Hey Yo! It's The Wrestling Classic here with another list for ONE37pm. This month I wanted to focus on one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, Randy Orton. When I was a teenager, Randy started popping off and I gravitated to him quickly. "The Viper's" career in WWE has spanned over 22 years now. He has had a plethora of big-time matches and unforgettable rivalries, which inspired me to document it by listing and ranking the 20 best Randy Orton matches. Now keep in mind that I won’t be including Royal Rumble matches, Elimination Chamber bouts, or tag team affairs that featured the "Legend Killer." I know some of Orton’s highlight matches were during his numerous Chamber appearances, Evolution six-man tag team matches, and those legendary Survivor Series elimination tag matches but we’re going to focus on Orton as a singles competitor. Now let's get onto the list.
The 20 Best Randy Orton Matches, Ranked
20. Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena (c)
WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 2013 - 12/15/13 (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match to Unify the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
19. Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle (c)
WWE WrestleMania 22 - 04/05/09 (Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship)
In 2005, the wrestling world lost a true legend of the industry when Eddie Guerrero tragically passed away. In the months following Eddie’s passing, the WWE decided to give Rey Mysterio a push in the World Heavyweight Championship picture in tribute to Guerrero as they were close friends in real life. Mysterio would win the 2006 Royal Rumble for a World Title shot at WrestleMania 22. Kurt Angle was the champ at the time and Orton would get himself involved by constantly terrorizing Mysterio. Rumors say that the original plan for 'Mania 22 was Batista defending against Orton before Dave’s injury put him on the sideline. This match was short but sweet. It was balls-to-the-wall action from the moment the bell rang and never really slowed down. It’s a brief yet highly entertaining watch.
18. Randy Orton vs. Edge
WWE WrestleMania 36 - 04/05/20 (Last Man Standing Match)
Edge made his shocking return at the 2020 Royal Rumble after being forced into retirement due to a neck injury in 2011. An interaction that stood out to everybody was Edge’s and Randy Orton’s as they have a ton of history together. They were even a tag team at one point called Rated RKO. Their past alliance was put to the wayside when Orton was eliminated by Edge during that Royal Rumble. The following night Orton teased a Rated RKO reunion, only to turn on Edge by planting him with an RKO, thus turning heel and starting a bitter rivalry between the two.
The first match in their feud went down at WrestleMania 36 in a Last Man Standing Match. However, by the time 'Mania 36 came around, the entire world was in the middle of a crisis due to a global pandemic. Even still, Orton and Edge ended up having this match in the WWE's Performance Center. Both men brutalized each other throughout the entire building and gave the fans watching at home a tour of the state-of-the-art training facility via a lengthy & violent affair.
17. Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre (c)
WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 - 10/25/20 (Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Championship)
In the Summer of 2020, Orton got into a heated rivalry with the WWE Champion Drew McIntyre. McIntyre retained his title after locking horns with Orton during two previous matches before this one. McIntyre initially defeated Orton at SummerSlam 2020 and then again at Clash of the Champions 2020 in an Ambulance Match. For their final encounter, Orton went on to challenge McIntyre to one more match but this time in the Hell in a Cell. This third meeting between the two brutes also transpired during the global pandemic, which meant it took place in the infamous "Thunderdome."
Both men took advantage of the fact they could get creative with their special stipulation match. In one memorable moment, Orton jumped McIntyre early on by dressing like a cameraman. They would also fight on top of the cell, which became a rarity in the modern era of WWE. To the shock of everyone, Orton picked up the unexpected victory in this hard-fought match and became a 14-time World Champion. This result tied him with Triple H for the second most amount of reigns as World Champion in WWE history
16. Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns
WWE SummerSlam 2014 - 08/17/14
15. Randy Orton (c) vs. Shawn Michaels
WWE Survivor Series - 11/18/07 (WWE Championship)
In 2007, Orton re-entered the WWE Championship picture in a major way. Orton won the title at that year's No Mercy by besting Triple H during a Last Man Standing Match. At Cyber Sunday 2007, the fans voted in droves for a returning Shawn Michaels to be Orton’s opponent, thereby reigniting their feud. Orton spent most of the end of 2006 and early 2007 feuding with "HBK" and DX (which includes Shawn's best bud Triple H) alongside his partner Edge in Rated RKO. At the 2007 Survivor Series, they wrestled each other once again but with a couple of specific stipulations attached to it. If Orton was disqualified, he would lose the title. If HBK used his Sweet Chin Music finisher, he would lose the match. Michaels and Orton always had amazing chemistry with each other, but the stipulations featured here added a different level of drama to the match.
14. Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
WWE WrestleMania 31 - 03/29/15
Orton was designated as the "Chosen One" by The Authority, which was a stable run by HHH and Stephanie McMahon since the Summer of 2013. The Shield were used as bodyguards and muscle for the group for months. After some time though, The Shield turned babyface and left The Authority in 2014, which led to a couple of great matches between The Shield and the reformed stable of Evolution. In a jaw-dropping moment, Seth Rollins then turns on his Shield brethren by aligning with The Authority once again.
In early 2015, Orton turned babyface after getting fed up with the way Rollins was being groomed as the next Chosen One and being overly protected by the group. At WrestleMania 31, fans were treated to this match pitting the former stable's golden goose against the next Authority superstar on the rise. This was Rollins's first singles match at 'Mania and to the surprise of no one, Orton gave him a solid match. The RKO during the finish coming off of a Curb Stomp attempt truly came out of nowhere and was unforgettable.
13. Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
WWE Extreme Rules 2011 - 05/01/11 (Last Man Standing Match)
12. Randy Orton (c) vs. Christian
WWE Over the Limit 2011 - 05/22/11 (World Heavyweight Championship)
Orton was really in his bag in 2011 in terms of having great matches. One of the most unexpected moments of that year occurred when Christian became the World Heavyweight Champion. After that major milestone in Christian's career came to pass, he went on to become one of Orton’s greatest dance partners in the squared circle. Both men complimented each other so well - Christian was one of the most notable superstars who brought the best out of Orton.
Christian had just won the World Title from Alberto Del Rio at Extreme Rules 2011 but five days later, he shockingly lost the strap to Orton (who had just been drafted to SmackDown, I might add). Christian immediately invoked his rematch clause against Orton for a title match at Over the Limit 2011. This championship affair was highly competitive and showed just the sort of magic these two could create in the ring together. "The Viper" retained the championship, but things were just getting started between the two.
11. Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker
WWE Armageddon 2005 - 12/18/05 (Hell in a Cell Match)
In early 2005, Orton made it his central goal to end The Undertaker’s Streak at WrestleMania 21. He failed at his first attempt and that seemed to be the end of that plan...that is until Orton was drafted to SmackDown later in the year. The first thing Orton did upon his arrival to the "Blue Brand" was cost 'Taker a match by hitting him with an RKO. Both men went on to face each other again at SummerSlam 2005, which resulted in Orton picking up the victory with the help of his father "Cowboy" Bob Orton.
Two months later at No Mercy 2005, Orton and his father defeated 'Taker in a Handicap Casket Match in which they set the coffin the "Deadman" was confined in on fire. 'Taker made his epic return at the end of the 2005 Survivor Series by emerging from a flaming casket. Soon after, Orton and 'Taker brought their storied rivalry to a satisfying close in a Hell in a Cell Match at Armageddon 2005. This special stipulation grudge match was a bloody and violent brawl that Orton came out on the losing end of. This match marked the perfect end to their legendary nine-month feud.
10. Randy Orton (c) vs. Edge
WWE Vengeance 2004 - 07/11/04 (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Orton had quite the historic WWE Intercontinental Championship reign. That reign kicked off when he defeated Rob Van Dam for the title at Armageddon 2003. Orton went on to hold the title for 210 days, which was the longest anyone had held the IC Championship in the prior seven years. The Legend Killer was on a roll with successful defenses until he rand into Edge at Vengeance 2004. Edge returned to the WWE in March 2004 after having neck surgery and being out of action since February 2003. This match was a cool throwback to what the IC Championship stood for as two of WWE’s young workhorses and potential future World Champions put on a competitive back-and-forth affair. These two greats tried to out-wrestle each other for nearly 30 minutes until Edge picked up the big win and the IC Championship in the process.
9. Randy Orton vs. Triple H (c)
WWE No Mercy 2007 - 11/07/07 (Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship)
HHH and Orton have quite a storied history. Orton was handpicked by Hunter alongside Batista to be part of his Evolution faction where "The Game" and Ric Flair mentored the young rookies. Orton was the chosen one considered to be the diamond in the rough of the group who would eventually take HHH's spot at the top of the WWE ladder. After claiming the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam 2004, HHH would then turn on Orton when that day came sooner than he expected - that betrayal became an important moment in Orton’s character arc for the years that followed.
Both men have fought each other a ton of times throughout Orton’s illustrious career, with some matches being good and others not so much. However, I think their match at No Mercy 2007 might be their greatest effort. At the start of the PPV, Orton was awarded the WWE Championship by Mr. McMahon after it was announced that John Cena was injured. HHH would proceed to beat Orton for the title just a few moments after this championship coronation went down. At the end of the show, both men had a rematch in the main event and it was set up as a Last Man Standing Match. Both guys really pulled out all the stops to try to beat each other but in the end, Orton regained the title.
8. Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Edge vs. John Cena (c)
WWE Backlash 2007 - 04/29/07 (Fatal Four-Way Match for the WWE Championship)
As I mentioned before, Orton spent most of the end half of 2006 feuding with DX during his tenure as a member of Rated RKO with Edge. As 2007 came around, HHH got injured and HBK eventually moved on into a feud with John Cena for the WWE Championship. In the end, Cena beat Michaels at WrestleMania 23 to retain his title. Rated RKO however was still intertwined with the Michaels and Cena rivalry throughout early 2007. This would all come to a head at Backlash 2007 when Cena went on to defend his title against Michaels, Edge, and Orton. This match ended up being one of the better Fatal Four-Way Matches I have ever seen in terms of pacing and storytelling. This one's a banger in every sense of the word.
7. Randy Orton vs. Edge
WWE Backlash 2020 - 06/14/20
There was a lot of pressure put on Orton and Orton’s second go-round in 2020 as it was dubbed the "Greatest Wrestling Match Ever." Their hardcore clash at WrestleMania 36 saw Edge emerge as the victor. Orton pointed out that the better man won, but wasn’t sure if the better wrestler won. Considering their last match was held under a special stipulation, Orton challenged Edge to a traditional wrestling match with no bells or whistles attached to it whatsoever. To no one's surprise, Edge accepted.
Both Superstars made the best out of the exaggerated tagline and the fact it was held in front of no fans due to the global pandemic at the time. What's even crazier about this match is that Orton and Edge wrestled for an hour! There were some fun moments where both men stole each other's finishers and paid homage to WWF/E legends. In the end, Orton came out on top by connecting with a low blow and following that move up by landing his infamous Punt Kick (which he hadn’t successfully used in a match for some years up until this point, I might add).
6. Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena
WWE Breaking Point 2009 - 09/13/09 (I Quit Match for the WWE Championship)
If you were like me and Cena wasn’t your cup of tea during his run, then Orton probably was. The two of them seemed to go out of their way to one-up the other going back to their days coming up in Ohio Valley Wrestling. While Orton was pegged by many as the next big breakout Superstar, Cena grabbed the top spot thanks to his dedication to the company and his willingness to "Never Give Up." With all that being said, it was destined for them to become rivals. Although they have had many solid matches against each other, none of them stand out as much as their match from Breaking Point 2009.
Orton and Cena were yet again engulfed in a bitter rivalry that year. Orton defeated Cena at SummerSlam 2009 to retain his WWE Championship by using multiple underhanded tactics. Therefore at Breaking Point 2009, both men were put in an I Quit match where Orton would be stripped of the title if anyone interfered on his behalf. That match ended up being pretty damned good as both men two constantly tried to outsmart each other and even use handcuffs to gain the upper hand. Cena won this match, but the feud would go on for another two PPVs, which included a Hell in a Cell Match and an Iron Man Match.
5. Randy Orton vs. Chris Benoit (c)
WWE SummerSlam 2004 - 08/15/04 (World Heavyweight Championship)
Orton spent most of his time as a part of Evolution killing legends with RKO's - that run did a great job of helping him live up to his Legend Killer moniker, building his resume, and doing whatever it took to keep the World Heavyweight Championship around HHH's waist. However, in the Summer of 2004, Orton won the opportunity to challenge for the World Title against the then-champion Chris Benoit at SummerSlam 2004 in Toronto after winning a Battle Royal. Both men went on to have a solid match where Benoit had the home team advantage, but Orton was able to catch Benoit with an RKO after countering a Crippler Crossface attempt to nab the win. Because of that result, Orton became the youngest person to win the World Heavyweight Championship at just 24 years old. Benoit even returned to the ring to tell Orton to be a man and shake his hand after the match, which Orton thankfully did. This title win marked the first of Orton's 14 reigns while on top.
4. Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker
WWE WrestleMania 21 - 04/03/05
3. Randy Orton (c) vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan
WWE WrestleMania XXX - 04/06/14 (Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
The plan for WrestleMania XXX was a long-overdue matchup between Orton and Batista for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The massive main event that was originally planned to happen at 'Mania 22 was finally going to happen. Around this time, Orton evolved into a more seasoned veteran and Batista was now known worldwide as a big Hollywood star. That being said, the popularity of Daniel Bryan simply couldn't be denied. The "Yes! Movement" was at its peak during this period and the WWE fanbase let it be known that they wanted to see Bryan involved in the main event.
Due to an abundance of moving pieces, controversies, and WWE doing their best to ignore the fans (and eventually succumbing to their passionate pleas!), Bryan got added to this main event with the stipulation that he had to overcome HHH earlier in the night (WHICH HE DID!). This Triple Threat Match produced a banger that saw Orton and Batista double-team Bryan to try and eliminate him from the match. Although Orton walked in as the champion, it would be Bryan who walked out with both of his title belts in hand.
2. Randy Orton vs. Christian (c)
WWE SummerSlam 2011 - 08/14/11 (No Holds Barred Match for the World Heavyweight Championship)
1. Randy Orton vs. Cactus Jack
WWE Backlash 2004 - 04/18/04 (Hardcore Match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Mick Foley has done a great job time and time again by taking a wrestler who might be considered a pretty boy or unproven talent and allowing them to prove themselves as a legitimate Superstar. Before Orton, Foley worked his magic with the likes of HBK, The Rock, and HHH. In 2004, it was Orton’s turn. The rivalry between the grizzled "Hardcore Legend" and the young arrogant Legend Killer began in late 2003 and carried over into 2004. At WrestleMania XX, Foley reunited with his Rock N Sock Connection partner The Rock to face off against Evolution’s Orton, Flair, and Batista. A month later, Foley challenged Orton for a WWE Intercontinental Championship title shot but within his comfort zone by having a Hardcore Match where Evolution would be banned from ringside. Orton reluctantly agreed.
Foley blew everyone's minds by showing up as Cactus Jack and taking Orton to his realm of "extreme." From barbed wire to thumbtacks, Foley made Orton earn his victory due to his high tolerance for pain and handing out a beating that he'd never experienced before at this time. Orton emerged as the winner here after planting an RKO to Foley on top of a barbed wire bat. This was the match where we saw Orton take a lot of his first series of dangerous bumps. This brutal performance solidified Orton as a badass by showcasing his high pain tolerance but was also the first time we saw signs of just how sadistic Orton could be in his own right.
I hope you all enjoyed this list of the 20 best Randy Orton matches. Tell me if you disagree and let me know what you think over social media. Ya dig? Oooh Yeah!
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