WWE Slams It's Way To Giant Center
Let’s get ready to rumble! “WWE Smackdown” is coming to Hershey’s Giant Center Tuesday. Fans will see superstar favorites Christian, Kane, and Randy Orton, among others in action. There will even be some diva representation from Natalya and Alicia Fox. The show will be taped and broadcast at 8 p.m. June 24 on SyFy.
Expect drama, and lots of it, as Randy “The Viper” Orton faces off against Christian in a non-televised match. The two have been locked in a war over the title of World Heavyweight Champion since Orton claimed the title from Christian, who had only had the title for two days.
The battle for the title has seen once good guy Christian turn heel, reject his fans, and embrace his dark side. Here he talks about what it’s like to go evil, lose a title, and endure all the physical bashing in the ring.
What got you into WWE?
I was a lifelong fan growing up. I played hockey growing up in Canada and I’d fallen awkwardly into the boards and broke my shoulder. I was stuck in the house for 8 to 12 weeks and wasn’t allowed to go to school. So I was stuck in the house by myself and flipping through the channels and stumbled on the WWE and have been hooked ever since. As time wore on I realized this was something I wanted to do in my life, to go out and perform in the WWE like the superstars I saw perform.
Any advice for WWE hopefuls?
I would say the main thing to do is make sure you get the proper training, make sure you can do what we do properly. It’s a long tough road. You have to take it seriously and really, you have to dedicate your life to it.
How did you train for WWE?
When I was going to college I was going Saturdays and Sundays and basically spending a good five hours in the training center in Toronto. Little under a year I had my first match and I went out and started networking, and just started branching off into Michigan into upstate New York. Did a little bit of work in Japan, and was lucky enough to be seen for a scout for the WWE at the time. At the time they were doing training camps at the head office in Connecticut and I was invited to one of those with 10 other guys and got to go there for a week and perform and work out there.
Which do you prefer, being a heel or a baby face?
I think I just kinda go out there, I don’t ever go too far... I go out there and I do what I do and I never change what I do. I’ve always tried to keep a lot of my own personality in what you see on television, so it’s kinda of just an extension of myself.
Did you expect to have the huge amount of fan support you did after winning the Championship?
It was overwhelming, to be honest I think that people just saw it as a guy who went out there every week and put everything on the line, no matter what the circumstances. I’ve always worked hard and tried to leave it all in the ring. I think they just appreciated that (win) coming from an underdog perspective.
What did it feel like having the title taken away so quickly?
I worked 17 long years to become the world champion and then to lose it just 5 days, it was heart breaking, you know. It kinda opened my eyes in a lot of ways. Gave me more drive than ever to regain it.
Are you ever going to unseat The Viper?
Yeah I plan on doing it, I plan on coming to Hershey the World Heavyweight Champion.
You recently disowned all your Peeps (fans)...
There was a big uproar from the fans, my Peeps, when I lost the championship. I really sat back and looked at it, and these are the same people who voted for Randy Orton to the match and they’re the same people who cheered when he won. I took matters in my own hands ... as far as I’m concerned, if I win it will be for myself this time.
How do you deal with the violence in the ring?
There’s no way to really prepare for it, anything can happen at any time. You just have to be aware that it can happen. You have to make sure you’re in the best physical shape possible. You just try to avoid that. Sometimes you can’t.
I know your best friend, Edge, had a serious neck injury that’s caused him to retire.
It was shocking [when Edge was hurt]. It stemmed from neck surgery that it had happened years previous. I know it just caught up with him, just the wear and tear on his body. It was shocking, of course if you know it can happen and I knew he was having a bit of issues with stuff on the things... and they called him back and said look you can’t do this anymore. And of course it was shocking, but if he didn’t retire he may have had serious nerve damage or paralysis if he’d fallen the wrong way.
Were you a little scared to go into the ring after that?
I never go in there with any fear that it may be my last time in the ring, I take it one match at a time.
What is it like, traveling everywhere with the WWE?
That’s the great thing about what we do. We get to see all the different cultures. I’m lucky enough to go to Japan and even Australia and New Zealand.
Do you ever get to really explore these areas? Or is it just work, work, leave?
It’s pretty hectic, but you try and to go out anyway. You try to take in the culture, you never know when the opportunity may come again.
What is the best thing about being in the WWE?
Performing, that’s why we do what we do. You can be dead tired from jet lag from an overseas trip and you don’t feel like you’re dragging your feet all day long. But as soon as you hear that music and you hear the live roar from that crowd it all goes away.
What are your plans for post WWE life?
I think that I’ll always be involved in some capacity with WWE. I hope to give back when my career’s over. I’m not going to quit anytime soon. It’s a great thing is that there’s always new challenges. I think there’s always some capacity be involved in WWE.