WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton participated in an interview with Phoenix, Arizona based rock station 98KUPD promoting this week’s SmackDown tapings. Highlights from the interview are as follows.
* Orton discussed his past issues with drug abuse, including an incident in 2006 where he overdosed, stopped breathing and his wife called an ambulance to save his life. Orton said he and his family discuss the bad choices he’s made in WWE’s upcoming DVD release, Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator. “I was ashamed of it for a long time, but now talking about it and getting it off my chest—when my in-laws and mom watches it, they’re going to cry. My wife talks about when I stopped breathing and the ambulance came,” Orton said.
* Orton noted his recent concussion at a live event in Spain, saying the Raw taping the day after was “the biggest blur” and that he “couldn’t focus or concentrate.” He said it was the sixth concussion he had suffered, which had WWE worried. He said it was three years since his previous concussion, and that he had suffered some “bad ones” earlier in his career.
* Orton was broached on the subject of not being able to say he’s a wrestler, but rather, a “WWE Superstar.” Orton added, “Honestly, a lot of things we’ve talked about thus far in this interview, they’d be upset with. I’m not like, ‘eff it,’ but I try to be real.”
* Orton shared a story of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson trying to get him in trouble prior to WrestleMania. Orton said he gave his opinion on The Rock during an interview with ESPN—that he wasn’t buying his return speech about returning to WWE and never leaving again. Orton said Johnson called management and claimed the WWE Superstar slammed him and Triple H in the interview. Orton feels Rock mentioned Triple H to grab their attention even though he didn’t criticize “The Game” in the interview. Orton said he had “got in trouble” and “made Vince mad” for his statements. He feels the interview was “blown out of proportion” and that Johnson should have confronted him over his remarks, rather than complaining to Vince McMahon and management.
* Orton said Cena is “light years” ahead of everyone in WWE on the microphone, including The Rock. Orton then criticized Cena’s wrestling ability by laughing at his in-ring style. “When I watch him, I feel he’s a little stiff, hard to move, robotic. It certainly hasn’t hurt him. I’m much better than John Cena, but on the mic, he’s light-years ahead of all of us, including The Rock,” Orton said.
— Orton knocked the actresses who have portrayed his wife on television. “Both those women were actresses. Not even actresses. They were like models who couldn’t act; it was awful. (hosts laughed) It actually ruined both segments because they couldn’t act,” Orton said.
— Orton brought up Chris Jericho, who said he is missed as a locker room leader. When asked about Downfall on ABC, Orton said he doesn’t think Jericho received permission from WWE to host the game show. He said there was some conflict over the matter, but Jericho is the type to approach Vince McMahon. “Jericho is type of the guy to go in Vince’s office and tell him this is what he’s doing and tough,” Orton said. “A lot of newer, younger guys are intimidated by Vince. They’re scared to knock on his door. Jericho—I miss him being around—would go tell McMahon what’s going on.”
— Spured on by the hosts, Orton levied some unflattering remarks towards WWE Divas Champion Kelly Kelly after saying he worked a brief romance storyline with her a few years ago. “I would be a method actor, and actually sleep with her,” joked host John Holmberg. “I could name a few method actors in WWE,” Orton replied. “Like, ten guys.” The hosts tried to pry names from Orton, who tried to deflect from the topic by joking that it’s all the big guys on the roster. Orton and the hosts continued to joke about who Kelly has or hasn’t slept with throughout the show.