Ahead of this Sunday’s WWE Payback PPV, Randy Orton was interviewed by WWE.com to look back in his 15 year career.
Here are some highlights:
How does it feel to be a 15 year veteran:
How does it feel? It feels like, “Where did the time go?” to be honest. I’ve been around a long time, and it seemed for the longest time like I was the young guy. Now, all of a sudden, I’ve got fans with beards telling me, “I used to watch you when I was a kid.” So, I don’t know what happened to all those years, man, but the little bit I do remember? It was definitely a fun ride.
Looking back at your debut match, were you nervous, you expectations:
I was only 21 or 22 when I had my first match. It was mostly just nerves. I was a good enough athlete and had been trained by good enough people that I had a good sense of what I was doing, but I didn’t have any confidence in what I was doing yet. I was still very young. You’ve got new guys here now — Kevin Owens is “new,” but he’s been wrestling for 20 years. When I was new, I was a baby and hadn’t been wrestling long at all. Grew up in the business, but had only been in the ring a few years. So, I just wanted to get from bell to bell in one piece because I knew it was with Bob Holly and he was gonna beat the [crap] out of me. But other than that? What I wanted to leave the fans with? I just wanted to have a good match and not mess anything up.
Pressures to become a Wrestler coming from a Wrestling family:
The pressure was always there, but I feel like it was almost invisible to me. I had too much going on once I got rolling with Evolution and won my first title. They say the cream rises to the top, and I felt like the cream. I rose to the top real quick, and I was surrounded by Triple H, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, these guys who were very well respected in the profession, and they wanted to work with me, so I knew I was doing something right. There was never a point early on where I went, “Oh, God, they’re going to expect so much of me because my dad is who he is and my grandfather is who he is.” I never really felt that other than when I was in [then-WWE developmental organization] OVW because I didn’t know anything at all, and I was in there with other guys who were paying to train. I was being paid to learn the basics. So, that was when I felt [pressure]. But not up here.
Being apart of many groups in your career, which one did you learn the most from:
When I was in Evolution I definitely learned the most; I had Hunter and Ric. Those are two of the top-five ever, maybe three. Whether it was making my lockup better or locker-room etiquette. We flew into Alaska one time and there was no food, so Hunter ordered pizzas and hot dogs and the boys got to eat because he took the initiative. Learning locker-room leadership skills from these guys and learning how to be one of the boys and take care of them, and how much that comes full circle when you take care of them. It just helps for a better locker room. I learned that from them.
Check out the entire interview here.