Mick Foley has revealed that he had to convince Randy Orton to spit on him during their feud in late 2003.
As 2003 progressed Randy Orton became firmly established in the biggest faction in WWE at the time, Evolution.
Alongside Triple H, Ric Flair and Batista, the young star stood at the top of Monday Night Raw. But as the year began to wind to a close, it was time for Orton to start stepping out on his own. This led to the third-generation star dubbing himself the “Legend Killer” and targeting the great and the good of WWE.
This mission eventually put him on a collision course with Mick Foley. However, when the pair were scheduled to meet on Raw, Foley backed out of the match, and deliberately got himself counted out rather than face the younger star.
Not taking the perceived act of cowardice lightly, Orton confronted Foley and verbally demolished the legend, before spitting on him.
“I had to talk Randy into spitting on me on camera,” stated Foley. “He did not want to do it and then he finally said, ‘Please, Mick, what if I just pretend? I won’t really spit on you.’ I said, ‘Randy, this is one of the most important moments of your career. You need to dig down as deep into your lungs as you can and people need to see that residue.’”
The rivalry eventually culminated in a blood-soaked, thumbtack and barbed wire-laden Hardcore Match at Backlash 2004. It was a match that proved to the WWE faithful that not only was Orton a clean cut rising star who could wrestle, he was a badass who knew how to fight when the occasion called for it. The “Legend Killer” has always been full of praise for Mick Foley for his part in the match, commenting that “Mick Foley made me” on more than one occasion.
Reflecting on the match, Foley explained that meeting with Orton the night before the show was one of his most memorable moments.
“It [most memorable Orton moment] was getting into Edmonton the night before and have him come up to my room, which I’d never done, never done that before with anybody and never had it done to me. I just remember how wide his eyes were, how much he was absorbing everything.”
On the April 25th edition of Monday Night Raw, WWE paid tribute to the 14-time World Champion. During a promo thanking fans and former rivals alike, Orton paid tribute to Foley for making him the star he is today.
H/t to Sportskeeda for the transcription.