Coming out of WrestleMania 36, one of the major criticisms of the Edge vs. Randy Orton match was its length. It went over a half hour, and wasn’t exactly action packed for the duration. Considering most of the matches fans are subjected to at that level, especially in WWE, that led to some backlash.
Here’s what Orton had to say about that when he spoke with CBS Sports:
“I think if you take the Boneyard Match out of it and you take what Bray [Wyatt] and John Cena did — both of those were fantastic — but if you don’t compare us with that, I think we stole the show. I did hear some bitching and moaning from the media and the fans about how long this match was. I just laugh, because I saw a couple matches, I think even the world title match, if you include entrances and the post-match celebration, they might have gone 4 minutes.
“If you want a 4-minute match where you see five different finishers back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back with zero facial expressions? If that’s the kind of fan you are, then I don’t want you to be a fan of mine because you don’t appreciate what we are trying to do in telling a story.
“At WrestleMania, I think we stole the show. At WrestleMania, I think we had the best story going into it, which definitely helped. The promos were killer, and it’s only going to get better and better. Now, at Backlash, are we doing to have ‘the greatest wrestling match ever?’ Eh. That’s subjective. I kind of painted myself into a corner and the pressure is definitely on, but if anybody is capable of it, it’s myself and Edge.”
I’m not exactly sure why one can’t be a fan of a lengthy match heavy on storytelling while also enjoying a shorter match heavy on finishers. Sometimes it’s fun to watch Brock Lesnar just F-5 a dude into oblivion, and sometimes it’s great to watch Edge be so pissed off at Orton he seems to actually consider ending his career.
Both can be good!
Having said that, it’s at least understandable where he’s coming from, especially coming off a match he put a lot of effort into that received criticism for something as seemingly silly as “it took too long.”