Randy Orton was born a WWE Superstar.
From the moment he was hatched, The Viper walked among the ring’s most revered figures, even calling one of them “dad.” His father is WWE Hall of Famer “Cowboy” Bob Orton, his uncle Barry “Barry O” Orton and his grandfather, the late “The Big O,” Bob Orton Sr., all among the most fierce and rugged grapplers of their generations.
Most kids remember their first ballgame or school play; Orton’s childhood memories include sitting in the kitchen of his family’s St. Louis home with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and repairing a broken banister leaned on by Andre the Giant. He wasn’t even 5 years old when he watched his father knock out “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff in the main event at the inaugural WrestleMania.
Early after he arrived in WWE, Triple H and Ric Flair groomed him, welcoming him into their elite faction, Evolution. Under their tutelage, the 24-year-old Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion and he only kept going from there. Not only did Orton cement himself as a “Legend Killer” by dispatching WWE’s most decorated in-ring veterans, he became the centerpiece of two more factions, Legacy and The Authority, all en route to unifying the WWE and World Heavyweight Titles to become the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion in history.
Which isn’t to say Orton is content with being known as a team player. You don’t get a name like The Apex Predator for being friendly, and Orton certainly does not play well with others. Friend and foe alike have felt the sting of his RKO or the boom of his dreaded punt, and well into his second decade as a WWE Superstar, there’s no telling who comes next. That’s what you get with Randy Orton: Safety is never guaranteed, alliances are made to be broken, and destruction can come from out of nowhere.