The 41-year-old will celebrate twenty years as a WWE Superstar in 2022, after making his TV debut in April 2002. In that time, he has established himself as one of the biggest Superstar’s in the company and won fourteen world titles.
Speaking to the Ringer Wrestling Podcast, Orton has now revealed when he plans on retiring from WWE. Which if The Viper sticks to his word, means we still have a lot more RKO’s to enjoy before it’s all over.
“I’m 41. By the time I’m 50, I think I’m done. But I’m not like, I’ll do 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 call back 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.”
Although his schedule has slightly reduced in recent years, Orton remains an integral part of WWE programming, and his tandem with Riddle has been one of the most entertaining parts of Monday Night Raw over the past six months. Yet, he added that he does have a certain amount of contracted dates, one of the few full-time talents to have this obligation.
The Viper added…
“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.
“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.”
Randy will be part of this Saturday’s Royal Rumble match, where it’s expected he may begin the much rumoured WrestleMania programme with tag team partner Riddle.