Randy Orton and Edge will be going head to head on this Sunday's Backlash pay-per-view in what is being billed as the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever", which is quite the high bar. That match isn't the only thing on Orton's mind though, as on a recent media call Orton had some words for NXT, specifically regarding the style of their wrestling (via Cageside Seats). He didn't call out many names, but he did highlight Tommaso Ciampa as a primary example of what's wrong with NXT's style of wrestling, which for Orton says needs to slow down a bit and feature less train wrecks as he called them, which he says would help the physical toll on their bodies, especially in Ciampa's case.
"Whatever Vince gives me to do, whatever my job is on that particular situation, I'm gonna do it," Orton said. "If it's working with Tommaso Ciampa, then I'd be all for it, because I think he's very talented. I think that there's a few things that I could help him with. Mainly, to help him get a little more out of his career. I know he's been plagued with injuries, but I also know that he loves and respects this business."
Orton sees himself wrestling till he's 50, and his slowed down and less reckless style is what he says has allowed him to keep his wrestling career active.
"The NXT guys worry me because I see them doing such highly physical things during their matches," Orton said. "They do so many physically impressive things, but those things are dangerous, and they wear and tear on your career. I've been doing this 20 years, and I'll do it another decade. I just turned 40 [years old]. My plan would be to keep going until my 50th birthday. I think that I would be able to do that, and I would be able to support my family for 30 years of wrestling under Vince McMahon, because of the way that I tell stories in the ring. The facial expressions, the little transitional things that you do on the fly, or that you ad-lib during a match, those are the things that people remember."
"I'm not gonna name names, but a lot of the NXT guys work like this. It was just train wreck after train wreck after train wreck," Orton said. "And it was all very impressive, but when it's all said and done and the match is over, I couldn't remember anything that happened because it was just movement...When you don't see how that affected the talent, meaning they didn't sell that move, or there wasn't enough of a delay between high spots that I was able to see facial expressions...you don't get to invest into these matches because they are just one thing after another...They're gonna have very short careers...[Ciampa] needs to learn how to tell stories and slow it down and not think that the fans want to see him kill himself."
"The human body wasn't designed to be able to withstand that type of abuse...If you only get three or four years of a career with the WWE because you did a lot of careless, reckless, dangerous moves, you would have to look back and kick yourself in the ass and wish that you didn't. There's a smarter way to do it. Smarter, not harder."
Orton also brought up the business side of wrestling, which can't be done if you are always injured.
"This is a business. We all love what we do, but you need to make money doing it," Orton said. "You can't destroy your body and not make any money doing it, and then end up working at McDonald's because you never went to college, and you destroyed your neck in the ring. There has to be a purpose, and the main purpose is getting paid. We love what we do, but you need to get paid for what you do. That's my biggest concern for those guys in NXT. I would love to go down there and share a little knowledge with them."
It's certainly an interesting take, and we are quite intrigued to see how Ciampa and NXT as a whole respond to Orton's comments. It would be easy to take those comments as condescending, and while Orton's slow tempo style has given him a long career, it hasn't always resulted in the most compelling matches, so there is definitely a trade-off.
What do you think of Orton's comments on NXT? Let us know in the comments or as always you can find me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB for all things WWE and NXT!