Randy Orton On Which Match Should Close Wrestlemania, His Match w/ Bray Wyatt, Why The Brand Split Is Beneficial

Randy Orton recently spoke with Yahoo Sports while promoting Wrestlemania 33; you can read a few highlights below:

Randy Orton comments on what makes this year at Wrestlemania, his 13th, different than any other: 

This will be my 13th match at a WrestleMania, and I’d say one of the biggest differences for me going into this thing is how it came about. This storyline, being injured last year and coming back, having a little run with [Brock] Lesnar kind of put me back a few steps. I got a nasty concussion, got opened up, I had to get my feet back underneath me so to speak and get back used to the grind. [That opportunity] came with the Wyatt Family and what makes this WrestleMania different is that I’ve had five or six months, since October anyway, to let this story marinate.

At first I could tell peopled weren’t getting with the whole Wyatt Family thing where I became a part of their family because they knew I was going to turn and we knew that they knew that. To be able to pull those strings, make this thing go longer than expected, to win the [Smackdown] Tag Team Championships with Bray [Wyatt], and then next get [Luke Harper] kicked out of the family, get Bray alone, burn down his compound. All of that stuff that we had to do to get this storyline where it is, all of that helps it going into ‘Mania. Where we’re at in the story is the perfect culmination for WrestleMania. I think that’s what makes it different for me. I’ve had other very good angles going into ‘Mania, long storylines too, but this was different than normal from the way we do things, it wasn’t bad versus good. I infiltrated the Wyatt Family, I became close to Bray, I earned his trust and respect and to ultimately stab a knife into his back, turn on him, it was a very original thing that we did.

Orton comments on Undertaker versus Roman Reigns, says it should go on last:

“I think ‘Taker and ‘Mania go hand in hand. It’s unfortunate that he picked up a loss a few years back, I think that was wrong and I think everyone would agree with me for the most part with the exception of maybe Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar. I don’t believe that that loss tarnished his career, I just hate that his streak was tarnished.”

‘Taker is going to face Roman Reigns and that’s going to be a good one. I honestly believe that should be the last match on the card, I think that everybody will be happy with the outcome of the match. I expect the Undertaker to throw Roman Reigns around like a rag doll. Roman Reigns is going to get his, but at the same time, this is the Undertaker we’re talking about.

Will [Undertaker] be around after this? If this is his last one and there’s speculation, all I can say is I hope not. Whether it was twenty years ago or today, when he comes to the ring and the gong hits and the music plays, the energy in the arena, it’s not like that for anyone else. I don’t care if its [John] Cena, Shawn Michaels or whoever, it’s a different kind of energy and he’s got more respect from the fans than I think any character or superstar has ever had in our business.

Orton comments on how the brand split benefits co-branded shows like Wrestlemania:

I think that it’s kind of obvious that separating the wrestlers onto different shows, it makes the competition between the brands more healthy.

I remember Survivor Series that it was Team Raw versus Team Smackdown, so there were a lot of matches that no one had seen before because of the brand split. I think the longer we’re able to stick with this brand split and not get cold feet and say “Oh crap we’ve got to combine it again,” it’s good, because there’s a lot of back and for the with that. I think what we have now is best for business so to speak.

I think that it helps WrestleMania because you have some people who like to watch “Raw,” some people who like to watch “Smackdown,” but no matter what they get to see their guy at the Big Four. You get to see interaction between the two brands and we’re not overdoing it. They get to see it in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale, the Royal Rumble, Survivor Series, you get Raw versus “Smackdown” in some regard.

I think that’s healthy competition for both brands. It’s the first time in my career, I can tell, that in my locker room – the “Smackdown” locker room – is very proud of the guys and gals and how we work hard, get along, and want to be on “Smackdown” and make it great. I know “Raw” probably feels the same way, but I can’t speak to it. There’s that competition there and that’s what’s going to make these pay-per-views mean more and more. You also get a pay-per-view for each brand each month. It’s more wrestling, more product and for the people who want more it’s right there at their fingertips.


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