Randy Orton

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Randy Orton
Randy Orton May 2014.jpg
Orton in May 2014
Birth name Randall Keith Orton
Born (1980-04-01) April 1, 1980 (age 34)
Knoxville, Tennessee
Resides Saint Charles, Missouri[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Randy Orton
Billed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)[2]
Billed weight 235 lb (107 kg)[2]
Billed from St. Louis, Missouri[2]
Trained by Bob Orton, Jr.
South Broadway Athletic Club[3]
Mid Missouri Wrestling Alliance
Ohio Valley Wrestling[3]
Debut March 18, 2000[4]

Randall Keith "Randy" Orton[5][6] (born April 1, 1980)[7][8] is an American professional wrestler and actor currently signed to WWE. He is a 12-time world champion, holding the WWE Championship eight times and the World Heavyweight Championship four times, and was the final holder of the World Heavyweight Championship before it was unified with the WWE Championship to create the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[9]

Orton is a third-generation professional wrestler; his grandfather Bob Orton, Sr., his father "Cowboy" Bob Orton, and his uncle Barry Orton all competed in the professional wrestling business.[7][10] Before being promoted to the main World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) roster, Orton trained in and wrestled for Mid-Missouri Wrestling Association-Southern Illinois Conference Wrestling for a month. He was then sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), where he held the OVW Hardcore Championship twice.[11]

After signing with WWF, Orton became a member of the stable Evolution, which quickly led to a WWE Intercontinental Championship reign, his first title with the company.[12] He also acquired the moniker "The Legend Killer" during a storyline where he began disrespecting physically attacking WWE Hall of Famers and wrestling veterans.[2] At age 24, he became the youngest person ever to hold the World Heavyweight Championship.[13] With this win, he departed from Evolution and a feud with his former stablemates began. In 2006, Orton joined forces with Edge in a tag team known as Rated-RKO. Together, they held the World Tag Team Championship.[14]

After Rated-RKO disbanded in mid-2007, Orton gained two WWE Championship reigns in one night.[15] He formed the group The Legacy with Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase in 2008. It disbanded in 2010 and Orton returned to singles competition. Overall, he has won 14 total championships in WWE. He is also the winner of the 2009 Royal Rumble match[16] and has headlined many pay-per-view events for the organization, including WrestleMania XXV[17] and WrestleMania XXX.[18]

Early life

Orton was born in Knoxville, Tennessee,[7][8] the son of Bob Orton, Jr. and his wife Elaine. He is the grandson of Bob Orton, Sr. and the nephew of wrestler-turned-musician Barry Orton.[19] He has two younger siblings, Nate and Rebecca.[20] Knowing from experience the hardships of life as a professional wrestler, Orton's parents tried to convince him to stay away from the business,[7] and his father warned him that life in the ring meant a life on the road and away from family.[2] Orton attended Hazelwood Central High School, where he was an amateur wrestler.[2][7]

Military career

After graduating from high school in 1998,[6] Orton enlisted with the United States Marine Corps. At the base, he received a bad conduct discharge a year later after going AWOL on two separate occasions and disobeying an order from a commanding officer.[21] Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Private First Class Orton was tried and convicted under a special court-martial, subsequently spending 38 days in a military prison.[19]

Professional wrestling career

Training

Orton made his wrestling debut in 2000 at the Mid-Missouri Wrestling Association-Southern Illinois Conference Wrestling (MMWA-SICW) in St. Louis, Missouri, an offshoot of the historic St. Louis Wrestling Club headed by Sam Muchnick.[4] There, he was trained by both the promotion and his father, "Cowboy" Bob Orton.[19] He wrestled for the promotion for one month,[22] where he performed with wrestlers such as Ace Strange and Mark Bland.[4][22] Orton also refereed a few matches with World Organized Wrestling, a promotion where his uncle Barry Orton worked.[3]

In 2001, Orton signed a deal with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and was sent to its developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in Louisville, Kentucky, where he continued his training. During his time in OVW, Orton wrestled the likes of Rico Constantino and The Prototype and teamed with Bobby Eaton during a tag team title tournament. He won the OVW Hardcore Championship on two separate occasions by defeating Mr. Black on February 14, 2001, and Flash Flanagan on May 5, 2001.[11] On several occasions he faced Rico Constantino on combined WWE/OVW events, and also lost to The Prototype (John Cena) in a tag match on July 28 in Jacksonville, IN. He also began appearing on several WWE house shows that were unaffiliated with OVW, the first being on May 1, 2001 when he faced Billy Gunn. After taking the mic and promising to beat Gunn, Orton was defeated.[23] That fall he began appearing regularly on WWE house shows, facing Chuck Palumbo, Steven Richards, and Shawn Stasiak, but mostly wrestling in tag team matches.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment/WWE

Evolution and World Heavyweight Champion (2002–2004)

Main article: Evolution

One of Orton's first official WWF appearances was March 16, 2002 at WrestleMania X8's Fan Axxess, where he was defeated by Tommy Dreamer. Orton's first televised WWF match was against Hardcore Holly on SmackDown! on April 25, 2002.[24] Soon after, Orton became a fan favorite and was placed in a series of matches with Holly.[25][26][27][28] In September 2002, Orton was drafted to the Raw brand, where he defeated Stevie Richards in his debut on the show.[29][30] Within weeks of his debut on the Raw brand, Orton suffered a shoulder injury,[31] leaving him sidelined for months.[32][33] While recovering, Orton still appeared on Raw in his own Randy News Network segment, a weekly vignette featuring him talking about his condition.[32][34] The show interrupted other segments of Raw programming, which caused Orton to slowly transition himself into a narcissistic and self-centered villain.[35]

After his injury healed, Orton joined the Evolution stable, which consisted of Ric Flair, Triple H, and relative newcomer, Dave Batista. The group was pushed on Raw from 2003 to 2004, with the height of their dominance occurring after Armageddon in 2003 when all of the men's titles on Raw were held by the members of Evolution.[36] In 2003, Orton spent much of his time helping Triple H overcome challenges for the World Heavyweight Championship.[37][38][39] Orton joined Triple H in a six-man Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam, involved primarily to secure Triple H's title defense, and was eliminated by Goldberg, but the stable managed to fulfill its purpose and Triple H went on to eliminate Goldberg and thus retain his title.[40]

Orton is the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history.

Afterwards, Orton proclaimed himself "The Legend Killer", a young upstart who was so talented that he touted himself as the future of professional wrestling. He embarked on numerous storyline feuds with "legendary" wrestlers and gained infamy for his blatant disrespect of many older, well-respected names in wrestling history. With the help of his stablemate and mentor Ric Flair, he defeated Shawn Michaels at Unforgiven in the first of many high profile matches billed as "Legend versus Legend Killer."[41] Orton then spat in the face of Harley Race on the April 26, 2004 Raw.[42][43]

During this time, Orton began using the move that would become his signature finisher, the RKO, a jumping cutter named after his initials.[44] Orton soon defeated Rob Van Dam for the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Armageddon on December 14, 2003.[45] With this win, Orton started the longest Intercontinental title reign in seven years, holding the title for seven months.[46]

Orton continued to establish himself as a "Legend Killer" throughout 2004, challenging the semi-retired wrestler Mick Foley. Famed for his hardcore matches and ability to handle excruciating pain, Foley offered Orton a hardcore "Legend versus Legend Killer" match for his Intercontinental Championship. At Backlash, in a bloody match involving thumbtacks and barbed wire, Orton defeated Foley.[47] Two months later at Bad Blood, he retained the Intercontinental Championship against Shelton Benjamin.

In July, at Vengeance, Edge defeated Orton to win the Intercontinental Championship, ending Orton's seven-month title reign.[48] After losing the Intercontinental Championship, Orton became the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship after winning a 20 man battle royal on July 26.[49] At SummerSlam, Orton defeated Chris Benoit for the championship. Orton became the youngest person ever to hold the title in WWE history at the age of 24.[50] Benoit congratulated Orton after the match, shaking his hand for showing the ability to "be a man."[51]

The following night, after Orton successfully defended the championship against Benoit in a rematch, Evolution threw Orton a mock celebration, only to reveal that they were not pleased with his new victory.

While Batista had Orton propped on his shoulders in elation, Triple H gave him a pleased thumbs up and then abruptly changed it to a thumbs-down, which was followed by Batista's dropping Orton to the mat.[52] Ric Flair and Batista attacked Orton in the ring as Triple H revealed his jealousy for Orton's title. He ordered Orton to hand over the championship, but he refused, spitting in Triple H's face and hitting him with the title belt.[53] Orton's break-up with Evolution began a new storyline for him as a fan favorite when he continued to feud with his former stablemates.[53][54] A month later, Orton lost his championship to Triple H at Unforgiven.[55] Seeking revenge, Orton lashed out at Evolution members, catching them by surprise during a show by giving them a large cake as a make-up gift, which he came out of to beat and humiliate the group.[56] At Taboo Tuesday, Orton defeated Ric Flair in a Steel Cage match. After this, Orton experienced another push, becoming General Manager of the Raw brand for a week following a match stipulation at Survivor Series where he picked up the win for his team by last pinning Triple H in a 4 on 4 Survivor Series match.[57] He continued to feud with Triple H, using his authority to place his opponents at severe disadvantages during title defenses.[58] Orton was granted another chance at the championship in January 2005, but lost a six-man championship Elimination Chamber match to Triple H at New Year's Revolution.[59] On the January 10 Raw, Orton defeated Batista to earn a match against Triple H at the Royal Rumble for the World Heavyweight title.[60] At the Royal Rumble, Triple H defeated Orton to retain the World title.[61]

Feud with The Undertaker and Rated-RKO (2005–2007)

Main article: Rated-RKO

Orton began an on-screen relationship with Stacy Keibler and briefly feuded with Christian in February 2005.[62] On the February 28 Raw, "Superstar" Billy Graham made an appearance, in which he advised Orton to "go where no wrestler [had] gone before".[63] Orton then produced a copy of SmackDown! magazine, which featured The Undertaker on the cover.[64] Heeding Graham's advice, Orton claimed he would set himself apart from all other wrestlers by ending The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania.[65] Throughout March 2005, Orton taunted The Undertaker, claiming he was unafraid of him. On the March 21 Raw, Orton turned into a villain once more after he delivered an RKO to his unsuspecting on-screen girlfriend, Stacy Keibler, knocking her unconscious.[66] During Orton's promos, he ran for cover whenever signs of The Undertaker's appearance (lightning, darkness, or smoke) occurred.[67] When legendary wrestler Jake Roberts advised Orton not to underestimate The Undertaker, Orton performed an RKO on Roberts as well.[68] In the weeks leading up to WrestleMania, Orton became more defiant and unafraid of The Undertaker, taunting and assaulting him in the ring following distractions from his father, "Cowboy" Bob Orton. At WrestleMania 21, however, the heavily hyped match was unsuccessful for Orton, as he lost despite his father's interference.[61]

Orton at a WWE house show in 2005.

The following night on Raw, Orton faced Batista, who had become World Heavyweight Champion. Orton stated on-screen that his match with The Undertaker had aggravated a shoulder injury.[69][70] While sidelined, Orton appeared on Raw and claimed that he was ineligible for the WWE Draft Lottery due to his injury. He was informed by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon that he was indeed a candidate for the draft, leaving a possibility of a return to SmackDown!.[71] Orton returned to WWE programming for the SmackDown! brand on June 16, announcing that he was the second pick in the 2005 draft lottery.[72] He rekindled his feud with The Undertaker, defeating him at SummerSlam following a distraction from his father.[73] Two months later, Orton and his father Bob Orton defeated The Undertaker in a Handicap Casket match.[74] The following month, Orton was a participant in the annual elimination match of Team SmackDown against Team Raw at Survivor Series. In the match, Orton was the last remaining wrestler in the match, as he pinned Shawn Michaels to get the victory for Team SmackDown.[75] At the event, The Undertaker, who had been absent since Orton had apparently killed him on an episode of SmackDown!,[76] returned by emerging from a flaming casket.[75] The feud was finally settled with a Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon, where The Undertaker offered to retire if he lost.[77] On December 16, The Undertaker entered the ring to deliver a promo while one of his druids appeared to be standing in the ring. The Undertaker sustained an RKO from Orton in a surprise attack. The druid revealed himself to be Orton's father, who gave Orton The Undertaker's urn, which, according to the storyline, allowed whomever held it to control The Undertaker.[78] The Undertaker, however, beat both Ortons in a Hell in a Cell match, ending their nine-month-long feud.[79]

Orton showing off his signature pose.

Following Armageddon, Orton entered the 2006 Royal Rumble match as the thirtieth and final wrestler, but he was eliminated by Rey Mysterio.[79] Mysterio won the match and a title shot, and Orton urged him to put the title shot at stake in a match at No Way Out.[80] In the weeks preceding No Way Out, Orton made disparaging remarks about Eddie Guerrero, Mysterio's friend who had died a few months previously, in an attempt to gain villain heat.[81] Many fans felt the comments were highly distasteful so soon after Guerrero's death in November 2005.[82][83][84] Orton won at No Way Out, earning Mysterio's title shot for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 22.[85] General Manager Theodore Long re-added Mysterio to the WrestleMania 22 title match, however, making it a Triple Threat match between Orton, Mysterio, and then-champion, Kurt Angle.[86] On April 2, at WrestleMania 22, Orton was pinned by Mysterio, making Mysterio the World Heavyweight Champion and ending their on-screen rivalry.[87]

On April 4, 2006, Orton was suspended for sixty days for "unprofessional conduct."[88] In an interview, Orton stated, "my conduct[clarification needed] was unbecoming of a champion, which is what I will be again when I return."[89] To cover for the suspension, a scripted injury was devised, where Kurt Angle broke Orton's ankle during a grudge match.[90] Orton returned from his suspension in June to the Raw brand,[91][92] where he entered a rivalry with Angle, culminating in matches at One Night Stand and Vengeance before engaging in a storyline feud with Hulk Hogan. Orton began cutting promos insulting the aging Hogan and flirted with Hogan's then-eighteen-year-old daughter Brooke.[93][94] At SummerSlam, the two met in a "Legend vs. Legend Killer" match, which Hogan won.[95][96]

Edge and Orton as Rated-RKO.

After the newly reformed D-Generation X (DX) (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) cost Edge the WWE Championship numerous times, Edge approached Orton and asked him to join forces to defeat the team. Orton, whose championship reign had been ended by Triple H in 2004, agreed, forming the tag team Rated-RKO. The two became the first to defeat DX since their reunion and quickly dominated the Raw brand's tag team division to become tag team champions.[97][98] As part of the angle, Rated-RKO attacked Ric Flair with steel chairs to enrage DX on November 27.[99] At New Year's Revolution, Rated-RKO faced DX in a title defense, but the match was declared a no-contest when Triple H suffered a legitimate injury during the match.[100] With Triple H out of action, Rated-RKO continued their on-screen rivalry with remaining DX member Shawn Michaels. Michaels teamed with John Cena to defeat Rated-RKO for the tag team championship on January 29.[101] After losing the tag team titles, both Edge and Orton focused on the WWE Championship, causing friction in the group. They would lose a triple threat match against Shawn Michaels to earn a title match at WrestleMania 23. They both competed in the Money in the Bank ladder match at the same event, but the match was won by Mr. Kennedy. Finally, they faced off in a fatal four way for the title against Cena and Michaels, however Cena retained the title.[102] Their alliance was effectively ended once Edge was drafted to Smackdown. Orton then continued his "Legend Killer" persona, attacking Shawn Michaels. Using frequent attacks to the head, including an elevated DDT and a running punt to the face, Orton defeated Michaels at Judgment Day. When the kayfabe wounded and concussed Michaels collapsed in the ring, the referee was forced to stop the match and award Orton the victory.[96] Orton continued his attacks when he engaged himself in feuds with Rob Van Dam,[103] Ric Flair,[104] Dusty Rhodes,[105] and Sgt. Slaughter.[106]

WWE Champion; The Legacy (2007–2011)

Randy Orton (middle) with Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase as part of The Legacy.

On the July 23 Raw, Orton was named number one contender for John Cena's WWE Championship .[105] Three times before their scheduled bout at SummerSlam, Orton assaulted Cena with the RKO.[105][107][108] Orton lost the title match when Cena pinned him after an FU.[109] The next night on Raw, Orton demanded a rematch, but Raw General Manager William Regal denied him. He then appealed to Mr. McMahon, who offered him the shot if he "proved himself". That night, Orton interfered in Cena's match, assaulting him before kicking his father, who was at ringside, in the head.[110] McMahon granted Orton his rematch at Unforgiven, which he won by disqualification when Cena refused to stop punching him in the corner. Cena retained the championship because titles cannot change hands by disqualification.[111] After the match, Cena's father, who was again at ringside, kicked Orton in the head. The next night on Raw, Orton defeated Cena's father by DQ, then hit him with an RKO, while Cena was handcuffed to the ropes.[111]

At the beginning of No Mercy, Mr. McMahon awarded Orton the WWE Championship after Cena vacated it due to injury the previous week, cutting their feud short.[112] Orton lost the title to Triple H in the opening match.[113] In the main event, Orton defeated Triple H in a Last Man Standing match to regain the title.[114]

Orton then restarted his feud with Shawn Michaels, who returned on the October 8 Raw and Superkicked him.[115] Michaels was chosen by fan voting over Jeff Hardy and Mr. Kennedy to meet Orton in a title match at Cyber Sunday.[116] Orton was disqualified when he low blowed Michaels, but retained the title.[117] Orton won a rematch at Survivor Series after hitting Michaels with the RKO.[118] Per stipulation, if Michaels had used Sweet Chin Music, he'd have lost and never had another chance at the title, and if Orton was disqualified, he would have lost the title.[119]

Orton then feuded with Jeff Hardy, and defeated him in a title match at the Royal Rumble.[120] He then restarted his feud with John Cena, who had returned from injury to win the 2008 Royal Rumble match.[120] Instead of taking his title shot at WrestleMania XXIV, as Rumble winners typically do, Cena took it at No Way Out and defeated Orton, who intentionally got himself disqualified to retain the title.[121] At WrestleMania, Orton retained the WWE Championship in a Triple Threat match over Cena and Triple H, by pinning Cena after Triple H Pedigreed him.[122]

The next month, at Backlash, Orton lost the title to Triple H in a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match, also including Cena and John "Bradshaw" Layfield.[123] After failing to win it back at Judgment Day,[124] Orton faced Triple H for it in a Last Man Standing match at One Night Stand, which he lost when Triple H countered an RKO by throwing him over the top rope, breaking his clavicle. During this time, Orton gained a new nickname, "The Viper" and new entrance theme, "Voices".[125]

Orton after winning the 2009 Royal Rumble match.

Shortly before he was to return from his injury, Orton was reinjured in a motorcycle accident. He returned to Raw on September 1, criticizing all the champions, including World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, who he berated and slapped for letting Cryme Tyme steal their belts. This inspired them to try to gain Orton's respect.[126] They achieved this at Unforgiven when, with new stablemate Manu, they assaulted World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk, forcing him to vacate his title before his scheduled defense that night.[127] Orton returned to the ring on the November 3 Raw, losing to Punk by disqualification when DiBiase interfered.[128] In retaliation, Orton punted DiBiase in the head.[128] On the December 1 Raw, Orton proposed that he, Rhodes and Manu form an alliance.[129][130] The stable, called The Legacy, debuted the next week, defeating Batista and Triple H, Orton's former Evolution stablemates, in a three-on-two handicap match.[131]

On January 25, 2009, Orton won the Royal Rumble match, last eliminating Triple H.[16] Before Wrestle Mania, Orton attacked Shane and Stephanie McMahon. Orton stated he wants to get revenge on Triple H by taking away everything from him. He challenged Triple H for the WWE title at WrestleMania XXV, which he was unsuccessful.[132] He won it the next month at Backlash by pinning Triple H in a special six-man tag match between The Legacy and Triple H, Batista and Shane McMahon.[133] At Extreme Rules, he lost the title to Batista in a Steel Cage match.[134] The following night on Raw, Orton and Legacy attacked Batista and broke his arm, forcing him to vacate the title.[135]

On the June 15 Raw, Orton regained the title in a Fatal Four Way match, over Triple H, John Cena and The Big Show.[136] He lost the title to John Cena in an "I Quit" match at Breaking Point.[137] He then regained it from Cena in a Hell in a Cell match at Hell in a Cell.[138] At Bragging Rights, Orton lost the title back to Cena in a one-hour Iron Man match.[139]

On the January 11, 2010 Raw, Orton won a Triple Threat match, with help from Rhodes and DiBiase, for the right to challenge Sheamus at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship.[140] Orton lost by disqualification when Rhodes interfered. After the match, Orton attacked Rhodes and DiBiase.[141] On the February 15 Raw, Orton was again disqualified in a rematch when The Legacy interfered.[142] Orton and DiBiase both competed in the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber. DiBiase eliminated Orton after hitting him with a pipe Rhodes gave him.[143] The next night on Raw, during a six-man tag match, Orton attacked them in retaliation.[144] At WrestleMania XXVI, Orton, now a face for the first time since 2005, defeated Rhodes and DiBiase in a Triple Threat match.[145]

Orton at WWE Tribute to the Troops in 2010.

After The Legacy disbanded, Orton unsuccessfully challenged Jack Swagger for the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules in April.[146] During a number one contender's match for the WWE Championship on RAW, Orton was speared by Edge, costing him the match and setting up a bout at Over the Limit,[147] Orton separated his right shoulder during the match, which ended in a double countout.[148] At Fatal 4-Way in June, Orton lost a fatal four-way WWE Championship match, also involving champion Cena and Edge, to Sheamus.[149] On the July 19 Raw, he won a number one contender's match over Edge and Chris Jericho, earning a match against Sheamus at SummerSlam.[150] Sheamus was disqualified for bringing a steel chair into the ring, giving Orton the win, but not the title.[151] Immediately afterward, Orton hit Sheamus with the chair and an RKO.

Orton defeated John Cena, Chris Jericho, Wade Barrett, Edge and Sheamus in a Six-Pack Challenge Elimination Match to become WWE Champion for the sixth time at Night of Champions.[152]

After defending the title against Sheamus at Hell in a Cell,[153] Orton feuded with Wade Barrett, who was blackmailing Cena to help him capture the title. Orton defeated Barrett again at Bragging Rights and Survivor Series [154][155] After one final match on the November 22 episode of Raw, The Miz immediately cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and quickly beat Orton for the title.[156]

Orton lost to The Miz in a title tables match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs[157] and again in a standard match at the Royal Rumble in January 2011, after The New Nexus interfered, starting a feud between Orton and CM Punk.[158]

The next month at Elimination Chamber, Orton lost the a WWE Championship number-one-contender Elimination Chamber match to Cena.[159] Over the next three weeks, Orton punted and injured all members of The New Nexus, Michael McGillicutty, David Otunga and Mason Ryan.[160][161][162] At WrestleMania XXVII, Orton pinned Punk after the RKO.[163] On the April 11 Raw, McGillicutty, Otunga and Ryan returned and cost Orton a number one contender's match for the WWE Championship.[164] Two weeks later, in the 2011 WWE Draft, Orton was drafted to SmackDown and beat Punk in a Last Man Standing Match at Extreme Rules, ending his feud with The New Nexus.[165]

Regaining the World Heavyweight Championship (2011–2013)

Orton in another signature pose; he does this prior to hitting his RKO finisher.

On April 29 SmackDown, was in a tag team match with Christian against Alberto Del Rio and Brodus Clay.[166] The following week, Orton received a title opportunity against World Heavyweight Champion, Christian. Orton was successful in defeating Christian to win his second World Heavyweight Championship.[167] At Over the Limit and Capitol Punishment, Orton successfully defended his championship against Christian.[168][169] In July at Money in the Bank, Orton met Christian in a match where, if Orton got himself disqualified, or the referee made a "bad call", Christian would win the title. Christian spat in Orton's face, causing him to lose control of his temper, kick Christian in the groin and get disqualified.[170][171] A month later, at SummerSlam event, Orton regained the title when he defeated Christian in a No Holds Barred match.[172] Orton ended his feud with Christian when he retained the World Championship in a Steel Cage Match on the August 30 SmackDown.[173]

Orton then began a feud with Mark Henry after Henry became the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship.[174] Over the next few weeks, Henry regularly attacked Orton.[175][176][177][178] At Night of Champions, Orton lost the World Heavyweight title Henry,[179] and failed to regain it two weeks later at Hell in a Cell.[180] On the October 14 edition of Smackdown, Orton received another title shot against Henry after winning a 41 man battle royal, he was successful in winning the match by disqualification but failed to win the title after interference from rival Cody Rhodes. He then defeated Rhodes at Vengeance,[181] and on the November 4 Smackdown in a Street Fight.[182]

Orton reignited his feud with Wade Barrett after both were named captain for a traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match. On the November 11 SmackDown, Orton lost a match to Barrett. On the November 14 Raw, Orton won a rematch by disqualification.[183][184] His team was defeated at Survivor Series with Barrett and Cody Rhodes being the sole survivors.[185] Barrett then began attacking and distracting Orton during matches.[186] At Tables, Ladders, & Chairs, Orton defeated Barrett in a tables match hitting the RKO mid-air with Barrett landing through the table.[187] Barrett and Orton continued their feud on the December 23 SmackDown, where they brawled backstage and Orton hit Barrett with an RKO onto a car.[188] This led to a Falls Count Anywhere match on December 30 Smackdown, in which Barrett pushed Orton down a flight of stairs,[189] resulting in a herniated disc, which sidelined Orton for four weeks.[190] On January 27, 2012 edition of SmackDown, he returned to the ring and attacked Barrett. On the February 3 edition of SmackDown, Orton defeated Barrett in a No Disqualification match to end the feud.[191]

On the February 14 edition of Raw SuperShow, Orton suffered a concussion after World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan smashed Orton over the head with the title belt. Due to the injury, Orton was taken out of his elimination chamber match at Elimination Chamber and was replaced by Santino Marella.[192] Orton returned on the March 2 SmackDown, losing to Bryan by count-out, following interference from Kane, who then attacked Orton after the match.[193] In retaliation, Orton hit Kane with an RKO on the March 5 edition of Raw Supershow, after the latter defeated R-Truth.[194] On the next SmackDown, Orton hit Kane with another RKO before his match. They later brawled as the show ended.[195] At WrestleMania XXVIII, Orton was defeated by Kane in a singles match.[196] Orton defeated Kane on the next SmackDown in a No Disqualification match[197] and at Extreme Rules in a Falls Count Anywhere match to end the feud.[198]

On April 30 Raw, Orton was part of a Beat the Clock challenge to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship match at Over the Limit; he defeated Jack Swagger in 4:16[199] to beat The Miz's time by two seconds.[200] Orton's time was later beaten by Daniel Bryan, thus earning him the title match.[201] On the following Raw SuperShow, Orton was brogue kicked by tag team partner Sheamus during their match against Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio, costing them the match. After the match, Orton RKO'd Sheamus and then he, Jericho, and Del Rio demanded a match for Sheamus' World Heavyweight Championship at Over the Limit, which they were granted.[202] At the pay-per-view, Orton failed in his World title pursuit after Sheamus pinned Jericho to retain the title.[203]

On May 30, WWE announced that they had suspended Orton for 60 days due to his second violation of the company's Talent Wellness Program.[204][205] Orton returned on the July 30 Raw, defeating Heath Slater.[206] Orton began feuding with Mr. Money in the Bank Dolph Ziggler, after hitting him with the RKO when trying to cash his contract on a vulnerable Sheamus on the August 24 SmackDown.[207] The following week on SmackDown, the two faced off in a match that was won by Orton.[208] Three days later on Raw, Orton was defeated by Ziggler in a rematch, after Ziggler pinned him while holding his tights.[209] Orton and Ziggler faced each other again at Night of Champions where Orton won.[210] On the September 28 SmackDown, Orton was scheduled to face Big Show in a number one contenders match for the World Heavyweight Championship. However, a pre-match assault from Alberto Del Rio cost Orton the match and started a feud.[211] Orton returned to SmackDown two weeks later, attacking Del Rio and his ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez.[212] The rivalry built to a singles match on October 28 at Hell in a Cell, where Orton emerged victorious.[213] On the following WWE Main Event, Orton teamed with Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara to face Del Rio and the Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil) in six-man tag team bout that ended with Orton pinning Del Rio for the win.[214] On the November 6 SmackDown, Orton defeated Del Rio again in a Falls Count Anywhere match, after hitting the RKO onto the ring steps.[215] The two were then on opposing teams for the traditional five-on-five elimination tag match on November 18 at Survivor Series. Del Rio's team, led by Dolph Ziggler, ended up defeating Orton's team, led by Mick Foley.[216] The following night on Raw, Orton defeated Del Rio once again in a Two Out of Three Falls match to end the feud.[217]

Randy Orton was the inaugural WWE World Heavyweight Champion, holding the title until WrestleMania XXX.

On the December 3 Raw, Orton began a feud with The Shield, after he was attacked by them following a victory over Brad Maddox.[218] On the December 14 SmackDown, Orton was once again assaulted backstage by The Shield.[219] This was used to write him off television due to a shoulder injury.[220] Orton returned on the New Year’s Eve Raw, helping Ryback and Sheamus fend off The Shield.[221] On the January 4 SmackDown, Orton announced his entry in the 2013 Royal Rumble match.[222] On the January 11 SmackDown and the January 16 Main Event, Orton was again attacked by The Shield during his matches with Antonio Cesaro.[223][224] On the February 1 SmackDown, Orton defeated longtime rival Wade Barrett to earn a spot in the Elimination Chamber match.[225] On February 17 at Elimination Chamber, Orton eliminated Mark Henry and Chris Jericho before being the last man eliminated by Jack Swagger.[226] In late February, Orton aligned himself with Sheamus to feud with the Shield.[227] Over the next weeks, Orton and Sheamus saved each other from attacks by The Shield and Big Show.[228][229] On the March 15 SmackDown, Orton and Sheamus were then allowed to pick a third partner to face the Shield in a six-man tag team match at Wrestlemania 29 an chose Ryback.[230] Three days later on Raw, however, Ryback was booked in another match for the event, leaving the spot open. Later that night, Big Show saved the two from an attack by The Shield and was immediately recruited as their partner.[231][232] On April 7 at WrestleMania 29, Orton, Sheamus and Show were defeated by The Shield, after which, both men were knocked out by Show.[233] The following night on Raw, Orton and Sheamus faced off in a match to earn a match with Big Show, however, the match ended in a no contest after Show interfered.[234] Orton and Sheamus then teamed up to defeat Show in two handicap matches, first on the April 12 SmackDown via cont-out, and second on the April 15 Raw via pinfall.[235][236] On the April 19 SmackDown, Orton and Sheamus were defeated by Big Show and Mark Henry in a tag team match.[237] The feud between Big Show and Orton led to an Extreme Rules Match at Extreme Rules, which Orton won.[238] After Extreme Rules, Orton began pairing with Daniel Bryan despite their poor relationship to face a common enemy in the Shield.[239][240] On the June 14 SmackDown, Orton teamed with Bryan and Kane to end the Shield's unpinned and unsubmitted streak in televised six-man tag matches.[241][242] Three days later at WWE Payback, Orton and Bryan's poor teamwork resulted in an unsuccessful challenge for Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins' WWE Tag Team Championships.[243] The following night on Raw, Orton and Bryan faced off in a No Disqualification match, that Orton won via referee stoppage after Bryan suffered a legitimate nerve injury.[244] Four days later on SmackDown, Orton was defeated by Bryan in a singles match via count-out.[245] Orton and Bryan faced each other for the third time on the next Raw, but their match ended in a no-contest after both men were counted out.[246] Later that night, Orton was defeated by Bryan in a Street Fight Match after he was forced to submit to the Yes! Lock with a kindo stick applied to the move.[247]

Storyline with The Authority (2013–present)

Orton in May 2014.

On July 14 at Money in the Bank, Orton defeated Christian, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Rob Van Dam, and Sheamus to win the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, thus earning him an opportunity to challenge for the WWE Championship at a time of his choosing within the next year.[248] On August 18 at SummerSlam, Orton turned heel after he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Daniel Bryan, who had just won the WWE Championship and had been subsequently attacked by special guest referee Triple H, who also counted the pinfall to give Orton his seventh WWE title.[249] The following night on Raw, Orton was endorsed as the "face of the company" by Vince McMahon and the newly formed Authority (Triple H and Stephanie McMahon).[250] On September 15 at Night of Champions, Orton lost WWE Championship back to Bryan,[251] however, Triple H stripped Bryan of the title the next night on Raw, due to a fast count by referee Scott Armstrong, but refused to give the championship back to Orton.[252] Orton and Bryan faced off for the vacant title on October 6 at WWE Battleground, but the match ended in a no contest after Big Show interfered and knocked out both men.[253] Orton once again challenged Bryan for the vacant championship at Hell in a Cell, where he was successful in regaining the WWE Championship after the special guest referee Shawn Michaels superkicked Bryan for attacking Triple H.[254]

On November 24 at Survivor Series, after successfully defending the title against Big Show, Orton was confronted by World Heavyweight Champion and long-time rival John Cena.[255] The following night on Raw, Cena suggested that there should only be "one champion" in WWE, so Triple H stated there would be a unification match at the TLC pay-per-view. On December 15, Orton defeated Cena at TLC to unify both titles, and becoming the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion as well as officially being recognized as the final World Heavyweight Champion.[256] Orton made his first successful title defense as WWE World Heavyweight Champion on January 26, 2014, at the Royal Rumble, defeating Cena in a rematch after interference by The Wyatt Family.[257] On February 23 at Elimination Chamber, Orton defeated Cesaro, Christian, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, and Sheamus to retain his WWE World Heavyweight Championship and secure his position in the title bout at WrestleMania XXX against Royal Rumble winner Batista.[258] On April 6 at Wrestlemania XXX, the main event was changed to a triple threat match after Bryan defeated Triple H, and won the match after submitting Batista to end Orton's reign at 161 days.[259] The following night on Raw, Orton and Batista were each denied a rematch for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and instead were forced by The Authority to team together to face WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos for the title, despite their issues with one another. The title match ended in a double count-out after the two united and delivered a beat-down to the champions.[260] Later that night, Batista and Orton, along with Kane, attacked Bryan before he was set to defend his title against Triple H. Before Triple H could defeat Bryan, The Shield interrupted by spearing Triple H and taking out Batista, Orton and Kane, causing Bryan to retain his title via disqualification.[261] On the April 14 edition of Raw, Batista, Triple H and Randy Orton came down to the ring to attack The Shield after their 11-on-3 handicap match, using the name and the theme of Evolution.[262] At Extreme Rules and Payback, Evolution lost to The Shield.[263][264] On the June 9 episode of Raw, The Authority automatically granted Orton a spot in the 2014 Money in the Bank ladder match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but he couldn't regain the title. On the July 21st edition of Raw, Roman Reigns attacked Orton, which cost him another shot at the title, causing Orton to retaliate the following week by viciously attacking Reigns and challenging him to a match at SummerSlam. At the pay-per-view, Orton was defeated after Reigns kicked out of an RKO, and delivered a spear shortly afterwards, to pick up the victory. [265]

Other media

In 2004, Orton appeared on the late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, to promote Taboo Tuesday.[266] In March 2007, alongside Edge, John Cena, and Bobby Lashley, Orton appeared on the NBC game show Deal or No Deal.[267] In July 2009, Orton revealed he read for the lead role in The Marine 2 (2009), a sequel to the 2006 film The Marine. He was given the part, but after injuring his collarbone, the film's producers decided to go with Ted DiBiase.[268] Orton has a supporting role in the film That's What I Am, a coming-of-age comedy written and directed by Michael Pavone.[269] On March 28, 2012, it was reported that Randy Orton would star in Marine: Homefront.[270] On April 3, it was reported that he was dropped from the role due to his past with the USMC.[21][271] He was replaced by fellow wrestler The Miz.[272] On September 3, 2012, it was announced that Orton would star in 12 Rounds: Reloaded.[273]

Controversy

On March 19, 2007, Sports Illustrated posted an article on its website as part of its continuing series investigating a steroid and HGH ring used by a number of professional athletes in several sports. That article mentioned several current and former WWE wrestlers, including Orton who was alleged to have obtained clomiphene citrate, anastrozole, and the steroids stanozolol, nandrolone, oxandrolone, and testosterone.[274] WWE has since made a statement on this situation, claiming that the allegations preceded the Talent Wellness program WWE launched in February 2006.[274]

Personal life

In November 2005, Orton announced his engagement to his girlfriend Samantha Speno.[275] They married on September 21, 2007.[276][277] Their first child, Alanna Marie Orton, was born on July 12, 2008.[278][279][280] In June 2013, Orton and Speno divorced, having separated in late 2012.[281]

Orton suffers from hypermobile shoulders.[282] He had a United States Marine Corps tattoo on his left arm, but covered it up after receiving a bad conduct discharge when he went AWOL twice. He was sent home after serving 38 days in a military prison at Camp Pendleton.[21]

Upon being medically cleared to wrestle after breaking his collarbone in a match against Triple H, Orton re-injured his collarbone in a motorcycle accident.[283][284] On July 30, 2013, he was attacked by a spectator in Cape Town during a WWE tour of South Africa. WWE stated that the attack was not part of the planned events.[285]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role
2011 That's What I Am Ed Freel
2013 12 Rounds: Reloaded Nick Malloy

In wrestling

Randy Orton hitting the RKO on Kane.
Orton performing the RKO (Jumping cutter) on Dolph Ziggler.
Orton performing the Inverted headlock backbreaker on Sheamus.
Orton applying a chokehold on John Cena
Orton performing a rope-hung DDT on Sheamus.
  • Entrance themes
    • "Blasting" by Jim Johnston (April 25, 2002 – February 3, 2003)
    • "Evolve" by Jim Johnston (February 10, 2003 – June 16, 2003)
    • '"Line in the Sand" by Motörhead (July 14, 2003 – August 23, 2004; April 14, 2014 – June 2, 2014; used as a member of Evolution)
    • "This Fire Burns" by Killswitch Engage (March 3, 2006)
    • "Burn in My Light" by Mercy Drive (August 30, 2004 – May 5, 2008)[302]
    • "Metalingus and Burn in My Light" by Jim Johnston (October 2, 2006 – April 29, 2007; used while a part of Rated-RKO)
    • "Voices" by Rev Theory (May 12, 2008–present)[303]
    • "Voices (with Burn in My Light intro)" by Mercy Drive and Rev Theory (April 6, 2014; WrestleMania XXX)

Championships and accomplishments

Orton during his first reign as WWE Champion.
Orton as the WWE Champion in 2013.

Notes

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  316. ^ Meltzer, Dave (January 27, 2014). "Jan 27 2014 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: 2013 Annual awards issue, best in the world in numerous categories, plus all the news in pro-wrestling and MMA over the past week and more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter (Campbell, California): 11. ISSN 1083-9593. 

References

  • James Guttman (2006). World Wrestling Insanity: The Decline and Fall of a Family Empire. Toronto. p. 235. ISBN 1-55022-728-9. 
  • "2007 Wrestling Almanac & Book of Facts". Wrestling’s Historical Cards (Kappa Publishing). 2007. 

External links