Randy Orton is one of the top wrestlers in the WWE today. The son of a WWE Legend and headliner of the original Wrestlemania, “Cowboy” Bob Orton, Randy has managed to climb to the top of the ladder in the industry (quite literally so as the 2013 Money in the Bank winner!) and his signature finisher, the RKO, has become somewhat of an internet phenomenon.
Orton has been an official part of the WWE since 2002 and has managed to garner 15 championships in that time, while headlining multiple Wrestlemania events. He has helped build factions from Evolution and The Legacy to The Authority, and now the Wyatt Family. He has been known as “The Legend Killer”, “The Viper”, “The Apex Predator” and “The Face of the WWE”.
The WWE Superstars may be celebrities to some, but they are very much real people , with their positive attributes and their glaring flaws. There was a time not so long ago that these flaws would only add to the on-screen personas, but in the modern PG-era of family entertainment, the WWE tends to frown on indiscretions from their Superstars. Here we have collected eight pictures that the WWE would rather just fall off the face of the Earth and seven that they could easily post to their own social media accounts. Image is everything when it comes to telling a story in the ring and no one is more concerned about the image of their Superstars than the WWE.
15. WWE Doesn’t Want You To See: Baring His Naked Bum!
The fan favorite “Attitude Era” of the 1990s was a result of the Monday Night Wars with rival company WCW and it was full of sexual innuendo and potential nude slips. That was what the audience at the time was hungry for. It was the era of Jerry Springer and “too hot for TV” programming.
These days the WWE is a PG family-friendly company and those sorts of things are a big no-no. Orton has had a number of wardrobe malfunctions over the years, mostly at house shows. He doesn’t appear to be shy when it comes to showing off his rear. His backside has become so popular with some fans that it even has it’s own Twitter account!
14. WWE Wants You To See: Randy Supporting The Marines
Orton may have been dishonorably discharged from the Marine Corps, making the discussion of his time there taboo with WWE, but any chance for a smiling picture with the United States armed forces is “what’s best for business.”
Orton, never one to miss out on a chance for sarcasm and a jab at the online smarks, accompanied his Tweet of this picture with the comment “I support the United States Marine Corps. Who woulda thought?”. It was way back in 1999 that Randy Orton was given the boot from the Marines, at the young age of 19, for going AWOL and disobeying a commanding officer. The entire WWE roster, including Orton, has shown nothing but support and respect for the armed forces after the tragic events of September 11th.
13.WWE Doesn’t Want You To See: Young, Without Sleeve Tattoos
Young Randy Orton is certainly a muscular fellow, but he’s missing a major element of his Viper character…those snazzy tattoo sleeves. His arms are bare and images like this remind fans that the Viper wasn’t always hearing voices in his head, but he was taking douchey flexing pictures. C.M. Punk brought attention to the fabrication that came along with Orton’s tattoos when he did his infamous shoot on his time in the WWE on Colt Cabanna’s podcast.
Punk was going to be on the “L.A. Ink” television show getting a new tattoo, but instead the WWE had Orton replace him and get his now infamous sleeves done. Randy has had tattoos for awhile, but it wasn’t on the same level as Punk’s all-over ink. Instead, Orton was rocking a few of those post-millennium tribal tats on his arms when he debuted in the WWE.
12. WWE Wants You To See: Granting Wishes!
The WWE has been a long-time supporter of Make-A-Wish, granting terminally ill children everything from meet and greets with their Superstars to event tickets and free swag. The Make-A-Wish organization has granted over 270,000 wishes and John Cena has granted over 500 of those alone. Orton has also granted dozens–possibly hundreds–of wishes for eager young fans and there’s nothing more touching or positive for the company image than compassionate contributions to the community.
This is one of those rare times that the WWE supports their roster breaking kayfabe all together. Although if you watch WWE programming, you might only be treated to footage of Cena spending time with Make-A-Wish kids, the truth is that the entire WWE roster participates in this wonderful program.
11. WWE Doesn’t Want You To See: The Indies – Looking Like Buff Bagwell
Vince McMahon is a stickler for image. He wants his wrestlers to appear as toned and tough as possible. He prides himself so much on his “creations” that he will rarely let a superstar keep the name they used outside of the WWE when they come in, even if they have the rights to do so. That’s why the often goofy pictures of a Superstar when they were working the independent promotions are ones that WWE would prefer to sweep under the rug.
This image of Orton working as a talent in OVW makes him look more like a Buff Bagwell impersonator than his WWE persona of “The Viper”. The WWE has only recently begun to acknowledge that there is a wrestling world outside of “the big leagues”, and even then they don’t name any promotions by name.
10. WWE Wants You To See: With the Wyatt Family
There are few things as difficult as selling the idea of a long established Superstar joining an already well-established group that he has nothing whatsoever to do with. That is, however, what the WWE has been doing by forcing Orton into the Wyatt Family. Orton himself had commented that he was considering changing his ring gear to fit into the look of the group better, but all he’s really done is wear his “RKO” hoodie.
Menacing pictures like this one help to sell and re-affirm the idea of Randy Orton as a brainwashed cult follower of Bray Wyatt. The fact that he just gave up the title shot that he won at the 2017 Royal Rumble on a recent episode of Smackdown Live, because he didn’t want to face Wyatt, also goes a long way to proving his loyalty to the cause and the big sell of this transition.
9. WWE Doesn’t Want You To See: Daddy Orton
Orton may be a top WWE Superstar, a movie star and an “Apex Predator”, but he is also a husband and a father. This picture of him in the car with his daughter is so candid and adorable that it could be any proud pappa. There are some fans that would see a picture like this and likely find it to be endearing and humanizing.
The WWE would probably prefer that these types of images didn’t circulate, because it breaks their precious kayfabe that they still hold onto for some unknown reason. The image of Smackdown Live’s twisted, cult following heel taking smiling selfies with his cute little girl isn’t one that the WWE will likely be posting on their official Twitter anytime soon.
8. WWE Wants You To See: Rockin’ the Merch
WWE always has their eggs in a lot of baskets, as you might expect from a major corporation. One of their biggest money draws comes from their Consumer Products division, which handles venue, online and store merchandise. Your favorite WWE Superstar doesn’t just come out to the ring rocking their cut-up T-shirt because they’re proud of it, they get a percentage of those merchandise sales, as well.
The merchandise totals for WWE in the second quarter of 2016 alone were over $25 million. Any image of Randy Orton sporting his “Viper” or “RKO” merchandise is sure to put a smile on Vince McMahon’s face. If ol’ Vinnie Mac could muscle guys like Orton into tattooing “WWEShop.com” on their arm, you can bet he would!
7. WWE Doesn’t Want You To See: Looking Dopey
Former WWE Superstar, turned announcer, John “Bradshaw” Layfield often compliments Orton with the tagline “If you were going to build a sports entertainer from the ground up, it would look like Randy Orton.” This supportive attitude isn’t just the words of Vince McMahon in his ear, JBL has actually known Orton since he was in middle school. In fact, Orton’s father (“Cowboy” Bob Orton) was JBL’s tag-team partner in Japan back in those days.
The fact remains that WWE does want Orton to be sold as a cold, cool tough guy and when you get a picture like this floating around it doesn’t help his character’s image one bit. A great shot of a goofy moment like this is just waiting to be turned into dozens of memes, where it lives in infamy.
6. WWE Wants You To See: Randy On ‘The Shooter’ TV Set
The WWE likes to keep the illusion of kayfabe alive, at least until it’s time for one of their Superstars to branch off into other forms of media. Mr. McMahon seems to love the idea of his talent not being know as wrestlers, but as “sports entertainers”. That term apparently includes promoting the WWE whenever and however they can, including hosting the Today Show, Saturday Night Live and making any other outside the ring appearances that they possibly can.
Randy Orton has starred in a handful of films and television shows over the years. This particular picture is on the set of the USA series “Shooter” back in 2016, before his return to Smackdown Live where he would soon join the Wyatt Family. Orton has some acting chops, although you’re more likely to see The Miz in a WWE film production these days.
5. WWE Doesn’t Want You To See: Checking Out The Fans!
There’s nothing like getting to snap a selfie with your favorite WWE Superstar, it can really add to the experience of a live show. Ideally, you capture a nice moment with you and your favorite wrestler, not a candid shot of them looking down your top. That is, however, exactly what went down here when this busty fan took a shot of her and Randy Orton. It’s an unfortunate moment captured forever in the digital world.
There was a time when this sort of image would have been perfectly acceptable in the WWE, but these days, they keep things as family friendly as possible, especially when it comes to the boundaries of sexuality. Regardless of whether you find this image to be amusing or offensive, the WWE would no doubt frown on this one making the rounds online.
4. WWE Wants You To See: Suit-Up!
The WWE has come a long way in the past two decades. They’ve gone from a confused and struggling entertainment company, trying desperately to reinvent itself, to an international powerhouse. When you see “The Game” HHH in a suit more often than a leather jacket or ring gear, you know that times have changed. The WWE seems to love the idea of wrestlers wearing suits and coming off like distinguished professionals.
Anytime they aren’t in their ring gear, you’re likely to see a WWE Superstar dressed to the nines in a suit or an evening gown. Vinnie Mac loves to bring legitimacy to his performers in an effort to prove that they’re more than just “wrasslers”, they’re entertainers. Orton can’t be found rocking the suit as often as someone like John Cena, but it has been known to happen.
3. WWE Doesn’t Want You To See: Sexy Randy
Randy Orton is undoubtedly a big draw with the ladies…he joins John Cena and Roman Reigns in that distinction. It’s one thing to catch the eye of the fans and another entirely to have pictures of you partially exposed on display for them. The PG-era isn’t the place for racy and suggestive photographs. Not to mention, Orton’s modern day on-screen persona isn’t concerned with romantic entanglements, he’s looking to fight and win.
The Viper is booked as an intense, cold and driven RKO-dropping machine that destroys everything in his path. His character has little time for affairs of the heart. These types of images belong to a past era, when things were a little more risque in the WWE, and before Orton was a twice married father.
2. WWE Wants You To See: Executing The RKO
You can’t be a proper WWE Superstar without a signature finishing move. Randy Orton may have what is the most famous finisher of the modern era, the RKO. This image, taken from a episode of Monday Night RAW, shows Orton executing the powerful move with grace. The fact that the Viper makes this extremely difficult and dangerous move look easy is a great testament to his in-ring ability.
It also doesn’t hurt that the RKO become somewhat of an internet sensation in 2016, with fans posting images of Orton performing the RKO on everything from a shark to an airplane ad nauseam. The memes and animated gifs would include the “Outta Nowhere” tagline that announcer Michael Cole would say whenever an RKO was performed in-ring.
1. WWE Doesn’t Want You To See: Smoking Randy
Although we have seen R-Truth pull out a cigarette and smoke live on RAW, it is certainly something that WWE doesn’t want to promote to its audience. Orton has been spotted smoking a cigarette multiple times throughout his career, most notably in a video where he asked fans for a smoke, following an episode of RAW in 2007. This video has been watched by more than 2.2 million viewers.
Most of the videos and photos that have surfaced date back to the middle 2000s, it’s possible that Randy has quit smoking since then. It’s been said that Orton stopped smoking once his daughter was born in 2008, so it’s likely that you will never see him asking fans for a cigarette again.
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