Randy Orton’s “dive” retweet, as it turns out, isn’t all the current WWE Champion has to say about recent criticisms against independent wrestling and the typical matches seen on indy promotions. On Sunday, “The Viper” returned to Twitter to post a sarcastic retort at wrestling fans upset by the above-mentioned comments, while also calling out former WWE Tag Team Champion and TNA World Champion Bubba Ray Dudley (a.k.a. Bully Ray on TNA) for humorously posting in defense of indy wrestling.
With indy wrestlers such as Will Ospreay and even WWE’s own TJ Perkins joining fans in calling Orton out for his “dive” post, the 13-time WWE Champion took to Twitter on Sunday evening, posting what he called an “apology” for the earlier post. WrestleZone quoted Orton’s new statement and edited it for clarity, and it would seem that the WWE veteran and third-generation star really doesn’t care much for the style of wrestling showcased by independent promotions.
“Sorry to the indy marks, indy guys and old timers who do DIVES [that] took offense. Just having a good time over a few drinks in Denmark closing the Smackdown Live tour, while beating Raw in making over 5 million dollars in the last 11 shows. Now I know to some that doesn’t equate to a standing room only crowd of 150 people paying $8 at an armory somewhere, but in the big boy world that’s called putting a**es in seats. So enjoy your flips, dives, and 20 superkicks per match. To each their own.”
Randy Orton added that he will “dive” back into his ongoing WWE Championship reign, and “flip” when he receives his bank statement for the month. He concluded his statement with the word “headlock,” in reference to how fans have often called him out for his tendency to use rest holds in his matches.
About an hour prior to posting his “apology” statement, Orton had also replied to a Twitter post from former WWE colleague Bubba Ray Dudley, who now uses the name Bully Ray in leading indy promotion Ring of Honor. Bully Ray, whose real name is Mark LoMonaco, tweeted a photo of himself diving off the top rope as a group of wrestlers looked on in the ring, only for Orton to retort with the following comment:
“Lol there is a difference between a young hungry talent diving and an old outta shape ‘vet’…….falling”
In response, Bully Ray explained that his tweet had nothing to do with Orton. He did, however, add that his act of “falling” on several wrestlers was better than the heavily-criticized House of Horrors match between Orton and Bray Wyatt at WWE’s Payback pay-per-view.
As the Inquisitr reported previously, the Randy Orton “dive” controversy started late last week, when Canadian independent wrestler Daniel “D-Man” Parker tweeted a screen cap where he commented on how the average indy wrestling match goes. This screen cap was retweeted by Ohio Valley Wrestling trainer and industry veteran Rip Rogers, then by Rogers’ old protege Orton, who added the word “dive” at the end of his retweet.
“Every Indy match now: handshake, drawn out move exchange, this is awesome chant, strike exchange, dive no sell Indy strongstyle, dive, more strikes, no sells, dive, flippy floppy sequence, dive, hit everyone with each other’s finisher then Humpty Dumpty we all fall down. Fight forever chant, rinse and repeat until every move is useless and means nothing, dive, take unsafe shot that looks like s**t and hurts like hell then roll up finish. Hand shake and hug after match. Everyone’s hands raised. All these guys chant. Go home and type on social media thanking your opponents and company for the match and telling others they should book these guys.”
In addition to Rogers’ retweet, he had also posted several criticisms of independent wrestling matches in relation to what Parker had observed.
Putting things in context, a good number of matches and events in these independent circuits focus more on wrestling moves than in-ring or on-mic storytelling, with many wrestlers, often smaller, quicker ones, doing acrobatic flips and dives. As these matches tend to be less focused on traditional good guy vs. bad guy (babyface vs. heel) dynamics, it isn’t uncommon for competitors to offer sportsmanlike gestures and celebrate with the crowd after a match. This was previously a point of contention for WCW, WWE, and New Japan Pro Wrestling legend Big Van Vader, when, in June 2016, he criticized a NJPW match between young high-flyers Ricochet and Will Ospreay for its “blatant acrobatics” and lack of storytelling.
Daily DDT recounted that this led to a Twitter feud between Vader and Ospreay, who had also reacted to Randy Orton’s “dive” post, and Daniel Parker and Rip Rogers’ negative remarks about indy wrestling, by releasing a “dive” t-shirt of his own.
What are your thoughts on the repeated anti-independent wrestling sentiments shared by the likes of Rip Rogers and Randy Orton? Do you feel that the “dive” controversy is being blown out of proportion? We’d like to hear from you in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by WWE]