A Look At Randy Orton Through The Years – From Rookie To Legend
WWE's Randy Orton reinvented himself a number of times over the years. But which were the most interesting versions of Randy Orton?
WWE’s Randy Orton has a career that spans a whopping 20 years. Not surprisingly, this led to numerous versions of Randy Orton over the years.
But which were the most interesting versions over this 20-year-long career?
Legend Killer Randy Orton
The Legend Killer is the most recent (yet updated) version of Randy Orton’s persona. For many fans, it is also the most in-depth version of the WWE veteran.
Legend Killer was Orton’s base character. From Evolution to The Apex Predator, everything is included in this updated gimmick.
One of the best things about this version is that it makes sense. It is not a complete turnaround from his other gimmicks over the years.
Of course, Orton also proves he is a genuine Legend Killer. After all, he did take out some of the biggest wrestlers in the business.
Legacy Randy Orton
Randy Orton was always a serious individual threat. However, his leadership capabilities did not come out until Legacy.
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Legacy was a faction consisting of Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, Sim Snuka, Cody Rhodes, and Manu. Eventually, the group slimmed down to only three members: Dibiase, Rhodes, and Orton.
WWE’s Legacy ruled both brands between 2008 and 2010. It also gave Randy Orton several title wins.
Evolution Randy Orton
While Legacy contributed greatly to the Legend Killer Orton became, Evolution probably had the biggest influence.
When Randy Orton first came up in the WWE, his potential was clear. However, his focus was not quite on point.
Recent interviews indicate that Triple H took Randy Orton under his wing. Triple H had a huge influence on the rest of Orton’s career even more than Evolution.
While this was the beginning, Evolution Randy Orton is very different than the Orton we know today. He is more sure of himself now, and has become more charismatic over the years.
Of course, Evolution Randy Orton must be mentioned in this overview. It clearly showed Orton’s raw talent, which he built upon in the following years.
Authority Randy Orton
Being a member of The Authority should have been the best role for Randy Orton. However, his role within The Authority never hit off.
Of course, Authority Randy Orton did know a lot of success. In fact, he dethroned John Cena to become the world champion.
Unfortunately, Randy Orton’s presence only seemed to be a means to an end. It soon became clear Orton was only a member to add to the faction’s gravitas.
Eventually, Seth Rollins became the most prominent Authority member. Of course, it did wonders for Rollin’s career, so not all was lost.
Orton soon moved onto his Viper and Apex Predator personas. At this point, his growth as a wrestler had only begun.
Tag Team Orton
Orton’s wrestling persona depended on working alone. That is, until the arrival of tag team Orton.
In 2006, the otherwise lone ranger teamed up with Edge. The team was dubbed Rated RKO and went on to feud with D-Generation X.
Rated RKO stood strong for an entire year. However, the pair eventually broke up when Edge moved to SmackDown Live.
One of the most interesting things about this Orton persona is the accompanying humor. After all, little humor could be found in his character before this tag team.
I believe Rated RKO gave Orton the opportunity to make deepen character. And both men did something right, as the tag team is still talked about today.
Apex Predator Orton
The Apex Predator may be a popular nickname for Orton, but it does not represent his best work. At least, if most WWE fans are to be believed, Legend Killer Randy Orton is best.
Orton became the Apex Predator between 2010 and 2013. The wrestler would flip from heel to face continuously, leaving a confusing trail.
On the flipside, Orton did have some amazing matches with Christian. He also faced guys such as Sheamus, Bad News Barrett, and Big Show.
The Apex Predator was not the best version of his persona, but it is certainly a character layer. Once again, it’s the layers that contribute to the overall mystery and legacy of Orton.
Wyatt Family Orton
Many of you might not remember, but Orton was a member of the Wyatt Family. Out of all the stars to join, he was the most unusual.
In the past, Orton showed he was not the most trustworthy ally. Therefore, fans were constantly waiting for him to turn on the Wyatt Family.
Of course, fans were proven right after the 2017 Royal Rumble. Instead of joining them, Orton sought the destruction of the Wyatt Family.
Considering Orton’s history as a bad ally, not many fans bought into the story. When he did turn, it was an “I told you so” moment.
So, why is this version of Randy Orton interesting? Well, it actually supports the persona he portrayed over the years.
Orton represents pride and dominance, striking at the ideal time. The Wyatt Family feud showed this side of Randy Orton perfectly.
Prospect Randy Orton
Even though he is the son of Cowboy Bob Orton, even Randy had to start from scratch. Who would have known he would become the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in history?
Rookie Orton is interesting for a number of reasons. When you watch his oldest matches, you can clearly see he did not know his character or his direction.
Still, the potential was visible early on. It also explains why WWE continued to invest in Orton over the years, despite some of his behavior issues.
Before wrestling, Orton was a United States Marine. However, the wrestler went AWOL twice and received a bad conduct discharge.
As a result of his misconduct, Orton spent 38 days in the brig at Camp Pendleton. This experience could have fueled the rogue character Orton portrayed over the years.
In the early days, Orton was a clean-cut persona. But, it does seem that the roguish influences portrayed a little bit more of the real Orton later on.
Finally, Rookie Orton also shows the major character journey he has taken over the years.
From clueless rookie to legend, Randy Orton made it.