Randy Orton has commented on how some talent from NXT do not know how to protect their opponents.
Orton recently appeared on The Pat McAfee Show, where the longevity of The Viper’s career was discussed. In the interview, Orton stated that the number one priority in wrestling is the safety of performers, and that wrestlers coming from NXT to main roster do not know how to do that:
“There is an art to what we do and a lot guys have lost that art. 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*cking jaw broken. That’s unfortunate. The art to professional wrestling…when Vince (McMahon) was on (McAfee’s Show), he talked about the number one priority, above all, being protecting your opponent. That’s not taught necessarily in NXT. I know that because I’ve been in the ring with guys that came from NXT and they don’t know what the f*ck they’re doing. It’s unfortunate. It’s just how kind of things are changing. Edge, I knew I could trust this guy and give this guy my body in the ring and I don’t have to, in the back of my head, worry about him only being concerned with looking cool in the ring and hitting the f*ck out of me and taking my head off. He knows I know how to work and when he hits me, I’m going to sell and react and make it bigger. He doesn’t have to hurt me. The right way to do things in the ring, longevity-wise. There is a reason I’ve done it for 20 years and I’ll do it for another 10 and I want everyone to put food on the table, clothes one their back, and take care of their families for 10, 20, 30 years but they’re not going to be able to because they’re going to be all f*cked up. I’m trying to preach that longevity. If I’m able to think about what’s happening in the moment and not worry about, ‘here’s this f*cking guy, I don’t know where he’s coming from,’ because you have to protect yourself,”
Randy Orton would go on to praise his long-time friend and rival Edge for his abilities in the ring, saying that they could both have a long match without any fears. Orton would also praise his tag team partner Riddle, who was previously in NXT:
“Edge made me realize, I can go 45 minutes with a guy that knows what the f*ck he’s doing. Where are these other guys that know what the f*ck they’re doing? They started to come up. Bray Wyatt was there, I worked with him, it was a little odd. There were some issues where I think he wasn’t able to do some stuff in the ring for awhile. That got weird, but he’s a hell of a talent. Riddle, for the last year, he’s only been wresting for six years, but he gets it. He knows how to sell and he captivates those people. He captivates me,”
H/t to Fightful for the use of transcriptions.
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