Randy Orton is one of the SmackDown Live brand’s top heels at the moment. But there have been recent allegations that “The Viper” may have been taking his villainous act outside the ring, as a Jonesboro, Arkansas fan claims to have been verbally abused by Orton after he and his friends spotted the WWE Superstar at a local gym. But if one were to ask Randy, it was the fan who may have been rude to begin with.
This isn’t the first time Randy Orton has been accused of being rude or confrontational to members of the WWE Universe. In 2012, Wrestling News Source reported that Orton had given the middle finger to fans at the Night of Champions pay-per-view after repeatedly being harassed by an audience member. Three years later, Randy “berated” fans for mobbing him and his fellow WWE Superstars at an airport after a long flight back to the U.S. from Europe. At that time, PWInsider took Orton’s side, opining that it’s not a very good idea to pester wrestlers for autographs after an 18-hour flight.
Yet another Randy Orton fan altercation allegedly took place earlier this week, as northeast Arkansas-based news publication NEA Report related the story of Anthony Martin, a longtime pro wrestling fan who grew up idolizing Sting in the 1990s, and now works as an assistant branch manager at a Jonesboro bank. On Monday, Anthony and some friends were at the Trim Gym in Jonesboro, when they noticed that Orton was in the premises. When interviewed by NEA Report, Martin said that he had approached Orton and asked to take a picture with the WWE Superstar, and was acknowledged at first, but not in the way he expected.
“I approached him by myself and said, ‘Can I get a picture of you?’ He gave me a fist bump and replied, ‘Sorry. I can’t hear you,’ pointing to his ear phones. We went our separate ways.”
Thinking everything was still alright, Martin stepped aside and took a photo of Orton from across the gym. This supposedly infuriated Randy, who approached Anthony and let loose with an expletive-filled rant, rebuking the fan for taking photos.
“He saw me snap the picture and came up to me got in my face and said, ‘What the f— are you doing? I said no g—— pictures! Are you f—ing stupid?’ I said, ‘No. You said you couldn’t hear me.’”
Martin’s story was corroborated by his friend Cody Halstead, who told NEA Report that he stood close to Anthony in case things would further escalate. In the end, Randy Orton reportedly gave up and told Martin to keep the picture, despite his offer to delete it out of respect.
“I dropped my weights and turned to him and said, ‘There’s no need for language like that,’” related Halstead. “Anthony explained himself and (Orton) said, ‘Enjoy your workout.’”
The NEA Report concluded its article by quoting Anthony Martin as saying he “never liked” Randy Orton to begin with, and pointing out the example of Orton’s fellow SmackDown Live talent John Cena, who was reportedly happy to pose with fans in photos and “(make) many smile along the way.” But WrestleZone cited one of its readers, Paul Deford, who claims Orton was, contrary to what Martin and Halstead had alleged, in a good mood, and went as far as taking a photo with him, which WrestleZone shared in its report on the matter.
Apparently I hurt a fans feelings when I told him to F off at the gym yesterday. That's news? Been happening for 15 years. #getalife— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) January 18, 2017
Meanwhile, Randy Orton took to Twitter to react to the issue, defending his actions at Jonesboro and hinting that Anthony Martin had “nothing to say” when he approached “The Viper.” Orton also retweeted a post from former WWE Superstar Lance Storm, who screen-captured a lengthy Facebook post of his and suggested that the Jonesboro fans may have failed to follow proper gym etiquette, hence Orton supposedly reacting the way he did.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]