Jim Ross: I Had To Convince Vince McMahon To Sign Randy Orton To WWE
Orton was signed by WWE in 2001
The idea of Randy Orton not being a WWE superstar is immensely difficult to fathom but, according to Jim Ross, Vince McMahon initially wasn't interested in signing the third generation wrestler.
Orton joined WWE in 2001 and began his development with Ohio Valley Wrestling, but McMahon was not keen on bringing in Bob Orton's son because of his bad exit discharge from the marines in 1999, leading to him spending 38 days in the military prison at Camp Pendleton.
Speaking on the Grilling JR Podcast, Ross said: "Every recruiting story is different. I had a hard sell to get Randy Orton hired because of his negative exit from the Marines, and Vince, being a strong patriot, didn’t like how that worked out with Randy in the military.
"I said, ‘Didn’t you get a second chance, [Vince]? Well, what’s the difference with this kid? He’s third generation. If he hits, look what we have. If he doesn’t hit, I can get rid of him in 90 days notice. What do we have to lose?’
"He’s going to end his career as one of the greatest talents. Hall of Famer, no doubt, but also going to be regarded by his peers as one of the greatest in-ring workers. It worked out well."