As soon as he arrived in WWE way back in 2002, everyone knew Randy Orton would be something special. He was good looking, athletic, and pro wrestling was in his blood. He had all the makings of a huge star. Here we sit nearly two decades later and Orton is exactly that.
With such an illustrious career spanning different personas and wrestling eras, there are tons of highlights for Randy Orton. He's had some memorable rivalries and some legendary matches. Whether they were heated wars, technical clashes, or multi-man madness, Orton has a lot of great matches in his career and these are our picks for the 10 best.
10 Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins - WrestleMania 31
The feud between Randy Orton and Seth Rollins got going towards the end of 2014. Both men were valued members of The Authority. However, when things started to go downhill for that group, they turned on Orton, led by Rollins. Randy disappeared from television for a few months and returned at Fastlane. He took out Rollins and set up a WrestleMania match.
They went on early at WrestleMania 31 but nearly stole the show. Rollins was kept as the Authority's "golden boy" because he was the future. Throughout this contest, he was one step quicker than Orton. But the veteran Orton had him well scouted. He avoided the Curb Stomp twice and then countered it into a brilliant RKO to win. It was arguably the best RKO in history.
9 Edge vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels - Backlash 2007
It's always kind of crazy to look back at an old pay-per-view card and see something like this. Four surefire first-ballot Hall of Famers in one match. Simply put, these are four of the best to ever lace up a pair of wrestling boots. To main event Backlash 2007, it was the top two heels on Raw and the top two faces colliding over John Cena's WWE Championship.
Fans were treated to about 20 minutes of some of the best action that any of these guys have been part of during their careers. The drama was high and you got the feeling that anyone could walk out with the title at any moment. The finishing sequence was insane as everyone hit their signature moves on one another. Orton took a Spear and when Cena got hit with Sweet Chin Music, he fell onto Orton and retained the title.
8 Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton - Raw 6/24/13
You can't help but love when you get a classic match on an episode of Monday Night Raw. That's what happened when Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton faced off in this Street Fight. Orton had spent the previous weeks suggesting that Bryan was the "weak link" in his tag team with Kane.
Bryan even went as far as to team with Orton in an attempt to win the Tag Titles. Things didn't go well and it boiled over into this violent match. Orton and Bryan went to war on a level that they never reached again during their feud later in the year. Bryan using a kendo stick-assisted Yes Lock was one of the coolest endings to a match in recent memory.
7 Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton - Hell in a Cell 2018
When Randy Orton targeted Jeff Hardy from out of nowhere in 2018, the audience wasn't sure what they would get. Most fans agree that Orton's 2017 was far from his best year. However, we got arguably the most vicious incarnation of Orton for this feud. Even more violent than the man who punted Vince McMahon in the skull.
It all came to a head inside Hell in a Cell. Randy Orton was barbaric in this. He went as far as to use a screwdriver to twist and contort Jeff Hardy's gauges. It was one of the sickest sights to ever happen in a WWE ring. Hardy made a crucial mistake late, trying to do something too dangerous. He missed and Orton took advantage to come out as the winner.
6 Cesaro vs. Christian vs. Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Sheamus - Elimination Chamber 2014
There have now been so many Elimination Chamber matches in history that even the best ones can sometimes get forgotten about. The 2014 edition has become one of those instances. It has so many moving parts and important moments that should be remembered more fondly.
It was Cesaro's first true crack in a main event situation. It marked the final major match for Christian before he was forced into retirement. John Cena got eliminated when Bray Wyatt showed up, starting their rivalry. Orton and Bryan engaged in one of their most heated exchanges ever. And at the end of it all, Orton walked in as champion and walked out the same way.
5 Chris Benoit vs. Randy Orton - SummerSlam 2004
Considering what Chris Benoit did in 2007, it's understandable why a lot of people like to ignore this match. They don't want to think about Benoit. But when you're talking about Randy Orton, this is one of the most important moments of his career. Without it, Orton might not become the star that he is today.
At SummerSlam 2004, Randy Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in history by defeating Chris Benoit. It was Orton's first real chance to main event on his own and he delivered. No help from Evolution or anything like that. A clean win over a great wrestler who Orton showed he could more than hang tough against.
4 AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton vs. Samoa Joe - Elimination Chamber 2019
It appears that Randy Orton and the Elimination Chamber kind of go hand in hand with one another. Once again, Randy Orton found himself as part of one of the best iterations of that match earlier this year. Each competitor had a chance to shine and Orton was one of the brightest.
He was vicious at every turn. From reliving his intense rivalry with Jeff Hardy to igniting a new one by eliminating AJ Styles, Orton looked great. He got eliminated by Kofi Kingston, who went on to steal the show in his desperate quest to become WWE Champion. Daniel Bryan ultimately won to remain champion for a bit longer.
3 Batista vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton - WrestleMania XXX
The road to WrestleMania XXX was a bumpy one. Batista won the Royal Rumble to earn a match against Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. The fans wanted no part of that, badly wanting Daniel Bryan in the main event. Eventually, they got what they wanted as Bryan beat Triple H to make the WWE Title match a Triple Threat.
The three of them combined to give us one of the most emotional and dramatic main events in WrestleMania history. The crowd was on the edge of their seats for each twist and turn. Bryan had the deck stacked against him, yet rallied to make Batista tap to the Yes Lock. He had finally done it and the show ended with over 70,000 people chanting "Yes."
2 Christian vs. Randy Orton - SummerSlam 2011
The quarrel between Christian and Randy Orton in 2011 came from out of nowhere. Christian won the World Heavyweight Title after more than a decade in the industry. His celebration was cut short when Orton beat him for the title just two days later. That sent Christian into a spiral and started a feud filled with great matches.
Each match they had was great and Christian won back the title at Money in the Bank. That set the stage for a Street Fight at SummerSlam. This is Orton's ideal environment. He and Christian put on an instant classic that was capped by a wild RKO onto steel steps.
1 Cactus Jack vs. Randy Orton - Backlash 2004
Winning the World Title in the summer of 2004 was huge but this was the match that truly made Randy Orton into a huge star. He defended his Intercontinental Title against the legendary Mick Foley in a Hardcore Match. Because of how terrible Orton was to Foley, he brought out his violent alter ego, Cactus Jack.
This was one of the most intense and physical matches in history. They used barbed wire, a cookie sheet, a baseball bat, and more. When Cactus blocked the RKO and slammed Orton into a pile of thumbtacks, the look on Orton's face told the story of his pain. It proved to the world that Orton was more than just a handsome guy. He was tough. And then he used an RKO onto a barbed wire baseball bat to win.