Jim Ross has revealed that Vince McMahon had doubts about hiring Randy Orton in 2000. Although he is best known for his on-screen role as a commentator, Ross also worked closely with McMahon behind the scenes in WWE. The Hall of Famer was responsible for hiring Superstars in the 1990s and 2000s, including Randy Orton.
Prior to joining WWE, Randy Orton enlisted with the Marines. However, he received a bad conduct discharge after going AWOL on two occasions. He also spent 38 days in a military prison.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, Ross recalled that McMahon had reservations about Randy Orton due to his past. The current AEW announcer had to remind the WWE Chairman that he was also considered a “problem child” in his younger years.
“He [Randy Orton] was, believe it or not, he was somewhat of a controversial hire for us,” Ross said. “Vince was the problem child that went to military school and Randy was the problem child that went to the Marines and got discharged. Big time [Randy Orton’s past was a problem for Vince McMahon]. But, you know, it’s one of those deals where you say, look, I said, ‘Vince, you got a second chance, so why not this kid?’ He’s only a third-generation performer and both his father and his grandfather were outstanding in-ring guys.”
Randy Orton joined WWE’s Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) developmental system in 2000. The tweet above shows a young Randy Orton competing in a tag team match after he moved to WWE's main roster in 2002.
Randy Orton’s current WWE status
Randy Orton is involved in a rivalry with The Fiend Bray Wyatt on WWE RAW. The 14-time WWE World Champion recently defeated The Fiend in a Firefly Inferno match at TLC 2020.
The pay-per-view ended with Randy Orton setting The Fiend on fire in the middle of the ring. Bray Wyatt’s alter-ego has not been seen on WWE television since the match took place.
Please credit Grilling JR and give a H/T to SK Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.Published 08 Jan 2021, 18:05 IST