Randy Orton

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The WWE's Apex Predator

Randall "Randy" Keith Orton (born on April 1, 1980) is an American professional wrestler currently signed to the WWE, and is wrestling on its Smackdown brand. Orton is a third-generation professional wrestler; his grandfather Bob Orton, Sr., father "Cowboy" Bob Orton, as well as his uncle Barry O, all competed in the professional wrestling industry.

Before being promoted to the main WWE roster, Orton trained in and wrestled for Mid-Missouri Wrestling Association-Southern Illinois Conference Wrestling for a month. He was then sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). There, Orton held the OVW Hardcore Championship on two separate occasions.

After signing with WWE, Orton became a member of the stable Evolution, which quickly led to his capture of the WWE Intercontinental Championship, his first title with the company. Orton also acquired the moniker "The Legend Killer" during a storyline where he began disrespecting Hall of Famers and physically attacking veterans of the industry outside of appropriate restrictions. In 2004, Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion, when he won the title at the age of twenty-four (he defeated Chris Benoit to win that title). This win resulted in his departure from Evolution and a feud with his former stablemates. In 2006, Orton joined forces with Edge in a tag team known as Rated-RKO. Together, Orton and Edge held the World Tag Team Championship. After the team disbanded, Orton won the WWE Championship twice in one night in mid-2007 (said title changes being the only time that title changed hands that year) and was the winner of the 2009 Royal Rumble match.

Also considered one of the more practical/lazy wrestlers in the near century-long existence of pro wrestling (counting the carny days), while every other wrestler was coming up with new crazy risky moves to finally put their opponent down, Randy Orton was the one man to go "Why don't I kick him in the head really hard?"

As usual, That Other Wiki has more details on his career.

Randy Orton provides examples of the following tropes:

Triple H: I'm not a good person, Randy...

  • Boring but Practical: Orton wrestles a very simple, but effective wrestling style. Technically there's nothing wrong with that, but if you don't hold an appreciation for that sort of thing his matches tend to be boring as hell.
    • The crazy part is that he basically wrestles as a heel from the mid eighties, with his melodramatic knee drops and stomps, combined with his incredibly heelish middle rope DDT. Randy has great Wrestling Psychology...for a methodical heel, even though he's a sociopathic face.
    • Awesome Yet Practical: His finisher, the RKO. Quick, effective, visually exciting, and most importantly, can be done from literally anywhere in the ring. It can be performed as a surprise attack if Orton is playing possum, used as a counter, and even used on an airborne opponent (the RKO on Evan Bourne in the middle of a Shooting Star Press is the most notable example of this).
  • Captain Obvious: "You might not know this about me, but I have a severe anger management problem." No Randy, we'd never have guessed.
  • Catch Phrase: "My name is Randy Orton."
    • Continuity Nod: His "Randy News Network" vignettes from the first time he was out with injury. He pretty much started every promo with a hi and his name. Between then and now, actually, this was basically the gimmick of Dolph Ziggler.
  • Cheap Heat: During his feud with Rey Mysterio, Jr., Orton told Rey that recently deceased Eddie Guerrero was in Hell. Even for his Jerkass hat that he was sporting at the time, most everyone said that was going way too far. Even Taz sounded legitimately pissed off about that.
  • Cherry Tapping: In a recent backstage brawl with Wade Barrett, Randy, in the middle of beating the crap out of Barrett, soaked him with a water hose and dumped the contents of a garbage can (although not the garbage can itself) onto his head. Then he RKO'd him through the roof of a car.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Kicking people really hard in the head.
  • Darker and Edgier: The 'Viper' gimmick in comparison to his original 'Legend Killer' gimmick.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Usually with threats more than jokes. For example, when Ashton Kutcher guest-hosted RAW for his movie Killers, he told Zack Ryder that he put a hit on him. Randy, being called the "Silent Assassin" and the "Legend Killer", was Zack's first suspect, claiming that Orton was trying to end his legend career before it started. Orton's response?

Randy: "Zack, if I wanted to take you out, we wouldn't be having this conversation."

  • Determinator: There is nothing Orton won't try in order to get what he wants. After William Regal refused to grant him a rematch for John Cena's WWE Championship, Orton proved he was ready to take on Cena again....by handcuffing Cena's father and kicking him in the skull.
  • Didn't See That Coming: RKO out of nowhere- you know it's coming, but when?
  • Disproportionate Retribution: While inactive with injury in 2008, he punts CM Punk in the skull before a World Heavyweight Championship defense as the climax to a big beatdown by Legacy. Punk can't defend the championship that night, meaning Orton basically screwed him out of the title. Punk tries to go for revenge immediately but is beaten into the background shortly thereafter. A couple years and turns later, Punk and his New Nexus cost Orton a WWE title match with the Miz because he's never forgotten it. So Orton goes punting New Nexus members for consecutive weeks and threatening to beat Punk so bad he has to eat through a feeding tube. As the babyface of the feud.
    • Then again, Punk did threaten Orton's wife at one point during the feud. That's a quick way to get on Orton's really bad side.
  • Dull Surprise /CreepyMonotone: Depending on how you view it, Randy Orton's rather...subdued speaking style either fits his character or displays his complete lack of charisma.
    • It's a strange character quirk, to be sure, but Orton was much more expressive during his younger days as the Legend Killer.
  • Mr. Fanservice: When Orton was in Evolution, his TitanTron entrance video even included an image of him being fawned over by a bevy of women as he grins lecherously.
    • He also posed for Playgirl.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As a face, Orton's wife (who seems to be a different woman every time she appears onscreen - none of them are his Real Life wife, either) tends to get threatened a lot - and no matter how many voices he's hearing in his head, if his wife's in trouble, he'll put whatever he was doing on hold to go to save her. Some of the more Genre Savvy guys like CM Punk have taken advantage of this in feuds. [1]
  • Expy: One of the theories beind why Orton is so popular is that many of his heelish antics (randomly attacking people) remind the audience of the antics of Stone Cold Steve Austin. The fact that both have snake motifs (Austin is the Rattlesnake, Orton is the Viper) and the RKO has some similarities to the Stunner probably helps towards that.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Orton smashing Cody Rhodes in the head with the announcer's bell in their September 2011 match. He cracked Rhodes' head open, and blood was pouring out. Nauseating to look at, and Rhodes required nine staples to stitch his scalp back together.
    • Hell, Orton pre-face turn lived off this trope.
  • Fatal Flaw: Christian took advantage of Randy's anger issues in their feud in 2011. He got rather good at it during MiTB PPV.
  • Finishing Move: The RKO, technically a jumping cutter.
  • Five Moves of Doom: Garvin Stomp, Elevated DDT, Powerslam, Twisting Backbreaker, RKO.
    • Recently has added the Olympic Slam and a Powerbomb to his set.
    • Suddenly the Olympic Slam, Powerbomb, and Twisting Backbreaker have all but disappeared. Now he's left with the running clotheslines, Powerslam, Elevated DDT, and RKO - and if the RKO doesn't work for some reason, he might try the Punt.
  • Follow the Leader: WWE seems intent on trying to make as many Randy Orton clones as possible. Rob Conway tried to copy the "attack senior wrestlers" shtick, and Orton's look appears to be WWE's current gold standard. Crew cut, tribal tattoos, and trunks is practically the standard look in WWE nowadays. Hell, Ken(ny) Dykstra/Doane is a straight-up Orton clone on the indy circuit with moves like the "RKDoane."
    • Also, in a recent feud with Kane, he proceeded to kidnap and torture Paul Bearer - just like Edge had done about two years ago. Cruelly (and somewhat hilariously) subverted when Kane revealed he didn't give two shits about Bearer anymore.
  • For the Lulz: When he was feuding with Sheamus (Randy as champion), he planned to be very...liberal with his Finishing Move...

Randy Orton: I would RKO my own grandmother if it meant keeping this title[2]. And then I'd RKO your grandmother just to see the look on her face!

  • Fun with Acronyms: The RKO.
  • Genre Savvy: He was fighting Daniel Bryan. Suddenly, there's a huge explosion of fire on the entrance stage. Randy abandons Bryan and the match to run to strike the first blow on the approaching Kane. Of course, he got his ass kicked anyway, but given Kane's penchant for mowing down anyone in his path, it was worth a shot.
  • Glass Cannon: His career's been rather peppered with various injuries if you look at it very closely. The shoulder problems don't help, either.
  • Groin Attack: A couple of his early feuds saw him getting hit in the nuts a lot. Then again, when one of the guys on the other end of the feud is Ric Flair...
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: He said it himself that has anger problems. Just ask Christian who spit in his face and received a boot to the junk in response. Or R-Truth who hit him with a water bottle and received a steel chair.
    • Or that time when Vince McMahon tried to fire him a few years back. Randy hit him in the face and then hit him with the punt. Then there was the time he punted Shane. Stephanie McMahon tried to tell him off, and guess what? She got RKO'd, too.
    • That's nothing compared to what happened to Cody Rhodes who hit him with his mask again. Only this time, Randy kicked out and hits Cody with his own mask. But then, he hit his head with a bell which accidentally bust his head open! There was uncensored footage when before he RKO'd Cody, he hit him with a steel chair while Cody's face was in a bloody mess! Wow.
  • Hearing Voices: His current theme song, "Voices" by Rev Theory.

I hear voices in my head / They counsel me, they understand / They talk to me...

    • Of course, the song was chosen to fit his character, who apparently hears voices while he's in the middle of destroying his opponents.
  • Heel Face Turn: Of the oddest sort. His behavior never changed, the fans just kept cheering him more and more until the WWE apparently threw its hands up and went with it. The only thing different now is his choice of targets. Apart from Orton, the only other person to ever really pull that off was Stone Cold Steve Austin.
  • Hero-Killer: Made a name for himself as a "Legend Killer" kicking the crap out of a bunch of...legends.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: At Money In The Bank 2011, Christian provoked Orton into getting himself disqualified & losing the World Heavyweight title due to the stipulations by spitting in his face; something that Orton himself had a habit of doing back in hs Evolution days.
    • And on a more meta level, a couple of his feuds have happened because, at some point, Orton didn't know where to draw the line.
  • Hot Dad
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Was set to star in the third installment of The Marine. But due to his past history with the marines (he went AWOL and was dishonorably discharged after serving 38 days in military prison), he was pulled from the movie after some real marines wasn't all that pleased with him starring in the movie.
  • Idiot Ball: Low blowing Christian after he spat on him, when he was warned if he got disqualified Christian would win the world heavyweight title.
  • I Have the High Ground: Loves subverting this trope. It's almost to the point where attacking Orton from the top rope is like signing your own death warrant.
    • He did have a few high flying maneuvers in the beginning of his career.
  • Important Haircut: Check his hair from his OVW days to his first injury.
    • And again when he went to his 'Viper' gimmick.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: In his feud with Ric Flair one article had the title Orton Hears A Woo.
  • Invincible Hero: As of September 2010, some of the internet fanbase has started to turn on his push as the top face on Raw after one too many segments and matches that have ended in Orton RKOing everyone in sight. As of May 2011, it's only gotten worse.
    • Building on this, prior to losing the title to Mark Henry at Night of Champions, Orton hadn't lost cleanly since before the previous Wrestlemania.
  • It Runs in The Family / Wrestling Family: Ortons have been appearing on professional wrestling cards for at least the past half-century.
  • Karma Houdini: As a Face Orton never, ever gets paid back for any of the horrible things he does to people, even as a heel he's done numerous things that he never gets punished for.
    • Subverted in CM Punk's motivation for making The New Nexus target Orton. (See Large Ham.)
      • A feud that Orton clearly seems to be winning.
      • But then three out of four of Orton's most recent punt victims came back off the bus to beat him down and cost him another shot at the WWE title.
      • He then defeated all of them once again, dominated CM Punk twice in a row, and went on to win World Heavyweight Championship 2 days later in a match he only "earned" via Teddy Long's clear populist favoritism. Opening yet another clear floodgate of Karma Houdini-ness.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: His secondary finisher, a running punt to the head. Also, he's prone to stomping on his opponents repeatedly to weaken them.
  • Large Ham: Although Orton's current persona is that of a tweener stoic, Orton does have/has had his moments. A prime example is when he was leader of Legacy and attacked CM Punk, who was the World Heavyweight Champion at the time. After a few moments of allowing Legacy to pound on Punk, Orton appears from offscreen, delivers the punt kick to Punk, and shouts, "NOW THAT! THAT RIGHT THERE! WAS! IMPRESSIVE!!!"
    • His slow promo style is only a character affect of his Viper persona, while he was the Legend Killer, Orton was quite energetic as a speaker.
  • Manly Tears: After winning the World Heavyweight Championship for the first time at Summerslam 2004.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Orton's character is a Complete Monster, who is merely borderline when he's a face. Compare that to Orton in real life, who once complained on Twitter that his infant daughter was sleeping when he returned home after several days on the road and he couldn't get a hug from her.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A possible literal example. After smashing Cody Rhodes across the face with his own Mask of Power and cracking it, the latter seems to have become even more dangerous than he was before.
  • Oh Crap: After barely beating Wade Barrett who sent Nexus in before the match to take out his leg, Orton slumps against the turnbuckle, hurt and exhausted but still the WWE champion. Then he hears over the loudspeakers: "AAAAAAAAWESOME!" as Miz's music hits and Miz comes to cash in his MITB contract. The look on Orton's face was perfectly understated as he looked into the camera almost as if he was saying "Oh, you're shitting me with this..."
    • Also induced this from time to time, especially during his Heel runs, if for no other reason than the fact that he was such a loose cannon and was liable to RKO or punt anyone that was in his way - that includes his enemies, his allies, women, guys sitting in the first row (just ask John Cena's father) or...his own grandmother.
  • One Hit KO: The RKO is being pushed as this.
    • His signature punt kick cranks it Up to Eleven, as it seems to be reserved solely for when WWE wants to write someone out of the show for an extended period of time.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: This.
  • Perma-Stubble: As of April 2011.
  • Pet the Dog: While promoting Summerslam 2010 in Los Angeles, he did a charity appearance for MDA.
  • Red Baron/Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Previously known as "The Legend Killer" and now known as "the Viper" and "the Apex Predator".
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Recently lost his spot in the Elimination Chamber because of a legit concussion sustained in a match against The Big Show. First off, WWE turned the legit injury into a storyline injury by having Daniel Bryan give Orton a vicious belt shot the RAW before the PPV. Then, the last Smackdown before the PPV saw a massive Battle Royal in which the winner took Randy Orton's spot in the chamber match. And it was thus that Santino Marella found himself in the Elimination Chamber match the following Sunday.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Face!Orton's calling card seems to be acting in a way that would usually draw tremendous heel heat, but taking it so far over the top that it his antics end up being entertaining.
  • Punted On The Bus - Randy's patented Punt is currently being used to write out wrestlers who are being sent back to developmental, need to be written out due to injuries or just taking a break.
  • Sanity Slippage: In Randy's feud with Christian was focused on Randy's anger management issues. Instead, it's came off as Randy actually being more unhinged than usual, and seemed to enjoy his own pain and that of others.
  • Slasher Smile: Expect a pretty painful move to be set up for his opponent when he sports one of these.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Since turning face again. Orton's pretty much the same extremely violent, entirely unpredictable guy he was, he just attacks heels, smiles a bit more, and says "My name is Randy Orton" before every promo.
  • The Stoic: Randy Orton is a very cold person, in promos he's quiet and speaks slowly, and in the match he rarely goes berserk.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: The announcers usually spend quite a bit of time talking about how good he looks.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • This Is Sparta: His promos somehow manages to combine this with Dull Surprise. The results are interesting to say the least. While it kinda sorta worked when he was a heel, as a face its fairly... lackluster.
    • Anytime he does actually raise his voice (see the Large Ham reference) he usually invokes this trope.
  • Tranquil Fury: In comparison to the psychotic rage he frequently shows in matches, his backstage persona is almost perpetually reserved, stoic and matter of fact.
    • Unless you're Mr. Kennedy or Kofi Kingston.
  • Underwear of Power: Orton sticks with the bikini briefs of yesteryear. Your Mileage May Vary, probably depending on your gender, if you think this is a good thing or a bad thing.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Has been known to RKO people who just helped him win a match, as a face, including Evan Bourne and John Cena.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: It's kind of Randy's M.O. We could be here all day.
  • The Un-Smile: It might simply be because we're so used to seeing him as the Viper, but even when he's smiling sincerely, something about it looks a little... off.
  • Unstoppable Rage: His pre-RKO freak out ground hitting ritual.
    • Also, his post-RKO/victory flailing about.
    • Seemed to combine this with Berserk Button at Money in the Bank 2011 when he utterly destroyed Christian when he spat in Ortons face and getting DQ'ed in the process, losing the title to Christian.
    • And then Cody Rhodes hit him with the mask again and the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that ensues became Extreme Melee Revenge.
  • Villain Song: Well when he IS a villain, his theme song "Voices" could count.
  • Villain Team-Up: With Edge when they formed Rated-RKO.
  • Worthy Opponent: John Cena, whose feud with him goes back to 2001 and their OVW days. After Cena gave his "retirement" speech on the 11.22.10 Raw, Orton met him in the back and they hugged goodbye.
    • John has said multiple times that he respects Randy as a competitor. Randy hasn't said it as much, but he has said it before. Albeit reluctantly.
    • Christian was one of these, however his increasingly desperate begging for another shot after continuously losing has resulted in Orton getting frustrated with facing him.
  • The Worf Barrage: Ran into this a bit in his 2011 feud with Mark Henry. Easily RKO'd him in a non-match context (the infamous "CheeRKO") that ended with a jumping split and a bunch of posturing, but when the Night Of Champions match rolled around, the move that had served as a One Hit KO on so many Superstars (including Mark Henry at points) was suddenly woefully ineffective. End result? Randy pretty much got his ass handed to him.
    • Similarly, Randy only needed one RKO to defeat The Undertaker at Summerslam 2005. At Armageddon 2005, three RKOs and a Tombstone were not enough, and Randy lost.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Just ask Stephanie...or Stacy Keibler, for that matter. But especially Stephanie.
  • Wrestling Family: Is a third generation wrestler, with his grandfather Bob Orton, Sr, father "Cowboy" Bob Orton and uncle Barry O, have all been in the business.
  • Wrestling Psychology: Was trained by Jake "The Snake" Roberts.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When he was part of Evolution with Triple H, Ric Flair and Batista, he won the World Heavyweight Championship from Chris Benoit at Summer Slam. The next night following a rematch, in which he retained, the other seemed to be celebrating with him, only to turn on him and giving him one hell of a beatdown. Triple H tried to force Orton to relinquish the title the following week, only for Orton to spit in Triple H face and run off with the title, thus setting off a (failed) Face turn.
  1. In that case Randy ran back to his trailer in the parking lot only to find CM Punk gone. Punk appears out of nowhere and beats Orton senseless with a wrench.
  2. the WWE Championship; Randy was on WWE Monday Night Raw