Randy Orton: There's No Longevity In The NXT Style, The Goal Should Be Raw Or SmackDown

Randy Orton and Tommaso Ciampa got into a Twitter beef following NXT TakeOver: In Your House when Orton sent out a backhanded compliment about leg slaps.

Ciampa responded by saying he uses Orton matches to put his daughter to sleep and Orton noted that he seemed to upset one of the locker room leaders in NXT.

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Speaking to CBS Sports, Orton clarified his "leg slap" comments and how he views NXT.

"So, the leg slap comment was just me having fun and it got taken a little too seriously," he noted before saying he's seen more leg slaps and repeated moves as so many wrestlers use a superkick or running knee.

"That has nothing to do with the state of Tommaso's physical wellbeing, but there's that style. If you're a talent and you've made it as far as NXT, which is very close to the top of the mountain ... if you think that you have to go out there and get powerbombed on the apron after neck surgery, or if you think you have to go out there and do these dives and flips bell to bell just because the fans want to see half a dozen near-death experiences? I feel sorry for you because you're not going to reap the benefits of what this business offers," said Orton. "One of those is longevity. I don't know anything about what NXT pay is like, but it certainly ain't Raw and SmackDown pay. I don't know what you get paid for a TakeOver, but I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that, at WrestleMania, my paycheck was bigger than the TakeOver guys. Now, I hate when guys talk about 'my big bank account' or 'my big check' or this or that and 'I'm more rich than you.' That's not what I'm saying here. I'm saying that NXT shouldn't be the goal. Raw or SmackDown should be the goal."

Orton went on to say that he wants Ciampa to have a long and healthy career where he can retire and not have to learn a new trade.

"I want to see all these guys succeed. When you're talking about that? Making money. It's a business. It's a business. You've got to make money. I would think, no matter how much you love NXT, you've got to look at the bigger picture. If you don't think you're going to last on the road for Raw and SmackDown? Do something about it. Go and sign a contract that calls for you to only show up at TV. They do NXT every week and they do a TakeOver whenever. They're wrestling about as much as we're wrestling, especially right now. With the future and no one knowing how many shows we're going to be putting on, I think it's a bit of a cop out to say, 'I can get four years of NXT versus one year of Raw or SmackDown,'" said Orton before noting that he would love to work with Ciampa and believes he's great at telling stories.

He continued, "All different kind of fans love all different kinds of styles and there's definitely a popular style down in NXT. I'm not saying fans are wrong and I'm not saying the wrestlers are wrong. I'm just saying there's no longevity in it. There's no chance you're going to be able to have a 10, 15, 20-year career and be able to support your family. If you have multiple kids, especially, there's no way to do that in NXT. That's why there's the major leagues and the major leagues are Raw and SmackDown. The major leagues are main eventing WrestleMania. Main eventing a TakeOver should be a huge notch on your belt. Winning the NXT championship should be a huge notch on your belt. But, I know when Kevin Owens won the NXT championship, he couldn't wait to get called up to the main roster because that dude is a bad motherf--ker and he can go. He wanted to show the world and he was going to reach more fans being on Raw, being on SmackDown, being in marquee matches in Madison Square Garden, being in WrestleMania on the Network. By doing that, he was going to be able to show how awesome of a talent he is."

Orton finished by saying NXT is one step away from the top and he doesn't want anyone to stop there.

As of now, Ciampa remains in NXT while Orton is one of the top stars on WWE Raw.

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