SAN ANTONIO - More than 30 minutes after the conclusion of Sunday's WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view, one could forgive Randy Orton for continuing to bask in the glow of such a rare accomplishment.
Still adorned in nothing but his trunks and boots and thankful to have reunited with his wife Kim inside the trainers room at the Alamodome, Orton attempted to collect his thoughts after becoming just the seventh WWE superstar to win the Royal Rumble match multiple times.
But it wasn't easy.
"I'm still high off of that adrenaline," Orton told ESPN.com, before holding out his hands to show they were still trembling with excitement. "That feeling, that adrenaline rush -- you can't really experience that anywhere else aside from bungee jumping or jumping out of a plane."
Orton, 36, admitted this victory was extra special considering how much he has grown as a person in the 15 years since his WWE debut. He also admitted to soaking up every last second of the experience while standing alone in the center of the ring, moments after eliminating Roman Reigns to outlast a field of 30 entrants in winning his second Royal Rumble.
The difference between the man who won his first Royal Rumble nine years ago by eliminating Triple H, setting up their showdown two months later at WrestleMania XXV, and the one who used words like "honored" and "humbled" to describe his victory on Sunday was quite clear.
"A lot has changed since 2009 for me. I have a very big, very beautiful family," Orton said. "My wife, three stepsons, my daughter Alanna, who is eight now, and of course, my two-month-old baby that we just had. So a lot has changed in that regard. I'm more grounded, and I think a lot more centered. I think I'm a better person because of my family."
Orton describes the feeling of being a hero to his five children as one that's different than any other in the world, but he's just as quick to point out how much he benefits from the camaraderie within his suddenly full house.
"Even if I screw up, they are there to razz me about it," Orton said. "They are not only my children, but my friends, and it's that whole thing that's just very cool for me to have that respect and chemistry at home."
If there's a similarity, however, between 2009 Orton and today's version, it's the feeling he entered the locker room with on Sunday -- knowing that the booking was set to go in his favor.
"It will never get old, that feeling out there," Orton said. "I've done a lot of things. I've main-evented WrestleMania a handful of times, but it never gets old. It's the same with nerves. In 2009, I was just as nervous as I was today. In 2003, for my first Rumble, I was just as nervous then as I was 15 years later."
Orton secured yet another title opportunity, which he is set to receive at WrestleMania 33 on April 2 in Orlando, Florida. He's grateful to still be in a spot in his career where it makes sense for the WWE to give his character such an opportunity.
But Orton drew the line in the sand when asked if receiving the nod to win the Rumble is something that has been on his mind in recent weeks and months, or that he was hoping for it in any way.
"Very little is up to me and hope isn't worth anything, as far as I'm concerned," Orton said. "Whether I'm given a match with X, Y or Z, or winning the Rumble or out first, it doesn't matter. You are going to give your all. I think our locker room, everyone gives it their all. We are all working together to put on the best show you can.
"When you start hoping too much, you start believing your own hype, and the next thing you know, you can't do that here or you'll get buried and get kicked out of the door. You can't change in the locker room if you are one of those guys. The attitude has to be on point here."
With the victory on Sunday, Orton joined a rarefied group including Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Batista and John Cena as superstars who have won the Rumble twice. Only "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has three separate victories (1997-98, 2001).
But Orton, who is a 12-time WWE world champion, says he doesn't measure his success on accolades or wake up worrying "about how I need one more championship run." While he acknowledges the reality of how few superstars historically can compete with his statistics and accomplishments, that's not what motivates him.
"I have heard the fun facts about my career, but when it comes down to it, I want to be in one piece when I get home, cash that paycheck and come back and put on the best match," Orton said. "I have been blessed. I'm a third-generation [wrestler]. I said, 'Hey Dad, give Vince [McMahon] a call. I want to give this a shot.' Yet guys like this [pointing to AJ Styles, who was standing next to him] were busting their ass for years.
"But all those little facts and accomplishments, they are cool. All of that is important to the fans because it should be. But once it's important to me, I become one of those big-head egos. It's a family back here."