WWE Superstar Randy Orton has shared his thoughts on old school versus new school pro wrestling. He opened up about the subject during an interview with Vicente Beltran of Vibe and Wrestling.
Orton argued how, although in-ring styles have changed over the years, the core goal of telling a story and engaging fans hasn’t.
He highlighted how, although wrestling schools take a different approach now, “psychology has not changed.”
Orton stated that the basic premise of a good guy versus a bad guy remains constant within wrestling: “It’s the good guy, and the bad guy, and you play with the emotions of the audience.”
Randy Orton On Telling A Story
Juxtaposing his argument with his recent SummerSlam bout, Orton explained how he wanted to tell a story with his match against Drew McIntyre. He wasn’t interested in it being a 4 or 10-minute story. Instead, he wanted it to “be a novel.”
“I’m going to be out there for 25, 30, 35 minutes, or maybe more, and I think that’s when magic can happen – when you get comfortable and you can build, and build, and build, to a point in the match where you put people on the edge of their seat. And that is the goal that we all pursue, and it does not happen every match.”
Orton shared how he thinks wrestling’s new school is a reflected “mentality of independent wrestling.” He explained how a lot of WWE and NXT talent who are signed from the indies can tell a good story. However, he noted how “They are perhaps counted in a faster way, it is a little more – I think the most careful way to call is ‘dangerous’.”
He highlighted the dangers of the faster new school approach. Orton pointed to the speed, bumps, false finishes, and non-stop action of the new school mentality. He added how it, ultimately, “hurts the story you’re trying to sell.”
“The Viper” then acknowledged how modern-day athletes are “more and more athletic” than those before them. He praised their physical abilities and in-ring skills, highlighting how “They do things that have never been seen before, especially in the past, and are reaching heights unknown to date.”
According to Orton, he enjoys watching wrestlers from the new school. He added how he can recognize when one can tell a captivating story with that new school style. Orton then stressed how the importance of psychology remains the same regardless of approach.