Jim Ross Recalls Randy Orton’s Breakout Match

Randy Orton WWE Promo

Randy Orton had one particular match early in his career that showed his toughness and Jim Ross recalled what made it so special.

For the past 22 years, fans of World Wrestling Entertainment have watched Randy Orton go from being a rising star with unlimited to a man who won 14 World Titles in his career and now he’s in a position as one of the most established stars in the history of the company.

A record that Randy Orton has held for nearly 20 years is the fact that he is the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history. That’s because Orton won his first World Title at SummerSlam 2004 when he was just 24 years old.

That same year 2004 is when Orton had one particular match that people remember fondly at Backlash in Edmonton. It was the same night when Orton defended the Intercontinental Title against Mick Foley (as Cactus Jack) in a No Holds Barred match.

Jim Ross was on commentary that night and recently spoke about it on his Grilling JR podcast. JR spoke eloquently about Orton’s performance in the match while adding that it proved that Orton was more than just a talented young wrestler – he was tough too.

“I equate it to the perception that many of us had regarding Shawn Michaels with his performance in Hell in the Cell against the Undertaker. It showed the tough side of Shawn. Physicality and resilience. And I think that’s the same thing we saw here with Randy. Randy was such a pretty face and a pretty body. He had never been put in this sort of environment, how is he going to react?”

“And there’s a famous shot… off all the thumbtacks and Randy’s back. Man, he landed in the right spot, I guess. Because he was loaded, he was loaded with thumbtacks. And I can only imagine how that feels so, I’ll never know by the way. I’ll just take their word for it. But it was it was added to the moment, and Randy sold it famously without a doubt.”

“It proved to all the fans that Randy Orton is not only a great-looking athlete and all those nice things, those accolades. He showed his toughness as a former United States Marine.”

Randy Orton Bumping Into Thumbtacks Left A Lasting Image

One of the most memorable spots in that classic Orton-Foley match was when Foley countered an RKO attempt and Orton was sent back-first into the thumbtacks. JR spoke about what that looked like.

“Look at those thumbtacks, and where some of them have already been inserted and penetrated the epidermis, the outer layer of skin there on Randy. But there’s just no way you can make that tolerable. It hurts like hell; it’s gonna hurt like hell until you get them out of there and give some disinfectant on there, etc., etc. But that was a startling, startling camera shot.”

At 44 years old, Randy Orton is still competing in a WWE ring. On WWE Smackdown in Cincinnati, Orton was drafted to the Smackdown brand that he was already on so he’ll remain representing the blue brand moving forward.

H/T 411Mania