Road To WrestleMania XXX – Randy Orton

Randy Orton's WrestleManiaRandy Orton was made a main player very early in his career. But how has he been at WrestleMania?

Randy Orton’s WrestleMania career

A big part of Mick Foley’s late career was about having that WrestleMania moment. He’d been in the main event before, but didn’t have that standout performance until WrestleMania 22 when he faced Edge. You could say that Randy Orton hasn’t yet had that standout WrestleMania moment. He’s had fine matches at WrestleMania before, but hasn’t had that memorable signature moment on the big show.

While Orton’s first official WrestleMania match didn’t happen until WrestleMania XX, he had a match at Fan Axxess with Tommy Dreamer before WrestleMania X8. He had his first actual WWE TV match at Smackdown a few weeks later against Hardcore Holly.

His WrestleMania debut at XX was part of a two on three handicap match which featured the return of the Rock to WWE TV. With his partners Batista and Ric Flair as part of Evolution, they beat Mick Foley and the Rock with Orton getting the pin on Foley. He and Foley would have Orton’s best ever career match at the following PPV.

At WrestleMania 21, Orton challenged the Undertaker to a Legend vs. Legend Killer match. The Undertaker was 12-0 at the time and Orton was ready to send him to 12-1. Randy’s father, Cowboy Bob interfered, but the Undertaker stayed undefeated in one of the better matches on the show.

Before WrestleMania 22, Orton finagled his way into the title match against Kurt Angle by insulting Eddie Guerrero (who passed away a few months prior) enough for Rey Mysterio to put his earned title shot on the line at No Way Out. Orton won the match, but Mysterio was inserted back into the match at WrestleMania anyway, making it a three-way. The match was cut short on time to less than 10 minutes and Mysterio pinned Orton to take the title from Angle.

The next year, Orton was put in a forgettable spot in the 8-man Money In The Bank Ladder match. The match was good, but not standout for Orton. Mr. Kennedy won the match that opened the show.

At WrestleMania 24, Orton was the WWE Champion in the Age Of Orton. The belt traded hands in the months prior when champion John Cena had to give up the title because of a pec tear. At No Mercy, Triple H beat Orton to win the title and then lost it back to Orton on the same show. At Royal Rumble, Cena was the surprise 30th entrant and won the battle royal match by tossing out Triple H to secure his shot at WrestleMania. Stupidly, Cena wanted to claim his shot at No Way Out, which he won by disqualification. Triple H was the number one contender after the Elimination Chamber and Cena finagled his way back into the title match at WrestleMania by beating Orton on Raw to make it a three-way. It was all for naught as Orton won the triple threat in a decent match.

His WrestleMania 25 match with Triple H ended up being one of the worst main events in WrestleMania history. The angle was built up tensely as Orton took out Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and even kissed Triple H’s wife, Stephanie McMahon. Triple H broke into his house to beat him up. And when it came to the main event at WrestleMania 25, they had to follow Stone Cold Steve Austin’s one last drive down the ring as well as the fantastic Shawn Michaels and Undertaker match. It was one of the most anticlimactic 23-minute matches you’ll ever see. And Orton lost.

At WrestleMania 26, Orton was in a match against two members of his former Legacy group. Evolution this wasn’t. It was the second match on the show in a forgettable spot and forgettable match. Orton won after punting Cody Rhodes and hitting Ted DiBiase Jr. with the RKO.

Orton had the second best match at WrestleMania 27 with CM Punk. It was a creative feud built around a storyline from several years prior when Orton punted Punk in 2008, causing him to forfeit his title. But the match seemed secondary to John Cena, the returning Rock who was the host, and Triple H and the Undertaker. Orton won in a creative finish.

At WrestleMania 28 and 29, Orton was once again in forgettable matches. At 28, he faced Kane in a match of two guys without programs and lost. The Shield challenged Orton and Sheamus before WrestleMania 29 and they chose the Big Show to be their partner in a fun, yet thrown together at the last minute kind of WrestleMania match which jerked the curtain.

Best WrestleMania match

If given time, there’s no question Orton’s match with Kurt Angle and Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania 22 would’ve been his greatest WrestleMania match. His match with Punk at WrestleMania 27 was also standout.

But if I were to choose his best, it would have to be his WrestleMania 21 match with the Undertaker. There were a few moments where it felt like Orton could win which would be harder and harder to reproduce in the years to come for the Undertaker.


WWE Wrestlemania 21 – Randy Orton Vs The… by wweuploader2014

WrestleMania XXX

Just like his prior luck, his WrestleMania XXX match with Batista looked like it was doomed to fail. But now with the stipulation that Daniel Bryan will enter the match with a win against Triple H earlier in the show, it could be destined to be something special.

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