Randal Keith "Randy" Orton (April 1, 1980) is an American professional wrestler and actor signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He is a nine-time WWE Champion and also a four-time World Heavyweight Champion, making him a 13-time world champion, and the final holder of the World Heavyweight Championship (upon unifying it with the WWE Championship). He is also a one time United States Champion.
Orton is a third-generation professional wrestler; his grandfather Bob Orton, Sr., father "Cowboy" Bob Orton, and uncle Barry O all competed in the professional wrestling industry. 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 Orton held the OVW Hardcore Championship on two separate occasions.
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. Orton also acquired the moniker "The Legend Killer" during a storyline where he began disrespecting Hall of Famers and physically attacking veterans of the industry outside of appropriate restrictions. At age 24, Orton became the youngest person ever to hold the World Heavyweight Championship. With this win, Orton 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, Orton and Edge held the World Tag Team Championship. After the team disbanded, during mid-2007, Orton gained two WWE Championship reigns in one night. Orton formed the group The Legacy with Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase in 2008. It disbanded in 2010 and Orton returned to singles competition. Overall, Orton has won 14 total championships in WWE. He is also the winner of the 2009 Royal Rumble match, and has headlined many pay-per-view events for the organization, including WrestleMania XXV.
Orton was born on April 1, 1980 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Son to Elaine and "Cowboy" Bob Orton, he is the eldest of two siblings—Becky and Nathan. Knowing from experience the hardships of life as a professional wrestler, Orton's parents tried to convince him to stay away from wrestling, and his father warned him that life in the ring meant a life on the road, away from family. Orton attended Hazelwood Central High School, where he was an amateur wrestler. After graduating from Hazelwood in 1998, Orton enlisted with the United States Marine Corps. There, he was dishonorably discharged a year later, after going AWOL on two separate occasions and disobeying an order from a commanding officer. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Private First Class Orton was tried and convicted under a special court-martial and was put into a military prison for thirty-eight days.
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. There, he was trained by both the promotion and his father, Cowboy Bob Orton. He only wrestled at the promotion for one month, where he performed with such wrestlers as Ace Strange and Mark Bland. Orton also refereed a few matches with World Organized Wrestling, a promotion where his uncle Barry Orton worked.
In 2001, Orton signed a deal with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and was sent to their farm 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.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2002–present)
Orton's first televised WWE match was against Hardcore Holly on SmackDown! on April 25, 2002. Soon after, Orton became a face (crowd favorite) and was placed in a series of matches with Holly. In September 2002, Orton was drafted to the Raw brand, where he defeated Stevie Richards in his debut on the show. Within weeks of his debut on the Raw brand, Orton suffered a shoulder injury, leaving him sidelined for months. While recovering, Orton still appeared on Raw, in his own "Randy News Network" segment, a weekly vignette featuring him talking about his condition. The show interrupted other segments of Raw programming, which caused Orton to slowly transition himself into a narcissistic and self-centered heel (villain).
After his injury healed, Orton joined Evolution, which consisted of Ric Flair, Triple H, and relative newcomer, 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. In 2003, Orton spent much of his time helping Triple H overcome challenges from Scott Steiner and Goldberg, former World Championship Wrestling (WCW) superstars who were vying with Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. Orton joined Triple H in a six-man Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam and was involved primarily to secure Triple H's title defense.
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-regarded names in wrestling history. He defeated Shawn Michaels at Unforgiven, in the first of many high-profile matches billed as "Legend versus Legend Killer", with the help of his stablemate and mentor Ric Flair. Orton then spat in the face of Harley Race on the April 26, 2004 edition of Raw.
During this time, Orton began using the move that would become his signature finisher, the RKO, a jumping cutter, named after his initials. Orton soon defeated Rob Van Dam for the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Armageddon on December 14, 2003. With this win, Orton started the longest Intercontinental title reign in seven years, holding the title for seven months.
Orton continued to establish himself as a "Legend Killer" throughout 2004, challenging the semi-retired wrestler Mick Foley. Famed for his hardcore matches and an ability to handle excruciating pain, Foley offered Orton a hardcore "Legend versus Legend Killer" match if Orton would put his Intercontinental Championship on the line. In a bloody match involving thumbtacks and barbed wire, Orton defeated Foley.
In July, at Vengeance, Edge defeated Orton to win the Intercontinental Championship, ending Orton's seven month title reign. After the loss of his Intercontinental Championship, Orton continued to rise in ranks within WWE, entering the World Heavyweight Championship scene. After becoming the number one contender on July 26, he defeated Chris Benoit for the championship with the added distinction of being the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in wrestling history at age twenty-four. Benoit congratulated Orton after the match, shaking his hand for showing the ability to "be a man".
The following night, 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 performing an Electric Chair on Orton. Ric Flair and Batista attacked Orton in the ring as Triple H revealed his jealousy for Orton's title. He ordered the young champion to hand over the championship, but Orton refused, spitting in Triple H's face and hitting him with the title belt. Orton's break-up with Evolution began a new storyline for him as a face when he continued to feud with his former stablemates. A month later, Orton lost his championship at Unforgiven.
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 it to beat and humiliate the group. After this, Orton experienced another push, becoming General Manager of the Raw brand for a week following a match stipulation at Survivor Series. He continued to feud with Triple H, using his authority to place his opponents at severe disadvantages during title defenses. 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. On the January 10 edition of Raw, Orton defeated Batista to earn a match against Triple H at the Royal Rumble for the World Heavyweight title. At the Royal Rumble, Triple H defeated Orton to retain the World title.
Orton began an on-screen relationship with Stacy Keibler and briefly feuded with Christian in February 2005. On the February 28 edition of Raw, "Superstar" Billy Graham made an appearance, in which he advised Orton to "go where no wrestler [had] gone before". Orton then produced a copy of SmackDown! magazine, which featured The Undertaker on the cover. Heeding Graham's advice, Orton claimed that he would set himself apart from all other wrestlers by ending The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Throughout March 2005, Orton taunted The Undertaker, claiming he was unafraid of the eerie Deadman. On the March 21 edition of Raw, Orton turned heel once more after he delivered an RKO to his unsuspecting on-screen girlfriend, Stacy Keibler, knocking her unconscious. During Orton's promos, he would immediately run for cover when signs of The Undertaker's appearance were near (lightning, darkness, or smoke). When "legend" wrestler Jake Roberts advised Orton not to underestimate The Undertaker, Orton performed an RKO on Roberts as well. 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.
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. 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!. Orton returned to WWE programming for the SmackDown! brand on June 16, announcing that he was the second pick in the 2005 draft lottery.
He rekindled his feud with The Undertaker, defeating him at SummerSlam following a distraction from his father. Two months later, Orton and his father Bob Orton defeated The Undertaker in a Handicap Casket match. 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. At the event, The Undertaker, who had been absent since Orton had apparently killed him on an episode of SmackDown!, returned by emerging from a flaming casket. The feud was finally settled with a Hell in a Cell match at the upcoming December 18 Armageddon, where The Undertaker offered to retire if he lost.
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. The Undertaker, however, beat both Ortons in a Hell in a Cell match, which ended their nine-month-long feud with The Undertaker.
Following Armageddon, he was handpicked by the injured Booker T as his substitute in the "Best of Seven" series between Booker and Chris Benoit over the WWE United States Championship. Orton would go on to successfully defeat Benoit in the final match of the series and become the first person to win a championship for another wrestler as Booker T was awarded the US Title. Orton would go on to be the final entrant of the Royal Rumble but he was eliminated by Rey Mysterio. Mysterio won the match to earn a title shot at WrestleMania 22, but Orton urged him to put the title shot at stake in a match at No Way Out. In the weeks preceding No Way Out, Orton made disparaging remarks about Eddie Guerrero, Mysterio's deceased friend, in an attempt to gain heel heat. Guerrero's death had occurred only months previously, and many fans felt the comments were unwarranted and highly distasteful. Orton won at No Way Out by using the ropes for leverage, earning Mysterio's title shot for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 22. 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. On April 2, at WrestleMania 22, Orton was pinned by Mysterio, making Mysterio the World Heavyweight Champion and ending their on-screen rivalry.
On April 4, 2006, Orton was suspended for sixty days for "unprofessional conduct." In an interview, Orton stated, "my conduct was unbecoming of a champion, which is what I will be again when I return". To cover for the suspension, a faked injury was devised, where Kurt Angle broke Orton's ankle during a grudge match. In July, Orton said his suspension resulted from smoking marijuana backstage. Orton returned from his suspension in June to the Raw brand, where he engaged in a storyline feud with Hulk Hogan. Orton began cutting promos insulting the aging Hogan and flirted with Hogan's eighteen-year-old daughter Brooke. At SummerSlam, the two met in a "Legend vs. Legend Killer" match, which Hogan won.
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. As part of the angle, Rated-RKO attacked Ric Flair with steel chairs to enrage DX on November 27. 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.
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. Orton and Edge suffered a series of losses to Cena and Michaels in the following months, building hatred towards one another. Edge and Orton also became rivals in their goals of achieving the WWE Championship. Neither Edge nor Orton won the Championship, and they lost their claims as number one contenders after a failed match with Cena at Backlash. 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. Orton continued his attacks when he engaged himself in feuds with Rob Van Dam, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, and Sgt. Slaughter.
On the July 23 edition of Raw, Orton was named as the number one contender at SummerSlam for John Cena's WWE Championship. Weeks before their scheduled match at SummerSlam, Orton attacked Cena on three separate occasions by performing RKOs on him. At SummerSlam, Orton lost the title match to Cena, who pinned Orton after executing an FU. The following night on Raw, Orton demanded a rematch for the title, but his request was declined by Raw General Manager William Regal. Orton then took his demands to Mr. McMahon, who also refused to give Orton a rematch unless he proved himself. That night, Orton interfered in Cena's match by assaulting Cena and kicking Cena's father, who was at ringside, in the head. Orton was granted his title rematch against Cena at Unforgiven and won by disqualification when Cena refused to stop punching Orton in the corner. Cena retained the WWE title because a title cannot change hands by disqualification. After the match, Cena's father, who was again at ringside, kicked Orton in the head. At No Mercy, Orton was awarded the WWE Championship by Mr. McMahon after Cena was stripped of the title due to an injury the previous week, which also ended the Orton-Cena storyline prematurely. Orton then lost the title to Triple H in the opening match of the show, making Orton's reign the third shortest in WWE history. Later in the night, Orton defeated Triple H in a Last Man Standing match to regain the title, thus becoming a two-time WWE Champion in one night.
Following No Mercy, Orton continued his feud with Shawn Michaels, who made his return on the October 8 edition of Raw and performed Sweet Chin Music on Orton. The two met in a title match at Cyber Sunday after a match was made in which the fans would get to vote on either Michaels, Jeff Hardy or Mr. Kennedy as the opponent. As a result, Michaels was voted to face Orton. In the match, Orton was disqualified when he performed a low blow on Michaels, but Orton retained the title. In a scheduled rematch, Orton successfully defended the title at Survivor Series against Michaels when he performed the RKO on Michaels for the win. The stipulation of the match was that if Michaels used Sweet Chin Music, the match would be stopped and Michaels would never get a chance at the WWE title, but if Orton got himself disqualified, he would lose the title.
After weeks of intensity between the two, Orton defeated Jeff Hardy to retain the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. Following this, he re-engaged in his feud with John Cena, who had returned from injury and won the 2008 Royal Rumble match. Instead of cashing in his title opportunity at WrestleMania XXIV, Cena decided to face Orton for the title at No Way Out. Orton lost the match after getting himself intentionally disqualified, thus retaining the title. At WrestleMania XXIV, Orton retained the WWE Championship in a Triple Threat match involving Cena and Triple H. Orton won the match by pinning Cena after a Pedigree from Triple H. The following month, at Backlash, Orton lost the title to Triple H in a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match, which also included Cena and John "Bradshaw" Layfield. After failing to win the title back at Judgment Day, Orton faced Triple H in a Last Man Standing match at One Night Stand for the title. Orton lost the match and legitimately broke his collarbone.
He made his in-ring return on the November 3 episode of Raw losing to CM Punk by disqualification, after Ted DiBiase, Jr. interfered. As retaliation Orton went on to punt DiBiase in the head. On the December 1 episode of Raw, Orton proposed that he along with Cody Rhodes and Manu form an alliance. The following week, they made it official, by defeating Batista and Triple H, Orton's former stablemates, in a three-on-two handicap match, dubbing themselves The Legacy. On January 25, 2009, Orton won the 2009 Royal Rumble match, by last eliminating Triple H, and winning the traditional WrestleMania title shot.
In trying to elicit an apology from Stephanie McMahon for disrespecting him, Mr. McMahon, who returned WWE Television since his accident back in the summer of 2008, was on the brink of firing Orton. This prompted Orton to smack McMahon and in the end punted him. A shocked Randy Orton stood looking at what had he had done, as paramedics, along with RAW GM Stephanie McMahon, rushed the ring. The following week on RAW, Randy Orton revealed that he suffered from a condition known as "I.E.D.," or better known as Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Orton also revealed that the WWE had prior knowledge of this condition and did nothing about it. Orton challenged that if he was reprimanded for his action he would go as far as to sue the WWE, even mentioning that in effect, WrestleMania XXV would be canceled. Stephanie McMahon responded with threatening Orton that both she and Shane McMahon would seek revenge. An irate Shane McMahon appeared on RAW and attacked Orton, thus setting up a No Disqualification match at No Way Out. Randy Orton came out victorious in the match, after interference by Legacy. The next day on RAW, Shane McMahon once again challenged Orton to a match, this time ordering Orton to keep Legacy away. Legacy nonetheless interfered and helped Orton pick up the win. However, after the match, Orton proceeded to punt Shane as well. This prompted both Stephanie McMahon and paramedics to rush the ring. A maddened Stephanie scorned Orton for his actions, which led him to hit her with an RKO. Once again, Orton was shocked at what he had done. This began a feud with Orton and Triple H and he unsuccessfully challenged Triple H for the WWE title at WrestleMania XXV. 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. At Extreme Rules, he dropped the title to Batista in a Steel Cage match.The following night on Raw, Orton and Legacy attacked Batista, legitimately injuring him in the process and forcing him to vacate the title.
On the June 15 episode of Raw, Orton regained the title in a Fatal Four Way match involving Triple H, John Cena and The Big Show. Orton lost the title to John Cena in an "I Quit" match at Breaking Point. He regained the title again from Cena in a Hell in a Cell match at the Hell in a Cell. At Bragging Rights, Orton lost the title to Cena in a 60-minute Iron Man match. On the January 11, 2010 episode of Raw, Orton won a triple threat match, with the help of Rhodes and DiBiase, to challenge Sheamus at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship. At the Royal Rumble, however, Orton failed to win the championship when Rhodes interfered, causing a disqualification. After the match, Orton attacked Rhodes and DiBiase. On the February 15 episode of Raw, Orton was again disqualified in a rematch after Rhodes and DiBiase interfered. Orton and DiBiase both competed in the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, and DiBiase eliminated Orton after hitting him with a pipe which Rhodes had passed to him. The next night on Raw, in a six-man tag team match, Orton attacked Rhodes and DiBiase in retaliation, and turning face in the process.
He then won the championship from Sheamus and lost it to Miz. He couldn't get it back because of CM Punk.
Return to singles competition and various feud (2010-2011)
After the feud with The Legacy, Orton faced Jack Swagger for the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules but failed to win. Later he began to feud with Edge after getting Speared during a match. Later at Over the Limit, he faced Edge but the match ended in double countout. Randy competed for the WWE Championship against Sheamus, Edge and WWE Champion John Cena at Fatal 4-Way, but failed to win as Sheamus won. Later he faced Sheamus for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam, he won by DQ but not the title. However Randy becoming WWE Champion at Six Pack Elimination match at Night of Champions alongside Edge, John Cena, Sheamus, Wade Barrett and Chris Jericho. Later Orton began a feud with Wade Barrett and receive a match at Bragging Rights later he become a champion. Later The Miz cashed his Money In The Bank contract for WWE Championship and he defeat Randy for WWE Championship at Tables Match at TLC. Later Randy began feud with CM Punk thus challenged him at WrestleMania XXVII as Randy became victorious. Later Randy had a match against CM Punk in Last Man Standing at Extreme Rules.
World Heavyweight Champion and various feuds (2011-2013)
On April 29 episode of SmackDown, Orton made his SmackDown debut in a tag team match with Christian against Alberto Del Rio and Brodus Clay. 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. At Over the Limit and Capitol Punishment, Orton successfully defended his championship against Christian. In July at Money in the Bank, Orton lost the title to Christian after Christian spat in his face, which led to Orton lose control of his temper, kicked Christian in the groin and he got disqualified, in a match where the stipulation was if Orton got himself disqualified, or if the referee made a "bad call", Christian would automatically win the championship. A month later, at the SummerSlam pay-per-view event, Orton regained the title when he defeated Christian in a No Holds Barred match. Orton ended his feud with Christian when he retained the World Championship in a Steel Cage Match on the August 30 episode of SmackDown. Orton then entered a feud with Mark Henry after Henry became the number one contender to the World Heavyweight title after winning a 20-man Battle royal on the August 19 episode of SmackDown. Throughout weeks on SmackDown and on the September 11 episode of Raw, Henry would attack Orton getting the advantage over him. At Night of Champions, Orton lost the World Heavyweight title to Henry. A few weeks later, Orton once again lost to Mark Henry at Hell in a Cell. Orton then got two rematches(one non-title on Raw and the other World Title match on Smackdown). Earlier in the night he earned a title match by winning a 41-man battle royal. Cody Rhodes cost him both matches against Mark Henry. They were then scheduled a match at Vengeance. After ending his feud with Rhodes in a Street Fight(which Orton broke Rhode's face mask), Orton would be put into a feud with former rival Wade Barrett. At Survivor Series, Team Barrett defeated Team Orton, over the following months the two would run-in on each other's matches until meeting at TLC 2011 in a tables match. On the February 3 edition of SmackDown, Orton defeated Barrett in a No Disqualification match to end the feud.
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 the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view and was replaced by Santino Marella. Orton returned on the March 2 episode of SmackDown, losing to Bryan by count-out, following interference from Kane, who then attacked Orton after the match. In retaliation, Orton hit Kane with an RKO on the March 5 edition of Raw SuperShow, after the latter defeated R-Truth. On the following SmackDown, Orton would hit Kane with another RKO before his match and they would later engage in a brawl as SmackDown went off air. At WrestleMania XXVIII, Orton was defeated by Kane in a singles match. Orton would then defeat Kane on the following episode of SmackDown in a No Disqualification match and at Extreme Rules in a Falls Count Anywhere match to end the feud.
Randy Orton later got back to the main event status by participating in the Beat the Clock challenge but failed after his time was beaten by Daniel Bryan. Orton then returned to Championship status in a feud with Jericho, Del Rio and Sheamus for The World Heavyweight Championship. At the pay-per-view of Over the Limit, Orton failed in his World title pursuit after Sheamus pinned Jericho to retain the title.
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. Orton returned on the July 30 episode of Raw, defeating Heath Slater. 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 episode of SmackDown. The following week on SmackDown, the two faced off in a match that was won by Orton. Three days later on Raw, Orton was defeated by Ziggler in a rematch, after Ziggler pinned him while holding his tights. Orton and Ziggler faced each other again at Night of Champions where Orton won. On the September 28 episode of 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 would cost Orton the match and start a feud with Del Rio. Orton returned to SmackDown two weeks later, attacking Del Rio and his ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez. The rivalry built to a singles match on October 28 at Hell in a Cell, where Orton emerged victorious. On the following episode of WWE Main Event, Orton teamed up with Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara to face Del Rio and the Prime Time Players in a six-man tag team match that ended with Orton pinning Del Rio for the win. On the November 6 episode of SmackDown, Orton defeated Del Rio again in a Falls Count Anywhere match after hitting the RKO. The two were then on opposing team for the traditional 5 on 5 elimination tag-team match at Survivor Series. Del Rio's team, led by Dolph Ziggler defeated Orton's team, led by Mick Foley. The following night on Raw, Orton defeated Del Rio once again in a Two out of three falls match to end the feud.
One the December 3 episode of Raw, Orton began a feud with The Shield he was attacked by them following a victory over Brad Maddox. On the December 14 edition of SmackDown, Orton was once again assaulted backstage by The Shield. This was used to write him off television due to a shoulder injury. Orton returned on the New Year's Eve Raw, helping Ryback and Sheamus fend off The Shield. On the January 4 episode of SmackDown, Orton announced his entry in the 2013 Royal Rumble match. On the January 11 episode of SmackDown and the January 16 episode of Main Event, Orton would again suffer attacks by The Shield during his matches with Antonio Cesaro. On the February 1 episode of SmackDown, Orton defeated longtime rival Wade Barrett to earn a spot in the Elimination Chamber match. On February 17 at Elimination Chamber, Orton eliminated Mark Henry and Chris Jericho before being the last man eliminated by Jack Swagger. In late February, Orton aligned himself with Sheamus to feud with the Shield. In the following weeks, Orton and Sheamus would save each other from attacks from the stable and Big Show. On the March 15 episode of 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. However, three days later on Raw, Ryback would be 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. On April 7 at WrestleMania 29, Orton, Sheamus and Show were defeated by The Shield, after which, both men were knocked out by Show. 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. Orton and Shemaus then teamed up to defeat Show in two handicap matches, first on the April 12 episode of SmackDown via cont-out, and second on the April 15 episode of Raw via pinfall. On the April 19 episode of SmackDown, Orton and Sheamus were defeated by Big Show and Mark Henry in a tag team match. The feud between Big Show and Orton led to an Extreme Rules Match at Extreme Rules, which Orton won.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship pursuit; Evolution reunion (2013-2014)
On the June 7, 2013 edition of Smackdown, Randy showed signs of turning heel for the first time since WrestleMania 26 when he hit Daniel Bryan with an RKO after their tag team match with The Shield. However, Orton instead stated he wanted to prove he was better than Bryan, and teamed with him again at Payback, forming Team RK-No, however in the match Bryan lost after Orton tossed Bryan into a spear from Roman Reigns. Orton and Bryan then proceeded to have a three match feud which ended in one win and a draw each before they had "one more match" in a street fight which Orton lost via submission.
At Money in the Bank, Orton defeated CM Punk, Rob Van Dam, Christian, Daniel Bryan, and Sheamus to become the Mr. Money in the Bank for the WWE Championship. The following night on Monday Night Raw, Orton confronted WWE Champion John Cena, stating that when he cashed in, Cena would never see it coming. Orton proceeded to defeat Fandango and would appear later in the night when the entire WWE locker room was on the stage for Cena to chose his opponent for SummerSlam. When Cena asked if the fans wanted to chose Orton, the crowd responded with a "Hell no", and instead Cena chose Daniel Bryan. Afterwards, Orton embarked on a contendership path for the World Heavyweight title held by Alberto Del Rio. During the main event of the August 2, Friday Night Smackdown, Orton faced Rob Van Dam and Christian in a triple threat match to determine who would face Del Rio for the World Heavyweight title at SummerSlam. Orton lost the match when Christian rolled him up for a pinfall.
On the August 5, 2013 edition of RAW, Orton turned heel for the first time since WrestleMania 26 when he attacked both Daniel Bryan and WWE Champion John Cena after their match with The Shield. Orton attempted to cash in his Money in the Bank Contract on a downed Cena, however the Shield returned to attack Cena and Bryan and Orton proceeded to retreat. At SummerSlam he finally cashed in to win the championship for the seventh time against Bryan after Bryan had knocked out Cena with a flying wizard, only to be assaulted by Triple H's pedigree afterward. The following night on Raw, Orton appeared with Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H for a title coronation, and when Triple H invited Bryan to the ring to clear the air from Summerslam, Orton delivered an RKO to Bryan, and he, Vince, Stephanie and Triple H stood over him, holding the WWE Championship high, therefore confirming his Heel turn. On the August 23 episode of Smackdown, after Daniel Bryan defeated Wade Barrett in a cage match, Orton came out from under the ring and hit Bryan with an RKO. It was also announced that Randy Orton would face Daniel Bryan at Night of Champions. At Night of Champions, Bryan defeated for the WWE Championship. However, the next night on Raw, Triple H stripped Bryan of the WWE Championship, due to the fast 3-count by the ref, but refused to give the title back to Randy. Shortly afterwards, in an interview with Michael Cole, Triple H made a rematch between Orton and Bryan at Battleground for the vacant WWE Championship. The match ended in a no contest after Big Show knocked out both competitors. Bryan and Orton faced off once again for the vacant championship at Hell in a Cell, where Orton won the title after special guest referee Shawn Michaels superkicked Bryan. He also was successful at retaining his title against Big Show at Survivor Series. On the November 25 edition of Raw, Orton's long time rival and current World Heavyweight Champion John Cena suggested that there should only be "one champion" in the WWE, so Triple H slated that there would be a unification match at the TLC pay-per-view. Orton defeated Cena at TLC to unify his WWE Championship with Cena's World Heavyweight Championship, and with that victory being recognized as the final World Heavyweight Champion. Orton would then defeat Cena again in the subsequent rematch at the Royal Rumble PPV, aided by The Wyatt Family.
On February 23, 2014, Orton defeated John Cena, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, Christian and Cesaro at Elimination Chamber to retain his WWE World Heavyweight Championship and secure his position in the title bout at WrestleMania XXX on April 6, 2014 against Batista, who returned to WWE and won the Royal Rumble match. The WrestleMania main event was changed to a triple threat match with Daniel Bryan defeating Triple H, and Orton's reign as champion ended with Bryan forcing Batista to submit. The following night on Raw, Both Batista and Orton were 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 titles, despite their issues with each other. The title match ended in a double count-out after the two united and delivered a beat down on the champions. On the April 11th edition of Smackdown, Randy took part in a Six-Man Tag Team match which ended in a double count-out when Orton and Batista were fighting The Usos on the outside of the ring. On the April 14th edition of Raw, Randy Orton & Batista faced the Usos once again in a rematch that resulted in a disqualification when The Shield interfered and attacked both Orton and Batista. Later that evening, The Authority put The Shield in an 11-on-3 Handicap match, which ultimately led to a reunited Evolution coming down to the ring and dismantling The Shield. The next week on Raw, The Shield confronted Evolution. Randy faced Roman Reigns in a match on the April 28 edition of Raw that ended in a no contest. At Extreme Rules, The Shield defeated Evolution in a six-man tag team match. The next night on Raw, Evolution got payback on The Shield when they came to the ring during The Shield's match against the Wyatt Family causing a distraction which allowed for Bray Wyatt to pick up the win for the Wyatt Family and allowing Evolution to attack The Shield after the match; with Randy Orton DDTing Seth Rollins from the top rope, Batista spinebusting Dean Ambrose on the steel steps, Triple H pedigreeing Roman Reigns and Evolution triple power bombing Roman Reigns as the final onslaught. At Payback, Evolution lost to The Shield for a second time. On the June 9 episode of Raw, The Authority automatically granted Orton a spot in the Money in the Bank Ladder match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
After losing a Number #1 Contender's match to John Cena at the 2014 Hell in a Cell PPV, he RKO'ed Seth Rollins and turned face, leaving The Authority in the process.
On the November 3rd Raw, after increasing frustration, Orton attacked Rollins during his Intercontinental Championship against Dolph Ziggler, causing Rollins to win by disqualification (but not the title), and demanded a match with Rollins to settle their dispute, which Triple H granted in order to keep Orton on their side. Rollins got the win with a backside pin, and Orton cemented his face turn by attacking The Authority before being Curb Stomped by Rollins. He was then carried off on a stretcher after he sustained a scripted injury so he could start filming Condemned 2: Desert Prey.
Various Feuds and Injury (2015)
Randy Orton made his return at Fast Lane 2015, delivering RKOs to both Kane and Big Show. The following night on RAW, Orton was offered a position back with The Authority, and after slight hesitation, accepted the offer, which put him and Seth Rollins in a Tag Team match against Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns, which they would lose. Weeks later, he was put in a handicap match with Seth Rollins against Roman Reigns. After refusing to tag Rollins, which cost them the match, Orton turned on Rollins and brutally beat him with a steel chair, followed by an RKO through the announce table. Orton would go on to challenge Rollins to a match which Rollins accepted under the condition of a match the same night. When the match was set to take place, Rollins revealed his trap and attempted to attack Orton with the rest of The Authority until Sting came to Orton's rescue to fight off The Authority. Orton would go on to defeat Rollins at WrestleMania XXXI and unsuccessfully challenge him for his newly won WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules in a steel cage match and Payback in a fatal four way involving Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. Orton was also a participant in the 2015 Money in the Bank ladder match which was won by Sheamus. He entered a feud with Sheamus afterwards with the two trading PPV victories, Orton winning at Battleground and Sheamus at SummerSlam. In September 2015, Orton started a feud with The Wyatt Family. On September 7 episode of Raw, Orton defeated Sheamus in a singles match. After the match, The Wyatt Family jumped Orton, leaving him out of action. On the September 21 episode of Raw, Orton returned to save Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns from The Wyatt Family, starting an alliance between Ambrose, Reigns, and Orton. On the next Raw, Orton teamed up with Ambrose to take on The New Day in a losing effort. Before the next Raw, Orton was taken out of the Hell in a Cell match after sustaining a legit shoulder injury while taking out his trash, putting him out of action for the following months
Orton was announced as the opponent of Brock Lesnar at Summerslam, however Orton was slated to return at Battleground in a special Highlight reel with Chris Jericho. Orton would RKO Jericho at the PPV. Orton would be drafted to Smackdown at the night of the Draft. Orton went up against Brock at Summerslam, which he lost via TKO. Orton started a feud with Bray Wyatt, resulting in a match at Backlash. The match would not happen due to Orton suffering a concussion. Orton vs Wyatt was moved to No Mercy instead.
While on the Raw brand, Orton was accused of harassing fellow WWE employees Amy Weber and Rochelle Loewen. Loewen, who has called Orton "an animal," claimed that he vandalized her possessions and subjected her to harassment. Fellow WWE Diva Search contestant (and eventual winner) Christy Hemme has stated in an interview with The Sun that she does not believe that Orton harassed Weber or Loewen.
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. WWE has since made a statement on this situation, claiming that the allegations preceded the Talent Wellness program WWE launched in February 2006.
On January 13, 2010, it was reported that a complaint of assault had been filed against Orton by a fifteen year old fan in Saugus, Massachusetts. The fan alleged that Orton had spit gum in his face and called him a profane word.
In November 2005, Orton announced his engagement to his girlfriend Samantha Speno. They married on September 21, 2007. In December 2007, Orton announced that he and his wife were expecting their first child, a daughter. Orton and his wife welcomed Alanna Marie Orton on July 12, 2008. In June 2013, Randy Orton and Samantha divorced on amicable terms.
In July 2015, Orton announced his engagement to new girlfriend Kimberly Kessler and they were married on November 14 of that year.
He had a tattoo on his left arm which read "USMC" for United States Marine Corps but covered it up after receiving a bad conduct discharge from the service. He was sent home after serving thirty-eight days in military prison at Camp Pendleton in California.
Orton suffers from hypermobile shoulders. After being medically cleared to wrestle following his collarbone injury in a Last Man Standing match at One Night Stand 2008 against Triple H, Orton re-injured his collarbone in a motorcycle accident, which delayed his in-ring return for another few months.
- If Orton was wrestling in the gimmick era, he would be a cowboy just like his Dad was.
- If Orton could pick one legend to enter the ring with, it would be his father.
- Orton is the 3rd person to pin John Cena 3 times, following Kurt Angle and Edge. He is followed by CM Punk and The Miz.
- Orton is ironically friends off-screen with Edge, CM Punk, and John Cena.
Back in the day when the gimmicks, the characters were a part of wrestling more than they are today, with guys like Doink The Clown, I think that was good for then, but times have changed and now guys are coming out as their own person. Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Shelton Benjamin, Randy Orton, I think it just fits with today's day and age. Fans want to see real people, relate to real people, and they can do that by people just being themselves, like I am, myself.
I wish we could pick our theme music. For the longest time, I had the Burning My Light or whatever the entrance music was that started with "Hey, nothing you can say," and I hated that shit for all four years. I hated it from the first day I heard it. They even tried to tweak it a bit and I still hated it. I told Vince and Kevin Dunn, the producer, that I hated my music, so they said they'd get me something new, but it was four years. Finally, I gave them a CD and said that I wanted this music, so they bought the song and they played it for two weeks until Vince said it didn't fit my character. The following week, CM Punk debuted and they gave him my music.
- Orton's attire consists simply of black briefs, boots, knee-pads and wristbands. He is known for rarely wearing anything other than his ring attire, conducting promos and walking around backstage and outside in just his briefs - even on nights when he has no matches scheduled. Orton is renowned for has tanned and muscular physique, which was highlighted with copious amounts of oil until its used was banned by WWE in 2004. Orton has so far resisted calls to change his attire, acknowledging that in fans’ minds him and his trunks are inseparable. In 2016 he admitted that he finds his famous six-pack increasingly difficult to maintain, and that his limited attire has always made him "feel naked".
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Diving Crossbody (2002-2005; rarely used thereafter)
- T-Bone Suplex (2013–present)
- Exploder Suplex
- Wrestling Hero Slam (2012)
- European uppercut
- Gutwrench elevated Neckbreaker
- Inverted headlock Backbreaker
- Jumping knee drop
- Olympic Slam (2012)
- Lou Thesz press followed by mounted punches
- Garvin Stomp (Multiple stomps while circling a fallen opponent) - 2006–present
- Hangman DDT (sometimes hit from the middle rope)
- Scoop Powerslam
- Standing Dropkick
- "The Legend Killer"
- "The Man of Destiny"
- "The Viper"
- "The Apex Predator"
- "The Hunter"
- "The One Man Dynasty"
- "Mr. Money In The Bank"
- "The Face of the WWE"
- Tag teams and stables
- Notable feuds
- Triple H
- John Cena
- Mick Foley
- Rey Mysterio
- The Undertaker
- The McMahons
- Seth Rollins
- Shawn Michaels
- Kurt Angle
- CM Punk
- The Miz
- Big Show
- Daniel Bryan
- Mark Henry
- Theme music
- "Voices" by Rev Theory (May 12, 2008–present)
- "This Fire Burns" by Killswitch Engage (March 3, 2006) - Used for one week; Eventually became the theme for CM Punk
- "Burn in my Light" by Mercy Drive (August 30, 2004 – May 5, 2008) - After Orton was kicked out of Evolution
- "Line in the Sand" by Motörhead (July 14, 2003 – August 23, 2004; April 14, 2014 – June 2, 2014) - While Orton was part of Evolution
- "Evolve" by Jim Johnston (WWE production music) - While Orton was in Evolution
- "Blastin" by Jim Johnston (WWE production music)
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI Feud of the Year (2009) vs. Triple H
- PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (2007, 2009)
- PWI Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (2004)
- PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year (2010)
- PWI Rookie of the Year (2001)
- PWI ranked him #1 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2008
- PWI Wrestler of the Year (2009, 2010)
- World Wrestling Entertainment
- World Heavyweight Championship (4 times)
- World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Edge
- WWE Championship/WWE World Heavyweight Championship (9 times)
- WWE Intercontinental Championship (1 time)
- WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper
- WWE United States Championship (1 time)
- Royal Rumble Winner - (2009, 2017)
- Money In The Bank (2013 - WWE Championship contract)
- Seventeenth Triple Crown Champion
- Eighteenth Grand Slam Champion
- Slammy Award for Hashtag of the Year (2014) - #RKOOuttaNoWhere