The question that was asked when Hulk Hogan was coming to the end of his career was, Who was going to step up and be the man?
Stone Cold Steve Austin answered that question and became the biggest star in the WWE and in wrestling for years to come but when his career came to an end the question was asked again, there are two people that can fit the bill and be the modern day Austin of the decade but who is it.
I will break down both of there career until now and I will let you decide who is this decade's Austin.
Randy Orton claim to this decade's Austin:
Randy Orton in 2002 made his debut by beating Hardcore Holly on SmackDown and was becoming the fan favorite, Randy was drafted on Raw and would in the coming weeks have his shoulder injured, and during his time on the sideline he would have his RNN Randy News Network and would interrupt some of the most important segments or matches on Raw turning him into the Narcist and self-centered villain.
Randy Orton was recruited in as a member of Evolution with Ric Flair, Triple H and Batista, the groups reign would push from 2003-2004 and at the peak of there dominance was at Armageddon in 2003 when all four members held Championship belts (Triple H-World Champ, Randy Orton- Intercontinental Champion, Batista and Flair Tag Team Champs).
Randy was Triple H handy man by helping overcome Championship matches with Goldberg, Nash, Kane, and Michaels. Randy Orton help secure the Championship in a six-man Elimination Chamber match at SummerSlam in 2003.
Randy Orton had his first high profile match with Shawn Michaels and would defeat him and Orton proclaimed himself "The Legend Killer," a young upstart who was so talented that he touted himself as the future of professional wrestling.
He embarked on numerous storyline feuds with "legendary" wrestlers and gained infamy for his blatant disrespect of many older, well-regarded names in wrestling history.
He spat in the face of Harley Race, beat down Mick Foley, RKO'ed Jake "The Snake" Roberts, beat Ric Flair and so much more. During that time he was one of the longest reign Intercontinental Champion's in history as he held the title for seven months.
Edge beat Orton in one of the best matches I had ever seen for the Intercontinental Championship at Vengeance but that would put Orton in the World Championship scene as he became No. 1 contender a week or two later, he cleanly defeated Chris Benoit for the championship with the him becoming the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in wrestling history at age twenty-four.
After a mock celebration, Triple H got pissed that he was not the Champion and would tell Batista thumbs-up and then thumbs-down as they would attack him and beat him to the point were Triple H was showing that he was going to get what was his.
Triple H and Randy Orton would start there rivalry that is continued today because of Orton winning the Championship, Orton's break-up with Evolution began a new storyline for him as a face when he continued to feud with his former stablemates.
The first part of the rivalry would come to an a stop at the Royal Rumble when hunter beat Orton.
Orton was trying to put his stake in another mans yard as he would go on to and Orton claimed that he would set himself apart from all other wrestlers by ending The Undertaker's undefeated streak at WrestleMania 21 but this would not be the end of this rivalry.
Orton would be sidelined with another shoulder injury and would make his return after being drafted to SmackDown later that summer, the rivalry rekindled with Taker and Orton as they would face in Casket, Hell in the Cell, and many other matches for the rest of 2005. There rivalry would last nine months.
Orton in 2006 goal was the become a World Champion again but he would be eliminated in the Royal Rumble by Rey Mysterio and would win the chance to be in the main even at No Way Out, at WrestleMania 22 he would come up short after Orton would be pinned by Mysterio as Rey would take the spot light.
Orton was suspended for smoking marijuana backstage but used a cover up his suspension as he would "hurt" his ankle in a grudge match against Kurt Angle, Orton came back and did a program with Hogan at SummerSlam with another Legend vs Legend Killer match, to me that is when the Legend Killer died off for me.
Raany Orton walked into a group with a former enemy in Edge as they formed Rated RKO and would fight a familiar enemy in Triple H and Shawn Michaels, these two would go at it for months on end until Triple H had a serious knee injury and the rivalry was stopped as he would go on to WrestleMania 23 but would lose in Money in the Bank.
Randy Orton had been World Heavyweight Champion and wanted to be the WWE Champion, as that was his goal after WrestleMania 23. Orton would start to rivalry with Dusty Rhodes, RVD, and Ric Flair, as he would work his way to a WWE Championship match with John Cena and would come close but not close enough to win the Championship.
He would continue the rivalry until John Cena was hurt and Orton seized the opportunity.
Randy Orton was awarded the WWE Championship at No Mercy but a familiar face that had been in the shadow of Orton could make his return, Triple H would challenge then beat him for the WWE Championship and then Orton would beat Hunter in a Last Man Standing match as he would become a two time WWE Champion in one night.
Orton would be targeted by a man that he took out for a good portion of the year in HBK as they put together some good matches and then would face Jeff Hardy at the Royal Rumble and would beat him in one of his best matches of his career in my eyes.
Randy Orton beat the odds that were against him by beating both John Cena and Triple H at WrestleMania 24 for the WWE Championship and would become the true top dog of the business, Randy Orton would head into Backlash as Champion but would lose his title and a month later would lose his re-match and would get one more chance at One Night Stand but would break his collarbone and lose his match.
He re-injured it after a motorcycling accident and would have to wait longer to come back, when he came back he made his presence known as he took CM Punk out and his knee to the face would take Punk out of the title match later that night, Orton would have DiBiase and Rhodes come together to become Legacy and made it official when they took out to former members of Orton in Batista and Triple H.
Randy Orton went into the 2009 Royal Rumble as the favorite and would not disappoint as he threw out Hunter to become the No. 1 contender for any title of his choosing, a week before though Orton would punt McMahon in the dubbed "Punt heard around the World" and would rekindle a rivalry that has been a thorn in Orton career.
Randy Orton would fight with Triple H at WrestleMania 25 as it was hyped with RKO's and punts to the head to the McMahon family, Randy Orton would come up short at WrestleMania but would win his third Championship at Backlash in a six-man tag team match as he punted and hit the RKO on Triple H.
Orton would lose the Championship against Batista but would gain it back in a fatal four at match against Cena, Hunter, and Show who he pinned, Orton goes into The Bash facing Triple H in a three stages of hell match were this will be the end of a rivalry that is going all the way back to January.
Orton is a one-time World Heavyweight Champion, four-time WWE Champion, one-time Intercontinental Champion, one-time World Tag Team Champion, the seventeenth Triple Crown Winner and Royal Rumble winner. Orton has proved to be the best in the business and carry it as long as it needs to be carried.
Closing Argument: The Viper has been compared to Austin because of his actions and not thinking about the consequences, Orton would be this decade Austin because of his career so far and I wouldn't be surprised to see Orton go after Shane McMahon like Austin and Vince.
John Cena claim to be this decade's Austin:
Cena made his television debut answering an open challenge by Kurt Angle on June 27, 2002, Inspired by a speech given by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon to the rising stars of the company, exhorting them to show "ruthless aggression" to earn a place among the legend.
John Cena was becoming a fan favorite with a short rivalry with Chris Jericho but in the fall of '02 he would turn heel and would attack Billy Kidman who was his partner and in a Tag Tournament and blamed him for the loss.
John wouls start a rap gimmick where he would cut promos on his opponent in a rapping style and would take the "Word Life" trademark phrase, Cena would feud with Undertaker and Brock Lesnar as he would get a title shot at Brock but would come up short but that is where the patented FU came from as it would be made to mock the F-5 but became bigger to the fans.
Cena would become a fan favorite once again as the fans caught on to Cena and his gimmick as he would become a team member of Kurt Angle at the Survivior Series.
Cena would be one of the final six at the Royal Rumble in 2004 but would be thrown out by Big Show were he started a small program with him that ended with Cena winning the United States Championship at WrestleMania XX.
Four months after he was stripped of the Championship because of being pushed into Angle by Renee Dupree knocked him over.
Cena would regain his title in a best-of-seven against Booker T and would also feud with Carlito who won the Championship on his first night after cheating and Cena would be out for a month because of a injury and that's when the spinner belt came out after he beat Carlito for it.
Cena would take part in the 2005 Royal Rumble were both him and Batista fell to the ground at the same time, Vince McMahon would come out and make it sudden death rules as Cena was thrown out, Cena would lose at the Rumble but would win a shot at JBL at WrestleMania 21 and that's where the super human John Cena would become what he is today.
Cena would defeat JBL at WrestleMania and become the WWE Championship and would feud with JBL as the belt would change to a spinner belt and would be he main focus in a "I Quit" match that ended with a bloody JBL and Cena as JBL would quit.
Cena was on a roll, he would bring that roll to Moday Night's as he would be drafted and would make a sudden impact on Raw going after everyone else by saying "If you want so come some".
He would feud with Jericho as it would go as far as Cena got Jericho "Fired", Cena would start to get the be a "Controversial Champion", as the fans would really were getting tired of the gimmick and seeing the same old thing every week as Cena would feud with Angle as he would have the STFU become his submission finisher.
Cena was the biggest star in the WWE and he was like the Superman of wrestling at the time, Cena would go into New Year Revolution as Champion but thanks to the "Ultimate Opportunists" Edge he would lose the Championship after Edge cashed in his Money in the Bank after the Elimination Chamber match he was in minutes before hand.
Cena would win back his Championship at the Royal Rumble and would get involved in a feud with Triple H that would take place at WrestleMania 22 as like Austin and Hart did nearly ten years before that there ould be a changing of the guards as Cena was being boo'ed and Hunter being cheered.
Cena would retain and would hold the Championship until the feud with RVD and help from Edge would cost him the Championship as RVD made history holding the WWE Championship and ECW Championship at the same time.
Cena, RVD, and Edge would have a title match were Cena appeared to be closing in until Edge use the title as a friend and became the Champion. Cena and Edge would wrestle in each others hometown and would lose in there hometown but it was Cena at the end of the rivalry winning the Championship in a match that Edge never lost or going to SmackDown as Cena would do the impossible.
Cena would finish strong as he faced but lost to Booker T at Cyber Sunday because of Kevin Federline but it would be Cena getting the last laugh as he would get the FU on kevin during a New Year show of Raw coming in strong to 2007.
Umaga and Cena would face each other and Cena would make Umaga look just another big man fallen.
He was going to have the re-match of the century with Hunter before he got hurt and that the Cena would have one of his best matches with Mr. WrestleMania himself as they would duke it out at WrestleMania 23 as Cena would do what he did the year before and walked out as Champion.
Cena would feud with HBK, Edge, and Orton at Backlash and Cena would retain as he was going very strong into 2007, he would feud with the Great Khali but did the impossible and took the giant down to his size by making him tape out, and then Orton and Cena would have what at the end of these two career be one of the greatest rivalry's in history.
These two went at it at the PPV SummerSlam and Unforgiven until Cena got hurt going into No Mercy as he would be sidelined with a pectoral tear, Cena was not a post to come back until the middle of next summer but at the Royal Rumble as the 30 entry would throw out Triple H to make it to WrestleMania 24 as the No. 1 contender.
Cena would get his match at No Way Out and win but only by DQ by Orton as Cena had no match going into WrestleMania 24, Cena would get his rematch with Orton but had Triple H in the mix as these two would go at it with Cena getting pinned by Orton as Cena would lose his first WrestleMania match.
Cena failed to regain his title at Backlash and would feud with JBL during the summer of 2008 and would win Championship gold with Batista going into there match at SummerSlam 2008 as Batista would power bomb Cena as it would result in a injury for Cena and would be out until December of 2008.
Cena would come back and would face Chris Jericho at Armageddon and would beat him and become the World Heavyweight Champion for the first time, Cena would hold the Championship until Edge would screw him again getting involved in a match that he wasn't a post to be in at No Way Out and Edge would take his Championship.
Cena would go into a feud with Show and Edge and would regain his Championship at WrestleMania 25 as he pinned Show to win his title back. At Backlash he would lose thanks to help from Show for Edge winning back the Championship as Cena and Show would have another feud that would go into the summer as he had a annoying Miz getting into his head.
Cena would win every match Show threw at him and is now going to shut up the loud mouth that is The Miz and most likely get back into Championship contention. Cena has done movies, shows, music, and everything you can think of and is the biggest thing in the WWE just like Austin was in the late '90s.
Cena was handed a beer by Austin at the 2009 Hall of Fame as much can see as it being the torch being passed from Austin to Cena.
Cena is a three time WWE Champion, two time World Heavyweight Champion, three time United States Champion, two time Tag Team Champion, and 2008 Royal Rumble winner and no one knows where it is going to end.
Closing Argument: Cena is the best thing going for the WWE right now if you like it now he is committed to this business, he has heart, passion, he bleeds, sweats, lives this business. Cena is going to be a Hall of Famer and has a long career ahead of him.
B/R Wrestling Community here is my question to you, Who is this decade's Austin? Who has had a better career so far? Who will end up having the better career?
Final Question: Cena or Orton?