How Randy Orton Got Mr. Kennedy Fired from WWE

Accidents in the ring are, unfortunately, a hazard of professional wrestling. However, if you mess up with the wrong superstar, major consequences may follow! This story about Randy Orton and Mr. Kennedy illustrates just that.

Randy Orton, Vince McMahon, and Mr. Kennedy.
Randy Orton, Vince McMahon, and Mr. Kennedy.

Randy Orton and Mr. Kennedy – How an Accident Led to WWE Departure

During a house show on August 4th, 2008, Mr. Kennedy dislocated his shoulder against Shelton Benjamin. What followed was ten months on the sidelines until he returned in a 10-man tag team match on the May 25th, 2009 edition of Monday Night Raw.

Four days later, Mr. Kennedy was released from the company.

The reason behind Kennedy being fired only four days after returning from injury was due to a botched belly-to-back suplex.

Accidents in the ring are unfortunately a hazard of the business, but if you mess up with the wrong superstar, bigger consequences can follow — as Randy Orton showed.

In a fit of rage after a match against Mr. Kennedy, Randy Orton complained to management about Kennedy’s unsafe nature in the ring after being dropped awkwardly.

Mr. Kennedy describes the day leading up to the moment he left Randy Orton dazed in the ring in an August 3rd, 2009 interview for Pro Wrestling Report on 540 ESPN Radio.

"To be honest with you, I kind of had a weird vibe all day. Randy Orton and I had become very good friends. We rode together; we were tight. We were buds.”

Mr. Kennedy continued, “When I got to the building, I ran up behind him and gave him a big bear hug from behind, and he treated me like I was just an acquaintance of his.

“Then, he made such a big stink about me supposedly dropping him on his head.

“He literally blew up in front of all the talent, including Vince and Stephanie, and began to lecture me about how I had to be careful, and his health was very important. It just didn’t make sense to me."

On the topic of the botched move that led to his being fired, Mr. Kennedy said, "Randy jumped really, really hard. In wrestling, it’s give and take.

“It was a matter of either I drop him on his head, or I help him through this.

“His neck never even touched the mat, which makes me wonder why he even went to the trainer’s room to get his neck taped up.

“He was so injured that he went on to wrestle three nights in Mexico."

These comments didn’t please Randy, and on the no-longer-active Randy Orton message board, he would write, “[Mr. Kennedy] is in denial. He thinks you have to be able to do a moonsault to know how to work.”

Orton continued, “As far as dropping me on my head, he did. He never got to see all four camera angles of him doing it. I did. Plus, the left side of my neck down to my trap was sore all week in Mexico.

“I did tell Ken that he shouldn’t be dropping me on my head with such a simple basic move. He never said sorry and even called me a liar after the match.

“I remember looking at him in disbelief. And yes, I did tell management I did not want to work with him after that. Who wouldn’t? That’s my side.”

Randy followed up with an additional post.

“There is another thing. Never did I get my neck taped as he claims it was in that interview. Also, the whole bearhug story does have some truth to it.

“Early in the day that morning in LA, he came up behind me and grabbed around my chest, and picked me up off of the floor.

“I don’t know anyone who enjoys being tackled from behind and picked up off the floor. When he let go and realized it was Ken, I was like, ‘Oh, okay, you’re back, cool.’

“My reaction to his big return was watered down, and I found it very funny reading in his interview that he felt like I had an agenda, or almost like I wanted him gone.

“Not until I was given a belly to back suplex onto the back of my neck did I have any negative feelings with Mr. Kennedy.”

Orton finished off his post with this final blow: “I honestly hope for his wife’s sake that he can find something else he’s marginally good at, and earn a living. I know he really wants to entertain, so good luck, Ken, you are gonna need it.”

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How John Cena Got Involved

Randy Orton wasn’t the only one who had a hand in getting Mr. Kennedy fired from the WWE.

According to Anderson, Orton also persuaded his friend and fellow wrestler John Cena to complain to Vince McMahon about Anderson’s in-ring performance. This also played a big role in McMahon releasing Kennedy from his contract.

In a 2017 YouShoot interview, a reflective Mr. Kennedy accepted what had happened in an understanding manner.

“We were tight. We just, you know- I dropped him on his head. You saw it. Plain as day, right? I dropped him on his head. I’d be pissed if you dropped me on my head.”

When asked if the firing was justified, Mr. Kennedy replied, “Everybody can say that it was Randy Orton and John Cena and all that stuff that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I came out publicly and said stuff about- I should have never opened my mouth about the Chris Benoit thing.

Mr. Kennedy continued, “I think you get in that situation and you think that the world needs to know, the world NEEDS to know what Ken Anderson feels about this particular topic. And it’s just… It’s not true. And so I made some missteps.

“There was misstep after misstep after misstep on my part, and so that was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“I think when those guys went to Vince, he was just like, ‘You know what? I’m tired of hearing his name in a negative light. Get rid of him.’ Plus, I had been hurt a few times.”

Mr. Kennedy has not been seen in WWE since. But as we know, in wrestling, even the unlikeliest of surprises can happen.

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Braeden Farrell is a senior writer for Pro Wrestling Stories. He is a long-time fan of wrestling based out of Adelaide, Australia. He can be reached on Twitter @braedenfazza.