YMMV / Randy Orton

  • Arc Fatigue: The Orton/Cena feud. While the matches are generally good, Cena and Orton don't have much chemistry on the stick. Their staredowns never matched Rock/Austin staredowns. (The absolute s i l e n c e during Cena and Orton's staredown in the 2011 Rumble is incredible.) It doesn't help that, unlike with Rock/Austin, the dynamic hasn't changed one bit over the years.
    • A few fans believe that Cena's true Foil was CM Punk or, to a lesser extent, Edge. His rivalry with Christian never came to fruition thanks to Christian being at the tail end of his career by that point.
  • Badass Decay: Not only has he not been pushed as hard in 2012-2013 as he has in previous years, but he just doesn't come off as nearly intimidating as he used to personality-wise. It becomes readily apparent when he tries to get former arch-rivals Sheamus and The Big Show to team up with him against The Shield. The bizarreness of this is actually lampshaded at one point by The Miz, who essentially says that when Randy Orton of all people is the voice of reason in a situation, that situation's extremely screwed up. As of 2016, this has been safely averted. His crowning achievement was sneaking into Raw after the brand split and RKOing Brock Lesnar, of all people, outta nowhere.
    • Sadly, he's fallen back into this in 2017. Beginning with his atrocious WrestleCrap worthy WWE championship match with Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania 33. Which featured Bray displaying his newfound "powers" by causing maggots and centipedes to appear in the ring through the incredible mystic arts of Power Point projections. This farce of a match benefited neither man. Even having Randy win couldn't dispel the insane amounts of Narminess that the match created. Worse yet, is that this counts as Badass Decay for not only Randy and Bray, but for the WWE championship itself. Then came the now infamous House of Horrors match... See Nightmare Retardant down below for more information on that stinker. It doesn't help that he lost that match. Then comes Backlash 2017. Where he drops his WWE championship to Jobber-to-the-stars-turned-overnight-Main-Eventer Jinder Mahal. Yes you read that right, the same Jinder from Job squad 4.0 3MB.
  • Base-Breaking Character: While casual fans tend to love him, Smarks are ridiculously broken when it comes to their attitude about him on many counts:
    • Is Orton a legitimate talent worthy of his accolades, or another company-manufactured Creator's Pet who gets by on his connection with Triple H and his decent pedigree? (Insert obligatory joke here.)
    • Does Orton wrestle a simplistic style because he's incapable of doing otherwise, or does he have a method to his madness and know exactly what he's doing?
    • Which Randy Orton incarnation was/is more interesting/effective - the sadistic, vicious Viper or the cocky, suave Legend Killer?
    • As of late 2013/early 2014, a third contender has been added: craven, paranoid, overmatched (would-be) Champion.
    • To put this in perspective, what you think of a guy like John Cena divides rather neatly along age (or, rather, whether you got into wrestling pre- or post-2004 or so) and how aware one is of in-ring technical nuance and backstage booking practices. With Orton it's a bit more complicated. There are a contingent of smarks that really like Orton despite his having a lot of the same attributes that prompt their vitriol for John Cena. He was a "handpicked golden boy" from youth, is almost perpetually in the main event scene, is thought to have backstage powers, and has been running a similar character and moveset with very little variation for years. He's also not the greatest talker (although people that think as much of Cena usually aren't giving the devil his due), and - unlike Cena - has or at least had a reputation out of character for being a bit of a dick. Some of the reasons why Orton's not given the Cena treatment to such a huge degree may include:
      • His win/loss record isn't nearly as unbalanced as Cena's is.
      • His anti-hero face character is a lot more of a vogue nowadays whilst Cena's straight hero gimmick is a dated concept that a more cynical type can't get behind. Think Golden Age Superman vs... well, really most modern portrayals of superheroes.
      • He's thought to be - especially when he puts forth the effort - a better technician and in-ring storyteller than Cena.
      • He had turned heel - and in fact played a very good heel and foil to Cena.
      • He's also garnered a small level of sympathy once he owned up to his substance abuse problems and self destructive tendencies outside the ring.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice:
    • Legacy as a stable are remembered for a failed attempt at turning Ted DiBiase Jr and Cody Rhodes into stars (Cody would later break out much later) and for the colossal ton of Ho Yay between the three. It was noted how none of them ever seemed to wear pants backstage.
    • Randy himself was known for taking his shirt off at every opportunity and having questionable photos online rather than his in-ring achievements. As of The New '10s, he has transcended this.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome:
  • Creator's Pet: The reason that Orton has been pushed to the moon is because Vince McMahon is a huge supporter of Orton's, so much so that Orton reportedly has backstage powers.
  • Designated Hero: After allying with The Wyatt Family through much of late 2016 and early 2017, Randy turned against Bray on the February 28th edition of Smackdown by... dousing the Wyatt Family compound, the last resting place of Sister Abigail, in gasoline and burning it to the ground. It was supposed to be a HeelĖFace Turn, but a lot of people were asking why they should get behind a guy who literally burns Bray's home to the ground in front of him while Bray was desperately begging Randy not to and had a total breakdown afterwards, complete with Broken Tears.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
  • Estrogen Brigade: He was a straight-up Mr. Fanservice in his early days, and had a large collection of Squeeing female fans.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • If it's true that the winners write the history books, then it's a wonder Orton's pen hasn't run dry.
    • WWE seems to be aware of this too - His face turn in 2009 has consisted simply of Orton attacking heels instead of faces, and playing to the crowd slightly more than when he was heel.
    • Randy's come out on record several times in 2012 saying that he would much rather play a heel. He got his wish the following year, but it subverted the above trope, as he's been made to seem significantly less threatening. For what it's worth, though, he does seem to be enjoying himself in the role.
    • His debut was "hyped" as being the second Third-generation superstar after The Rock.
  • Fridge Logic: Remember when Randy Orton proclaimed to Seth Rollins, who banned RKO at Extreme Rules 2015, that before the latter and that edition of RAW goes off the air, he was gonna "RKO every son of a bitch" he sees. Well, he made good on his promise with 5 RKOs. But notice how three of his victims (in that order) were Kofi Kingston, Heath Slater and The Miz. What do they all have in common? Prior to this, all three men have did something to piss off Orton, so it seemed like he intentionally targeted them to send a visual message to Rollins, who recently pissed him off as well.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The storyline where he threatened Kelly Kelly takes on a slightly more sinister light as if his infamous radio interview years later where she was brought up and he spent a few minutes Slut-Shaming her. What's more is that in a shoot interview, Kelly claimed that she was uncomfortable with some of the things he was scripted to say to her on TV and asked for them to be changed.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In his debut, a then-heel Stacy Keibler got him to strip and arranged to be caught in a compromising position with him. Fast forward to late 2004 when Randy got Stacy to participate in a live striptease segment on Raw, and later RKO'd her in his quest to beat the Undertaker at WrestleMania 21.
  • Ho Yay:
    • With Triple H and Batista in Evolution, a boatload of it with Edge in Rated-RKO, and with John Cena pretty much any time they're within ten feet of each other.
    • Most of the cases with John Cena would moreso be considered Foe Yay.
    • Taken to an absurd degree with Legacy, to the point where it's what the stable is best known for.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • Was the subject of a particularly intense one following his defeating Ensemble Darkhorse Christian for the World Heavyweight Championship two days after Christian finally became world champion in WWE. He has never been a particular darling with the smark audience, however.
    • Happened again in Summerslam '13 when he cashed in on Daniel Bryan, who had just beaten Cena clean for the title, with assistance from HHH.
    • For once, this happened on the behalf of him in 2016. The ending of SummerSlam 2016 had Orton lying in a pool of his own blood after Brock Lesnar bashed his skull in with MMA elbows, losing via TKO. The fans flipped, for numerous reasons:
    1. This was seen as an unnecessary and confusing ending made to make the already ridiculously strong-looking Lesnar look even stronger. Many felt that Orton deserved better.
    2. It was reckless and dangerous. Orton could've been seriously hurt by those elbows, possibly even getting a concussion. The amount of blood he lost was already on the fast track to Eddie Guerrero-levels had it not been stemmed by the referee and medical personnel. The gash from which the blood flowed from resulted in him needing ten staples to close it. And, as it later turned out, he did get a concussion from the ending — he was unable to wrestle for several weeks and they were forced to scrap his match against Bray Wyatt at Backlash simply because he wasn't cleared to compete yet.
    3. Reports came in that Orton hadn't even known about the ending until the night of the match, and agreed to it under the impression that Lesnar knew how to do this without harming him too badly. The company basically lied to him. note 
  • Invincible Hero:
    • Although it seems to have been toned down seriously in 2012-13, almost to the level of Badass Decay - probably due in no small part to numerous injuries and Wellness Program violations.
    • Much like John Cena in 2014, Orton lost just about any veneer of invincibility he once had via a squash from Brock Lesnar. Unlike Cena, the fans did not enjoy it at all. See Internet Backdraft for more details on that.
  • Magnificent Bastard: How he ended up the face in the Legacy break-up.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "RELEASE THE DOVES!" *Orton pose*
    • Hoes, Pose, and RKOs.
    • "STUPID! STUPID!"
    • "I just kicked your brother where his appendix used to be! And that's not the only place, that I'm gonna kick him!"
    • \_0__/
    • He'd RKO his own grandmother to be WWE Champion.
    • He'll go to the papers if he has to. (From this movie trailer.)
    • His thighs are amazing.
    • The "RKO Outta Nowhere" vine, which consists of images of Orton photoshopped into other vines where normal falls and mishaps turn into Randy RKO-ing the victim to the ground (and usually posing afterward), suddenly went viral in 2014. Randy himself even acknowledges the meme and re-tweets his favorites. Officially became an Ascended Meme with the RKO T-shirt and the way he delivered an RKO to Brock Lesnar on Raw on 8/1/16.
    • ...Dive.
  • Mis-blamed:
  • Narm: Almost every live promo he cuts has a chance to be this:
    "Tonight, I'm gonna start what I finished." (TWICE!!)
    "And then...there was none."
    "Itís time to rectify the cowardness that has never been displayed in the history of the WWE."
    "Don't ever interrupt me again. And next time you do, show me the proper respect."
    "The closest Christian will ever get to touching this title...is when I nail him over the head with it. Again."
    • Some of the things he's does in his "Viper" gimmick (such as flailing his arms about and punching the ground) can be seen as pretty silly-looking at times. In fact, during a tag match after WrestleMania, Jerry Lawler started giggling a little when it started to look like Orton was just humping the ground, retorting with "He's so snake like!"
    • And of course, there's the stupider Malaproper moments in some of his promos, too.
    • Another thing that cuts into his badass psycho loner cred is his wife and daughter. He's a consummate family man, and they look well adjusted, normal and happy. That wouldn't be a problem if they didn't show up to and were pointed out on Raw.
    • That random jumping split after he RKO'd Mark Henry.
    • His post match assault of Christian following his DQ loss at Money in the Bank featured some truly goofy facial expressions.
    • On an episode of Smackdown, while Randy's on the warpath looking for Alberto Del Rio, he stops for a moment backstage to torment Ricardo Rodriguez. RKO? No. Punt. Nope. note  He does douse poor Ricardo in coffee and chilinote  - which was admittedly funny, but didn't seem like a very Randy Orton thing to do.
    • The House of Horrors Match... All of it.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Injuring his shoulder performing his wake-up taunt for the RKO probably goes down in history as stupidest wrestling injury ever. Though Sami Zayn doing the same thing while being fired up for his main roster appearance in Montreal may surpass it.
    • This may have been topped by Randy injuring his shoulder while taking out the garbage.
    • This sentence will stick with him for the rest of his career: "Let me tell you something, bro, Eddie ain't in Heaven, Eddie's down there...in Hell!"
    • The now infamous House of Horrors match he had with Bray is quickly turning into this.
  • Reality Subtext: Probably not intentional at all, but it's... interesting that Orton seemed to slowly drift away from the most sadistic parts of his 'Viper' persona as his real-life self settled into being a husband and father. But then, in summer 2013 he and his wife divorced (she has custody of their daughter for obvious reasons)... and in fall 2013, the 'Viper' was back in full force...
    • His pre-2016 characterization as something of an entitled brat that Triple H constantly had to placate is viewed as only a slight exaggeration of what some circles believe is his Real Life personality backstage. Although it may be intentional on Orton's part, as he readily admits to having been that way, at least earlier in his career.
  • Redemption Promotion: Probably goes about 4-1 wins-to-losses as a face. In his latest heel run, he's been made to seem much less threatening - and as much as his win-loss record bears that out, there's also the fact that he tends to overlook opponents in mid-card TV matches, which has come back to bite him in the ass a couple of times, as he's lost to guys like Cesaro and Kofi Kingston.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Kinda sorta example. While his winning the WHC from Christian sent him right to the bottom of the heap to a majority of the Smark audiences, others have claimed that the matches he's had since have been Randy at his most entertaining in years.
    • A bizarre thing happened after Randy cashed in on Daniel Bryan (with Triple H's help) to win the WWE Championship Title. Initially, of course, this turned him heel (and, in fact, might have been the only thing he could have done at the time to make a successful heel turn) and one would think that he would have become and remained the object of a lot of fans' vitriol for this action. But seemingly, after Batista's win at the Royal Rumble (and keep in mind, Batista was meant to be a face to square off against the heel Orton), all of the heat that was reserved for Orton was siphoned off onto Batista, so that Orton just became another heel and not the embodiment of the fans' overall frustration with WWE's booking.
    • People like Face Orton less because Randy tends to be very bland in that role, and thus lamented when Randy came back as a face in 2016. However, his time away from the company had seemingly rejuvenated his batteries — not only was Randy talking and acting energetically, who also seemed not to give a damn about the officials in the back and made numerous innuendos and jokes that were genuinely funny, including a dig at Brock Lesnar's recent steroids scandal. People were sold on the new Randy almost immediately.
      • And then it only got better with his RKO Outta Nowhere on Brock Lesnar during his return to Raw. And capped off by running into the crowd and giving Stephanie McMahon a major headache trying to get him out of the building. He won over nearly all of the remaining skeptics with that.
    • Joining The Wyatt Family seemed like it would cause fans to turn on him (or the faction itself) at first but instead it seems to have only amplified the popularity gained from the above; possibly because the company seems to be committing to it instead of setting up an inevitable Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal as quickly as fans expected, and because it has helped to massively overturn the Badass Decay of both Orton and the Family as a whole.
      • ...so of course WWE burned the entire thing down, literally, by having Randy pointlessly turn on Bray after helping Bray win the WWE Championship, burning the Wyatt Family compound down, leading to a truly awful pair of matches against Bray at Wrestlemania 33 and Payback 2017. After this, the IWC's sounds of apathy towards Randy were deafening.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • A minor example on the 7/28/2014 RAW, when he tried to RKO Roman Reigns through the Spanish Announcers Table and it just didn't break. Randy, being Randy, simply RKO'd him again.
    • He visibly went easy on The Fabulous Moolah when he RKO'd her.
    • The whole House of Horrors match, which was just a glorified Boiler Room Brawl in a house. Especially when Bray Wyatt had it go from blue lighting to red lighting when it was over instead of, I don't know, burning it to the ground? Appropriately named too.
  • Strictly Formula:
    • Orton's been criticized for doing the "same old shit" in the ring. Every match of his involves a series of short arm clotheslines, a scoop power slam, an inverted headlock back breaker or sometimes an Angle Slam, a rope hung DDT, and lastly the RKO, punt, or combination of the two (recently it's just the RKO). Let's not forget the millions of headlock rest holds he does prior to the finish.
    • Orton recently retweeted a tweet from Rip Rogers in regards to the formulaic setup of a typical Indy Wrestling match with this "...Dive" retweet. This opened up a can of worms of epic proportions within the Indy Scene versus one of WWE's golden boys.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: When his leg was broken by CM Punk during their 2011 feud. Given Orton's history of using said leg to deliberately concussion-kick people (including Punk himself and his New Nexus stablemates) — often unprovoked and/or just For the Evulz — many fans were instead wondering what had taken his enemies so long to figure out such a Just Eat Gilligan solution.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Very similarly to John Cena, most people in the IWC believe heel Randy Orton is more interesting than face Randy Orton - and more specifically, that Randy was at his best at the peak of his Ax-Crazy, head-punting Viper persona. This has even been addressed in-universe. After Randy lost the WWE Title to Daniel Bryan (which was later overturned by Triple H, of course), Stephanie gave him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech and specifically invoked this trope. (Keep in mind that said persona beat the crap out of her entire family at one point.) This worked a bit too well, as it resulted in The Authority constantly having to try to rein Orton in from that point on.
  • What an Idiot:
    • The man has hypermobile shoulders, his pre-finishing ritual consists of punching the ground, and his finishing move consists of landing on his shoulders...good job there Randy.
    • If we're going that route, pull the perspective back and mention his entire career choice. Professional wrestlers lie somewhere between Hollywood Stuntmen and Crash Test Dummies on the injury scale. For anyone with a predisposition to injury, it's not the best idea.
    • And then in 2010, Orton re-aggravates an injury while doing his pounding the mat routine, during a match on PPV no less.
    • Regardless of people's very divisive opinions of Kelly Kelly, calling her out as basically a slut on a radio show ("There are a lot of guys in the back who have done some "method acting" with Kelly") was in pretty poor taste any way you slice it. Credit to Kelly who offered a terse Twitter response ("The best way to fight stupidity is to ignore it") and Orton who apologized the next day.
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