As a guest on The Kurt Angle Show Podcast, Randy Orton discussed his current run with the company and his memorable moments with Kurt throughout his career.
Orton spoke about his current partnership with Riddle, saying he believes in the young star and he feel that he’s outshined everyone from his NXT class. The Viper also told the story of how he got off on the wrong foot with Riddle after they first met.
“I think [Riddle’s] going to do fantastic,” Orton said. “I think he’s already outshined most of his little class of NXT that have come up over the last year. The funny thing with Riddle is when I first met him, the entire locker room of NXT was in Miami, so now our locker rooms are now jam packed with NXT guys who aren’t working the show but in the wrestling business you bring your gear just in case. We’ve got all these NXT guys with all their s--t taking up all the space in the locker room, so me, being a vet, being around a while, I see this and now I already got a hard on for these guys and it doesn’t help when I walk by Matt Riddle.
“My olive branch was basically me just looking at Matt and I go ‘Oh, there he is, there he is,’ just kind of ice breaker, expecting a ‘Oh hey Randy, my name is Matt, nice to meet you.’ But instead, Matt just kind of, with the bloodshot eyes, glanced over at me and just kept walking. I remember thinking ‘That motherf***er.’ For quite a while I didn’t like Riddle and it was because of that little scenario.”
Orton discussed why his view of Riddle changed after meeting him, noting that he’s done some of the best things he’s seen as of late. The third generation superstar also talked about who he sees most in Riddle, comparing him to Angle in the ring.
“I love the guy now,” Orton said. “I’ve been in the locker room with the guy for probably a year, I was there when a couple weeks ago he forgot his verbiage live on RAW and scooted off on the scooter with Asuka in the back and everyone thought it was brilliant. That was some of the best s--t I’ve ever seen. His backstage character, the ‘everything’s cool,’ and rambling nature of his promos, that works because in the ring, he goes, he reminds me of [Kurt Angle].
“That dude, he can do it all and he busts his ass in the ring. Some of the matches he’s had with Sheamus, not my style of match I like to do have, but the Riddle – Sheamus matches I’ve seen as of late have been amazing. I think he’s going to do quite well, he’s going to do well, like you did Kurt.”
As someone who’s wrestled for WWE and Vince McMahon for almost 20 years, Orton talked about the advice he’d give to young talent trying to make it in the company. The 41-year-old said he recently had a conversation with talent backstage who were upset with their spot on RAW and gave them advice on what to do.
“I think it depends on the situation, I think it depends who I am talking too,” Orton said. “Just the other day there was an incident, I’m not going to name names, but there were a couple guys who have been on T.V. that haven’t been on T.V. lately and feel like they weren’t given the opportunity that they should’ve been given. A lot of times I think when guys feel that way, they’re probably right in those feelings, there’s just so much going on and so much talent and 3 hours seems like a long time for RAW but you’ve got a lot of talent and a lot of stories you’re trying to tell.
“These two guys basically had all these unanswered questions that they needed answered, and I talked to them because I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it. I was one of those guys where you get in your head, you’re back in the locker room and you’re bitchin’ and talking and thinking and talking yourself crazy. All you need to do is go knock on Vince’s door, poke your head in and slowly but surely develop a relationship with him.”
The Viper explained how long it took him to create a relationship with McMahon. Orton noted that Vince has the answers they’re looking for.
“It took me two decades to get to where I am now with him,” Orton said. “So you’ve got to start now, don’t wait. Don’t feel like the business is against you and the writers are in the room having a meeting talking and figuring out how to bury you because they’re not. If you want to be at the front of everybody’s brain when it comes to ‘What are we doing tonight? Who are we going to use? We need a guy for this guy to get a win on, who gets that T.V. time?’
“You can’t be out of sight, because then you’re out of mind. We’ve got to develop that relationship so that you can go and ask those questions that nobody can answer. You can ask me ‘What do you think Vince wants me to do tonight in that ring?’ I can give you a pretty educated guess and come within the ballpark but if you go knock on that man’s door, you can sleep easy and then stop making yourself nuts.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Kurt Angle Show Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.