the launch of the entire first season. He joins a group of celebrities like Paula Abdul, Rachelle Lefevre, Selma Blair and Antonio Brown in reading their favorite book to the eponymous live-action puppet.

The former WWE superstar, who has two daughters -- Lyric, 3, and 5-month-old Ruby -- with his wife, former WWE Divas and three-time women's champion Beth Phoenix, was drawn to the project because of the message it promotes about the importance of parents reading to their children.

"Having two little girls of my own really adds weight to that for me," Copeland said. "I read to my kids every night. Not a missed night. If I'm in Ireland [filming 'Viking'], and with the time difference, I will film myself reading a book for that night and send it to Dropbox so Beth can still play it for them. So even while I'm sleeping or working, they still get our nightly routine of dad reading them to bed."

Copeland the family man is a far cry from the wild and crazy character he portrayed for 15 years within WWE, but he has often relied on the lessons he learned in the spotlight as "The Rated-R Superstar" -- being ready for anything, always staying on his toes -- to help ease the transition into acting.

"Wrestling is amazing training for that," Copeland said. "Scenes can change on the fly and decisions need to be made quickly. That's what wrestling is all about, if it's done right."

When it comes to "getting over" in acting in the same manner in which he did as a wrestler, Copeland says there's no substitute for hard work and "sweat equity," saying that no matter the industry you decide to enter, a work ethic and manners will take you a long way.

Like most ex-wrestlers, Copeland says the aspect he misses most from his WWE days is the in-ring performance and the connection he built with others in the locker room. He declined to answer whether he would ever return to WWE in some kind of long-term peripheral role as a broadcaster or on-screen general manager.

Copeland hasn't strayed too far from the company in general, having made a handful of sporadic appearances on Raw and Smackdown in recent years, and landing a pair of acting roles in films produced by WWE Studios. He also reprised his Edge character earlier this year on the WWE Network series "The Edge and Christian Show That Totally Reeks of Awesomeness."

The entire 12-episode first season was filmed in the span of just over a month. Copeland said a second season will eventually happen when the coordination of schedules makes more sense. The show featured a steady stream of inside humor poking fun at some of the more embarrassing moments in company history.

"I honestly don't know [how the jokes were cleared for broadcast]," Copeland said. "We just wrote it, performed it and waited for a no -- which never came."

Copeland, who turned 43 on Sunday, hasn't had a problem with being unable to keep his focus professionally on what is still to come, despite a successful and iconic career in his rearview mirror.

"I had a long career that started when I was 17," Copeland said. "I wrestled for 20 years, so people forget how long I actually wrestled for. It leaves some good time to accomplish other goals, which I feel like I'm on my way to doing. And then I'll reset my goals."