During his appearance this week on “The Wrestling Ringer” podcast, Randy Orton discussed his current contract, how long he sees himself wrestling, and his backstage reputation over the years.
Orton on how long he sees himself wrestling:
“I’m 41. By the time I’m 50, I think I’m done,” Orton revealed.
“I’ll do auditions every once in a while, but I only do them because my wife says, ‘Oh do them because what if you don’t and then you’ll wonder, what if you did?’ I do auditions here and there crossing my fingers that I don’t get a call back because I love what I do. I don’t want to stop.”
“I don’t want to have to stop because of my body. I’ve taken it upon myself to make sure I’m doing everything I can on the daily that physically I’m able to continue, but if it was up to me, and I knew physically it wouldn’t be a problem, I’d say I would wrestle until I’m 50 years old, I would go out and have that last match when I’m 50, and say I was able to do it on my own terms,” he said.
“That’s nine years from now. I don’t see an end to my career anytime soon. I would like to continue to go.”
Randy then went on to talk about his current contract situation and obligations:
“Wrestling once a week would be ideal for me, and that’s kind of where I’m at right now schedule wise,” he said.
“I don’t think anyone knows this and I don’t care if they do, but I think I may be one of the only guys that has an amount of dates that I’m contractually obligated to do and that’s 80. 80 shows a year,” he shared for the first time.
“It sounds like a lot, but after you do one TV a week, one PPV a month, you’re left with like 15 or 20 live events. Those are Saudi Arabia, the European tours, and Madison Square Garden live events, but I think that with me wrestling once a week, I’m able to keep the joints lubed and feel like I’m in shape enough to continue to do it. If I take a bad bump and I hurt my neck, I’ll take a week off. I think that’s what’s going to make me be able to wrestle until I’m 50.”
Randy talking about his old reputation, becoming a father, and how it led to a change in personality:
“You learn from your mistakes. Hearing stories. Every once in a while there will be a cameraman or a lighting guy that has been with us as long as I have with the company, and they will be like, ‘Remember that time, I think it was ‘05 when you did blah, blah, blah?’, and they’ll proceed to tell a story in front of a group of people that paints me in the worst light,” Orton shared. “It’s embarrassing. It’s like, man, I was an a**hole.”
“I think being a father changed me. I think my wife really had a lot to do with opening my eyes, but it’s been a group effort. I’ve been lucky to be around a lot of talent backstage that not necessarily mentored me, but I learned a lot from John Cena, to be honest with you,” he said.
“I learned a lot from Edge just in this last go around. Being a father, being a professional wrestler and traveling, the temptations, what you’re putting your body through, all the stuff that can really add up, I was lucky to have some great men in the locker room that I can see how they went about life and see how they were with their kids. I got to see Shawn Michaels who on all accounts, was a complete a**hole. When I met him, I even thought he was a pr*ck. I saw the change. I heard the stories. The same thing kind of happened to me. It’s part of the journey,” he went on to say.
“I think my legacy is the longevity and being able to be one of those guys that got to wrestle everybody and got to see a generation come in, and then see another generation come in. Having the newer mindset accepting that I’m happy, that’s it’s okay to be happy, I think that’s helped me overall as a human being more so than a performer. If anything, I’m able to have more fun in the ring now because I don’t take everything else so seriously.”
Orton went on to also discuss his fascination with snakes growing up, his COVID diagnosis this past summer, and his thoughts on the current writing in the WWE. Click here to read more about this.