It's hard to imagine WWE without the legacy of Randy Orton. One of the most accomplished wrestlers of all time, Orton has carved a niche as one of the most versatile performers of the business, be it babyface or a vicious villain. A 15-year veteran of the industry, Orton is still at the prime of his in-ring career at the age of 38.
Let's first analyse the initial runs of "The Viper." After a brief stint with Evolution (HHH, Ric Flair, and Batista), Orton's singles career commenced with him proclaiming to be the "Legend Killer," a young cocky heel who touted himself to be the undisputed future of the company. With victims in Rob Van Dam, Mick Foley, and Harley Race among others, Randy was climbing the ladder to become the top dog of WWE. His nine-month-long feud with Undertaker is still etched in the minds of countless fans who saw the progression of Orton from a mid-carder to a bonafide main event superstar.
After becoming the youngest world champion in history at 24 and headlining multiple PPVs, Orton soon became a household name among wrestling fans. Along with Edge, the duo formed "Rated RKO" and won tag-team titles which further cemented Orton's position as one of the most sought-after performers of the business. A couple more alliances (like Legacy and Authority) and feuds lead to more title reigns which kept on increasing his value in the company and made him a genuine top superstar.
In his recent years, his babyface stint has been arguably the most forgettable and unappealing Randy Orton in history. With no concrete creative input and storylines, Orton's face value kept on falling and hit rock bottom when he missed a few pay-per-views due to lack of booking.
Fortunately, it looks like WWE has finally listened to the fans' appeal and turned Orton heel again. His latest promo is the testament to the fact that "The Apex Predator" can do wonders if booked to his potential as the vicious heel that he is. With all said and done, It's safe to say that Orton is in his elements while portraying an obnoxious heel gimmick.
His current feud against Jeff Hardy is quite similar to "The Legend Killer," but a couple more tweaks in his character can take him back to his prominent time when he was notably cheered as a villain, an accomplishment only a few could manage to pull off.
Orton's career is not just limited to championship victories. Feuds against John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Seth Rollins have brought out the best of him and have elevated him as the veteran who is willing to put over young and upcoming stars. If WWE finally manages to bring the old gimmick back, there are a plethora of legends like Rhyno, Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle to name a few, who "The Legend Killer" can retire once and for all.
Just pull the trigger, WWE!
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