Major Championships held: WWE Championship (9 times), Intercontinental Championship, United States Championship, World Heavyweight Championship (4 times), World Tag Team Championship, SmackDown Live Tag Team Championship
Entrance Theme: Line in the Sand by Motorhead, Voices by Rev Theory, Burn in My Light by Mercy Drive
Randy Orton's History
Ever since the moment he decided to try his hand at professional wrestling, Randall Keith Orton was always destined for stardom. The son of WWE Hall of Famer "Cowboy" Bob Orton and grandson of Bob Orton Sr, the former WWE Champion was always guaranteed at least a developmental deal with the world's largest professional wrestling promotion.
After being discharged from the United States Marine Corps, Randy Orton made his professional wrestling debut in the year 2000 for the Mid-Missouri Wrestling Association-Southern Illinois Conference Wrestling promotion.
In 2001, Orton was signed by WWE and sent to the Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) developmental territory to complete his training. He was eventually called up to the main roster a year later as part of the now-legendary OVW Class of 2002, also comprising of John Cena, Batista and Brock Lesnar.
On April 25, 2002, the Viper defeated Hardcore Holly in his first televised WWE match on SmackDown. Orton was drafted to Raw in September 2002, defeating Stevie Richards on his flagship show debut. Within weeks, he suffered a shoulder injury which sidelined him for months.
During his rehab, Orton starred in a series of vignettes which helped transition him into a narcissistic, self-centred heel. When he was ready to return, the Missouri native joined the Evolution stable that also consisted of Ric Flair, Triple H and fellow OVW Class of 2002 member Batista.
The four Superstars were pushed as the focal point of Raw in 2003 and 2004, reaching their zenith at Armageddon 2003 when they held all of the men's titles on the flagship show. At WrestleMania 20, Orton, Flair and Batista defeated The Rock and Mick Foley in a handicap match.
However, Orton's rivalry with the Foley carried over to Backlash 2004 where the two men had a hardcore match with Evolution barred from ringside. Only this time the former ECW man was in his "Cactus Jack" persona.
After a hard-fought affair where he even took a bump in a pile of thumbtacks, the Legend Killer came out victorious on the back of a star-making performance. He then proceeded to defeat Chris Benoit at that year's Summerslam to capture the Big Gold Belt and become the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history.
Split from Evolution and various feuds
However, Triple H was loath to see his protege steal the spotlight from him and subsequently kicked the third-generation Superstar out of Evolution, effectively turning Orton babyface. The Viper didn't have a long run with the title, dropping it to Triple H at the next pay-per-view, Unforgiven.
After continuing to feud with his former comrades for the rest of 2004, Orton turned heel in 2005 and unsuccessfully attempted to end The Undertaker's streak at WrestleMania 21. He was subsequently drafted to SmackDown in order to resume his program with The Deadman for the rest of the year.
WWE Championship reigns and Legacy
Orton's next taste of silverware came at No Mercy 2007 when he defeated Triple H in a Last Man Standing match to win the WWE Championship.
The title had previously been declared vacant after John Cena was forced to relinquish it due to a pectoralis major muscle injury. Orton held until Backlash 2008 where he dropped the strap to Triple H in a 4-way elimination match also featuring Cena and JBL.
The Missouri native sustained a collarbone injury the next month and made a return in September of 2008, forming a stable with Ted Dibiase Jr and Cody Rhodes called Legacy. The trio began with feuding with the McMahon family in January 2009 and received a major push as Orton assaulted Vince and Stephanie McMahon.
The Viper even won the Royal Rumble that year but was unsuccessful in his attempt at winning the WWE title from Triple H at WrestleMania. However, Orton redeemed himself at the next pay-per-view, Backlash, by winning the title from his former mentor after an emphatic punt to the head.
He then traded the title with Batista and Cena before being relegated to the upper mid-card following a loss to Cena in an "I Quit" match. When WrestleMania 26 came around, Orton turned face for the first time since 2005 and defeated his former Legacy colleagues, Rhodes and DiBiase, in a 2-on-1 handicap match.
During that year, 2010, Orton won his sixth WWE title in a six-pack challenge at Night of Champions, defeating Sheamus, Wade Barrett, John Cena, Chris Jericho and Edge. He held onto the title until the November 22, 2010, episode of Raw when The Miz successfully cashed in Money in the Bank.
Orton then returned to the main event scene at Summerslam 2013 when he cashed in the Money in the Bank contract on Daniel Bryan to win the WWE Championship after an assist from Triple H.
As a member of the Authority, he walked into WrestleMania 30 with professional wrestling's most prestigious prize around his waist but ultimately lost the title to Daniel Bryan in a match also involving Batista.
A cornstone of SmackDown Live
In the 2016 WWE draft, The Viper was selected by SmackDown and became involved in a storyline with the Wyatt Family. It culminated in Orton successfully challenging the Eater of Worlds for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 33 after winning the Royal Rumble.
However, Orton's reign as titleholder wasn't very long as he dropped it to Jinder Mahal at Backlash 2017. He won the United States Championship at Fastlane on March 11, 2018, completing a career grand slam.