WWE Superstar Randy Orton joined Vicente Beltran of “Vibe and Wrestling” to discuss his career in the industry. Orton was asked to describe how he views the difference in new school wrestling versus the old school style.
Although Orton said that the type of wrestling or in-ring work may have changed over the years, the actually goal of the business has not. He said it is all about storytelling and doing your best to get the audience invested in the story you are trying to create.
“I think there are obvious differences in the way I was taught by the guys from the old school that is taught today, although, psychology has not changed,” Orton explained. “I think the basic ideas when it comes to telling a story haven’t changed since my father’s or my grandfather’s time. It’s the good guy, and the bad guy, and you play with the emotions of the audience. The good guy comes on the scene, the conquering hero, with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship around his waist.”
Orton explained that it doesn’t matter where you are wrestling, as long as you have something that can captivate the audience, you can succeed in the business. He explained that the goal of his match against Drew McIntyre at SummerSlam was to build a story throughout and get people emotionally invested. That is the key to creating something great.
“In that sense, Drew is old school too. He’s been doing this as long as I have. So, on Sunday at SummerSlam, I’m going to try to tell a story, but don’t tell a 4-minute story, a 10-minute story. It’s going to be a novel. I’m going to be out there for 25, 30, 35 minutes, or maybe more, and I think that’s when magic can happen – when you get comfortable and you can build, and build, and build, to a point in the match where you put people on the edge of their seat. And that is the goal that we all pursue, and it does not happen every match.”
Orton says one of the differences in today’s new school wrestling comes from guys who try to throw out flashy moves in every match to try and get noticed. Orton thinks the risks this puts on the body and all the false finishes from the flashy moves hurts the overall story of a match or program.
“I think nothing has changed in that regard between old school and new school,” Orton said. “I think the new school is more about the mentality of independent wrestling. We have a lot of people coming from independent companies and are called by NXT and WWE, many who can tell good stories. They are perhaps counted in a faster way, it is a little more – I think the most careful way to call is ‘dangerous’. I think that if people realized what these guys risk many times, and the times they put their neck on the line just for one night a year to try to attract attention or to grab the torch, I think they would understand a little better. It’s definitely an exciting style, but I think the new school, the fast speed they move at, the bumps they take, the false finishes, the nonstop action, I think in the long run it hurts the story you’re trying to tell.”
Orton believes that overall, the psychology of how to put together a match or compelling program has not changed too much. He enjoys some of the elements that have been created in the new school style of wrestling.
“In general, the psychology has not changed,” Orton said. “These athletes of today are more and more athletic. They have great physical ability and capacity to do things better than past generations. They do things that have never been seen before, especially in the past, and are reaching heights unknown to date. I enjoy watching the guys from the new school, and I can recognize when one of them can tell a story with the new school style. I don’t think it has changed too much.”