Below is a recap from this week’s “Off The Top Rope” ESPN SportsCenter segment with Jonathan Coachman looking back at the WWE Royal Rumble, RAW and SmackDown.
Coach is joined by Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton. Coach asked what is the hardest thing about preparing for the Rumble. Orton talked about how there are so many moving parts on the day of the Rumble, such as finding out what number you are going in. Orton also commented on knowing The Undertaker, Bill Goldberg, Brock Lesnar and others were in the match competing against each other. Coach asked fan questions next and asked Orton how the popularity of WWE NXT Superstars pushes him on the main roster. Orton praised the NXT talents and said NXT pushes everyone on the main roster, men and women. Orton said knowing those talents are coming up and wanting to take your spot creates a healthy competitive environment, lighting a fire under everyone.
In regards to a defining moment of his career, Orton said he’s had many moments over the years but his Backlash 2004 Hardcore Match with Mick Foley is one he will never forget and one a lot of fans will never forget. Orton believes he grew up and became a man that night. Orton said he got respect from fans who realized he means business that night. Coach asked about working with Bray Wyatt and how it is being involved with his ascension in WWE. Orton called Wyatt very talented and one of the most creative guys in the back. Orton said he’s learning from Wyatt when it comes to that aspect, adding that Wyatt’s creativity is at an all-time high. Orton said he and Wyatt naturally click as they are both second generation wrestlers but he’s having a lot of fun right now.
Coach asked the best celebrity Orton has ever hit the RKO on and he named Mark Cuban and Meatloaf. Regarding his favorite RKOs, he recalled the WrestleMania 31 RKO out of a Curb Stomp to Seth Rollins, the Shooting Star Press into a RKO with Evan Bourne and the RKO to Sami Zayn at Sunday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Orton said it’s such a great feeling when he sees the other man in the air coming down, when the timing is right and knowing that the roof is going to blow off when they land it. Orton said he can’t describe the feeling he gets when the execution and the timing is perfect. Orton said it just feels like adrenaline running through his veins and said it makes him feel like he can fly.
Regarding WrestleMania 33 coming up, Orton said he will have his family at ringside and he’s most looking forward to making them proud and making the fans proud by putting the WWE Title back around his waist where it belongs. Orton said it’s been a few years since he had the title but he feels like he has great momentum riding into 2017 and he’s just going to ride it out.
Orton also talked about growing up & coming up in the business, Evolution being a big part of his career, the viral RKO outta nowhere videos and more.