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Randy Orton Reveals When He’ll Be “Done” With Wrestling

Randy Orton

Randy Orton has opened up about when he sees himself calling it a day in the wrestling business and details the way his WWE contract is different from most.

Orton made his WWE television debut in April 2002 as one of the famous OVW class of the same year that made their WWE debuts within three months of each other. Randy’s contemporaries in that class included Brock Lesnar, John Cena, and his future Evolution stablemate Batista.

Intercontinental Championship reigns turned World Heavyweight Title wins as Evolution passed Orton by and he found himself standing on his own two feet as a Legend Killer. The third-generation star has built a WWE career that has amassed 14 world titles in all among countless other championships as well as two victories in the iconic Royal Rumble match.

With more yesterdays than tomorrows left in the ring, Randy Orton discussed on The Ringer Wrestling Podcast how much longer he sees himself lacing up his wrestling boots:

“I’m 41, by the time I’m 50, I think I’m done. But I’m not like, I’ll do [acting] auditions every once in a while, but I almost only do them because my wife says ‘oh do them, because what if you don’t? Then you’ll wonder what if you did.’ So I do auditions here and there, crossing my fingers that I don’t get a callback because I love what I do. I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to have to stop, because of my body.”

“So I’ve taken it upon myself to make sure I’m doing everything I can on the daily that physically I’m able to continue. But if it was up to me, and I knew physically it wouldn’t be a problem, I’d say I’d wrestle until I’m 50 years old. And I would go out and have that last match when I’m 50 and be able to say I did it on my own terms. That’s 9 years from now. But I don’t see an end to my career any time soon. I’d like to continue to go.”

As far as ever becoming part-time as so many other wrestling legends have, Orton says that that’s not for him and reveals that his WWE contract stipulates a set number of dates for The Viper to work:

“That’s that sought after ‘oh, WrestleMania and get the summer off, come back for SummerSlam, disappear till Survivor Series.’ I think Shawn Michaels was doing that, Taker was doing that for a while. I don’t want to do that. I think doing that burns you out.”

“I think wrestling once a week for me, like wrestling once a week would be ideal for me. And that’s kind of where I’m at right now. Schedule-wise, I don’t think anyone knows this and I don’t care if they do, but I think I’m maybe one of the only guys that have an amount of dates that I’m contractually obligated to do.”

“And that’s 80, 80 shows a year. It sounds like a lot, but after you do one TV a week, one PPV a month, you’re left with like 15, 20 live events. So those are the Saudi Arabias, the European Tours, the Madison Square Garden live events. I think that, with me wrestling once a week, I’m able to kind of keep the joints loose and feel like I’m in shape enough to continue to do it.”

Randy Orton then discusses the changes in wrestling from his father Cowboy Bob Orton’s days in the ring and now, with stars able to take time to heal their wounds and still get paid at the end of the week:

“If I take a bad bump and I hurt my neck, I’ll take a week off, and I think that’s what’s going to make me be able to wrestle until I’m 50. It’s that I’ll take the week off. You’ve got a lot of guys that will wrestle through these injuries, and that’s how it used to have to be.”

“You wouldn’t be paid if you weren’t working. If you didn’t show up to that Garden show, you weren’t getting paid. The pay scale, the pay structure has changed now to where I’m getting paid no matter what. It’s fantastic.

“So I’m going to go and I’m going to do whatever shows they want me to do, and I’m going to do them to the best of my ability. But there’s 80 of them, and if I keep that number 80 or less, and that number goes down a few every year, I’m good. I’m good. And I don’t want to have two shows a year because I think that’s when you do a moonsault off the top buckle to the floor on two thirty-year veterans and you almost break your neck.”

Randy Orton will be hoping to equal the record for Royal Rumble match victories as he enters the men’s showpiece match on the 29th of January.

h/t Wrestling Inc.