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Thursday, September 24, 2015

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All Eyes On: Randy Orton


Randy Orton, who is Randy Orton? Randy Orton is the Legend Killer, The Viper, one of the most beloved WWE superstars of all time. In 2000, Randy trained Mid-Missouri Wrestling Association-Southern Illinois Conference Wrestling (MMWA-SICW) in St. Louis Missouri. While he wrestled for the promotion for one month, he performed with wrestlers such as Ace Strange and Mark Bland.

A lot of people don't know that Randy also refereed a few matches with World Organized Wrestling, then in 2001 he signed a developmental deal with WWE and started wrestling in Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, Kentucky, training with other WWE superstars such as John Cena, Brock Lesnar and Dave Batista.

Orton's first match on WWE television was against Hardcore Holly on Smackdown in April 25th 2002, where he defeated and began a short feud with Holly. Randy became a fan favorite and competed in a series of matches with Holly. In September 2002, he was drafted to RAW where he defeated Stevie Richards, weeks after that he suffered a shoulder injury that left him sidelined for months. Randy still appeared on RAW interrupting several segments with his "Randy News Network" where he talked about his condition. This slowly turned Randy into a narcissistic and self-centered heel.

Once Randy was fully healed, he joined forces with Triple H, Ric Flair and Dave Batista to form Evolution. The heel group easily went straight to the top, dominating, winning matches and titles. At one point, all 4 members were holding gold. On December 14th 2003, Randy defeated Rob Van Dam to win the Intercontinental Championship at Armageddon. He went on to hold the title for 7 months and that was the longest IC reign in 7 years, so he was already a favorite in WWE's eyes to be on top one day. Randy marked himself as "The Legend Killer" while having several altercations and matches with WWE legends. Once Randy lost the IC championship to Edge at Vengeance in July, he continued to climb the ranks in the WWE and became the #1 contender for Chris Benoit's (RIP) World Heavyweight Championship. Randy defeated Benoit at Summerslam 2004 and became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion of all time. The next night, Evolution members threw a mock celebration for Orton where they turned on him, which kicked off a feud with Evolution, mainly Triple H. Triple H defeated Randy at Unforgiven, but that didn't stop him, he continued to feud with the Evolution members. He had a chance at New Year's Revolution and Royal Rumble, coming up short in both. Randy then went on to have a on-screen relationship with Stacy Keibler, where we saw Randy RKO her and turning heel again.

Anyways, Randy ended up starting a feud with the legendary Undertaker. At Wrestlemania 21, unfortunately Orton lost. Randy was drafted to Smackdown as a late draft pick where he continued his feud with Taker. Orton-Taker lasted about 9 months, we saw matches at Wrestlemania, Summerslam, No Mercy, and Armageddon. Randy went on to have good feuds with the likes of Rey Mysterio, Kurt Angle, Hulk Hogan, Rob Van Dam, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Sgt. Slaughter, and John Cena. He also teamed with Edge to form "Rated RKO" where they won tag team gold and feuded with Shawn Michaels and Triple, D-Generation X. At No Mercy 2007, Mr. McMahon granted Orton the WWE championship due to a injury that the current WWE champion John Cena had suffered. Orton then lost the strap to Triple H in the opening match, but then won it right back in the main event in a Last Man Standing match. After that, Orton feuded with Shawn Micahels, Jeff Hardy, John Cena and once again, Triple H.

Randy ended up forming a stable called "Legacy" with Cody Rhodes and Manu, but Manu was replaced with Ted Dibiase Jr. On January 25th 2009, Randy won the 2009 Royal Rumble, which started a amazing feud with Triple H and the McMahons, which saw Randy lose at Wrestlemania to Triple H, but He won the strap at Backlash in a 6-man tag match against Triple H, Shane and Batista which started a second Age Of Orton run pretty much. Orton was easily the top heel in the business, he was so good that he often received cheers from people in the crowd. At Extreme Rules, Orton dropped the title to Batista in a Steel Cage match, and after the match Orton, Rhodes & Dibiase beat down Batista which forced him to forfeit the strap. Months later, Randy was in the title picture again, regaining the strap, losing the strap, and soon after Randy ended up attacking Rhodes and Dibiase, which completed his face turn.

As a face, Randy was HOT with the crowd, if you go back and listen to those reactions, he was WAY over. He defeated Rhodes and Dibiase in a triple threat match at Wrestlemania 26. Then he competed in matches against Jack Swagger, Batista, Edge, Y2J, Cena, Barrett, and Sheamus. Orton eventually won the strap in a 6 pack championship match, but then dropped it to Mr. MITB, The Miz. Orton began a heated feud with CM Punk, which setup several matches and segments between the two. Orton defeated Punk at Wrestlemania 27 and Extreme Rules. Randy ended up getting drafted to Smackdown where he became the World Heavyweight Champion and competed in feuds with Christian, Mark Henry, Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett and Daniel Bryan. He faced Kane at Wrestlemania 28 where he lost, but then won on a episode of Smackdown in a No Disqualification match. He also won at Extreme Rules in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Orton then got back in the title picture against Sheamus, Y2J and Del Rio. Orton came up short and then it was announced that Orton had been suspended 60 days due to him failing WWE's wellness policy.

Orton returned to squash Heath Slater and to compete in feuds against Ziggler, Del Rio, The Shield and Big Show. Randy ended up winning the Money in the Bank 2013 and cashing in on Daniel Bryan at Summerslam, where he completed his heel turn and aligned with the Authority. After that everyone thought we'd get the old Orton back, but we just got a lap dog for Triple H, though it wasn't a bad run, it just could have been booked better. He competed in a series of title matches against Bryan, Cena, and Big Show. He faced Bryan and Batista in a Triple Threat Match at Wrestlemania where he dropped the title to Bryan. Randy ended up reuniting with Batista and Triple H to face The Shield in a few matches, that they lost. After all that, Seth Rollins turned on the Shield and aligned with the Authority, but after awhile Orton got tired of Rollins, turned on the Authority and received a beat down, which sidelined Orton until Fastlane 2015 where he returned and kicked off his face turn and feud with Rollins. He defeated Rollins at Wrestlemania. Orton was back into the title picture along with Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns all against champion, Seth Rollins. Orton fell short in all his matches to regain the strap. WWE, with nothing left for Orton to do, put him in a feud with Sheamus. They competed against each other on Raw, and faced each other at Battleground and Summerslam. Hopefully, that feud is over now. Now it seems like he will be teaming with Ambrose and Reigns against The Wyatts. It makes sense because the Wyatts attacked Orton on Raw, but after that, what's next for the Viper? WWE creative obviously doesn't know what to do with him, I know I do. Kevin Owens? Finn Balor? Samoa Joe? Sami Zayn? Neville? I mean there's a lot of opponents for Orton to feud with after the Wyatt feud is over. Most of them would result Orton in turning heel again, maybe that's why WWE is hesitating to do it since Orton was just a heel. I understand that, but honestly I could see Orton as a face against guys like Owens or Samoa (If Samoa turned heel) Where do you see Orton? Who could you see him feuding with? Orton is far off from being done with WWE unless he just up and retires or something. He's still fairly young, still puts on amazing matches, all he needs is a young guy to feud with. Something new and fresh. Pretty sure we all want that, hopefully we get it, but the BEST thing for Orton in my opinion would be a Intercontinental Championship run, similar to how Cena did with the US Title. It would be a title we haven't seen him hold in YEARS and it would keep him busy and feud with Owens to boot. Get it done WWE.

#OrtonICChamp BOOK IT.



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