Randy Orton has defined himself as a controversial villain in the WWE realm. Fans worldwide are polarized in their opinions of him, with some viewing him as a narcissist, and others as an excellent source of entertainment. Whatever your opinion, one thing is undeniable: Randy Orton has lead a storied WWE career.
It’s been a career that has thus far been culminated in his recent dubbing as “the face of the WWE” in 2013, though he has also been known as the “legend killer” and “viper”. Throughout his time wrestling, Orton has earned a plethora of accolades, including 12 world championships and the distinction of being the youngest wrestler ever to win the World Heavyweight Championship at the age of 24.
But while his success is irrefutable, there are certainly other aspects of Orton’s character that are widely unknown. What follows are the top ten things that will absolutely stagger you about Randy Orton.
10. He is a Born and Bred Wrestler
Many professional sports feature some famous bloodlines that continue to churn out successful athletes. The Manning family in the NFL is one that comes immediately to mind, while another somewhat similar example can be found in the boxing Ali family. Orton’s family is no different. Randy is a third generation wrestler, with previous professional wrestling experience stemming from his father and uncle.
Orton’s father is Bob Orton Jr., better known by his moniker “Cowboy” Bob Orton. Cowboy was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, and has made several ringside appearances with Randy, contributing to some surprise victories in the process. Randy’s uncle, Barry Orton, was also a wrestler up until 1992. Since his retirement, Barry has transitioned into movies, landing various minor roles, something Randy has also tried to imitate.
9. Randy Orton Also Acts
Much like his uncle, Randy has delved into the world of acting. As one might expect, he has focussed primarily on the action movie genre. The title 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded, which interestingly enough is a sequel to a movie starring John Cena, was a straight to DVD release that received mixed reviews. Somewhat deviating from his role as the WWE villain, Orton portrays the heroic cop forced to overcome a madman’s obstacles.
Apart from his lone starring role, Orton has also acted alongside Ed Harris and Molly Parker in the minor role of Ed Freel in the movie That’s What I Am. The film hovers around 60% on Rotten Tomatoes and only saw a limited theater release.
8. Orton’s Past Has Provided Unforeseen Hurdles
Randy Orton is a former marine, though it’s probably an experience he’d like to forget. Orton received a bad conduct discharge for going AWOL – twice. He was also cited for disobeying orders. This later came back to bite him as he continued his efforts to expand his acting repertoire.
An opportunity to star in Marine 3 presented itself when Bob Holly was unable to take the leading role. Orton was slated to take the gig, until his old marine unit became outraged at the notion. Casting a discharged marine in a marine movie was largely seen as disrespectful, and thus Mike Mizanin received the leading role instead.
Orton has gone so far as to remove his marine-themed tattoos as a form of recompense, but for many this falls far short of wiping clean the stain of his deviant military past.
7. He Has a Knack for Slapping People
Throughout his career Randy Orton has earned several nicknames and monikers. Perhaps the one that sticks out the most is the one he earned early in his pro career: “legend killer”. Orton portrayed this outward, unyielding persona that had no room for respect. Thus, he feuded with many big names in the WWE community, showing them none of the respect they deserved. His preferred method of insult: slapping.
Orton famously slapped the very popular Undertaker before their match in WrestleMania 21 (which Orton would go on to lose). Then in 2009, Orton slapped WWE CEO Vince McMahon during a scripted event before McMahon could utter the words “you’re fired.”Orton then proceeded to face-punt the man, earning the ire of his daughter Stephanie McMahon, who gave him a taste of his own slap medicine later on.
6. Orton’s Signature Move Is Named After…His Signature
WWE wrestlers are essentially superheroes. They’re characters that need to put forth a brand of some sort, and one way of doing just that is by developing signature moves. Nearly every professional wrestler boasts a move that they can call their own; it’s their own unique super power.
Randy Orton developed the RKO during his time as “The Legend Killer.” It’s a devastating jumping cutter used to finish off opponents or counter wrestlers mid-air. It’s proven so popular that oftentimes throughout an Orton match the stands will break out in “RKO” chants. Interestingly enough, the name for Orton’s finisher wasn’t something he deliberated long upon. Pressed for time, he dubbed it the RKO after his initials, and thus a simple, yet narcissistic name was borne. Vintage Randy Orton.
5. Randy Orton was a Referee
After his discharge from the marines, Orton’s eyes turned toward the family business. Still, as a newcomer you have to learn the ropes one way or another. So, Orton began refereeing for World Organized Wrestling. It was his first time inside the ring for a big name wrestling operation, and something interesting to look back upon considering his lengthy WWE career to date.
His refereeing days turned out to be short lived; Orton signed a contract with WWE mere months after donning the striped uniform. These days, Orton prefers ignoring the rules of the ring rather than enforcing them.
4. Randy Orton Once Won the WWE Title Twice In the Same Night
It’s a seemingly impossible feat, certainly one to which no one else can lay claim. But it’s true. When John Cena tore his pectoral muscle in 2007, Vince McMahon gave Orton the vacant championship spot. Orton was immediately required to defend the title, however, as Triple H challenged him for the belt.
Orton would lose the challenge, but find his revenge mere hours later in a last man standing match during the night’s main event. Exhausted, both Triple H and Orton duked it out once more in an epic battle that ended with Orton regaining his belt in violent RKO fashion, thus giving him the same belt twice in the same night.
3. He’s Been Linked To Drugs And Steroids
During the 2007 calendar year, Sports Illustrated magazine ran a continuing series investigating steroid use throughout the realm of sports. In March, they ran an article accusing several WWE wrestlers of obtaining performance enhancing substances. Orton’s name was included in the list.
The WWE responded by asserting those allegations came before their Talent Wellness program, a program designed to maintain the health of WWE superstars and ensure the integrity of the league. Orton has since cleaned up his act as far as steroids are concerned, enough to be dubbed “the face of WWE,” though other marijuana related issues have cropped up from time to time as well.
2. Orton Has an Infamous Temper
Orton’s temper has flared up from time to time (as is evident in #4 of our list). In fact, the WWE began pushing a storyline immediately following the Vince McMahon beating in which Orton was diagnosed with “intermittent explosive disorder.” This was to further push his character as the intimidating villain. Though surely scripted, the WWE tapped into something actually rather believable, as Orton has shown a tendency towards letting his temper get the best of him.
Orton has been accused of mistreating WWE divas in the past, for example, including allegations of defecating into the gym bag of former diva Rochelle Loewen. There have also been documented instances of Orton’s temper flaring up in the ring. In the middle of a match with Kofi Kingston he was caught on camera yelling “Stupid!” in frustration because Kingston missed the cue for Orton’s finishing move.
1. Randy Orton Is a Viral Sensation
The Internet can be a strange, strange place. In 2014, Vine compilations began popping up everywhere in which Orton was superimposed over images and videos of people falling down. The results are some brutal (and hilarious) RKOs that you have to see to believe. The videos quickly went viral, as more and more WWE fans (and fans of humor) posted their own versions of Orton RKOs.
The trend grew so rapidly that even the official WWE website acknowledged it, pushing out their own version of the surprise Orton attack. Love him or hate him, these videos are surely worth a laugh.