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Randy Orton Interview

August 14, 2009   ·   0 Comments

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/entertainment/stories.nsf/stage/story/F14D7DB5DCA390E48625761100009CB6?OpenDocument


ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
08/14/2009


Hazelwood Central grad Randy Orton returns home to headline WWE Monday Night Raw. We spoke with him about growing up in St. Louis and his life inside and outside the ring.


What is your favorite memory growing up in St. Louis? One of my favorite memories is going to downtown, Forest Park with my family. Shaw is good. Walking around the zoo. The Art Museum with my grandma. Growing up in St. Louis was a lot of fun. On the Fourth of July we would go to the (James J. Eagan Center) Florissant Valley Civic Center in North County to watch the fireworks display every year. … A lot of fun times back then.


Do you get the celebrity treatment when you are home? The past year, Ive had the daughter, and before that my wife was pregnant. Ive been with my wife, Samantha, for quite a while. I really kind of hang low whenever we do choose to go out. Usually there are a couple of clubs downtown that are pretty nice to me. As far as getting recognized, I live in St. Charles. I get recognized quite a bit around there but its not like I go and try to get recognized. … A couple of years ago, going to Six Flags with my wife, it was hard. We got on three or four rides in a span of six hours because it was so many kids stopping (me) to get autographs. I enjoy what I do. Its a part of what I do.


How has fatherhood changed your professional and personal life? Its put a lot of things in perspective. Everyone said when my wife was pregnant, “Wait til you have that little girl. Its going to change your life.” You hear that and you dont really know until the day shes born, and thats when it hit me. When I saw the little baby and when she looked up at me and heard my voice and (I said), “Wow, I made this little human being and Im responsible for it.” I have to set a good example. I have to be a good father. … It really made me mature very quickly and realize I have to step up and be not only a good husband to my wife but a great father. I think Im doing that, accomplishing that goal of mine, and I would like to have more (kids) in the future. I would like to have a big family. I love my daughter. … On a personal level, shes made me understand what life is all about. Its made me more excited to get home and see how shes progressed and what shes learned to do. … I always wanted a little girl so bad, so Im very blessed that I got my wish.


Are you a sports fan? I wish I could say yes. I honestly dont follow any sports, even though we’ve got the Rams, Blues and Cardinals. I hate to say, I dont really have time. Its not that I dont appreciate or like sports. I was active in sports growing up but cant say I’ve got the time for (sports). Im proud of my teams when they are doing good. Cant say Im too happy about the Rams season the last year. A former Rams player, J.R. Niklos, is a good friend of mine. His wife and my wife were good friends from high school. They went to Francis Howell. Pisa Tinoisamoa, who just got released is going to play for the Bears lives right down the street from me. We wave and stuff. Besides that, not too involved with the St. Louis sports scene or sports in general.


Favorite St. Louis athlete or moment? When Mark McGwire was (chasing Roger Maris home run record) I would definitely keep tabs on him, how many home runs he was hitting, breaking the record — that was exciting. If there was someone I had to pick that I followed St. Louis-wise it would have been McGwire. When the Rams won the Super Bowl with Kurt Warner. When he led the Rams to a victory that year, that was pretty exciting. Of course, the Cardinals winning the championship was pretty exciting as well. But like I said, (professional athletes) have an off season, I dont. Us WWE superstars travel year-round. We are overseas constantly. I was just doing an interview for upcoming European tour later in the fall. Its go, go, go. I get about two days at home a week with my wife and my baby. Its not enough but I do enjoy what I do. My wife supports me, and Im sure my little daughter will understand when she gets a little older.


What was it like growing up a son of a wrestler, “Cowboy” Bob Orton? Growing up, being around my father and his buddies in the business like Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Junk Yard Dog, Hillbilly Jim, Greg Valentine, Roddy Piper, you name it, anyone back then in that era that wrestled, I was mixing it up with them in the locker room. I was young when I was on the road with my dad 5, 6, 7 but it was when he was in his prime with the WWF, at the time. It was a lot of fun. A few of the second- and third-generation wrestlers have similar stories, but for the most part not a lot of guys grew up in the business like we did. There are a lot of cool moments like Jake “The Snake” Roberts python, messing around with it back in the locker room. Or Junk Yard Dog chasing me with the broom down the hallway. Brett Hart watching me. He was the designated babysitter while my father was in the ring. I will always remember those times.


Besides your father, who is your favorite wrestler? I was a big fan of Jake “The Snake.” I always had a fascination with snakes and reptiles. I always wanted to be a herpetologist. I had a 13-foot vermisse python when I was in high school. It weighed 90 pounds. It ate rabbits and large rats. A little of an oddball hobby. Jake “The Snake” started my curiosity with that and because he always had the big python in the burlap bag in the back. I was always big into playing with the snake when they came into town.


Your dream match opponent and why? I say that everyone Ive wanted to work with, Ive gotten the opportunity to. Hulk Hogan in SummerSlam, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Triple H. … These guys that I watched were at the top of there game. When I got in the business, I never thought in a million years that I would be wrestling Triple H in the main event at WrestleMania. I never thought I would be wrestling Undertaker at WrestleMania XXI, let alone The Rock at WrestleMania XX, Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XXII. I have so many memories of wrestling guys that I dreamt to wrestling. Really, there is no more. My dad was on the road with me for six months back in 2005 and 2006, and I was able to wrestle with him in my corner. Ive never wrestled against my father. I would say my father would be one of the ones that, if I could turn back the clock, I would be able to wrestle him in his prime and a pretty good match. I think that would be very cool, but obviously it wont happen. I did get the pleasure of working with him in the ring.


If you werent a wrestler, what would you be? I think I would be a stunt man, if not a herpetologist. Working at the zoo in the reptile house, like I said, fascinated me when I was a child. If I didnt get into wrestling I would be a stunt man. Im big into movies, I like watching movies, I would like to be in movies one day. Thats another dream of mine is to get a part, no matter how big or small. Ive read for two or three parts. Gotten close to getting them. I just read for a part with Drew Barrymore. A very small part in an upcoming movie. I didnt get it. They said the character they wanted had to be little more burly, a little more roughneck. They said I was too handsome. I guess they didnt want to be rude and let me down easy, but either way, I didnt get the part. … Here in the WWE there is a great avenue for getting parts in movies. WWE has their own film production company, of course, with “12 Rounds,” “The Marine” movie, “Behind Enemy Lines” starring Ken Kennedy. There is a good chance that youll see me on the big screen sooner or later.


What major injuries have you sustained during your career in the ring? Broken foot, dislocated bones in my foot, broken clavicle twice, major surgery on both shoulders, six concussions. Youre always walking around with some kind of a pain. You land on your back quite a bit, obviously, lots of visits to the chiropractor. Lots of deep-tissue massages. Lots physical therapy on the surgeries that Ive had. Its a constant battle to stay healthy and stay in shape. In this business, your body is your money. Edge just tore his Achilles tendon. Thats huge. Thats like a nine-month injury. Hes also had a broken neck and neck surgery. He was out for over a year. Things like that — you just never know. Any match can literally be your last match any time you step in the ring. You always have to conscious of how well you are physically and mentally. What we do mentally — its very taxing, as well. Its a constant stress on the body to do what we do not only in the ring, but outside the ring because you are constantly in the gym, watching your diet, and the travel takes a lot out of you, too. … Ive had my share of injuries. I know Chris Jericho hasnt had been hurt. He might have broken his forearm earlier in his career but hes been (wrestling) for twenty years. Some guys get lucky and get a couple of injuries. Some guys are injury prone. … My in-ring style isnt the most dangerous. Someone like Evan Bourne — he jumps up the top rope and does the Shooting Star Press, and of course he weighs 150 pounds. Im 100 pounds heavier than he is but still, the death-defying stuff theyre doing, I would never be able to do that kind of thing. And even if I could, its the type of thing Ive taken out of my repertoire so that I can be able to have longevity in my career. Thats what its about, supporting my family, paying the bills. Being there for my family and being able to provide.


How would you like to be remembered after you retire? Well have to wait and see. Im just getting started. Im in my prime so hopefully good things. Just that I worked hard and be a household name — if not already — and by then, theyll say Im one of the greatest.


How many days of the year are you on the road? Over 200. At least 220 to 250. I have about 200 matches a year.


Forecast your main event match against John Cena at SummerSlam. Ive wrestled John Cena a couple of times. We have some history, and he is a hell of a competitor. He is one of the strongest guys Ive stepped in the ring. Pound for pound, I think he is the strongest. The way he trains, his discipline, he keeps getting better every year. The fan following — he has is incomparable to anyone else. … I have Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes at my corner. I know they are not afraid to stick their necks out on the line for me. Im confident in the fact that I will beat John Cena at SummerSlam and remain WWE champion. Ive been going strong since April at Backlash when I kicked Triple H in the face and put him out for six weeks. I beat Triple H in a Last Man Standing match. I beat him in a Three Stages of Hell match, which ended with me putting him on a stretcher and pushing over the finish line. Ive been going strong and my momentum has me at a point where thats the one thing I have on my side.


Rick Flair or Hulk Hogan? I would have to say Flair because I know Flair a lot better. On a personal level, hes taught me a lot. Of course, Hogan is a huge name and has made a lots of money, but I think Flair has a little more respect from wrestling fans because of his work ethic. As far as what hes been able to do in the ring, and the following hes had, sure, Hogan and Hulkamania will be around forever but Flairs legacy will never die. Knowing (Flair) on a personal level and how much he helped me in the business, I could never deny that.


What should fans expect from “Monday Night Raw” in St. Louis? This is my hometown, and I have to represent St. Louis to the fullest. I always have, always will. Monday wont be any different. All of us put our bodies on the line to entertain. When it comes to overall entertainment, you cant get this kind of a mix of different emotions in one night. In that two-hour time, whether you attend Raw or watch it at home, you walk in and its incomparable to anything else. I dont care if its the Cardinals or the Rams or the Blues, I dont care how well or bad their season is, they get an off season. We dont. We are going hard all year. For me, its been nine years and Im going to keep going hard. When they attend the show or watch it on TV, they are going to get nothing less than 110 percent from each and every one of us.



 

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