Randy Orton on How His Infamous Storyline With The Fiend Forced Him to Change

The WWE storyline between Randy Orton, "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss from late 2020 through WrestleMania 37 turned out to be one of the strangest in recent memory. Things kicked off when Orton set Wyatt on fire at the 2020 TLC pay-per-view, which then turned into months of Bliss torturing him by hurling fireballs and causing him to cough up black liquid before getting attacked by a revived Fiend at the Fastlane event. The two then clashed at WrestleMania 37, only for Bliss to betray Wyatt by revealing her own demonic alter-ego (how and why have never been made clear). This allowed Orton to hit a single RKO, pick up the win and never confront either Bliss or The Fiend again.

A lot has been reported in the months since then about what went wrong with the storyline, but Orton got the chance to reflect on it while on The Ringer Wrestling Show this week. One positive he took away from the storyline was that it taught him to roll with the punches when it comes to booking. 

"Rolling with the punches is something that I realized, more recently than not, if I just accept that I'm out of control of some of these situations and I'm talking about the business right now, if I just take what they give me and do it to the best of my ability...I was doing Fiend stuff a year ago," Orton said. "That was hard. Some of that was rough. They put me in the burn mask one week and the next week I'm out of it and my skin healed. It's tough. Then you go to, who you would imagine you go to when you have a gripe, and go, 'Hey, I can't do this. Aren't they gonna....' [Vince impression], 'Just do it. It's going to work.' 'Okay.' Roll with the punches. You go out there and do your best job. Even though I'm lighting a dead guy on fire and he's the babyface...I had a very hard time trying to make that real, but I feel like I did a good enough job to where even though it was a little cringe-worthy for some people, because I really tried to believe I was going through this, I think it helped people buy into it a little bit more while we were suspending that reality and trying to make them believe like they would if they were watching the most recent Halloween movie. They want to believe and be entertained so, the more I can accept that and make it real and make it something that I'm feeling and not just words that some 22-year-old writer wrote on paper for me, if I believe it and make it mine, I can get them to believe. That's what kind of changed with my promos."

Orton has since transitioned into somewhat of a babyface while teaming with Riddle as RK-Bro. The pair recently held the Raw Tag Team Championships before dropping them to Alpha Academy on an episode of Raw earlier this month.

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