Randy Orton appeared on The Pat McAfee Show Thursday to promote this weekend’s WrestleMania 38.
While discussing how much respect he has for WWE Hall of Famer Edge, Orton lamented that a lot of modern day wrestlers don’t understand the finer points of selling.
“There’s an art to what we do, and a lot of guys have lost that art,” Orton said. “Now instead of selling a punch, because you need to sell a punch, now I’m protecting myself because I don’t want to get my f—ing jaw broken. That’s unfortunate, but the art to professional wrestling, like when Vince was on [the Pat McAfee Show] he talked about your number one priority above all being protecting your opponent, that’s not taught necessarily in NXT.
“I know that because I’ve been in the ring with guys that came from NXT and they don’t know what the f–k they’re doing. It’s unfortunate but I think that is just kind of how things are changing.”
Earlier in the interview, Orton admitted that he had to change his in-ring style to prolong his career.
“I got injured very early in my career several times, boom, boom, boom,” Orton said. “I had to figure out if I’m going to do this for a long time, if I’m gonna have any kind of longevity, I got to figure out how to do that. That’s what I’ve done.
“I’ve toned back the physicality to the point where I know what I’m capable of, I know what my body’s capable of, but I also know what I need to do out there in order to get a reaction and I don’t need to break my back. Back in the day with 220 shows a year, you can’t physically survive decades in this industry if you’re killing yourself every night.”
RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) will defend their RAW Tag Team Championships against The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) and Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis) on WrestleMania Sunday. You can watch Orton’s full interview on the Pat McAfee Show below.
H/T to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription
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