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How Randy Orton went from a problem to a leader backstage

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Alex McCarthy
OFFICIAL
Modified 11 Oct 2020, 01:13 IST
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Ahead of Drew McIntyre's showdown with Randy Orton at SummerSlam, the WWE Champion told me exactly what he thought of The Viper.

"The story writes itself; we were kids who were given such great opportunities. Randy has all the natural talent in the world, but he was very protected. Every time he messed up, he made sure someone was cleaning up his mess behind him.
“Whenever I messed up, it hurt me and it hurt me and eventually I was out of that position. And again, he was on a different level talent wise, but he was very much protected until he got to the top and then he figured it out to become the man he is today."

In his on-screen promos, McIntyre dressed down Randy Orton in the same vein and said the Legend Killer didn't care about anybody but himself. For years, that may have been true, but not any more.

Randy Orton has readily admitted he found fame and success in WWE way before he had matured. He was the youngest world heavyweight champion of all-time when he took the mantle in 2004 and he, alongside Batista, was almost bulletproof as he stood beside Triple H and Ric Flair.

There's countless rumours about Randy Orton backstage in those days. From womaniser to prankster and all the way to disruptive, Orton garnered an undesirable reputation. A reputation that would have seen anything below his sensational level of talent unemployed.

However, the 13-time world champion started turning a corner when he was leading his very own stable, Legacy. He and Cody Rhodes in particular remain close to this day and Randy Orton relished being able to guide some young talent.

Randy Orton, by his own admittance, truly turned a corner when he met his wife Kim. They married in 2015 and the former Evolution man says his whole outlook on life has been changed for the better.

WWE Superstars have heavily endorsed Randy Orton

I've heard from several WWE Superstars what a tremendous help Randy Orton is backstage. Some have told me in interviews, like Angel Garza and Kofi Kingston, and others off record. But, Orton is always willing to give advice these days and has become a real locker room leader.

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One superstar described him to me as someone with 'old school values, but smart enough to make them relevant to today's locker room'.

Randy Orton was the man Edge requested to work with when he knew he was returning to WWE. His first and only choice. And for many young stars on RAW this past year, Orton is the man they'll seek for wisdom. It appears he's all too happy to give said advice to those truly hungry to learn and get better.

Published 11 Oct 2020, 01:13 IST
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