Randy Orton is one of the smoothest ring workers in WWE, and he’s also an incredibly safe worker. In a new interview with The Pat McAfee Show, Orton was asked about his past and when he became a bit bitter and what drove him out of that, and he credited Edge with helping him turn it around. In addition to being complimentary of someone he called a big brother, Orton also said Edge has an old school mentality in regards to how he works, and that’s when NXT came into the conversation. Orton said “there’s an art to what we do, and a lot of guys have lost that art,” adding that some core elements to keeping your opponent safe weren’t evidently being taught in NXT.
Orton first started out with how Edge helped him turn things around and then segued into how some guys have lost that art. “He helped turn it around for me because he had that old school mentality, he knew how to work. He wasn’t taught that, you know, red light’s on…cream the s*** out of the guy, because 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****** jaw broken. That’s unfortunate, but the art to professional wrestling, like when Vince was on he talked about your number one priority above all being protecting your opponent, that’s not taught necessarily in NXT,” Orton said.
Orton then added that he’s worked in the ring with people who have come from NXT, and he evidently did not have a good experience. “I know that because I’ve been in the ring with guys that came from NXT and they don’t know what the f*** they’re doing. It’s unfortunate but I think that is just kind of how things are changing,” Orton said.
As you can imagine, Orton’s comments are probably going to have a lot of people talking, especially current and former stars of NXT. Orton has criticized NXT stars before, and at one point it seemed like the start of some sort of program with Tommaso Ciampa. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, as Ciampa is now on Raw and he’s still talking about NXT, so it would appear to just be his real feelings on the subject.