Mick Foley was key in getting The Legend Killer over.
Randy Orton was the latest guest on Stone Cold Steve Austin's Broken Skull Sessions, during which time they discussed all the landmark moments of The Viper's impressive career. One such event was Backlash 2004, where Orton faced Mick Foley in a Hardcore Match for the Intercontinental Championship.
Orton had nothing but positive things to say about Foley and noted how he was the first - on a now long list of Legends - to let him "take them out." The two then dissected the match with Orton agreeing with Austin's assessment that it changed the way people saw him. Here is what he said:
"One hundred percent. I didn't know going in, I knew how lucky I was to be in the position I was in, but I didn't understand after we did this. It was in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Sold out crowd. Probably one of the biggest, loudest houses I've ever been in front of, and they were there the entire time...
Yes, that's exactly what it was, and I felt that right away, whether it was at the airports, the arenas, the autograph signings, I could tell that there was buzz about this match. The fans realized that okay, so he's not just, you know, I'm out there wearing suits in Evolution, clenching the jaw, doing the photoshoots with the girls. I'm the good-looking one like you said - whatever - I needed this."
Beyond the thumbtacks and overall brutality of their encounter, Randy talked about how Foley made him and how being associated with veterans during that time was huge in getting himself and the persona over. He said the following:
"Mick Foley had everything to do with it [the Legend Killer]. The idea itself, I'm not sure, but Foley made me. Talking about coming around, he let me spit in his face. Harley Race too (let me spit in his face). I knew he [Race] was going to take a swing at me and I knew I'd better get out of the way, I don't care what age the man was, I did not want to get knocked out on live television doing this with him. But old school, it goes back. Loved my dad. That goes to that -- a lot of these guys that were like this [tight] with my man. That respect was there. I'm Cowboy Bob's son, they loved him. 'Your Bob's kid? Let's go. I'm going to do what I can.' So here, just like Mark, just like Taker with the hip tosses and the arms drags and yadda yadda yadda here's Harley race. That was huge for me man. Same with Mick."
I attended Backlash 2004 and recently wrote a retrospective on my memories of the event.
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