Randy Orton at WWE Tribute to the Troops in 2010.
|Ring name(s)||Randy Orton|
|Billed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Billed weight||245 lb (111 kg)|
|Born||April 1, 1980 (1980-04-01)  |
|Resides||Saint Charles, Missouri|
|Billed from||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Trained by||"Cowboy" Bob Orton |
South Broadway Athletic Club
Mid Missouri Wrestling Alliance
Ohio Valley Wrestling
|Debut||March 18, 2000|
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), where 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 a WWE Intercontinental Championship reign, his first title with the company. Orton also acquired the moniker "The Legend Killer" during a storyline where he began disrespecting Hall of Famers and physically attacking veterans of the industry outside of appropriate restrictions. At age 24, Orton became the youngest person ever to hold the World Heavyweight Championship. With this win, Orton departed from Evolution and a feud with his former stablemates began. In 2006, Orton joined forces with Edge in a tag team known as Rated-RKO. Together, Orton and Edge held the World Tag Team Championship. After the team disbanded, during mid-2007, Orton gained two WWE Championship reigns in one night. Overall, Orton is a seven-time world champion, having won the World Heavyweight Championship once and the WWE Championship six times. He is also the winner of the 2009 Royal Rumble match.
Early lifeOrton was born on April 1, 1980, in Knoxville, Tennessee. Son to Elaine and "Cowboy" Bob Orton, he has two younger siblings—Becky and Nathan. Knowing from experience the hardships of life as a professional wrestler, Orton's parents tried to convince him to stay away from the business, and his father warned him that life in the ring meant a life on the road, away from family. Orton attended Hazelwood Central High School, where he was an amateur wrestler. After graduating from Hazelwood in 1998, Orton enlisted with the United States Marine Corps. There, he received a bad conduct discharge a year later after going AWOL on two separate occasions and disobeying an order from a commanding officer. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Private First Class Orton was tried and convicted under a special court-martial and was put into a military prison for thirty-eight days.
Professional wrestling career
TrainingOrton made his wrestling debut in 2000 at the Mid-Missouri Wrestling Association-Southern Illinois Conference Wrestling (MMWA-SICW) in St. Louis, Missouri, an offshoot of the historic St. Louis Wrestling Club headed by Sam Muchnick. There, he was trained by both the promotion and his father, "Cowboy" Bob Orton. He 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.
In 2001, Orton signed a deal with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) 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 on two separate occasions by defeating Mr. Black on February 14, 2001, and Flash Flanagan on May 5, 2001.
World Wrestling Entertainment
Evolution (2002–2005)Orton's first televised WWE (then-WWF) match was 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, Dave Batista. The group was pushed on Raw from 2003 to 2004, with the height of their dominance occurring after Armageddon in 2003 when all of the men's titles on Raw were held by the members of Evolution. In 2003, Orton spent much of his time helping Triple H overcome challenges from Kevin Nash, Kane, and Goldberg, who were vying with Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. Orton joined Triple H in a six-man Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam, involved primarily to secure Triple H's title defense, and was eliminated by Goldberg.
Shawn Michaels at Unforgiven in the first of many high profile matches billed as "Legend versus Legend Killer." Orton then spat in the face of Harley Race on the April 26, 2004, episode of Raw.
During this time, Orton began using the move that would become his signature finisher, the RKO, a jumping cutter named after his initials. Orton soon defeated Rob Van Dam for the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Armageddon on December 14, 2003. With this win, Orton started the longest Intercontinental title reign in seven years, holding the title for seven months.
Orton continued to establish himself as a "Legend Killer" throughout 2004, challenging the semi-retired wrestler Mick Foley. Famed for his hardcore matches and ability to handle excruciating pain, Foley offered Orton a hardcore "Legend versus Legend Killer" match if Orton would put his Intercontinental Championship on the line. In a bloody match involving thumbtacks and barbed wire, Orton defeated Foley.
In July, at Vengeance, Edge defeated Orton to win the Intercontinental Championship, ending Orton's seven month title reign. After losing the Intercontinental Championship, Orton became the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship on July 26. At SummerSlam, Orton defeated Chris Benoit for the championship. Orton became the youngest person ever to hold the title 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, 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 crowd favorite when he continued to feud with his former stablemates. A month later, Orton lost his championship at Unforgiven. Seeking revenge, Orton lashed out at Evolution members, catching them by surprise during a show by giving them a large cake as a make-up gift, which he came out of to beat and humiliate the group. After this, Orton experienced another push, becoming General Manager of the Raw brand for a week following a match stipulation at Survivor Series. He continued to feud with Triple H, using his authority to place his opponents at severe disadvantages during title defenses. Orton was granted another chance at the championship in January 2005, but lost a six-man championship Elimination Chamber match to Triple H at New Year's Revolution. On the January 10 episode of Raw, Orton defeated Batista to earn a match against Triple H at the Royal Rumble for the World Heavyweight title. At the Royal Rumble, Triple H defeated Orton to retain the World title.
Singles competition (2005–2006)Orton began an on-screen relationship with Stacy Keibler and briefly feuded with Christian in February 2005. On the February 28 episode of Raw, "Superstar" Billy Graham made an appearance, in which he advised Orton to "go where no wrestler [had] gone before". Orton then produced a copy of SmackDown! magazine, which featured The Undertaker on the cover. Heeding Graham's advice, Orton claimed that he would set himself apart from all other wrestlers by ending The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Throughout March 2005, Orton taunted The Undertaker, claiming he was unafraid of him. On the March 21 episode of 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 would immediately run for cover when signs of The Undertaker's appearance were near (lightning, darkness, or smoke). 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.
 While sidelined, Orton appeared on Raw and claimed that he was ineligible for the WWE Draft Lottery due to his injury. He was informed by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon that he was indeed a candidate for the draft, leaving a possibility of a return to SmackDown!. Orton returned to WWE programming for the SmackDown! brand on June 16, announcing that he was the second pick in the 2005 draft lottery. He rekindled his feud with The Undertaker, defeating him at SummerSlam following a distraction from his father. Two months later, Orton and his father Bob Orton defeated The Undertaker in a Handicap Casket match. The following month, Orton was a participant in the annual elimination match of Team SmackDown against Team Raw at Survivor Series. In the match, Orton was the last remaining wrestler in the match, as he pinned Shawn Michaels to get the victory for Team SmackDown. At the event, The Undertaker, who had been absent since Orton had apparently killed him on an episode of SmackDown!, returned by emerging from a flaming casket. The feud was finally settled with a Hell in a Cell match at 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.
January 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 disparaging 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 unwarranted and 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.
On April 4, 2006, Orton was suspended for sixty days for "unprofessional conduct." In an interview, Orton stated, "my conduct was unbecoming of a champion, which is what I will be again when I return." To cover for the suspension, a faked injury was devised, where Kurt Angle broke Orton's ankle during a grudge match. In July, Orton said his suspension resulted from smoking marijuana backstage. Orton returned from his suspension in June to the Raw brand, where he engaged in a storyline feud with Hulk Hogan. Orton began cutting promos insulting the aging Hogan and flirted with Hogan's then-eighteen-year-old daughter Brooke. At SummerSlam, the two met in a "Legend vs. Legend Killer" match, which Hogan won.
Rated-RKO and the Age of Orton (2006–2008)After the newly reformed D-Generation X (DX) (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) cost Edge the WWE Championship numerous times, Edge approached Orton and asked him to join forces to defeat the team. Orton, whose championship reign had been ended by Triple H in 2004, agreed, forming the tag team Rated-RKO. The two became the first to defeat DX since their reunion and quickly dominated the Raw brand's tag team division to become tag team champions. As part of the angle, Rated-RKO attacked Ric Flair with steel chairs to enrage DX on November 27. At New Year's Revolution, Rated-RKO faced DX in a title defense, but the match was declared a no-contest when Triple H suffered a legitimate injury during the match.
John Cena to defeat Rated-RKO for the tag team championship on January 29. Orton and Edge suffered a series of losses to Cena and Michaels in the following months, building hatred towards one another. Edge and Orton also became rivals in their goals of achieving the WWE Championship. Neither Edge nor Orton won the Championship, and they lost their claims as number one contenders after a failed match with Cena at Backlash. Orton then continued his "Legend Killer" persona, attacking Shawn Michaels. Using frequent attacks to the head, including an elevated DDT and a running punt to the face, Orton defeated Michaels at Judgment Day. When the kayfabe wounded and concussed Michaels collapsed in the ring, the referee was forced to stop the match and award Orton the victory. Orton continued his attacks when he engaged himself in feuds with Rob Van Dam, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, and Sgt. Slaughter.
On the July 23 episode of Raw, Orton was named as the number one contender at SummerSlam for John Cena's WWE Championship. Weeks before their scheduled bout at SummerSlam, Orton attacked Cena on three separate occasions by performing RKOs on him. At SummerSlam, Orton lost the title match to Cena, who pinned Orton after executing an FU. The following night on Raw, Orton demanded a rematch for the title, but his request was declined by Raw General Manager William Regal. Orton then took his demands to Mr. McMahon, who also refused to give Orton a rematch unless he proved himself. That night, Orton interfered in Cena's match by assaulting Cena and kicking Cena's father, who was at ringside, in the head. Orton was granted his title rematch against Cena at Unforgiven and won by disqualification when Cena refused to stop punching Orton in the corner; however, Cena retained the WWE title because a title cannot change hands by disqualification. After the match, Cena's father, who was again at ringside, kicked Orton in the head. At No Mercy, Orton was awarded the WWE Championship by Mr. McMahon after Cena was stripped of the title due to an injury the previous week, which also ended the Orton-Cena storyline prematurely. Orton then lost the title to Triple H in the opening match of the show, making Orton's reign the fourth shortest in WWE history. Later in the night, Orton defeated Triple H in a Last Man Standing match to regain the title, thus becoming a two-time WWE Champion in one night.
Following No Mercy, Orton continued his feud with Shawn Michaels, who made his return on the October 8 episode of Raw and performed Sweet Chin Music on Orton. The two met in a title match at Cyber Sunday after a match was made in which the fans would get to vote on either Michaels, Jeff Hardy or Mr. Kennedy as the opponent. As a result, Michaels was voted to face Orton. In the match, Orton was disqualified when he performed a low blow on Michaels, but Orton retained the title. In a scheduled rematch, Orton successfully defended the title at Survivor Series against Michaels when he performed the RKO on Michaels for the win. The stipulation of the match was that if Michaels used Sweet Chin Music, the match would be stopped and Michaels would never get a chance at the WWE title, but if Orton got himself disqualified, he would lose the title.
After weeks of intensity between the two, Orton defeated Jeff Hardy to retain the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. Following this, he re-engaged in his feud with John Cena, who had returned from injury and won the 2008 Royal Rumble match. Instead of cashing in his title opportunity at WrestleMania XXIV, Cena decided to face Orton for the title at No Way Out. Orton lost the match after getting himself intentionally disqualified, thus retaining the title. At WrestleMania, Orton retained the WWE Championship in a Triple Threat match involving Cena and Triple H. Orton won the match by pinning Cena after a Pedigree from Triple H. The following month, at Backlash, Orton lost the title to Triple H in a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match, which also included Cena and John "Bradshaw" Layfield. After failing to win the title back at Judgment Day, Orton faced Triple H in a Last Man Standing match at One Night Stand for the title. Orton lost the match and legitimately broke his collarbone.
The Legacy and split (2008–2010)Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase took exception to this and tried to gain his respect. Unsuccessful until the pay-per-view event Unforgiven, the three of them, alongside new recruit Manu, assaulted World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk, costing him his title. He made his in-ring return on the November 3 episode of Raw losing to Punk by disqualification after Ted DiBiase interfered. In retaliation, Orton punted DiBiase in the head. On the December 1 episode of Raw, Orton proposed that he along with Cody Rhodes and Manu form an alliance. The following week, they made it official by defeating Batista and Triple H, Orton's former stablemates, in a three-on-two handicap match, dubbing themselves The Legacy. On January 25, 2009, Orton won the 2009 Royal Rumble match by last eliminating Triple H. On the March 2 episode of Raw, Orton challenged Triple H for the WWE title at WrestleMania XXV, where Orton lost the match. Orton, however, won the title at Backlash in a six-man tag team match with Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, facing off against Triple H, Batista, and Shane McMahon. At Extreme Rules, he dropped the title to Batista in a Steel Cage match. The following night on Raw, Orton and Legacy attacked Batista and (kayfabe) broke his arm, forcing him to vacate the title. It was later revealed that Batista was suffering from a torn biceps and Legacy was given on-screen credit for his injury. On the June 15 episode of Raw, Orton regained the title in a Fatal Four-Way match involving Triple H, John Cena and The Big Show. Orton later lost the title to John Cena in an "I Quit" match at Breaking Point, but defeated Cena to win back the championship in a Hell in a Cell match at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view in October. At Bragging Rights, Orton lost the title to Cena in a 60 minute Iron Man match.
On the January 11, 2010, episode of Raw, Orton won a triple threat match, with the help of Rhodes and DiBiase, to challenge Sheamus at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship. At the Royal Rumble, however, Orton failed to win the championship when Rhodes interfered, causing a disqualification. After the match, Orton attacked Rhodes and DiBiase. On the February 15 episode of Raw, Orton was again disqualified in a rematch after Rhodes and DiBiase interfered. Orton and DiBiase both competed in the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, and DiBiase eliminated Orton after hitting him with a pipe which Rhodes had passed to him. The next night on Raw, in a six-man tag team match, Orton attacked Rhodes and DiBiase in retaliation. At WrestleMania XXVI, Orton defeated Rhodes and DiBiase in a triple threat match, turning him into a fan favorite in the process for the first time since 2005.
Return to singles competition (2010–present)Following his departure from Legacy, Orton faced Jack Swagger for the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules in April, however, he was unsuccessful in defeating Swagger. After being speared by Edge, resulting in Orton losing a number one contender's match for the WWE Championship, on the April 26 episode of Raw, he faced Edge at the Over the Limit pay-per-view, but separated his right shoulder during the match, which concluded in a double countout. At Fatal 4-Way in June, Orton competed in a fatal four-way match for the WWE Championship against John Cena, Sheamus and Edge but came up short. On the July 19 episode of Raw, he won a number one contender's match against Edge and Chris Jericho giving him a match against Sheamus at SummerSlam. At the event, Sheamus was disqualified for bringing a steel chair into the match giving Orton the victory, however, not the title. 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 his title against Sheamus at Hell in a Cell, Orton feuded with Wade Barrett, who attempted to use John Cena to help capture Orton's championship. After successfully defending his title against Barrett at Bragging Rights and Survivor Series, Orton defeated Barrett again on the November 22 episode of Raw, only to lose his title immediately afterwards to The Miz, who cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase. Orton failed to recapture the title after losing a Tables match to The Miz at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view and again in a singles match at the Royal Rumble in January 2011 after interference from CM Punk.
Other mediaIn 2004, Orton appeared on the late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, to promote the Taboo Tuesday pay-per-view. In March 2007, alongside Edge, John Cena, and Bobby Lashley, Orton appeared on the NBC game show Deal or No Deal. In July 2009, Orton revealed he read for the lead role in The Marine 2 (2009), the sequel to the 2006 film The Marine. He was given the part, but after injuring his collarbone, the film's producers decided to go with Ted DiBiase. Orton will have a supporting role in the film Big Red, alongside Ed Harris and Amy Madigan. The film is a coming-of-age comedy written and directed by Michael Pavone.
ControversyWhile on the Raw brand, Orton was accused of harassing fellow WWE employees Amy Weber and Rochelle Loewen. Loewen, who has called Orton "an animal," claimed that he vandalized her possessions and subjected her to harassment. Fellow WWE Diva Search contestant (and eventual winner) Christy Hemme has stated in an interview with The Sun that she does not believe that Orton harassed Weber or Loewen.
On March 19, 2007, Sports Illustrated posted an article on its website as part of its continuing series investigating a steroid and HGH ring used by a number of professional athletes in several sports. That article mentioned several current and former WWE wrestlers, including Orton who was alleged to have obtained clomiphene citrate, anastrozole and the steroids stanozolol, nandrolone, oxandrolone, and testosterone. WWE has since made a statement on this situation, claiming that the allegations preceded the Talent Wellness program WWE launched in February 2006.
On January 13, 2010, it was reported that a complaint of assault had been filed against Orton by a fifteen year old fan in Saugus, Massachusetts. The fan alleged that Orton had spit gum in his face and called him a profane word.
Personal lifeIn November 2005, Orton announced his engagement to his girlfriend Samantha Speno. They married on September 21, 2007. In December 2007, Orton announced that he and his wife were expecting their first child, a daughter. Orton and his wife welcomed Alanna Marie Orton on July 12, 2008.
He had a tattoo on his left arm which read "USMC" for United States Marine Corps but covered it up after receiving a bad conduct discharge from the service. He was sent home after serving thirty-eight days in military prison at Camp Pendleton in California.
Orton suffers from hypermobile shoulders. After being medically cleared to wrestle and after he broke his collarbone in a Last Man Standing match at One Night Stand against Triple H, Orton re-injured his collarbone in a motorcycle accident.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI Feud of the Year (2009) vs. Triple H
- PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (2007, 2009)
- PWI Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (2004)
- PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year (2010)
- PWI Rookie of the Year (2001)
- PWI ranked him #1 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2008
- PWI Wrestler of the Year (2009, 2010)
- World Wrestling Entertainment