Randall Keith "Randy" Orton (born on April 1, 1980) is an American professional wrestler currently signed to the WWE, and is the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Orton is a third-generation professional wrestler; his grandfather Bob Orton Sr., father "Cowboy" Bob Orton, as well as his uncle Barry O, all competed in the professional wrestling industry.Before being promoted to the main 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). There, Orton held the OVW Hardcore Championship on two separate occasions.After signing with WWE, Orton became a member of the stable Evolution, which quickly led to his capture of the WWE Intercontinental Championship, his first title with the company, and, in fact, the first title in WWE ever held by any member of his family. 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. In 2004, Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion, when he won the title at the age of twenty-four (he defeated Chris Benoit to win that title). This win resulted in his departure from Evolution and a feud with his former stablemates. 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, Orton won the WWE Championship twice in one night in mid-2007 (said title changes being the only time that title changed hands that year) and was the winner of the 2009 Royal Rumble match.Also considered one of the more practical/lazy wrestlers in the near century-long existence of pro wrestling (counting the carny days), while every other wrestler was coming up with new crazy risky moves to finally put their opponent down, Randy Orton was the one man to go "Why don't I kick him in the head really hard?"He is the inaugural and former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, an eight time and final WWE Champion, a three time World Heavyweight Champion, one time Intercontinental Champion and a one time World Tag Team Champion, alongside Edge.As usual, That Other Wiki has more details on his career.
Aborted Arc: Looked to have a feud with Chris Jericho in 2012 after getting attack by Jericho in a match. Then it was all dropped when both got suspended within a week of each other, Orton for 60 days due to a Wellness Violation and Jericho for 30 days due to him kicking an Brazilian flag, which is a huge no no.
Always Someone Better: Daniel Bryan's looking to be this for Orton, as Randy has never been able to get one up on Bryan in a legitimate one-on-one scenario without any controversy, interference or distractions. This was discussed by Cole and company during their 12/16/13 main event encounter, which ended in a DQ win for Bryan when Orton low-blowed him, further emphasizing the point.
Anti-Hero: Compared to most of the smiling, rule-abiding faces in the organization, and YMMV on the extent, Orton fits this anywhere from type III-V.
John Cena and Triple H have been his biggest feuds. With Cena, that got so personal, Cena's father got involved - twice. His feud with Triple H went as far back as his day in Evolution, and him getting kicked out rather brutally after winning the World Heavyweight Title, which was something he couldn't forget, and would later target Hunter's family.
The Undertaker for the period when he tried to break "The Streak", even proving he was badass enough, by turning heel again, since leaving Evolution, but giving his girlfriend Stacy Keibler an RKO.
His feud with CM Punk was a two year long wait on the behalf of Punk, who previously had to vacate his title after being punted by Orton, and thus couldn't defend it on the Unforgiven PPV in 2008. This lead to Punk taking over leadership of The Nexus, and using its members to weaken Orton for their match at WrestleMania 27.
After Christian won the World Heavyweight title in 2011, for the first time, and five days laternote actually just two with Smackdown being taped and all had to defend it against Orton, by popular vote by "WWE universe", and losing, their mutual respect for one an other turned sour when Christian turned heel and demanded several re-matches for the title, ultimately winning it back, before losing it back to Orton about a month later.
His short feud with Cody Rhodes stemmed from their days in Legacy, with Rhodes feeling he never got the retribution he needed, and it got very bloody at one point, with Orton hitting Rhodes over the head with the ring bell, necessitating stitches.
Wade Barrett became a pain for him, when his team won at Survivor Series, pinning Orton, and at one point pushing Orton down a flight of stairs, their feud came to an end, a few months after that after Orton winning a No DQ match to settle things, once and for all.
When Kane returned from injury, Orton became a target, since prior to Mark Henry putting Kane on the shelf, they've had matches, which Kane lost, and Kane felt his humanity had taken over, so he needed to defeat Orton in order for him bury that humanity he had inside him.
Long story short, Randy tends to not make many friends. Then again, considering his character (regardless of his alignment), it's highly doubtful Randy's had any to begin with.
Asshole Victim: Despite not "killing" anybody, Orton's punt been treated as equal. So when CM Punk faced off Orton for revenge, he was more than justified.
Audience Surrogate: This may be the reason for his popularity. Contrasting him with John Cena (who's pretty much a straight-up boyscout aside from a few moments), Orton does what he wants, when he wants, to who he wants - not only with very few consequences, but he often gets cheered for it. Who's lived long enough that hasn't wanted to go completely apeshit with impunity (on bosses and coworkers in particular) at least once?
Awesome, but Impractical: The elevated "spike" DDT he uses from the second rope is really cool and brutal-looking, but if his victim's conscious enough to get his feet off the second rope, it'll get countered. Which WWE seems to recognize, as it's the one of his Five Moves of Doom that he never seems to get off on his first try.
His finisher, the RKO. Quick, effective, visually exciting, and most importantly, can be done from literally anywhere in the ring. It can be performed as a surprise attack if Orton is playing possum, used as a counter, and even used on an airborne opponent (the RKO on Evan Bournein the middle of a Shooting Star Press is the most notable example of this).
Orton wrestles a very simple, but effective wrestling style. Technically there's nothing wrong with that, but if you don't hold an appreciation for that sort of thing his matches tend to be boring as hell.
The crazy part is that he basically wrestles as a heel from the mid eighties, with his melodramatic knee drops and stomps, combined with his incredibly heelish middle rope DDT. Randy has great Wrestling Psychology...for a methodical heel, even though he's a sociopathic face.
Broken Ace: Presented this way in kayfabe, with some Reality Subtext. Orton was the talented athlete that most of WWE's higher-ups envisioned at the top of the company back around 2003-2005, but never surpassed John Cena's status mostly because of his inability to stay out of his own way. In kayfabe, especially, most of his heel turns, his most recent in particular, are marked with bouts of insecurity and paranoia - despite (or perhaps because of) ostensibly being The Authority's handpicked champion.note remember what Triple H did to Randy when they were in Evolution? And, both in and out of kayfabe, Orton still occasionally dips into anger and behavioral issues.
Captain Obvious: "You might not know this about me, but I have a severe anger management problem." No Randy, we'd never have guessed. We thought you just didn't realize that kicking people in the skull as hard as you can could cause significant injury.
Composite Gimmick: Since his latest move to Smackdown, Orton seems to be attempting to keep shreds of his Viper persona while also reviving some of the animation and personality he had during his first face run on Smackdown (i.e. during his feud with Evolution).
Characterization Marches On: Orton was a clean-cut, respectful baby face when he first debuted in 2002. Even after he turned heel a few months later, he still had that wide-eyed enthusiastic personality. Contrast that to the modern day Orton and its like two different people. This can be contributed to his time in Evolution with him getting violently thrown out of the group, and his later quest to become a WWE Champion no matter what. He probably realized he couldn't keep those traits if he wanted to get anywhere in WWE.
His "Randy News Network" vignettes from the first time he was out with injury. He pretty much started every promo with a hi and his name. Between then and now, actually, this was basically the gimmick of Dolph Ziggler.
Also, during his title celebration after his latest heel turn, he (among other things) tightly embraces Stephanie Mcmahon, at which point Michael Cole really flips out and says something to the effect of, "After everything he's put that young lady through?" Of course, for those with decent memories, a younger Randy Orton feuded with the McMahon family - punting everyone he could get a foot to except for Stephanie herself, whom Orton once gave an RKO and once delivered an elevated DDT and kissed on the lips with a tied-up Triple HForced to Watch.
Cheap Heat: During his feud with Rey Mysterio Jr, Orton told Rey that recently deceased Eddie Guerrero was in Hell. Even for his Jerkass hat that he was sporting at the time, most everyone said that was going way too far. Even Tazz sounded legitimately pissed off about that.
Creator's Pet: He's become an In-Universe example of this recently. In his current storyline, The Authority has decided he is the "Face" of the WWE, and they keep the championship on him at all costs under the guise that it's "best for business," and use their power and influence to clear any potential challengers to his position, Daniel Bryan most recently.
Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Punt kick has become this - apparently it's been legitimately banned, which is why Randy hasn't been seen using it as often in the last two years. Apparently, also, WWE relaxed that ban for Extreme Rules 2013, where Randy used it to beat The Big Show, just to show how serious things had gotten... and then again at Survivor Series the same year... same guy, too.
Deadpan Snarker: Usually with threats more than jokes. For example, when Ashton Kutcher guest-hosted RAW for his movie Killers, he told Zack Ryder that he put a hit on him. Randy, being called the "Silent Assassin" and the "Legend Killer", was Zack's first suspect, claiming that Orton was trying to end his legend career before it started. Orton's response?
Randy: "Zack, if I wanted to take you out, we wouldn't be having this conversation."
Comes up in real-life interviews as well.
Determinator: There is nothing Orton won't try in order to get what he wants. After William Regal refused to grant him a rematch for John Cena's WWE Championship, Orton proved he was ready to take on Cena again....by forcefully pulling Cena's father out of the crowd and kicking him in the skull.
His first promo after winning the Championship: "You are ALL jealous of me!"
His reaction to his first title defense in a match against Daniel Bryan? "You can ALL kiss my ass!"
Then during the actual match, he intentionally DQ's himself by giving the challenger a low blow.
His reaction to a rematch with John Cena at the Royal Rumble? Beating up the latter's father in an unprovoked attack after losing to Kofi Kingston and then calling out The Authority the very next week during their welcome-back promo for Batista.
His reaction to John arriving at the arena the very same night for some retribution? He got the hell out of Dodge quickly before Cena gave him an Attitude Adjustment onto the concrete stands in the crowd.
While inactive with injury in 2008, he punts CM Punk in the skull before a World Heavyweight Championship defense as the climax to a big beatdown by Legacy. Punk can't defend the championship that night, meaning Orton basically screwed him out of the title. Punk tries to go for revenge immediately but is beaten into the background shortly thereafter. A couple years and turns later, Punk and his New Nexus cost Orton a WWE title match with The Miz because he's never forgotten it. So Orton goes punting New Nexus members for consecutive weeks and threatening to beat Punk so bad he has to eat through a feeding tube. As the babyface of the feud.
Then again, Punk did threaten Orton's wife at one point during the feud. That's a quick way to get on Orton's really bad side.
Dull Surprise/Creepy Monotone: His rather...subdued speaking style either fits his character or displays his complete lack of charisma. It's a strange character quirk, for sure, but Orton was much more expressive during his younger days as the Legend Killer.
When Orton was in Evolution, his TitanTron entrance video even included an image of him being fawned over by a bevy of women as he grins lecherously.
He's also posed for Playgirl.
On the November 14, 2013 edition of Monday Night Raw, Randy Orton cut the crowd to pieces by proclaiming that the girlfriends/wives/mothers of all the men in the audience were "Fantasizing about what it would be like to wake up to Randy Orton." Judging from the loud, immediate shrieks of joy from the women in the building, he may have been right (despite, or maybe because of, the fact that he was a heel at the time). There may have been some long car rides home from the arena that night for couples who attended the show.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As a face, Orton's wife (who seems to be a different woman every time she appears onscreen - none of them are his Real Life wife, either) tends to get threatened a lot - and no matter how many voices he's hearing in his head, if his wife's in trouble, he'll put whatever he was doing on hold to go to save her. Some of the more Genre Savvy guys like CM Punk have taken advantage of this in feuds. note In that case Randy ran back to his trailer in the parking lot only to find CM Punk gone. Punk appears out of nowhere and beats Orton senseless with a wrench.
One of the theories beind why Orton is so popular is that many of his heelish antics (randomly attacking people) remind the audience of the antics of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. The fact that both have snake motifs (Austin is the Rattlesnake, Orton is the Viper) and the RKO has some similarities to the Stunner probably helps towards that.
Orton was bald during his heel run around 2009-2010 as well.
At one point, Randy stopped doing his signature "Release the Doves" pose and started doing Austin's pose (both arms raised, hands in fists, minus the middle fingers) during his entrance.
He is also a third generation superstar who later became the youngest world (World Heavyweight Champion to be precise) champion in history. Do you smell it? That makes him a Composite Character of The Rock and Stone Cold.
Alternatively some of his physical mannerisms, the snake-related nickname, and the heel persona of being sadistic and merciless could be seen as a nod to Jake "The Snake" Roberts.
Orton smashing Cody Rhodes in the head with the announcer's bell in their September 2011 match. He cracked Rhodes' head open, and blood was pouring out. Nauseating to look at, and Rhodes required nine staples to stitch his scalp back together.
Five Moves of Doom: Garvin Stomp, Elevated DDT, Powerslam, Twisting Backbreaker, RKO. He had also added Olympic Slam and a Powerbomb to his set for while, but it appears like the those two plus the Twisting Backbreaker have all but disappeared. He would use the Punt as a finisher for a while but that has since been banned. After all those changes, he was left with the running clotheslines, Powerslam, Elevated DDT, and RKO.
WWE seems intent on trying to make as many Randy Orton clones as possible. Rob Conway tried to copy the "attack senior wrestlers" shtick, and Orton's look appears to be WWE's current gold standard. Crew cut, tribal tattoos, and trunks is practically the standard look in WWE nowadays. Hell, Ken(ny) Dykstra/Doane is a straight-up Orton clone on the indy circuit with moves like the "RKDoane."
Also, in a feud with Kane, he proceeded to kidnap and torture Paul Bearer - just like Edge had done about two years ago. Subverted when Kane revealed he didn't give two shits about Bearer anymore.
Foreshadowing: The lengths he would go to during his feud with The Undertaker, starting with RKO'ing his own girlfriend at the time just to prove that point exactly, was really our first major look at the massive evil streak that was growing inside of him.
He said it himself that he has anger problems. Just ask Christian who spit in his face and received a boot to the junk in response. Or R-Truth who hit him with a water bottle and received a steel chair.
That's nothing compared to what happened to Cody Rhodes who hit him with his mask again. Only this time, Randy kicked out and hits Cody with his own mask. But then, he hit his head with a bell which accidentally bust his head open! There was uncensored footage when before he RKO'd Cody, he hit him with a steel chair while Cody's face was in a bloody mess! Wow.
Hates Everyone Equally: Was as susceptible to attacking heels as he was to faces. In fact, the only way you can tell what alignment he is is by who he attacks. That's the only thing about his character that really changes, otherwise he's the same sadistic sociopath that he's always been.
Hearing Voices: His current theme song, "Voices" by Rev Theory. And it's really fit his character, as he apparently hears voices while he's in the middle of destroying his opponents.
I hear voices in my head / They counsel me, they understand / They talk to me...
Of the oddest sort. His behavior never actually changed; the fans just kept cheering him more and more until WWE apparently threw its hands up and went with it. The only difference was his choice of targets (and even then, he got cheered for delivering random, unprovoked RKOs to people like Wayne Brady and Meatloaf). Apart from Orton, the only other person to ever really pull that off was "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
At Money In The Bank 2011, Christian provoked Orton into getting himself disqualified & losing the World Heavyweight title due to the stipulations by spitting in his face; something that Orton himself had a habit of doing back in his Evolution days.
And on a more meta level, a couple of his feuds have happened because, at some point, Orton didn't know where to draw the line.
Was set to star in the third installment of The Marine. But due to his past history with the marines (he went AWOL and was dishonorably discharged after serving 38 days in military prison), he was pulled from the movie after some real marines wasn't all that pleased with him starring in the movie. note He was eventually replaced by The Miz and was instead placed in the 12 Rounds sequel.
Idiot Ball: Low blowing Christian after he spat on him, when he was warned if he got disqualified Christian would win the world heavyweight title.
As of September 2010, some of the internet fanbase has started to turn on his push as the top face on Raw after one too many segments and matches that have ended in Orton RKOing everyone in sight. As of May 2011, it's only gotten worse.
Building on this, prior to losing the title to Mark Henry at Night of Champions, Orton hadn't lost cleanly since before the previous WrestleMania.
As a face Orton never, ever gets paid back for any of the horrible things he does to people, and even as a heel he's done numerous things that he never gets punished for.
This was CM Punk's motivation for making The New Nexus target Orton. (See Large Ham.) He even punted them on a bus during their feud, and it would appears as this would apply again, but then three out of four of Orton's punt victims came back off the bus to beat him down and cost him another shot at the WWE title. He then defeated all of them once again, dominated CM Punk twice in a row, and went on to win World Heavyweight Championship 2 days later in a match he only "earned" via Teddy Long's clear populist favoritism. Opening yet another clear floodgate of Karma Houdini-ness.
Kick Them While They Are Down: His secondary finisher, a running punt to the head. Also, he's prone to stomping on his opponents repeatedly to weaken them.
Kryptonite Factor: Seems to have this relationship with Kofi Kingston, who has pinned him twice on television during his championship reigns. In the world of wrestling, this normally wouldn't be a big deal, except for the fact that Randy's a 12-time world champion and Kofi's the very definition of a perennial midcarder.
Although Orton's babyface persona is that of a tweener stoic, Orton does have/has had his moments. A prime example is when he was leader of Legacy and attacked CM Punk, who was the World Heavyweight Champion at the time. After a few moments of allowing Legacy to pound on Punk, Orton appears from offscreen, delivers the punt kick to Punk, and shouts, "NOW THAT! THAT RIGHT THERE! WAS! IMPRESSIVE!!!"
His slow promo style is only a character effect of his Viper persona; while he was the Legend Killer, Orton was quite energetic as a speaker.
Light Is Not Good - in his early days with his golden pyro, flickering golden lights and even his theme song "Burn in my Light".
After barely beating Wade Barrett who sent Nexus in before the match to take out his leg, Orton slumps against the turnbuckle, hurt and exhausted but still the WWE champion. Then he hears over the loudspeakers: "AAAAAAAAWESOME!" as Miz's music hits and Miz comes to cash in his MITB contract. The look on Orton's face was perfectly understated as he looked into the camera almost as if he was saying "Oh, you're shitting me with this..."
Also induced this from time to time, especially during his Heel runs, if for no other reason than the fact that he was such a loose cannon and was liable to RKO or punt anyone that was in his way - that includes his enemies, his allies, women, guys sitting in the first row (just ask John Cena's father) or even, by his own admission, his own grandmother.
The time he was put in a gauntlet by Batista. The first two opponents was Evan Bourne and Jack Swagger, and won against them, but only after Swagger intentionally got counted out. Then Mark Henry came out, and it looked like he was going to do what Swagger did, but changed his mind, and this was Orton's reaction.
Oh Crap! There Are Fanfics of Us...: Someone mentioned wrestling fanfic to him. He looked it up, and had this response (somewhere between good-natured confusion and being slightly creeped out.) Of course, he also said the stuff he saw was "always him and Cody," which kind of implied he didn't dig very far.
His signature punt kick cranked it Up to Eleven, as it seemed to be reserved solely for when WWE wants to write someone out of the show for an extended period of time. The Punk kick has since been banned.
Remember When You RKO'd A Sun?: Or remember when you destroyed half the McMahon family? After his loss to Daniel Bryan, Stephanie reminds him of that. She wants the more ruthless and vicious Randy Orton. And he was more than happy to oblige when he went out of his way to destroy The Miz.
Popularity Power: The main reason why Randy became a face in 2010, and the main reason why Randy's been unable to turn heel until 2013. No matter who he RKOs, the fans won't turn against him. Hell, if he RKO'd Cena, chances are he'd be cheered. They only managed to turn him heel by putting him up against the massively over Daniel Bryan - anyone else (Cena, Sheamus, Triple H, maybe even Punk, who suffers a similar dilemma when he's a heel) and they would be on his side no matter what.
Randy's patented Punt was used to write out wrestlers who were being sent back to developmental, needed to be written out due to injuries or just taking a break, but has since been banned.
He himself has been Put on a Bus on a few occasion after getting various injuries, mainly with his shouldernote having hypermobile shoulders tend to make him more injury prone, and his string of concussions he had in 2011-2012.
Rage Quit: A pretty blatant one on the 12/15/13 RAW. Couldn't beat Daniel Bryan in a non-title match - cue Groin Attack.
Real Life Writes the Plot: He lost his spot in the Elimination Chamber because of a legit concussion sustained in a match against The Big Show. First off, WWE turned the legit injury into a storyline injury by having Daniel Bryan give Orton a vicious belt shot on the episode of RAW before the PPV. Then, the last Smackdown before the PPV saw a massive Battle Royal in which the winner took Randy Orton's spot in the chamber match. And it was thus that Santino Marella found himself in the Elimination Chamber match the following Sunday.
Slasher Smile: Expect a pretty painful move to be set up for his opponent when he sports one of these.
Sociopathic Hero: His babyface persona. Pretty much the same extremely violent, entirely unpredictable guy he is as a heel— he just attacks heels, smiles a bit more, and says "My name is Randy Orton" before every promo.
Start of Darkness: Getting kicked out of Evolution, something he never really got over, he went from being an arrogant "Legend Killer," to the cold-hearted monster we all have come to know as "The Viper."
Stupid Sexy Flanders: The announcers usually spend quite a bit of time talking about how good he looks.
Three Month Rule: He actually subverts it a lot. No matter his alignment, the many enemies he's had over the years (most notably Cena) will make it clear that they still don't like him (and maybe even still hate him). In fact, Randy's transformation from the suave Legend Killer to the sadistic Viper has always had his ousting from Evolution as his Start of Darkness, and it's referenced frequently (most notably when the match and/or storyline somehow involves Triple H), despite Evolution having been dissolved in 2004.
Tranquil Fury: In comparison to the psychotic rage he frequently shows in matches, his backstage persona is almost perpetually reserved, stoic, and matter of fact. Unless you're Mr. Kennedy or Kofi Kingston.
What Happened to the Viper?/Put on a Bus: Orton disappeared off television after getting suspended for 60 days in the end of May of 2012 (for failing a drug test). No storyline injury or explanation was given either. After his return, all that was mentioned was that he'd been away.
What the Hell, Hero?: Is often the recipient. The thing about Randy is that he knows well that a lot of the stuff he does is reprehensibly wrong. He just doesn't care.
John Cena, whose feud with him goes back to 2001 and their OVW days. After Cena gave his "retirement" speech on the 11.22.10 Raw, Orton met him in the back and they hugged goodbye. John has said multiple times that he respects Randy as a competitor. Randy hasn't said it as much, but he has said it before. Albeit reluctantly.
Christianwas one of these, however his increasingly desperate begging for another shot after continuously losing has resulted in Orton getting frustrated with facing him.
Ran into this a bit in his 2011 feud with Mark Henry. Easily RKO'd him in a non-match context (the infamous "CheeRKO" that ended with a jumping split and a bunch of posturing, but when the Night Of Champions match rolled around, the move that had served as a One-Hit KO on so many Superstars (including Mark Henry at points) was suddenly woefully ineffective. End result? Randy pretty much got his ass handed to him. Twice. For the World Heavyweight Championship on both occasions.
Similarly, Randy only needed one RKO to defeat The Undertaker at Summerslam 2005. At Armageddon 2005, three RKOs and a Tombstone were not enough, and Randy lost.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When he was part of Evolution with Triple H, Ric Flair and Batista, he won the World Heavyweight Championship from Chris Benoit at SummerSlam. The next night following a rematch, in which he retained, the other seemed to be celebrating with him, only to turn on him and giving him one hell of a beatdown. Triple H tried to force Orton to relinquish the title the following week, only for Orton to spit in Triple H's face and run off with the title, thus setting off a face turn.