wrestling WWE


WWE’s Randy Orton opens up about his fight against Edge at Backlash

We caught up with WWE superstar Randy Orton ahead of the ‘Greatest Wrestling Match Ever’ against Edge at ‘Backlash’ on Sunday 14 June.

wrestling WWE


WWE superstar Randy Orton is revved and ready for what is being billed as the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever” at Backlash this weekend.

This year’s Backlash pay-per-view will pit Randy Orton against wrestling icon Edge at the WWE Performance Centre in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday evening (Monday 01:00 South African time).

The two former WWE, World Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champions hope to prove once and for all who the better wrestler is.

The match came about on an episode of Raw, where Orton challenged Edge to a test of skill which Edge accepted. This will be the 15th Backlash since its inception, and it’s been heavily hyped.

The rivalry began at WrestleMania 36, where Edge and Orton viciously fought throughout the Performance Centre, pushing past the limits of most mortal competitors, until Edge eventually won the match.

Orton later admitted that the better man had won that night but laid down a major warning: the better superstar didn’t. Orton then laid down a challenge, later dubbed the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever”. Rated R-Superstar Edge was forced to accept the proposal and announced that he was ready to make history with a win.

Orton has other plans, as he explained when we caught up with The Viper himself in a conference call this week ahead of the highly anticipated match.

Q: Hey, Randy…how are you?

A: Fantastic. How are you?

Q: I’m good thanks and I want to take you back to your house-of-horrors match in 2017 against Bray Wyatt, seen as a precursor to the cinematic matches we’ve witnessed of late. How do you look back on that match and what’s your feeling towards the recent cinematic matches being put out there?

A: I really enjoyed the house-of-horrors match. It was different, Vince [McMahon] had a certain vision, and I think that Bray and I did a really great job capitalising on that vision.

There was a live crowd in the arena that day watching the match on the screen, which brings a disconnect when fans are there yet still unable to watch a match in the ring.

The difference now, with all this COVID-19 stuff, is that the fans kind of understand that there are no fans in the arena. This will help to open us up to creativity and hopefully we can be the first to do stuff like this.

Being able to shoot a match like a movie? I’d like more of that going forward, absolutely.

‘The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever’

Q: Okay so now on to the tagline: The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever. Edge said in an interview with ESPN the other day that he wasn’t too thrilled with it when he first found out. What was your reaction when you first heard it, and does it influence your preparation?

A: Yeah I mean, so usually if someone calls a match the greatest of all time then that match has usually already taken place. So the expectations are very high now for Edge and I.

Look, I wasn’t exactly happy when I heard it but I feel at this point in my career being in there with Edge, who I consider one of the best workers in the business, will be great. It’s hard on us as talent with those expectations. Given the circumstances, though, I think that the fans go in understanding and knowing that this will be very difficult.

And I know that it’s very unlikely we could have the greatest match ever, but the fact that that pressure is there, no matter how it goes down, I know that as a fan I would definitely like to tune in to Backlash and watch this supposed “Greatest Match Ever”.

So yeah, I think it’s like a double-edged sword — there’s some negative sides, and some positive sides and we need to focus on the positive and do our absolute best.

Q: Okay, for you, which are the greatest matches you’ve ever witnessed?

A: A very popular one that I agree with is Steve Austin vs The Rock, or even The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels or The Rock vs Hulk Hogan. Uhh, Bret Hart vs Steve Austin too. I personally had an Iron Man match with John Cena that I considered to be very good, 10 or 12 years ago.

There are so many good ones that it kind of makes it hard for us this Sunday. You know, that match hasn’t taken place yet.

Before WrestleMania 25 when Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker were about to have their first match at Mania, nobody went in thinking it would be the greatest match ever. But after, everyone felt that way. And hell, now I feel that way too. That was one hell of a match, and I had to follow it in the main event — and that was an uphill battle after what the crowd had seen Shawn and The Undertaker do.

But yeah, every night, every show there’s a match or two that stands out and with all the shows that happen, that’s a lot of good matches to choose from.

It depends on the types of matches you like and I feel that it’s very subjective, those matches I listed are some of my personal favourites for sure. I don’t really think there’s a “Greatest Match Ever”, but if I had to pick one then Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25 would top my list.

The pressure is on

Q:  Randy, Edge has been out for nine years. Since his comeback, he has only had two matches so how much pressure is on you to ensure all goes well in the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever”?

A: Well, I think that everyone is calling us the greatest match even before it happens, makes the expectations astronomical; and you’re right, I know that I have all this pressure on my shoulders going up against someone who’s had two matches in the last 10 years.

That’s not a lot of matches. I had the WWE office workers find out exactly how many matches I’ve had in the timespan that he was gone and it was 1 126 matches. So when you look at those numbers and the pressure that we’re under, it almost seems impossible — and it very well may be impossible to have the greatest wrestling match ever.

But if I had to choose one guy to go out there and be under all this pressure with, and perform at my best with no room for error, it would have to be Adam Copeland. It would have to be Edge.

I think that we are very capable, and this match will be great. The question on my mind, and I’m sure the question on everyone’s minds, is will it be the greatest?

Everyone who is tuning into Backlash knows we’re under that pressure — and because of that pressure, everyone should tune in and find out.

  • Backlash will be screened on SuperSport on Monday morning with the pre-show from 00:30, and the main event kicks off at 01:00.