He's had a Hall of Fame career, but Randy Orton only recently realized the importance of promos.
Speaking on the newest episode of Steve Austin's Broken Skull Sessions, The Viper was complimented for his recent run on the microphone, which Stone Cold described as him "shooting daggers." Orton admitted that for too long he neglected that side of the business, focusing only on his in-ring work. He said the following:
"I've been around, but the promos, they were always mediocre. I was concentrating on the in-ring stuff, and I did that for years. I even remember that the reason I give you a bit of shit and I say 'you weren't too fond of me,' is I know you've done interviews before where you shit on my promos. At the time, I'm like 'f*ck him.' But you were right. I think it was Michael Hayes, not too long ago, he said, 'Randy if you look at all the guys who have had a Hall of Fame career, they were all good workers but could cut a good promo -- a great promo. They were great on the mic. You're not great on the mic, but you're kind of in that mix and that's odd to me.' He said that to me, and it's like, I need to give this more thought."
Orton acknowledged that for years he was okay with not being in a bunch of backstage talking segments because he knew he could get over with his matches. Not only that, but there was a time where they wouldn't want him on the stick very much because there were a lot of people doing it better. He now knows that what you say on the microphone is just as important as what happens in the ring. Here's what he said:
"For years I didn't want to hear it. When he would say that my promos were the shit, I didn't want to hear it. I knew that I was good enough to get by and do my thing. When you talk about the downs as opposed to the ups, those downs would put me in that funk to where I was good enough to stay out all night, not treat myself the best possible way I could be treating myself. Sleep in, miss the gym, show up to work, wipe the sleep out of my eye, put on my boots, and go kill it. I've always been so blessed in that regard, but I realized about a year ago how important promos were and it's embarrassing to say especially to someone like you that it took me that long to realize that."
Asked when he noticed a change, Orton cited his 2020 feud with Edge. He said making the content more personal was key in finding the passion behind his words.
The full interview can be seen now on the WWE Network.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit Steve Austin's Broken Skull Sessions with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.