They call him "The Legend Killer," and at 6'5" and 245 pounds, St. Louis' Randy Orton (the latest member of a family of pro wrestlers that dates back three generations) has earned the moniker, laying to waste some of the sport's top names in the ring. But ask the 25-year-old former world champ-the youngest in WWE history-what he considers his greatest achievement, and he'll tell you he's barely even broken a sweat.
Men's Fitness: Being the son of "Cowboy" Bob Orton and grandson of Bob Orton Sr., do you feel pressured to kick even more ass than they did?
Randy Orton: I grew up around the business, and I guess I just have a natural ability to do what we do, because it all came to me pretty quickly. I got my break at 19 and, not to take anything away from my father or grandfather, but careerwise, I've accomplished more in a year and a half than they did in 20 years.
MF: So what was it like growing up with wrestlers all around?
RO: I remember being 6 years old and Andre the Giant was at our house. He wanted to see my dad's gym in the basement, so I followed them down the stairs. All of a sudden - boom! - Andre tore the banister completely off the wall. He was laughing like a big ape. We never did fix it.
MF: When you started wrestling, were your fellow athletes jealous that you already had your boot in the door?
RO: Well, I trained hard and spent time in the "minor leagues." I had people who weren't too fond of me, but I never took my advantages for granted or rubbed it in anyone's face.
MF: Before wrestling, you spent some time in the Marines but later went AWOL.
RO: I saw some hazing. It didn't happen to me, but I went to my battalion commander about it, and as a result, no one liked me anymore. I wanted a discharge, so I took off. I eventually got a bad-conduct discharge.
MF: So we take it you won't be going over to Iraq to entertain the troops anytime soon?
RO: I have a lot of respect for the military, but the WWE knows I won't do that. I'm afraid Marines would come to me in my sleep, tie me up, and throw me in a minefield or something. [Laughs]