Known as “The Viper” and the “Apex Predator,” Randy Orton has created a career of catching his foes with an RKO out of nowhere. Sometimes, as viewers recently saw on SmackDown Live, he can even strike his teammates with the same move, embodying the characteristics of a snake. Before their No. 1 contenders match, Orton teamed with Shinsuke Nakamura to defeat Jinder Mahal and Rusev. Shortly after the two celebrated, Orton hit Nakamura with an RKO, further solidifying Jake Roberts’ old adage to “never trust a snake.”
Over the years, Orton has flipped on many occasions from babyface to heel, and back. Within the past year, Orton was a babyface feuding with Bray Wyatt, and ended up turning heel to join the Wyatt Family and eventually win the SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships. Orton would then turn babyface again by betraying Wyatt, which led to a match – and subsequent victory – at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, Florida.
Over the past few months, Orton has been spending most of his time feuding with Jinder Mahal and Rusev. While he still gets a strong amount of cheers from the fans, Orton admitted on the E&C Pod of Awesomeness podcast that he is in desperate want of a change. During the conversation between Edge, Christian, and Orton talking about how tough it is to maintain a certain physique as they get older, Orton started talking about how people like Wyatt and Kevin Owens can be “fat,” but can get away with it because they are heels and wear T-shirts.
Although other names like Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch were over with the fans despite their shape, Orton stated that he made the mistake of starting his career wearing trucks and not a singlet. As a result, he has to maintain his shape, although it gets very hard at times.
Interestingly, he then stated that he is ready to become a heel again sooner than later, and that he is “sick of this babyface thing.”
Starting out as a babyface, Orton spent most of his time trying to gain the acceptance of the fans due to being a third generation competitor. While he gained a decent level of support, there was still something that was seemingly missing about his character. This is when he returned from injury with his Randy News Network segment, acting more like a smug character. This helped gain some separation as a character from his father and grandfather, but he still did not show strong elements of being a main event star.
What really turned the corner for Orton’s career is when he joined Evolution in 2003. This alliance allowed Orton to hone in heelish characteristics, and become a top player in the WWE. He also gained his first title while in Evolution, when he defeated Rob Van Dam for the Intercontinental Championship at the Armageddon pay-per-view. Orton later donned a “Legend Killer” gimmick, feuding with current WWE Hall of Famers Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley.
Orton’s position in Evolution also made him the youngest person to ever hold the World Heavyweight Championship, as he won it during the 2004 SummerSlam pay-per-view at the age of 24. Orton then consistently remained in the world championship picture, and spent the next 13 years cementing a Hall of Fame-worthy career.
[Featured Image by WWE]