Randy Orton has praised Mick Foley and revealed the gruesome items he kept from their legendary Hardcore Match in 2004.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Randy Orton’s WWE career. As part of ‘Randy Orton Week’, The Viper has reflected on his career in a special video to mark the milestone on WWE’s YouTube channel. During the video, Orton recalled his first experience at WrestleMania in 2004.
At WrestleMania 20, The Legend Killer teamed with his Evolution partners Batista and Ric Flair to defeat The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection of Mick Foley and The Rock. However, far from ending the increasingly heated feud between Orton and Foley, the match only made their animosity worse, leading to an all-time great Hardcore Match the following month at Backlash.
Randy Orton paid tribute to Foley for coming out of retirement for the bout and putting it all on the line. He also revealed that he still has some of the weaponry involved in the match.
“I’ve got this future Hall of Famer, this all-time great Mick Foley. He’s gotta prove that he’s still got it. Comes out with all the injuries he’s sustained throughout his career and he put it all on the line to show the world that he could still go and to pass that torch to a young Randy Orton. And that’s what he did.”
“And we were in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and it was one of the loudest crowds I’d ever performed in front of. There were so many violent little obstacles in our way. I landed in the thumbtacks in that match. I actually have the thumbtacks that were in my boots after this match. I kept them. There were a few in my back that Ric Flair helped pull out of my back. I kept those too.”
Orton believes that the match marked a change in his career as it helped to show the fans that he was “a contender”. In fact, he puts Mick Foley in the same bracket as Triple H and Ric Flair in terms of wrestling greats that helped get him where he is today.
“That match helped show the fans that, OK. He’s a contender. This kid is willing to go out there and put his body through that to entertain us. I had them in the palm of my hand. Mick had them in the palm of their hand. And they were eating it up and enjoying every minute of it.
“And they got to witness me go out there and bleed for them. And everything changed after that. I was taken a little more seriously. I became a man that night thanks to Mick Foley.”
“I thought it was really special for Mick Foley to come out of retirement just to work with me. I’m so grateful for so many superstars that took the time to help mold me into who I eventually became in this business. And Mick Foley is at the top of that list along with Triple H and Ric Flair for helping me get here. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”
H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the above transcription.