"Old Randy was an a**hole" – When WWE legend became friends with Randy Orton
It is no secret that Randy Orton had attitude problems in the early days of his WWE career. The 14-time world champion famously developed an ego when he aligned with Batista, Ric Flair, and Triple H in the Evolution faction in 2003. He also received a suspension for violating WWE's Wellness Policy.
Orton started out in WWE alongside John Cena in the Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) developmental system. In 2002, both men moved to the main roster and quickly established themselves as main-event stars.
Cena spoke about his friendship with his legendary on-screen rival in the 2011 DVD Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator. The five-time WrestleMania headliner admitted that he did not always like the way Orton conducted himself:
"First of all, he's become a great guy," Cena said. "I always joke around: there's old Randy and then there's new Randy. Old Randy was an a**hole. You put up with old Randy because he had talent, and things happened in his life that changed his mind. He started to put everything into perspective, and new Randy's here. New Randy is a really, really cool guy."
Cena and Orton have crossed paths regularly in WWE over the last two decades. According to Cagematch.net, the two faced each other in 122 one-on-one main roster matches between 2005 and 2017. That number includes untelevised live event encounters.
How Randy Orton changed as a person
The DVD largely focused on how Randy Orton's mindset shifted when he became a father. The WWE star had his first child, Alanna Marie Orton, with his ex-wife Samantha in 2008. He also had another daughter, Brooklyn Rose Orton, with his wife Kim in 2016.
John Cena added that he and Orton eventually learned to like one another after a rocky start to their friendship:
"He has nothing to prove. He proves it out there [in the ring]. And even though we had a pretty tumultuous start and disagreed professionally on a lot of stuff, we started as friends and he's a really good friend of mine."
On February 11, 2017, Cena defeated Orton in a live event match to retain the WWE Championship. The long-term rivals have not crossed paths in a singles contest since that day.
Would you like to see John Cena vs. Randy Orton again? Let us know in the comments section below.
Please credit Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.