Bob Orton Sr. is unlike a lot of old-timer wrestlers — he still watches wrestling all the time. Of course, he’s got a good reason to. He’s waiting for the TV debut of his grandson Randy Orton in the WWF.
“I watch it all the time. I can’t get over how big it is and how they sell out every night,” Orton Sr. said recently from his home in Las Vegas.
He has had to be very patient with Randy’s career. Though he gets updates from his son Cowboy Bob Orton Jr., father of Randy, grandpa has never seen him in action. “They’ve never televised him and I’ve never seen him wrestle pro. I saw him wrestle amateur when he came out here for the Danny Hodge World High School Championships.”
Still, as a third-generation wrestler, following his grandfather, his dad, and his uncle (Barry O), Randy Orton oozes potential. “He looks the part, I can tell you that. If Vince pushes him took, then I think you’ve got something. But he’s got to keep from getting seriously hurt.”
In an interview a few years ago, Bob Orton Jr. explained what he did to teach his son the basics. “What I’ve done is shown him how to wrestle, to do the things like I did, even though that’s probably passé now. But still, it’s a good sound base.”
Now 72 years old, and moving slow from years of bumps and bruises, Orton Sr. is concerned by today’s style. “I worry about the terrorism and so much flying. But then I also worry about all the things they’re doing in the ring, there are a lot of dangerous moves. A lot of guys are getting hurt, like Stone Cold or the Canadian guy Chris Benoit.”
Over the years, whether he was working with his dad, or in Memphis or Ohio Valley, Randy Orton has occasionally ask for “a little bit” of advice from his grandfather. “I haven’t heard from him in a long time,” said a disappointed Orton Sr. In fact, he believes that someone may have told Randy not to seek the advice of an oldtimer, because the style has changed so much.
Regardless, every Monday night Orton Sr. flips on the TV to watch RAW, hoping for a real familiar face to appear.