Randy Orton is 36-years-old and has been wrestling for WWE since 2001, but how much longer does he intend to continue wrestling? The Apex Predator could win his thirteenth WWE World Title in Orlando this weekend, but Triple H has gone on record to call Orton a “self-destroyer.” That means as good as Randy has been over his career, there is still a lot of untapped potential and talent left in the tank he hasn’t used.
He is a 16-year veteran of WWE who isn’t showing any major signs of calling it a career yet. Orton has had his share of injuries. He has a history of shoulder problems, but every performer has their Achilles heel with injuries. It’s a part of the business, but Randy has been around for so long that it’s strange to remember that he’s still young. Unless he suffers a career ending injury in the ring, he may be wrestling for a long time.
Typically, wrestlers who have that kind of experience under their belt are performers like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Shinsuke Nakamura, or Kevin Owens. They’ve wrestled and perfected their craft outside of WWE, and made it to the “big leagues.” Randy Orton is a legacy. The business is in his bone marrow. He was born to be a professional wrestler. After sixteen years, the big question is how much longer will he continue to wrestle?
At WrestleMania 33, Randy Orton will challenge Bray Wyatt for the WWE Championship. There is a strong chance that he will walk out of Orlando with the title, but that will not be confirmed until Sunday. While he was doing a promotional interview for WrestleMania 33, the topic of retirement came up, and Randy Orton revealed the following about how much longer he’s planning to wrestle for WWE unless he suffers an injury:
“I’m 36, and I feel – I’ve been saying this for five years – I feel like I’ve got another 10 years in me. I’ve never felt this good with my body health-wise. It took me awhile to get there, but I’ve got a good team of people back in St. Louis that kind of put me together again each week if I need it. I’ve gotten to a point where longevity is key. With injuries earlier in my career, it’s kind of always been key for me.”
On paper, that means Randy Orton believes he could be a part of WrestleMania 43. Considering WWE is in a position where many of their top draws and performers don’t need to be full-time, Orton performing as a part-time wrestler will add many years to his career. For instance, The Undertaker is still wrestling well into his fifties, but he’s been on a limited schedule for years. It’s doubtful he’d still be around if he was full-time.
The interesting thing about Randy Orton is another ten years of wrestling would be very challenging for the powers that be to keep setting up goals for him. For example, John Cena tied Ric Flair’s World Title record this year at sixteen. Orton is at twelve and possible even thirteen after WrestleMania 33. On paper, Orton is extremely likely to break that record held by Cena and Flair, especially if he has another decade of wrestling to go.
The thing that is unique about Randy Orton is he has been at the top of the WWE ladder for as long as John Cena, but he doesn’t catch the same flack from the WWE Universe as he does. Much of that has to do with being the “face” of WWE for years, but Orton has this grace to him as a performer that will only get better as he gets older. If Randy Orton is great now, how much better will he be in another ten years?
[Featured Image by WWE]