As noted, Tuesday marked 15 years since WWE Champion Randy Orton made his WWE debut with a win over Hardcore Holly on SmackDown. Orton spoke to the WWE website for a Q&A on his career at this link. Below are highlights:
How does it feel to be a 15-year veteran?
How does it feel? It feels like, “Where did the time go?” to be honest. I’ve been around a long time, and it seemed for the longest time like I was the young guy. Now, all of a sudden, I’ve got fans with beards telling me, “I used to watch you when I was a kid.” So, I don’t know what happened to all those years, man, but the little bit I do remember? It was definitely a fun ride.
You’ve been The Legend Killer, The Viper and The Apex Predator. Do you find it difficult to reinvent yourself over the years?
Not really, because I’ve always been kind of the same guy. Whether I was The Legend Killer, The Viper, The Apex Predator, nothing’s really changed. When I look at [Superstars] who’ve had 10 different personas … it’s amazing to me. These guys are very talented that they’re able to do that. Would I be able to do that? I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. But I think the fact that I’ve never really had to change is a testament to what my persona is on the show. Whether you’re sick of it or love it, you know what you’re gonna get with me.
With everything you’ve achieved, what do you consider to be the single greatest accomplishment of your career?
There’s honestly not one thing. Youngest champ; I think I’ve won more Survivor Series Matches than anything else, maybe I’m tied with Ultimate Warrior; won two Royal Rumbles; won Money in the Bank; I’ve main-evented WrestleMania; I’ve wrestled in 13 WrestleManias — those are all up there. I’ve stolen the show numerous times. I’ve wrestled in Seoul, I’ve wrestled in Auckland, New Zealand. There’s not one thing, there’s a bunch of things.
The RKO has taken on a life of its own within your career. As the man who performs the move, what is your single favorite RKO of all time?
I would say probably the one with Evan Bourne. It just shows you how important timing is and I felt like the timing on that particular one was harder to achieve than any of the other ones. The one on Seth [Rollins] at WrestleMania was difficult, too. I’ve done some cool ones with Dolph [Ziggler] and Cesaro, too, and springboards in with Carlito and CM Punk. The timing is what makes that. But the hardest one, the highest-risk one to hit perfect was the Evan Bourne one, and that’d probably be why it’s my favorite.