Last month, Randy Orton hit an incredible milestone as he celebrated an impressive 20 years in WWE, and thankfully, "The Viper" now finds himself in a position to be able to, as he happily has no end in sight to his storied career, which is something of pass on his hard-earned knowledge to a young protégé. M&F were at the O2 in London for a big show to find out what advice the master of RKO had for his tag team championship partner Matt Riddle.
Randy Orton is now 42 years old and has done everything in WWE. The third-generation wrestler has held 14 world heavyweight championships, earned the money in the bank's briefcase and won the Royal Rumble twice. The man is also quite the icon, thanks to viral spoof videos of him RKOing everyone and everything, but to say it wasn't always easy to get along with "The Legend Killer" would be an understatement. "The Viper" has publicly admitted he risked his career in the early days due to immaturity and has thanked the likes of Triple H and Cody Rhodes for helping him see the light. Fast forward to today, and it's Orton, now considered the veteran, taking his RK bro partner Riddle under his own wing.
Riddle, a former UFC athlete, is another grappler with the potential to be a big star, but will also admit to "rubbing people the wrong way." Despite this, he is revered by fans who love him for his honesty and his in-ring skills, and we soon found that with a career spanning 20+ years, WWE is about the risks and rewards that come with it risking high-risk wrestling moves while also acting as professionally as possible outside of the ring. Based on her comments to M&F, there's no doubt that RK-Bro has turned into a winning combination.
What advice would you give Riddle to achieve the longevity you've had?
Orton: Ah, that's easy. You know, if you look at the things he's doing in the ring and you know there's some high-risk stuff, like tonight in London, he doesn't have to risk his neck doing a double, triple, Corkscrew something or others off the top rope to the ground because although that would cause a huge reaction right now, 10 seconds later everyone would have forgotten and we would have either gone to the next match or to the finish.
You know it's important what we do and we give 110% but some of these guys take such a high risk. You can't risk your career 200 nights a year. You know what I mean? So, it's like percentages. risks; You have to look at all of this and judge what makes the most sense for me to be able to do this every night. A 'floating bro' off the top rope onto the floor onto a group of guys saying you're going to be good, but there's that, you know, there's that high risk factor. So maybe taking things like that out, saving them for a WrestleMania or something, that would have been the first thing that would have come to mind, but he's already done that and you wouldn't even notice it because he's one of the hardest working guys in the Ring. So even watching him on the apron you know he's a goof but he's also one of the smartest guys I've ever met so it's like he has a little bit of everything when it counts he doesn't hold back on the things he does in the ring. So I think the most important thing for him personally would be to hold back because he's always playing so hard, balls against the wall all the time.
Riddle, what did you learn from Randy?
Puzzle: What have I not learned? You know, I feel like I've learned a lot about the business side of things and how to take care of myself, not just in the world of wrestling but in the world of WWE as well. You know, because I feel like every promotion, every company I've worked for has a different landscape. From the UFC to WWE to the independent scene, everywhere, and I feel like he really helped guide me through the waters as smoothly as possible, at least for me because I've kind of had the feathers all the time disheveled and he helped me a lot with it. And of course, the ability to be in the ring and just watch Randy do what Randy does best every night, you'll get better and your timing will get better, your confidence will go up too... your swagger on the mic will go up. Everything is going up, and from day one to today, for me, at least for me and my perspective, day and night, it's like the transition and the changes I've made, and I would say maybe from within hard to see but when I look inside out like I said it's day and night and my job has become drastically easier and more fun to work with this man.
Courtesy of WWE
RAW Tag Team Champions RK-Bro will team up with Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania BackLash this Sunday to take on undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos. You can catch all the action live on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.