Randy Orton was born on April 1, 1980 in Nashville, Tennessee. Born as Randal Keith Orton, he is the eldest child of Bob and Elaine Orton Jr. He has a younger brother Nathan and sister Becky. Since his childhood, he wanted to be a wrestler like his grandfather Bob Orton, Sr and father Cowboy Bob Orton. The family shifted to St. Louis, Missouri where he grew up and went to school. Orton graduated from High School (Hazelwood Central) in 1998 and went into the United States Marine Corps. He stayed there for a year but was dishonorably discharged after going AWOL on two occasions and disobeying an order from a commanding officer. By the Uniform Code of Military Justice - Private First-Class, he was court-martialed and put into a military prison for 38 days.
In 2000, Orton made his wrestling debut at the Mid-Missouri Wrestling Association - Southern Illinois Conference Wrestling (MMWA-SICW) in St. Louis, Missouri. Orton signed a deal with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2001 and was sent to their farm territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in Louisville, Kentucky. In the same year, he won the OVW Hardcore Championship by defeating Mr. Black and Flash Flanagan.
Orton's first televised WWE match was against Hardcore Holly on April 25, 2002, and soon he became a fan favorite. He proclaimed himself as The Legend Killer and boasted of himself as the future of professional wrestling. Orton defeated Shawn Michaels at Unforgiven with the help of his stablemate and mentor Ric Flair. During this time, he started using the move that became his signature finisher - the RKO, a jumping cutter named after his initials. On December 14, 2003, Orton defeated Rob Van Dam for the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Armageddon and started the longest Intercontinental title reign in seven years, holding the title for seven months.
At WrestlerMania21, the heavily hyped match between Orton and The Undertaker was unsuccessful venture for him as he lost despite his father's interference. He rekindled his feud with The Undertaker, and Orton defeated him at Summerslam. After two months, Randy and his father Bob Orton defeated The Undertaker in a Handicap Casket match. The feud finally settled when The Undertaker beat both the Ortons in a Hell in a Cell match, and with this their nine-month-long battle ended.
After the formation of the newly reformed D-Generation X (DX) team, which had Triple H and Shawn Michaels, Edge approached Orton and asked him to join the forces to defeat the DX team. Together, they formed a team named Rated-RKO and defeated DX. At the Royal Rumble, he defeated Jeff Hardy to hold the WWE Championship and defeated Cena and Triple H in a Triple Threat match. He lost the title to Triple H in Fatal Four-Way Elimination and a Last Man Standing match. On January 25, 2009, Orton won the 2009 Royal Rumble against Triple H, but later in March he lost the WWE title to him at WrestleMania XXV. With Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, he won the title again at Backlash in a six-man tag team match against Triple H, Batista, and Shane McMahon.
Controversies and Personal Life
Orton was accused of harassing WWE employees Amy Weber and Rochelle Loewen, and vandalizing their possessions. He was alleged to have obtained clomiphene citrate, steroids, nandrolone and testosterone, according to Sports Illustrated website.
In November 2005, he announced his engagement to his girlfriend Samantha Speno and on September 21, 2007 they got married. On July 12, 2008, they were blessed with a daughter and named her Alanna Marie Orton. Orton suffers from hypermobile shoulders and broke his collarbone in a Last Man Standing match at One Night Stand against Triple H.
Throughout his wrestling career, he has won many championships like:
- Ohio Valley Wrestling Hardcore Championship
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (2007)
- PWI Most Improved Wrestler of the Year (2004)
- PWI Rookie of the Year (2001)
- PWI ranked him #1 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 (2008)
- World Heavyweight Championship
- World Tag Team Championship
- WWE Championship (3 times)
- WWE Intercontinental Championship
- Royal Rumble (2009)
Being the third-generation pro-wrestler from the Orton family and popular for his signature finishing move, the RKO, Randy Orton won the WWE Raw Title at the age of 24, and became the youngest World Champion in the history of wrestling.