In the history of pro wrestling, we have seen many rivalries. Some were great, some not so much, but I think every wrestling fan thought at least for a second about THE rivalry—the ultimate conflict, the grandest feud of them all.
This topic is the current Creature vs Creature competition I'm participating in, and my point is to convince you, that if you're looking for THE rivalry, you need to look no further than to Randy Orton and Legacy vs Triple H and McMahon family.
It's an old saying that revenge is a dish best served cold, and it best describes roots of this feud. Randy Orton and Triple H had bad blood since 2004, when Evolution, faction led by Triple H which brought Orton into the spotlight, rewarded him for becoming the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in history by kicking him out of the group.
Since then, Triple H and Orton met multiple times in matches that only strenghtened their rivalry. But the feud was taken to new heights when Legacy and McMahon family joined it.
It all started in early 2009, with conflict between Randy and RAW GM at the time, Stephanie McMahon. Returning Mr. McMahon tried to punish Orton, but ended up being attacked and punted to the head before he could finish his infamous catch phrase, "Yooouuurrr'eee fffiiirreed!" And punting the chairman was only the beginning.
Randy Orton won Royal Rumble with help from Legacy, and brought team of doctors and lawyers to RAW. They revealed that he suffers IED, making him not responsible for his actions when angered. And if company tries to punish him for what he did to Vince McMahon, he'd sue them and cancel Wrestlemania.
We had many guys running rampant and trying to overtake company in history, but now there was a maniac, who not only was able to be on rampage, but also would ruin company if he was punished. Randy Orton used this status to the fullest.
Destroying and punting Steph's brother Shane McMahon, RKOing Stephanie herself—all this was just pieces in the puzzle of breaking Triple H psychically. Randy Orton deserves praise for his great portrayal of sadistic psycho during this time, which ultimately lead to showdown at Wrestlemania XXV. Although Triple H prevailed, the feud was far from over.
At Backlash, in a six-man tag team match, Orton won the title. Batista later got involved in this feud, and at Extreme Rules, he gained the belt from Randy. But when he again injured himself, The Viper won title in a Fatal 4-Way match on RAW against Big Show, John Cena and guess who, Triple H.
Now, why do I think this feud was so great? First of all, it showed to all critics that WWE can still write good feuds in PG Era. It was 2009, PG was already in full swing. And I ask, did this rivalry lack heated moments? No, it didn't. It was vicious, brutal (in boundaries of mentioned rating, of course) and served us great moments.
I think we can agree that great moments, be it matches, promos or other actions, make great rivalries. And this feud didn't lack them a bit.
Randy Orton punted Vince McMahon, and later Shane McMahon. Or him giving RKO to Stephanie. My personal favorites are Triple H breaking into Randy's house with sledgehammer, leading to the revenge a week later when Legacy (led by Orton) attacked Triple H, tied him to the ropes, and then Randy "slammed Stephanie's pretty little face to the mat" and kissed her.
Matches may be disappointing, but the main reason seems to be that Orton and HHH met in the ring so many times before it simply didn't feel special anymore. Something similar is now happening with Cena and Orton, too.
This feud also gave us Shane McMahon's return to the ring. I feel that Shane was very underrated as performer. He had some good matches in career and was willing to hurt his body with taking incredible risks to push storylines forward and make fans happy. So it was nice to see him wrestle again and probably for the last time.
And a big positive is the fact the bad guy got the last laugh. Let's face it, most of the feuds in wrestling end up with babyface on top. But in this case, while The Game won at Wrestlemania, in the end, Randy was on the top of the world. He was the WWE champion and retained in Three Stages of Hell at Bash and in Triple Threat involving Cena at NOC. He moved on to feud with Cena, and had Triple H tasting the mat during attacks from Legacy.
When you ask a wrestling fans about greatest rivalry ever, they may give you various answers. But I believe, those answers should include Randy Orton vs Triple H.