Randy Orton Says 'Reckless' NXT Superstars 'Worry' Him
WWE superstar Randy Orton has been the talk of wrestling recently after a series of blistering social media exchanges with NXT's Tommaso Ciampa. The Twitter feud started with Orton's tongue in cheek comments on NXT Takeover: In Your House last Sunday and has continued to rage, with the pair exchanging humorous barbs all week. However it seems that at least on Orton's side, the keyboard war is a sign of the veteran wanting to help the young talent of WWE's third brand.
Speaking to Sportskeeda, Orton addressed the subject of Ciampa, and why he was critical of the NXT brand. "I think he's very talented. I think that there's a few things I could help him with, mainly to help him to get a little more out of his career. I know he's been plagued with injuries but I also know he loves and respects this business. These NXT superstars worry me because I see them doing such highly physical things in their matches. They do so many physically impressive things, but those things are dangerous and they wear and tear on your career."
'The Viper' made his WWE debut in 2002,and feels his ring style has been key to that longevity. NXT is known for delivering high-octane, instant classics on a regular basis, but the veteran Orton feels this isn't sustainable. "I've been doing this for twenty years and I could go another decade. I've just turned 40 and my plan would be to keep going until my 50th birthday. What helps is the way I tell stories in the ring. The facial expressions, the little transitional things you do on the fly, those are the things that people remember."
However in Orton's eyes, the NXT style flies in the face of the very elements he's used to extend a distinguished ring career. Recalling watching NXT Takeover: In Your House, he said, "It was just trainwreck after trainwreck after trainwreck. It was all very impressive but when it's all said and done and the match was over, I couldn't remember anything that happened. It was just movement, it was just big car crashes. They didn't sell moves, there wasn't enough of a delay between high spots that I was able to register facial expressions and see that "oh, this guy hurts". You don't get to invest into these matches because they're just one thing after another, even though it is highly impressive. A lot of the things these guys do, I'm not capable of doing. But they're going to have very short careers."
Tommaso Ciampa himself has a history of injury problems,a fact not lost on Orton. Hearing him speak on his rival's woes indicated his comments were less about social media point-scoring, and more a case of a veteran performer advising a colleague, albeit in a direct and public manner. "What I worry about with Ciampa is the injuries he's had. We've all had injuries, we all work hurt, we all wake up stiff after a good fight. But he needs to learn how to tell stories, and slow it down, and not think that the fans want to see him kill himself. The way these guys throw themselves aroundand take bumps out of the ring to the floor. The human body wasn't designed to withstand that type of abuse. There's a shelf life on that, and if you only have 3-4 years of a career in WWE because you do a lot of careless, reckless, dangerous moves, you'd have to look back and kick yourself in the ass and wish that you didn't."
It remains to be seen whether the online tug-of-war will be extinguished or ignited by these comments, but what is guaranteed is that Randy Orton will square off against Edge this Sunday at Backlash, live on the WWE Network.