Ross, who now works for AEW, convinced WWE Chairman Vince McMahon to hire Orton in 2001. Earlier this year, the veteran announcer made headlines after he named The Viper as the best wrestler in the world ahead of AEW’s Kenny Omega.
Speaking on this week’s episode of his Grilling JR podcast, Ross said Orton is guaranteed to join the WWE Hall of Fame one day.
“He’s gonna end his career as one of the greatest,” Ross said. “He’ll be a Hall of Famer, no doubt. He’s also gonna be regarded by his peers as one of the greatest in-ring workers that they ever worked with of this generation, so it [hiring Orton] worked out well.”
Randy Orton, a 14-time World Champion, is two title victories away from equalling John Cena and Ric Flair’s joint-record of 16 World Championship reigns.
Jim Ross on Vince McMahon's opinion about Randy Orton joining WWE
Before joining WWE, Randy Orton received a bad conduct discharge after going AWOL during his time with the Marines. He also spent 38 days in a military prison.
Jim Ross also recalled how Vince McMahon had reservations about hiring Orton due to his military issues.
“Vince, being a strong patriot, didn’t like how that worked out for Randy in the military,” Ross said. “I said, ‘Did you get a second chance [after a difficult upbringing]?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Well, what’s the difference with this kid? He’s third-generation. If he hits, look what we have. If he doesn’t hit, I can get rid of him in 90 days’ notice. What do we have to lose?’”
Moving forward, Randy Orton is set to challenge Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship on Monday’s episode of RAW. The match was originally due to take place at WWE Extreme Rules on September 26.
Please credit Grilling JR and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.