With recent storylines in AEW—specifically the whole “sports entertainment” angle that the Jericho Appreciation Society is pushing, a few fans out there have been essentially rubbed the wrong way. Especially fans of AEW and pro wrestling in general.
WWE has pushed the definition of Sports Entertainers down the throats of its fans for years now and for fans of classic style pro wrestling, it just doesn’t fit well with what they think of the sport overall. This is why companies like AEW do so well, especially these days, offering fans an alternative after so many years of WWE having that monopoly on a larger scale.
I mean we always had ROH, NJPW and of course Impact/TNA, but it’s safe to claim that AEW is the first company to reach such a larger audience since Vince McMahon purchased WCW back in 2001.
WWE though is still full of great pro wrestlers and really always has been…specifically with stars like Seth Rollins, now Cody Rhodes, Mustafa Ali, AJ Styles, and of course Randy Orton. Of course that list is much larger than that, but I don’t have all day. I do have a deadline to meet, so if I didn’t include all of the great wrestlers that are undoubtedly on that roster, it’s out of brevity, dear readers.
Matt Hardy most definitely recognized Randy’s greatness and kindness, and he recalls a time when Randy was his greatest supporter…even when Matt went to AEW at the stage in his career that he did. It was during a recent episode of The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy that he made the following statements:
“I think Randy Orton is f***ing awesome…I love Randy’s work, I always enjoyed working with him and I think as a person, me knowing him for these 20 years, we have so much in common. The last couple of years I was (in WWE), we became closer than we ever had just because we shared those personal family lives together and we were kind of in the same boat…
Both of our wives are pretty intense if you know what I mean; they’re good for us because they keep us both in check. I have nothing but positive things to say about Randy. I love his storytelling in the ring and I love the way he tells his character…
Randy was one of my biggest supporters when I left and went to AEW, to get over and my stuff on my own, being one of the older guys that were never one of Vince’s top guys. Randy was one of my biggest supporters and constantly would text me and we’d stay in contact. I think Randy is awesome, people who think Randy doesn’t do a lot of work at a slower more plotting pace…
I just don’t think they get the basic aspects of traditional pro wrestling. When it comes to traditional pro wrestling and traditional storytelling, there is no one better than Randy Orton. He’s so smooth, he’s so good, and he’s so committed to whatever personality he’s working. He’s just a joy to work with.”via The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy /Wrestling Inc. (Transcription)
Randy Orton recently celebrated 20 years in the business—specifically in WWE, where he wrestled his entire career. He trained at Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2001 and started on the main roster of WWE in 2002.