Randy Orton recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated to discuss the inner workings of a pro wrestling match and his in-ring style.
It was noted that Orton is capitalizing on his current WWE run with the lessons learned from an "often tumultuous" twenty-year run in the industry. Orton commented on how there is no longevity in going out and risking your neck every night, even though that's what some fans love seeing. Orton said a wrestler is only as good as his last match. He also commented on getting in the ring with some of WWE's up & coming talents.
"I know there are fans out there that love seeing guys risk their neck every night, and I can appreciate the guys that do that for their fans, but there is no longevity in it," Orton said. "You're only as good as your last match. Getting a pat on your back from your peers because you had a good match is a huge thing, but then you've got another match the next night. And another match the next night. You can't go off the top of a cage into a table from 30 feet every week.
"You can't dive to the floor and put yourself in that high-risk scenario every week, but these guys are doing it and I feel they're dropping like flies. They're all tough, they all work hard, and they're all talented, but I look forward to being able to get in the ring with a couple of these guys and slowing them down, showing them my opinion on what makes a good match a good match."
Orton cautioned that his in-ring philosophy might not be a perfect for everyone. He also mentioned how he hates seeing too many false finishes in a row.
"I'm not saying that my opinion is the only way to go," Orton said. "It's worked for me, but it might not work for them. Any advice that I give guys might not work for them. When you have A-Z memorized, it becomes a choreographed, physical, brutal, violent dance. It can be smooth, and it can look rough, and things can look hard-hitting, but when it comes down to it, slowing down and letting people see what you're feeling–like someone getting dropkicked in the knee earlier in the match, and then 10 minutes later, you know why he's limping across the ring. Selling, selling, selling. All those guys sell, but they need to turn up the selling meter and take a page out of some of these old-school guys' books. You need to sell.
He continued, "I can't stand when I see 10 false finishes in a row, where a guy takes a powerbomb and then he's up and then he's delivering a knee, and then the other guy ducks, and then it's boom, boom, boom, boom. It's too much. But because these guys are capable of doing it, because the fans are going to chant 'Fight For-Ev-Er!' and all that crap, they're going to keep doing it because they think that's what they've got to do to get that reaction. But sometimes the fans don't need to make noise to be reacting. Sometimes they're sitting and they're watching with their mouths open, not saying a word, and they're invested and paying attention. They want to see what you're going to do or say next.
"That's the disconnect between a lot of the main roster guys and the younger guys in NXT. They're just hungry, they're addicted to that chant from the crowd. They want the roof to come off the top of that building every single spot that they do. There's no build to that. You've got to build to that. There's a crescendo. You've got to start slower and then pick up the pace, then settle back down. It's like a director of a symphony. It's an art. We do it so much, and guys get injured so much, there's a smarter way to do business. That's my main concern."
Orton did give major credit to the fans, acknowledging that his success has not been a solo act.
"You hear this a lot, and it's very true, because without my fans, I wouldn't be where I'm at," Orton said. "No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I respected the business, no matter how many nights I was away from my wife and my kids, none of that matters. It's all about how those fans perceive me, and I'm very fortunate to have the fans that I have.
"I've had many ups and downs, some especially high highs and especially low lows, but there are a lot of people that have stuck with me. I never forget that."