|RANDY ORTON FEATURES|
Orton's legacy began in April 2002, when he debuted as a member of the SmackDown roster. As the son of "Cowboy" Bob
Orton, many predicted great success for the multi-generational wrestler. But the young competitor refused to rest on his
Hall of Fame bloodline. Instead, he used his undeniable in-ring talents and undeniable in-ring talents and unpredictably
explosive personality to emerge as one of WWE's rising stars.
It wasn't long before Orton's exploits caught the eye of Triple H. Recognizing Orton as the future of WWE, The Game
quickly took the up-and-comer under his wing and welcomed him into his Evolution faction, which also featured Ric
Flair and Batista.
As a member of Evolution, Orton became recognized as a legitimate threat to any championship. In December 2003, he
claimed his first title when he defeated Rob Van Dam for the Intercontinental Championship. Orton's reign proved to be
one of the longest un recent memory, lasting an amazing seven months.
By the summer of 2004, a young Orton had accomplished more in WWE than most Superstars can claim in an entire career.
Unbelievably, however, he was just scratching the surface. At SummerSlam in 2004, he permanently etched his name
alongside history's greatest when he captured the World Heavyweight Championship. At just 24 years of age, Orton was the
youngest to ever hold the gold.
Swelling with confidence, Orton planned to follow up his title reign with something no other Superstar had ever accomplished:
Defeat Undertaker at WrestleMania. Ultimately, Undertaker's undefeated streak proved unconquerable. But that didn't
stop Orton from topping the "Deadman" in subsequent contests, including a No Mercy Casket Match. When it was all
said and done, the rivalry between Orton and Undertaker emerged as one of the decade's greatest.
By the fall of 2007, John Cena was enjoying a seemingly untouchable WWE Championship reign. But following a grueling
match against Mr. Kennedy, an unsuspecting Cena was brutally attacked by Orton. Like a viper, the sly Superstar slithered
toward Cena and delivered a merciless RKO that put the champ on the shelf for several months and ended his year-long
Mr. McMahon awarded the vacated WWE Championship to Orton at No Mercy. His reign, however, lasted a mere
minutes. Shortly after being named champ, The Viper lost the gold to former ally Triple H. Later that same night, Orton
made history when he defeated "The Game" to reclaim the title.
The No Mercy battles helped rekindle one of the most emotionally-charged rivalries in recent history. Over the
next few years, Orton and Triple H continued to go to war over the WWE Championship, including main event matches at
WrestleMania XXIV and WrestleMania XXV.
In late 2008, Orton forged a partnership with fellow multi-generational WWE Superstars Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase.
Collectively known as Legacy, the Orton-led alliance ran roughshod over WWE, picking up wins over Triple H, Batista and
Shane McMahon, among others.
Part of the secret to Legacy's success was Rhodes and DiBiase's willingness to sacrifice themselves for Orton's greater
good. But when the young duo's interference became more of a hindrance to Orton, Legacy began to crumble. In the end,
Orton proved his superiority over his former allies, defeating them in a Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania XXVI.
On his own, Orton continued to shine as one of WWE's brightest stars. He pinned Sheamus to claim his sixth WWE Championship
in September 2010. And later, he defeated CM Punk at WrestleMania XXVII, but not before punting nearly every
member of Punk's Nexus to the sidelines.
Orton was drafted from Raw to SmackDown in April 2011. The change in scenery did little to slow his
amazing momentum. Within days of the move, The Viper defeated Christian to capture his second World Heavyweight Championship.
A few months later, he topped Christian again for the same title, proving that the WWE Universe is living in the Age of