As seen above, WWE has released video of Randy Orton discussing the 2020 WWE Hall of Fame induction for Batista, his former partner in Evolution. WWE announced on Monday that The Animal will be the headliner for the 2020 Hall of Fame Class, along with the nWo (Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman).
Orton talked about his history with Batista and recalled seeing him when they first met back at the OVW WWE developmental territory.
"I thought it was great news, Dave deserves it," Orton said of the Hall of Fame announcement. "I've known him for 20 years. He was the first guy that I ever ran into when I reported down to Louisville, Kentucky for developmental, back when I was 19 years old, and I remember seeing this 350 pound jacked-up... man and as just thinking to myself, 'What have I gotten myself into?'
"And of course after that was Evolution, and I saw Dave grow. We became friends, we've traveled the world together, and my hat's off to the man. I can't wait to hear his speech, I know it'll be heartfelt. He's always been good to me, and I look forward to seeing him on that special day."
Orton was asked if Batista, with his WWE and Hollywood success, is the same guy that he met at OVW 20 years ago. He said The Animal hasn't changed.
"Yeah, Dave hasn't changed," Orton said. "He's always been the big teddy bear, for lack of a better word. I've seen so many people grow in this business, and he's one of the guys that I've gotten the pleasure of watching grow for the longest. From early days in OVW to becoming a Hollywood movie star. I've watched all his movies, you know, and he's got every bit of support from me that I can offer him. I'm very proud of him."
The interview noted that 3 of the 4 Evolution members will now have a WWE Hall of Fame ring - Batista, Triple H, and Ric Flair, leaving Orton out. Orton, who just signed a new five-year deal with WWE, was asked if he thinks his induction will come sooner or later. The Viper responded that he has more bumps to take in a WWE ring before he hangs his boots up.
"Sooner or later? I'd say later," Orton responded. "I've still got a few more bumps to take in a WWE ring before I'm ready to step into the Hall of Fame, but [word bleeped out] I don't even know how that works, I gotta be nominated or something? I mean, people say I'm a future first ballot Hall of Famer, but I don't know, there's a lot of time between now and then. So who knows what can happen? One day, if I'm fortunate enough to be in the Hall of Fame, it'll be one hell of an honor. But I'm in no hurry to be in the Hall of Fame right now."