WRESTLING NEWS
10 Moments That Solidified Randy Orton As A WWE Star
By ROB WILLIAMS
Randy News Network
After a shoulder injury shortly after his "Raw" debut, Randy Orton surprised everyone by interrupting a Shawn Michaels promo with a short vignette known as "Randy News Network," a CNN-parody breaking news segment. His "RNN" live updates continued from various locations, becoming slightly more arrogant and overconfident each time.
Evolution Debut
Arguably one of the most crucial points in Orton's career would be his 2003 debut with Triple H, Ric Flair, and Batista, otherwise known as Evolution. His run with the group changed Orton's career trajectory forever, and Evolution went on to dominate nearly any competition that stood in their way and hold all of the men's championships on "Raw."
First Intercontinental Gold
Orton got his first taste of championship gold when he defeated Rob Van Dam in an impromptu Intercontinental Championship match at the "Armageddon" PPV in 2003. In a stellar bout full of unorthodox offense, Orton hit a devastating RKO on RVD and then got emotional as Ric Flair put the belt around his waist before holding the title for over 200 days.
Orton vs. Cactus Jack
Mick Foley challenged Orton to an extremely violent No Holds Barred Match at Backlash PPV 2004, ending with both men completely bloodied, battered, and beaten. As a pivotal moment in his career, Orton was able to win with an RKO to Foley on top of a barbed wire bat, and he still keeps some of those thumbtacks in his possession to this very day.
Youngest Champion
By defeating Chris Benoit at SummerSlam in 2004 at the age of 24, Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion. Both men brought a very technical, hard-hitting bout, ending with a perfectly timed RKO for the upset victory, and the WWE putting the big gold on the young up-and-comer spoke volumes as to the amount of faith the company had in him.