World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton spoke with Roanoke.com this weekend to promote Tuesday’s WWE SmackDown tapings in the city. The interviewer noted that before the session, WWE’s handler stressed that Orton is a sports entertainer, not a wrestler.
Here are some highlights:
Q: From your perspective, what’s the best and worst part of being a WWE superstar?
A: I’d say the best part of being a WWE superstar is traveling the world, meeting new and different people of all walks of life. I love what I do for a living. One of the things people don’t think about — the travel is good, but at the same time it’s very tiring, and you don’t have an off season like your regular professional football team. I got buddies of mine out swimming with their families in the pool right now. Yesterday they were barbecuing. I was in La Crosse, Wis., you know? I have a wife and a daughter, and I don’t get to see them much.
Q: Your act for the past few years has been being a heel (villain). Do you ever want to be a babyface (hero)?
A: I don’t think I’m a true babyface. I’ve made some slight changes, and the more time that goes by the more changes I’ll make. But technically, I guess, you can call me a babyface because I’m facing other heels most of the time, of course, except for Christian right now. As a heel, I acted a certain way. I did certain things and I wasn’t afraid of getting dirty. But as a babyface, I don’t really want to change too much. Last time I turned in ’04, I tried to change 180 degrees and it failed miserably. So this time, I’m trying to take what I thought people were into about my character as a heel and really just slowly fine tune things instead of making any drastic changes.
Q: What was your reaction to “Macho Man” Randy Savage’s death recently?
A: It was awful. I would hope everyone’s reaction would be somewhere along those lines. Awful, in disbelief, saddened, mortified.
Q: What legacy do you hope to leave behind in WWE?
A: I’ve won every title there is to win, just about, and I think right now my main goal is in the longevity of my career. I’ve been around 10 years, but that’s not really nothing compared to some guys in our business who have been able to stay on top for a long amount of time — like Triple H, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair. I want to be one of those handful of guys who are household names, that when people think WWE, or sports entertainment — whatever the hell they’re calling it now — I want to be at the top of that list. I want to be known worldwide for how good I’m able to perform in that ring.