WWE is celebrating Randy Orton’s 20th anniversary by commemorating it with a new line of merchandise
To commemorate Randy Orton’s 20th anniversary, WWE has released a video remembering Orton’s impact on the wrestling brand with many of his most memorable moments coming during his early years. Among them, Orton said perhaps his “favorite match was at WrestleMania XXV, where he, Batista and Ric Flair surprisingly defeated Mick Foley and The Rock.”
“Every time I do an interview, I get asked quite a bit what my favorite moment is, and WrestleMania XX definitely gets a majority of the answer to those questions,” Orton explained. “That crowd was electric. I’ll never forget it. Right before our entrance music played, that Evolution music by Motorhead, it just hit different.
“And walking out with Flair and Batista in Madison Square Garden 20 years after my father [“Cowboy Bob” Orton] main-evented in WrestleMania I. Now, back then they didn’t know what they had. They didn’t know what they had begun. 20 years later, my father was in that building seeing what he had a hand in starting and I knew I made him proud.
“And then, not only that, but to be in a premiere match with Ric Flair and The Rock, Mick Foley, Batista – for us to win as a team, but not only that for me to get the victory, that match was just as important as any in getting me to where I am today.”
As Randy Orton pins Foley in the WrestleMania match, it marks a turning point for Orton and begins a hardcore rivalry between the two.
“And now I’ve got this future Hall of Famer, this all-time great Mick Foley,” Orton recalled. “He’s gotta prove that he’s still got it. Comes out with all the injuries he’s sustained throughout his career and he put it all on the line to show the world that he could still go and to pass that torch to a young Randy Orton. And that’s what he did.
“And we were in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and it was one of the loudest crowds I’d ever performed in front of. There were so many violent little obstacles in our way. I landed in the thumbtacks in that match. I actually have the thumbtacks that were in my boots after this match. I kept them. There were a few in my back that Ric Flair helped pull out of my back. I kept those too.
“That match helped show the fans that, OK. He’s a contender. This kid is willing to go out there and put his body through that to entertain us. I had them in the palm of my hand. Mick had them in the palm of their hand. And they were eating it up and enjoying every minute of it.
“And they got to witness me go out there and bleed for them. And everything changed after that. I was taken a little more seriously. I became a man that night thanks to Mick Foley.”
Foley helped Randy Orton when he was starting out, dating back to his time in WWE in 2003.
“I thought it was really special for Mick Foley to come out of retirement just to work with me,” Orton explained. “I’m so grateful for so many superstars that took the time to help mold me into who I eventually became in this business. And Mick Foley is at the top of that list along with Triple H and Ric Flair for helping me get here. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”