Hometown: Born in Knoxville, Tennssee Lives in St. Louis, Missouri
Marital Status: Once Married to Samantha with daughter (Allan Marie Orton)
Height & Weight: 6'5" - 265 lbs
Trained by: South Broadway Athletic Club OVW Wrestling School
Previous Names: The Legend Killer
Finishing Move: The R.K.O Kick to the Head
Favorite Moves: Full Nelson slam Wheelbarrow German suplex Crossbody from Top Rope Overdrive/O-Zone European Uppercut Inverted Headlock Backbreaker Body Scissors with Chinlock Falling Clothesline Dropkick DDT
Notable Feuds Billy & Chuck DVon Batista Booker T Goldust Bill Goldberg Shawn Michaels Mick Foley The Rock Chris Benoit Ric Flair Chris Jericho Christian The Undertaker Rey Mysterio Kurt Angle Carlito Cool Degeneration-X Edge Dusty Rhodes Stephanie McMahon Shane McMahon Triple H Batista John Cena Kofi Kingston Sheamus Cody Rhodes Ted Dibiase Jr. Wade Barrett Kane
OVW (Ohio Valley Wrestling) Hardcore title defeating Mr. Black (February 14, 2001); OVW (Ohio Valley Wrestling) Hardcore title defeating Flash Flanagan (May 5, 2001); WWE Intercontinental title defeating Rob Van Dam (December 14, 2003 – Armageddon); WWE world heavyweight title defeating Chris Benoit (August 15, 2004 – SummerSlam); WWE world tag team titles w/Edge defeating Ric Flair and Roddy Piper (November 13, 2006); WWE heavyweight title – Awarded by Vince McMahon after John Cena’s injury- (October 7, 2007); WWE heavyweight title defeating Triple H in a “Last Man Standing” Match (October 7, 2007); WWE heavyweight title defeating Triple H and Batista and Shane McMahon in a 6-Man Tag (April 26, 2009); WWE heavyweight title defeating Triple H, John Cena, and Big Show in a 4-corners match (June 15, 2009); WWE heavyweight title defeating John Cena in a Hell in a Cell match (October 4, 2009); WWE heavyweight title defeating Sheamus in a Six Pack Challenge (September 19, 2010); WWE world heavyweight title defeating Christian in a No Holds Barred match (August 14, 2011 – SummerSlam); WWE title defeating Daniel Bryan (August 18, 2013 – SummerSlam); WWE title defeating Daniel Bryan [title was vacant] (October 27, 2013 – Hell in a Cell); WWE unified World heavyweight championship defeating John Cena in a TLC title unification match (December 15, 2013 – TLC); WWE SmackDown Live tag team titles w/ Bray Wyatt defeating Heath Slater & Rhyno (TLC, December 4, 2016); WWE title defeating Bray Wyatt (April 2, 2017)
Professional wrestling career
Training and early career (2000–2001) 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, Bob Orton Jr. He wrestled for the promotion for one month, where he performed with wrestlers such as Ace Strange and Mark Bland. Orton also refereed a few matches with World Organized Wrestling, a promotion where his uncle Barry Orton worked.
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment/WWE
Ohio Valley Wrestling (2001–2002) In 2001, Orton signed a deal with the then World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and was sent to its developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in Louisville, Kentucky, where he continued his training. During his time in OVW, Orton wrestled the likes of Rico Constantino and The Prototype and teamed with Bobby Eaton during a tag team title tournament. He won the OVW Hardcore Championship twice by defeating Mr. Black on February 14, 2001, and Flash Flanagan on May 5, 2001, respectively. On several occasions he faced Rico Constantino on combined WWF/OVW events, and also lost to The Prototype (John Cena) in a tag match on July 28 in Jacksonville, Indiana. He also began appearing on several WWF house shows that were unaffiliated with OVW, the first being on May 1, 2001 when he faced Billy Gunn. After taking the mic and promising to beat Gunn, Orton was defeated. That fall he began appearing regularly on WWF house shows and dark matches, facing Chuck Palumbo, Steven Richards, and Shawn Stasiak, but mostly wrestling in tag team matches.
Evolution (2002–2004) Main article: Evolution
Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history at SummerSlam in 2004 One of Orton's first official WWF appearances was March 16, 2002 at WrestleMania X8's Fan Axxess, where he was defeated by Tommy Dreamer. Orton's first televised WWF match was a victory against Hardcore Holly on SmackDown! on April 25, 2002. Soon after, Orton became a fan 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 villain.
After his injury healed, Orton joined the Evolution stable, 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 for the World Heavyweight Championship. Orton joined Triple H in a six-man Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam, involved primarily to secure Triple H's title defense, and was eliminated by Goldberg, but the stable managed to fulfill its purpose and Triple H went on to eliminate Goldberg and thus retain his title.
Afterwards, Orton proclaimed himself "The Legend Killer", a young upstart who was so talented that he touted himself as the future of professional wrestling. He embarked on numerous storyline feuds with "legendary" wrestlers and gained infamy for his blatant disrespect of many older, well-respected names in wrestling history. With the help of his stablemate and mentor Ric Flair, he defeated Shawn Michaels at Unforgiven in the first of many high-profile matches billed as "Legend versus Legend Killer." 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 Intercontinental Championship at Armageddon on December 14, 2003. With this win, Orton started the longest Intercontinental Championship 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 ability to handle excruciating pain, Foley offered Orton a hardcore "Legend versus Legend Killer" match for his Intercontinental Championship. At Backlash, in a bloody match involving thumbtacks and barbed wire, Orton defeated Foley. Orton then spat in the face of Harley Race on the April 26, 2004 Raw. Two months later at Bad Blood, he retained the Intercontinental Championship against Shelton Benjamin. In July, at Vengeance, Edge defeated Orton to win the Intercontinental Championship, ending Orton's 210-day title reign.
Championship pursuits (2004–2006)
After losing the Intercontinental Championship, Orton became the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship after winning a 20-man battle royal on July 26. At SummerSlam, Orton defeated Chris Benoit for the championship. Orton became the youngest world champion in WWE history at the age of 24. Benoit congratulated Orton after the match, shaking his hand for showing the ability to "be a man". The following night, after Orton successfully defended the championship against Benoit in a rematch, Evolution threw Orton a mock celebration, only to reveal that they were not pleased with his new victory. While Batista had Orton propped on his shoulders in elation, Triple H gave him a pleased thumbs up and then abruptly changed it to a thumbs-down, which was followed by Batista's dropping Orton to the mat. Ric Flair and Batista attacked Orton in the ring as Triple H revealed his jealousy for Orton's title. He ordered Orton to hand over the championship, but he refused, spitting in Triple H's face and hitting him with the title belt. Orton's break-up with Evolution began a new storyline for him as a fan favorite when he continued to feud with his former stablemates. A month later, Orton lost his championship to Triple H 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 to beat and humiliate the group. At Taboo Tuesday, Orton defeated Ric Flair in a Steel Cage match. After this, Orton experienced another push, becoming General Manager of the Raw brand for a week following a match stipulation at Survivor Series where he picked up the win for his team by last pinning Triple H in a 4-on-4 Survivor Series match. 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 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 Raw, Superstar Billy Graham made an appearance, in which he advised Orton to "go where no wrestler [had] gone before".
Orton showing off his signature pose Orton then produced a copy of SmackDown! magazine, which featured The Undertaker on the cover. Heeding Graham's advice, Orton said 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 him. On the March 21 Raw, Orton turned into a villain once more after he delivered an RKO to his unsuspecting on-screen girlfriend, Stacy Keibler, knocking her unconscious. During Orton's promos, he ran for cover whenever signs of The Undertaker's appearance (lightning, darkness, or smoke) occurred. When legendary 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.
Orton at a WWE house show in 2005 The next 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 SmackDown! 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, after the match Randy Orton and his father Bob locked the Undertaker in the casket and, in a move similar to Kane at the 1998 Royal Rumble, chopped holes in the top of the casket with an axe, poured gasoline over the casket and set it ablaze, kayfabe killing The Undertaker. The following month, Orton replaced the late Eddie Guerrero as a participant in the annual elimination match of Team SmackDown against Team Raw at Survivor Series, after having lost a qualifying match to Rey Mysterio. In the match, Orton was the last remaining wrestler in the match for the third straight year, as he pinned Shawn Michaels to get the victory for Team SmackDown. At the event, The Undertaker returned by emerging from a flaming casket and attacked the SmackDown superstars who came to the ring to celebrate Team SmackDown's victory. On the SmackDown! episode after Survivor Series, The Undertaker interfered in a match between Rey Mysterio and Big Show after Kane interfered. Randy Orton RKO'd the Undertaker, he then struck the Undertaker with a tire iron and set him on the back of the lowrider Mysterio had driven to the ring, he then reversed the lowrider into the SmackDown set, causing an explosion. The feud was finally settled with a Hell in a Cell match at 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, ending their nine-month-long feud.
Following Armageddon, Orton entered the 2006 Royal Rumble match as the thirtieth and final wrestler, but he was eliminated by Rey Mysterio. Mysterio won the match and a title shot, and Orton urged him to put the title shot at stake in a match at No Way Out. In the weeks preceding No Way Out, Orton made controversial remarks about Eddie Guerrero, Mysterio's friend who had died a few months previously, in an attempt to gain villain heat. Many fans felt the comments were highly distasteful so soon after Guerrero's death in November 2005. Orton won at No Way Out, 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.
Main article: Rated-RKO 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 scripted injury was devised, where Kurt Angle broke Orton's ankle during a grudge match. Orton returned from his suspension in June to the Raw brand, where he entered a rivalry with Angle, culminating in matches at One Night Stand and Vengeance before engaging in a storyline feud with Hulk Hogan. Orton began cutting promos insulting the aging Hogan and flirted with Hogan's then-eighteen-year-old daughter Brooke. At SummerSlam, the two met in a "Legend vs. Legend Killer" match, which Hogan won.
Edge and Orton as Rated-RKO After the newly reformed D-Generation X (DX) (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) cost Edge the WWE Championship numerous times, Edge approached Orton and asked him to join forces to defeat the team. Orton, whose championship reign had been ended by Triple H in 2004, agreed, forming the tag team Rated-RKO. The two became the first to defeat DX since their reunion and quickly dominated the Raw brand's tag team division to become World 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. After losing the tag team titles, both Edge and Orton focused on the WWE Championship, causing friction in the group. They lost a triple threat match against Shawn Michaels to earn a title match at WrestleMania 23. They both competed in the Money in the Bank ladder match at the same event, but the match was won by Mr. Kennedy. Finally, they faced off in a fatal four way for the title against Cena and Michaels at Backlash, however Cena retained the title. Their alliance was effectively ended once Edge was drafted to Smackdown. Orton then continued his "Legend Killer" persona, attacking Shawn Michaels. Using frequent attacks to the head, including an elevated DDT and a running punt to the face, Orton defeated Michaels at Judgment Day. When the kayfabe wounded and concussed Michaels collapsed in the ring, the referee was forced to stop the match and award Orton the victory. Orton continued his attacks when he engaged himself in feuds with Rob Van Dam, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, and Sgt. Slaughter. During this time the commentators noted how Orton slithers around and stalks his victims like a snake; this led to "The Viper" becoming a nickname for Orton.
WWE Champion (2007–2011)
See also: The Legacy (professional wrestling)
Orton during his first reign as WWE Champion On the July 23 Raw, Orton was named number one contender for John Cena's WWE Championship. Three times before their scheduled bout at SummerSlam, Orton assaulted Cena with the RKO. Orton lost the title match when Cena pinned him after an FU. The next night on Raw, Orton demanded a rematch, but Raw General Manager William Regal denied him. He then appealed to Mr. McMahon, who offered him the shot if he "proved himself". That night, Orton interfered in Cena's match, assaulting him before kicking his father, who was at ringside, in the head. McMahon granted Orton his rematch at Unforgiven, which he won by disqualification when Cena refused to stop punching him in the corner; however, Cena retained the championship because titles cannot change hands by disqualification. After the match, Cena's father, who was again at ringside, kicked Orton in the head, which led to a match the next night on Raw, in which Orton defeated Cena's father by disqualification, then hit him with an RKO while Cena was handcuffed to the ropes. Before No Mercy, Cena suffered a legit injury during a match on Raw, after which Orton attacked Cena with an RKO. After this, he adopted the nickname of "The Viper". Orton then threw him outside the ring, and gave him an RKO on the broadcast table.
At the start of No Mercy, Mr. McMahon awarded Orton the WWE Championship after Cena vacated it due to injury the previous week, cutting their feud short. Orton lost the title to Triple H in the opening match. In the main event, Orton defeated Triple H in a Last Man Standing match to regain the title. Orton then restarted his feud with Shawn Michaels, who returned on the October 8 Raw and Superkicked him. Michaels was chosen by fan voting over Jeff Hardy and Mr. Kennedy to meet Orton in a title match at Cyber Sunday. Orton was disqualified when he low blowed Michaels, but retained the title. Orton won a rematch at Survivor Series after hitting Michaels with the RKO Per stipulation, if Michaels had used Sweet Chin Music, he'd have lost and never had another chance at the title, and if Orton was disqualified, he would have lost the title. Orton then feuded with Jeff Hardy, and defeated him in a title match at the Royal Rumble. He then restarted his feud with John Cena, who had returned from injury to win the 2008 Royal Rumble match. Instead of taking his title shot at WrestleMania XXIV, as Rumble winners typically do, Cena took it at No Way Out and defeated Orton, who intentionally got himself disqualified to retain the title. At WrestleMania, Orton retained the WWE Championship in a triple threat match over Cena and Triple H, by pinning Cena after Triple H executed a Pedigree on Cena.
Randy Orton (middle) with Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase as part of The Legacy The next month, at Backlash, Orton lost the title to Triple H in a fatal four-way elimination match, also including Cena and John "Bradshaw" Layfield. After failing to win it back at Judgment Day, Orton faced Triple H for it in a Last Man Standing match at One Night Stand, which he lost when Triple H countered an RKO by throwing him over the top rope, breaking his collarbone. During this time, he gained a new entrance theme, "Voices", performed by the band Rev Theory.
Upon being medically cleared to return to the ring, Orton was reinjured in a motorcycle accident. He returned to Raw on September 1, criticizing all the champions, including World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, who he berated and slapped for letting Cryme Tyme steal their belts. This inspired them to try to gain Orton's respect. They achieved this at Unforgiven when, with new stablemate Manu, they assaulted World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk, forcing him to vacate his title before his scheduled defense that night. Orton returned to the ring on the November 3 Raw, losing to Punk by disqualification when DiBiase interfered. In retaliation, Orton punted DiBiase in the head. On the December 1 Raw, Orton proposed that he, Rhodes and Manu form an alliance. The stable, called The Legacy, debuted the next week, defeating Batista and Triple H, Orton's former Evolution stablemates, in a three-on-two handicap match.
Orton after winning the 2009 Royal Rumble match Orton began feuding with the McMahon family on the January 19, 2009 episode of Raw when he confronted both Mr. McMahon and Stephanie, claiming that he was worth more than her, and that she had become "worthless". This infuriated Mr. McMahon, who demanded that Orton apologize, or he'd terminate him on the spot. As Mr. McMahon was about to fire him, Orton attacked him and punted him in the head, leading to him being carried out of the arena on a stretcher. On January 25, Orton won the Royal Rumble match, last eliminating Triple H. The next night on Raw, Orton claimed that he suffered from IED, and that he was not responsible for his actions towards Mr. McMahon, claiming that he suffered a "loss of control" because of the disorder. He also claimed that WWE knew of the condition, but did nothing, and threatened to sue WWE for that reason, and also, if Stephanie were to fire him, threatened a second lawsuit for breach of contract, due to the fact that he was legally entitled to compete at WrestleMania because he won the Royal Rumble. Though Stephanie teased firing Orton, she changed her mind and said she had "bigger plans", leading to Shane McMahon returning to Raw and attacking Orton. This led to Orton facing Shane in a No Holds Barred match at No Way Out, which he won. The next night on Raw, Orton faced Shane again in an unsanctioned match, which ended in no contest when he punted Shane in the head, thus rendering him unable to continue the match. Stephanie then ran down to the ring to tend to her brother, but Orton attacked her with an RKO. This drew Triple H into the feud, who claimed that Orton "crossed the line" when he attacked Stephanie, his real-life wife. Later, Orton claimed that everything he had done was part of a plan to get revenge on Triple H after he kicked him out of Evolution; according to Orton, Triple H "ruined his life", so Orton was going to do the same and take everything that Triple H cared about away from him. He challenged Triple H for the WWE title at WrestleMania XXV, which he was unsuccessful. 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 lost the title to Batista in a Steel Cage match. The following night on Raw, Orton and Legacy attacked Batista and broke his arm, forcing him to vacate the title.
On the June 15 Raw, Orton regained the title in a fatal four-way match, over Triple H, John Cena and Big Show. He lost the title to John Cena in an "I Quit" match at Breaking Point. He then regained it from Cena in a Hell in a Cell match at Hell in a Cell. At Bragging Rights, Orton re-lost the title to Cena in a one-hour Iron Man match.
After a rivalry with Kofi Kingston, Orton won a triple threat match on January 11, 2010 episode of Raw, with help from Rhodes and DiBiase, for the right to challenge Sheamus at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship. Orton lost by disqualification when Rhodes interfered. After the match, Orton attacked Rhodes and DiBiase. On the February 15 Raw, Orton was again disqualified in a rematch when The Legacy interfered. Orton and DiBiase both competed in the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match at Elimination Chamber, where DiBiase eliminated Orton after hitting him with a pipe Rhodes gave him. The next night on Raw, during a six-man tag match, Orton attacked them in retaliation. At WrestleMania XXVI, Orton, now a face for the first time since 2005, defeated Rhodes and DiBiase in a triple threat match.
After The Legacy disbanded, Orton unsuccessfully challenged Jack Swagger for the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules in April. During a number one contender's match for the WWE Championship on Raw, Orton was speared by Edge, costing him the match and setting up a bout at Over the Limit, Orton separated his right shoulder during the match, which ended in a double countout. At Fatal 4-Way in June, Orton lost a fatal four-way WWE Championship match, also involving champion Cena and Edge, to Sheamus. On the July 19 Raw, he won a number one contender's match over Edge and Chris Jericho, earning a match against Sheamus at SummerSlam. Sheamus was disqualified for bringing a chair into the ring, giving Orton the win, but not the title. Immediately afterward, Orton hit Sheamus with the chair and an RKO onto the broadcast table.
Orton at Tribute to the Troops in 2010 Orton defeated John Cena, Chris Jericho, Wade Barrett, Edge and Sheamus in a Six-pack challenge elimination match to become WWE Champion for the sixth time at Night of Champions. After defending the title against Sheamus at Hell in a Cell, Orton feuded with Wade Barrett, who was blackmailing Cena to help him capture the title. Orton defeated Barrett again at Bragging Rights and Survivor Series After one final match on the November 22 episode of Raw, The Miz immediately cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and quickly beat Orton for the title. Orton lost to The Miz in a title tables match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs and again in a standard match at the Royal Rumble in January 2011, after The New Nexus interfered, starting a feud between Orton and CM Punk.
The next month at Elimination Chamber, Orton lost a WWE Championship number-one-contender Elimination Chamber match to Cena. Over the next three weeks, Orton punted and injured all members of The New Nexus, Michael McGillicutty, David Otunga and Mason Ryan. At WrestleMania XXVII, Orton pinned Punk after a mid-air RKO. On the April 11 Raw, McGillicutty, Otunga and Ryan returned and cost Orton a number one contender's match for the WWE Championship. Two weeks later, in the 2011 WWE draft, Orton was drafted to SmackDown and beat Punk in a Last Man Standing Match at Extreme Rules, ending his feud with The New Nexus.
World Heavyweight Champion (2011–2012)
On the May 6 episode of SmackDown, Orton received a title opportunity against World Heavyweight Champion, Christian. Orton was successful in defeating Christian to win his second World Heavyweight Championship. Christian's reign as World champion would only last two days. Orton also debuted his version of the World Heavyweight championship as on the championship, it has black engraving on it. At Over the Limit and Capitol Punishment, Orton successfully defended his championship against Christian. In July at Money in the Bank, Orton met Christian in a match where, if Orton got himself disqualified, or the referee made a "bad call", Christian would win the title. Christian spat in Orton's face, causing him to lose control of his temper, kick Christian in the groin and get disqualified. A month later, at SummerSlam 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 SmackDown. Orton then began a feud with Mark Henry after Henry became the number one contender to the World Heavyweight Championship. Over the next few weeks, Henry regularly attacked Orton. At Night of Champions, Orton lost the World Heavyweight title Henry, and failed to regain it two weeks later at Hell in a Cell. On the October 14 episode of SmackDown, Orton received another title shot against Henry after winning a 41-man battle royal, he was successful in winning the match by disqualification but failed to win the title after interference from rival Cody Rhodes. He then defeated Rhodes at Vengeance, and on the November 4 SmackDown in a Street Fight.
Orton reignited his feud with Wade Barrett after both were named captain for a traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match. On the November 11 SmackDown, Orton lost a match to Barrett. On the November 14 Raw, Orton won a rematch by disqualification. His team was defeated at Survivor Series with Barrett and Cody Rhodes being the sole survivors. Barrett then began attacking and distracting Orton during matches. At Tables, Ladders, & Chairs, Orton defeated Barrett in a tables match after he put Barrett through the table with an RKO. Barrett and Orton continued their feud on the December 23 SmackDown, where they brawled backstage and Orton hit Barrett with an RKO onto a car. This led to a Falls Count Anywhere match on December 30 SmackDown, in which Barrett pushed Orton down a flight of stairs, resulting in a herniated disc, which sidelined Orton for four weeks. On the January 27, 2012 episode of SmackDown, he returned to the ring and attacked Barrett. On the February 3 episode of SmackDown, Orton defeated Barrett in a No Disqualification match to end the feud.
On the February 13 episode of Raw SuperShow, Orton suffered a concussion after World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan smashed Orton over the head with the title belt. Due to the injury, Orton was taken out of his elimination chamber match at Elimination Chamber and was replaced by Santino Marella. Orton returned on the March 2 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 episode of Raw Supershow, after the latter defeated R-Truth. On the next SmackDown, Orton attacked Kane with another RKO before his match. They later brawled as the show ended. At WrestleMania XXVIII, Orton was defeated by Kane in a singles match. Orton defeated Kane on the next SmackDown in a No Disqualification match and at Extreme Rules in a Falls Count Anywhere match to end the feud.
On April 30 Raw, Orton was part of a Beat the Clock challenge to determine the number one contender for the WWE Championship match at Over the Limit; he defeated Jack Swagger in 4:16 to beat The Miz's time by two seconds. Orton's time was later beaten by Daniel Bryan, thus earning him the title match. On the following Raw SuperShow, Orton was brogue kicked by tag team partner Sheamus during their match against Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio, costing them the match. After the match, Orton hit Sheamus with an RKO and then he, Jericho, and Del Rio demanded a match for Sheamus's World Heavyweight Championship at Over the Limit, which they were granted. At the pay-per-view, Orton failed in his World title pursuit after Sheamus pinned Jericho to retain the title. On May 30, WWE suspended Orton for 60 days due to his second violation of the company's Talent Wellness Program.
Various alliances and feuds (2012–2013)
Orton returned on the July 30 Raw, defeating Heath Slater. Orton began feuding with Mr. Money in the Bank Dolph Ziggler, after attacking him with the RKO when trying to cash his contract on a vulnerable Sheamus on the August 24 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 SmackDown, Orton was scheduled to face Big Show in a number one contenders match for the World Heavyweight Championship. However, a pre-match assault from Alberto Del Rio cost Orton the match and started a feud. 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 Main Event, Orton teamed with Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara to face Del Rio and the Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil) in six-man tag team bout that ended with Orton pinning Del Rio for the win. On the November 6 SmackDown, Orton defeated Del Rio again in a Falls Count Anywhere match, after executing the RKO onto the ring steps. The two were then on opposing teams for the traditional five-on-five elimination tag match on November 18 at Survivor Series. Del Rio's team, led by Dolph Ziggler, ended up defeating Orton's team, led by Mick Foley. The following night on Raw, Orton defeated Del Rio once again in a Two Out of Three Falls match to end the feud.
On the December 3 Raw, Orton began a feud with The Shield, after he was attacked by them following a victory over Brad Maddox. On the December 14 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 SmackDown, Orton declared his entry in the 2013 Royal Rumble match. On the January 11 SmackDown and the January 16 Main Event, Orton was again attacked by The Shield during his matches with Antonio Cesaro. On the February 1 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. Over the next weeks, Orton and Sheamus saved each other from attacks by The Shield and Big Show. On the March 15 SmackDown, Orton and Sheamus were then allowed to pick a third partner to face the Shield in a six-man tag team match at Wrestlemania 29 an chose Ryback. Three days later on Raw, however, Ryback was booked in another match for the event, leaving the spot open. Later that night, Big Show saved the two from an attack by The Shield and was immediately recruited as their partner. 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 Sheamus then teamed up to defeat Show in two handicap matches, first on the April 12 SmackDown via count-out, and second on the April 15 Raw via pinfall. On the April 19 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. After Extreme Rules, Orton began pairing with Daniel Bryan despite their poor relationship to face a common enemy in the Shield. On the June 14 SmackDown, Orton teamed with Bryan and Kane to end the Shield's unpinned and unsubmitted streak in televised six-man tag matches. Three days later at Payback, Orton and Bryan's poor teamwork resulted in an unsuccessful challenge for Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins' WWE Tag Team Championships. The following night on Raw, Orton and Bryan faced off in a no disqualification match, which Orton won via referee stoppage after Bryan suffered a legitimate nerve injury. Four days later on SmackDown, Orton was defeated by Bryan in a singles match via countout. Orton and Bryan faced each other for the third time on the next Raw, but their match ended in a no-contest after both men were counted out. Later that night, Orton was defeated by Bryan in a Street Fight Match after he was forced to submit to the Yes! Lock with a kindo stick applied to the move.
The Authority (2013–2015) Main article: The Authority
Orton as the WWE Champion in November 2013 On July 14 at Money in the Bank, Orton defeated Christian, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Rob Van Dam, and Sheamus to win the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, thus earning him an opportunity to challenge for the WWE Championship at a time of his choosing within the next year. On August 18 at SummerSlam, Orton turned heel for the first time since 2010 after he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Daniel Bryan, who had just won the WWE Championship and had been subsequently attacked by special guest referee Triple H, who also counted the pinfall to give Orton his seventh WWE title. The following night on Raw, Orton was endorsed as the "face of the company" by Vince McMahon and the newly formed Authority (Triple H and Stephanie McMahon).
On September 15 at Night of Champions, Orton lost the WWE Championship back to Bryan, however, Triple H stripped Bryan of the title the next night on Raw, due to a fast count by referee Scott Armstrong, but refused to give the championship back to Orton. Orton and Bryan faced off for the vacant title on October 6 at Battleground, but the match ended in a no contest after Big Show interfered and knocked out both men. Orton once again challenged Bryan for the vacant championship at Hell in a Cell, where he was successful in regaining the WWE Championship after the special guest referee Shawn Michaels hit Bryan with Sweet Chin Music for attacking Triple H.
On November 24 at Survivor Series, after retaining the title against Big Show, Orton was confronted by World Heavyweight Champion and long-time rival John Cena. The following night on Raw, Cena suggested that there should only be "one champion" in WWE, so Triple H stated there would be a unification match at the TLC pay-per-view. On December 15, Orton defeated Cena at TLC to unify both titles, and becoming the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion as well as officially being recognized as the final World Heavyweight Champion. Orton retained the title at the Royal Rumble against Cena after interference by The Wyatt Family. On February 23 at Elimination Chamber, Orton defeated Cesaro, Christian, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, and Sheamus to retain his WWE World Heavyweight Championship and secure his position in the title bout at WrestleMania XXX against Royal Rumble winner Batista. On April 6 at Wrestlemania XXX, the main event was changed to a triple threat match after Bryan defeated Triple H, and won the match after submitting Batista to end Orton's reign at 161 days.
Orton and Batista on Raw The following night on Raw, Orton and Batista were each denied a rematch for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and instead were forced by The Authority to team together to face WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos for the title, despite their issues with one another. The title match ended in a double count-out after the two united and attacked them. Later that night, Batista and Orton, along with Kane, attacked Bryan before he was set to defend his title against Triple H. Before Triple H could defeat Bryan, The Shield interrupted by spearing Triple H and taking out Batista, Orton and Kane, causing Bryan to retain his title via disqualification. On the April 14 episode of Raw, Batista, Triple H and Randy Orton came down to the ring to attack The Shield after their 11-on-3 handicap match, using the name and the theme of Evolution. At Extreme Rules and Payback, Evolution lost to The Shield. On the June 9 episode of Raw, The Authority automatically granted Orton a spot in the 2014 Money in the Bank ladder match for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but he couldn't regain the title. On the July 21 episode of Raw, Roman Reigns attacked Orton, which cost him another shot at the title, causing Orton to retaliate the following week by viciously attacking Reigns and challenging him to a match at SummerSlam, which Reigns won. At Night of Champions, Orton defeated Chris Jericho.
Orton celebrating after defeating Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 31 in March 2015 On the October 20 episode of Raw, Orton asked The Authority to face the loser of John Cena and Dean Ambrose's No Holds Barred Contract on a Pole match. Ambrose won the match, setting up a Hell in a Cell match between Orton and Cena. On the Raw before the event, Triple H revealed that the winner would receive a future WWE World Heavyweight Championship match against Brock Lesnar. Later in the night in a 3-on-2 handicap street fight which pitted Orton, Kane, and Seth Rollins against Cena and Ambrose, Orton picked up the win but was immediately attacked by Rollins with a Curb Stomp. At Hell in a Cell, Cena defeated Orton. The following night on Raw, Orton attacked Rollins with an RKO, thus defying The Authority for not controlling Rollins the previous week and beginning a face turn for the first time since 2013. On the November 3 Raw, after increasing frustration, Orton attacked Rollins during his Intercontinental Championship against Dolph Ziggler, causing Rollins to win by disqualification, and demanded a match with Rollins to settle their dispute, which Triple H granted in order to keep Orton on their side. Rollins won, and Orton completed his face turn by attacking The Authority before being attacked by The Authority, which ended with Rollins executing a Curb Stomp onto the steel steps On orton. He was then carried on a stretcher after he sustained a scripted injury so he could start filming The Condemned 2: Desert Prey.
At Fastlane, after The Authority (Big Show, Seth Rollins, and Kane) defeated Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan and Ryback, Orton returned and saved Ziggler, Rowan and Ryback from a post-match beatdown. He later gave an RKO to Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury (J&J Security) and Kane. The next night on Raw, The Authority tried to convince Orton to come back to the "family", but Orton did not give an answer straight away until he saw them backstage. During a tag team match later that night, Orton became frustrated and upset after Rollins tagged himself into the match. After the match, Orton made his way towards Rollins in the ring, but was briefly interrupted by Jamie Noble who got an RKO for his troubles. Then Orton, much to Rollins' surprise, picked him up and only patted him on the shoulder, leaving his alignment at the time in question. On the March 9 edition of Raw, Orton insulted several members of The Authority, only to pass it off as a joke. During a 2-on-1 handicap match in which he teamed with Seth Rollins against Roman Reigns, he abandoned Rollins, allowing Reigns to get the victory. Following this, Orton viciously beat Rollins, eventually executing an RKO through the broadcast table. On the March 16 episode of Raw, a match between the two was made official for WrestleMania 31 on the condition that Orton would meet Rollins later on that same night in the ring. The bout never took place as every member of The Authority made their way to the ring to attack Orton. Their attempt to avenge Rollins was thwarted by Sting, who aided Orton in holding them off. Orton defeated Rollins at the event. After the loss, Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event. With Rollins as the new champion, Orton defeated Roman Reigns and Ryback in a triple threat match on the April 6 episode of Raw to become the #1 contender to face Rollins at Extreme Rules, but he failed to win the title from Rollins in a steel cage match that saw per the stipulation his RKO banned and Kane as the gatekeeper. At Payback, Orton failed to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship when he was defeated by Rollins in a fatal four-way match that also included Dean Ambrose and Reigns.
At Money in the Bank, Orton failed to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship contract ladder match, which was won by Sheamus. Following this, Orton began feuding with Sheamus after both men attacked each other and faced off in various tag-team matches; Orton defeated Sheamus at Battleground, but lost to Sheamus at SummerSlam.
Storyline with Bray Wyatt (2015–present)
See also: The Wyatt Family On the September 7, 2015 episode of Raw, Orton defeated Sheamus in a singles match. After the match, The Wyatt Family attacked Orton. 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 October 12 Raw, Orton teamed up with Ambrose to take on The New Day in a losing effort. A match pitting Orton and Ambrose against Harper and Strowman was scheduled for the Hell in a Cell pre-show but cancelled after Orton suffered a legit shoulder injury, putting him out of action for the following months.
On the July 7, 2016 episode of SmackDown, Orton was revealed as Brock Lesnar's opponent for SummerSlam. On July 19, at the 2016 WWE draft, Orton was drafted to SmackDown, while Lesnar was drafted to Raw. On July 24, at Battleground, Orton returned as a guest on Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel to be interviewed about his match with Lesnar. Orton said he wanted to face Lesnar to prove that he belongs in the top spot, before executing an RKO on Jericho. On the July 26 episode of SmackDown, Orton interrupted Intercontinental Champion The Miz during a Miz TV segment before defeating Miz in a non-title match. During Lesnar's promo on the August 1 Raw, Orton appeared and delivered an RKO to Lesnar. The following night, Lesnar attacked Orton during his match on SmackDown, delivering an F-5 to Orton. At SummerSlam, Lesnar defeated Orton by technical knockout after a series of elbows, leaving Orton with a forehead wound which required 10 staples.
Orton with Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt as one third of the SmackDown Tag Team Champions On the August 23 episode of SmackDown, Orton spoke about his match against Lesnar and declared that he and Lesnar would cross paths again, before Bray Wyatt interrupted him therefore resuming their feud. The following week, Orton accepted Wyatt's challenge for a match at Backlash. At Backlash, Orton was attacked backstage by Wyatt before the show and subsequently lost the scheduled match by forfeit. It was later revealed that Orton was not cleared to wrestle at the event due to a legitimate concussion that occurred the previous month at SummerSlam. Orton later battled Lesnar again at a house show in Chicago in a no disqualification match, but lost once more. Orton resumed his feud with Wyatt and faced off against him at No Mercy, a match he lost due to a distraction by the returning Luke Harper. On the October 11 episode of Smackdown, Orton was paired with Kane in a tag team match against Wyatt and Harper, but once again lost the match due to distraction by Harper. On the October 25 episode of SmackDown, Orton interfered on Wyatt's behalf in his match with Kane, leading to speculation that he had joined the Wyatt Family, though this was neither confirmed nor denied by WWE or Orton. On the November 1 episode of SmackDown, Wyatt and Harper helped Orton win his match against Kane, thus confirming Orton's alliance with the group, turning heel in the process for the first time since 2014.
The same night, Orton and Wyatt were revealed as members of Team SmackDown for Survivor Series. Team SmackDown defeated Team Raw at the event, where Orton eliminated Chris Jericho and Wyatt eliminated Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns; Orton and Wyatt were also the last two surviving members of their team, and they faced American Alpha in a winning bout to earn a shot at the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against Heath Slater and Rhyno. At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, they won the titles, marking Orton's first tag team championship in a decade. It was later announced that Harper is also champion under the Freebird Rule. On the December 27 episode of SmackDown, the Wyatts lost their SmackDown Tag Team Championship to American Alpha in a fatal four-way tag team match, after Orton accidentally hit Harper before being pinned. On January 29, 2017 at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Orton won the Royal Rumble for the second time in his career by lastly eliminating Roman Reigns. Despite this, on the February 14 episode of SmackDown, Orton came out after Wyatt won his triple-threat rematch against John Cena and AJ Styles and relinquished his shot at the WWE Championship, basically giving his full devotion to Wyatt and leaving the main event of WrestleMania in the air. On the February 28 episode of SmackDown, however, Orton turned on Wyatt while Wyatt was delivering his promo as he appeared on the screen, being seen inside Wyatt' compound, where he claimed that despite being Wyatt's home, it wasn't his, and declared his intentions to burn the soul of "Sister Abigail" and set the entire compound on fire after stating that he would face Wyatt at WrestleMania, turning Orton into a fan favorite again. On the March 7 episode of SmackDown, Orton faced AJ Styles to become the number one contender for the WWE Championship, which Orton won. On April 2 at WrestleMania 33, Orton defeated Wyatt to win the WWE Championship for the ninth time, his first WWE Championship win at WrestleMania and also his 13th overall World Championship. On the following SmackDown, Wyatt challenged Orton to a "House of Horrors" rematch, but after Wyatt was moved to the Raw brand as a result of the Superstar Shake-up, it was made a non-title match and scheduled for Raw's pay-per-view Payback on April 30.
On the April 18 episode of SmackDown, Jinder Mahal, who was moved to the SmackDown brand as a result of the Superstar Shake-up, won a six-pack challenge against Mojo Rawley, Sami Zayn, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan and Dolph Ziggler to become the number one contender for the WWE Championship, after interference from The Singh Brothers. The following week, Orton defeated Rowan in a no disqualification match and was afterwards attacked by Mahal and The Singh Brothers; Mahal subsequently stole the WWE Championship belt. At Payback, Orton lost his match with Wyatt, after Mahal attacked him with the title belt. SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon later returned the belt to Orton. On May 21, at Backlash, Orton lost the WWE Championship to Mahal.
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