Edge (left) and Randy Orton (right)
|Name(s)||Edge and Randy Orton
|476 pounds (216 kg)
241 pounds (109 kg) (Edge)
235 pounds (107 kg) (Orton)
|Disbanded||May 11, 2007|
Rated-RKO was a professional wrestling tag team in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) based on the Raw brand. The team consisted of Edge, Randy Orton, and Lita, their valet. The name "Rated-RKO" contains part of Edge's nickname, "The Rated R Superstar," and Orton's initials/finishing maneuver, RKO.
Edge and Orton formed an alliance in October 2006 to challenge the team of Triple H and Shawn Michaels, collectively known as D-Generation X (DX), who Rated-RKO felt were preventing them from becoming world champions. Rated-RKO would succeed in defeating DX, giving the latter their first loss since their reunion in June 2006. The following month, Edge and Orton became World Tag Team Champions, and Lita left the group after her legitimate retirement.
In January 2007, Rated-RKO would go on to lose the World Tag Team Championship, which would cause tension between the two. The group officially disbanded in May 2007, after Edge moved to the SmackDown brand. Edge and Orton had occasional reunions until Edge's retirement in 2011.
Feud with D-Generation X (2006–2007)
On the October 2, 2006, episode of one of the WWE's television programs, Raw, interference from the newly reformed D-Generation X (DX) (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) tag team cost Edge his promoted "final chance" at the WWE Championship held by John Cena in a Steel Cage match. This led to Edge approaching Randy Orton and asking him to join forces with him to "get rid of DX". In his stand, Edge explained to Orton why he should join him as a tag team partner, as he cited Orton's lack of success after being kicked out of Evolution (Orton's former group), as well as the antics of DX taking up TV time that he felt should rightfully go to the younger stars.
Edge and Orton, calling themselves "Rated-RKO", immediately became very outspoken against DX and began mocking them at every opportunity, including a sketch reminiscent of the ones DX did about their opponents on a usual basis. Eventually Orton traded wins with Triple H in singles matches on episodes of Raw, leading to a tag team match on November 5, 2006, at Cyber Sunday with the fans choosing the special guest referee. At the pay-per-view, the duo gave DX their first team loss since they reunited when Eric Bischoff (the fan selected referee) allowed the use of a steel chair without calling for a disqualification. Later in the night, Lita won the Women's Championship in the finals of a seven woman tournament. The following night on Raw, Edge and Orton faced Ric Flair and Roddy Piper for the World Tag Team Championship with Eric Bischoff as the guest referee. Rated-RKO lost the match, following help from DX.
The following week, however, the team managed to capture the title in a rematch when they attacked Piper upon making his entrance, with Edge delivering a one man con-chair-to to Piper. As he was taken to the locker room by paramedics, Flair was forced to defend the title by himself, and Rated-RKO won the match after Edge performed a spear on Flair. The real reason for the sudden switch was later revealed to be Piper's diagnosis of lymphoma forcing him out of action.
At Survivor Series, Lita legitimately retired from WWE after losing her Women's Championship to Mickie James and left the group in the process. At the same event, Team Rated-RKO—consisting of Rated-RKO along with Johnny Nitro, Mike Knox, and Gregory Helms—were swept by Team DX—DX, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, and CM Punk—with Orton being the last member eliminated in a ten-man elimination match. The night after Survivor Series, Edge and Orton beat Ric Flair until he was bloody and continued to beat him after dragging him to the ring, knowing that DX had already left the building. In doing so, DX claimed they had made their rivalry "personal". At New Year's Revolution in January 2007, Rated-RKO retained the World Tag Team Championship after fighting with DX to a no-contest in a match that saw Triple H suffer a legitimate torn right quadriceps muscle.
With Triple H out of action, Rated-RKO continued their on-screen rivalry with remaining DX member Shawn Michaels. They were able to schedule a two-on-one handicap match against Michaels, during which he was able to beat the odds and defeat both men, leaving Orton lying in the ring after a one man con-chair-to as Edge stood and watched at ringside. On January 29, 2007, the duo lost the World Tag Team Championship to the impromptu team of John Cena and Michaels. Internal dissension continued as both men laid claim to being the number one contender to the WWE Championship, and Edge walked out on Orton during a February 26, 2007, rematch for the World Tag Team Championship due to miscommunication.
WWE Championship chase (2007)
The relationship strained further after both men qualified for the WrestleMania 23 Money in the Bank ladder match, which would grant the winner a championship match. For weeks Edge influenced various authority figures into putting Orton in matches that would cause Orton not to succeed.
On the April 16, 2007, episode of Raw, they reunited to take on John Cena in a handicap match but lost the match due to interference from Michaels. At Backlash, the two were involved in a Fatal Four-Way match for the WWE Championship along with Michaels and Cena. Cena ended up retaining the title after pinning Orton.
Breakup and on-off reunions (2007–2011)
On the April 30, 2007, episode of Raw, Edge and Orton met in a one-on-one match. Edge won the match by pinning Orton following a spear. Edge then moved to the SmackDown brand on the May 11 episode after cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase (which he had won from Mr. Kennedy on the same episode of Raw) to win the World Heavyweight Championship from then-champion The Undertaker. With this move, Rated-RKO was officially disbanded.
During Raw's 15th Anniversary episode on December 10, 2007, Rated-RKO reunited for 'one night only' and were involved in a six man tag team match, with their partner Umaga facing Evolution (Triple H, Batista, and Ric Flair), Orton's former teammates. They lost the match after being disqualified. The team had a reunion of sorts on the April 21, 2008, episode of Raw, when Orton and Edge teamed with John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) and Chavo Guerrero to take on John Cena, Triple H, The Undertaker, and Kane in a winning effort.
On the April 26, 2010, episode of Raw, Edge cost Orton a title shot against John Cena by spearing him during a triple threat match against Batista and Sheamus. Orton and Edge faced off at May's Over the Limit pay-per-view, though, Orton dislocated his right shoulder and concluded the match with a double countout. On the January 28, 2011, episode of SmackDown, Edge and Orton—now both fan favorites—reunited to take on Dolph Ziggler and The Miz which ended with Edge and Orton taking the win. On the February 18, 2011, episode of SmackDown, Edge and Orton reunited once again with John Morrison, R-Truth, Rey Mysterio, and John Cena to take on CM Punk, Kane, Drew McIntyre, Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, and Sheamus in a 12-man tag team match which was won by Edge, Orton, Morrison, Truth, Mysterio, and Cena.
On the April 11 episode of Raw, Edge announced his retirement from professional wrestling thus ending any possibility of he and Orton teaming up again.
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- World Wrestling Entertainment
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