A charismatic member of the WWE community, Orton has often spoken his mind in the past. Commenting without a filter, the Tennessee-born fighter doesn’t hold back in his assessments of the wrestling world.
Since he prefers to be the villain, it’s no surprise to see Orton often adopting the controversial stance. However, his latest comments haven’t just offended one person but rather an entire brand.
Appearing on the Pat McAfee Show, Orton was drumming up interest ahead of WrestleMania 38. Taking place this weekend, the showpiece event in the wrestling calendar rarely disappoints.
Once again, teaming up with Matt Riddle, the tag-team duo will face off against Chad Gable and Otis. With a big crowd expected at the AT&T Stadium in Texas, WrestleMania 38 should be a spectacular event.
NXT wrestlers under criticism from legend Randy Orton
As anticipation around WrestleMania 38 continues to grow, Orton shared his excitement for the event as well as his disdain for one element of modern wrestling. Open in his criticism of the NXT brand, the 42-year-old, who has more than two decades’ experience, lambasted that particular division of WWE.
Speaking on the Pat McAfee Show, Orton opened up about his opinions on NXT wrestlers.
“There is an art to what we do, and a lot of guys have lost that art,” claimed Orton.
“Instead of selling a punch, I’m now protecting myself because I don’t want to get my f*****g jaw broken.”
Evidently upset with the direction wrestling has taken, Orton went on to slam the approach of NXT wrestlers:
“When Vince (McMahon) was on, he talked about the number one priority being to protect your opponent. That’s not taught in NXT.”
He went on to say: “I’ve been in the ring with guys from NXT, and they don’t know what the f**k they’re doing.”
Who Orton may be talking about
While they may appear harsh on the surface, Orton’s criticisms have some substance. Last month, Big E broke his neck during a botched stunt with former NXT wrestler Ridge Holland.
Though originally a Rugby League player in England, Ridge transitioned to wrestling in 2016 before signing a contract with WWE in 2018. Nevertheless, the increased safety risk has worried experienced professionals like Orton.
Undeniably posing a threat to the future of WWE, finding the right balance between entertainment and safety is of paramount importance. Should career-threatening injuries continue to happen, the sport could begin to lose its biggest names.