It's been over two years since the word was born.
Back in 2009, yours truly first coined the term "Ortonite".
The earliest usage I could find came in my May 11th, 2009 article, but my readers will have to delve further into my writer's archive to see if I coined the term (perhaps in the comment section) earlier than that.
Looking back now, as the term has spread across Bleacher Report, onto Twitter and beyond, I cannot help but reflect back on the days in which WWE programming provided me with so much excitement and so much inspiration that I eagerly awaited any opportunity to publish my next Randy Orton article.
He was a heel back then—a bad guy—not worshiped in the same way that he is today.
There will always be haters, sure, but things have changed.
One look at the cover of THQ's critically acclaimed WWE 12 is all you need to see to know that Orton’s persona has been elevated to iconic status.
God knows he deserves it. I proclaimed Randy Orton to be the best in the industry years ago, it just took time for people to catch on.
Still, I think a great deal of that credit has to be given to the support of the Ortonites.
Orton's fans are a loyal bunch, and I've had the privilege over the years of talking to some very devoted fans who have stuck by their favorite Superstar through the good times (Nine WWE heavyweight title reigns) and the not-so-good times (the infamous 2009-2010 "Championship Drought").
Seeing Orton stripped of the World title as it was given to an inferior and unentertaining Mark Henry made me lose what little interest I still had in professional wrestling.
I agreed that it was time to give Orton a break from the title so that he could be creatively built back up. However, Henry's continuous title reign is living proof that disastrous disappointment is still alive and well in the world heavyweight championship picture. The WWE continues to push the recent tradition of using the belt as a "tool" to get underqualified performers over as opposed to using it as a symbolic representation of professional dominance.
It took a video game to pull me back into wrestling again, and you can thank Randy Orton for that one, too.
His appearance on the front cover of WWE 12 was enough to motivate me to make the purchase.
The game's revamped fighting system along with a more detailed Randy Orton move-set has made the game not only worth the price of purchase, but enjoyable enough to get me to turn the television back on during Monday and Friday nights again.
Ortonites had Randy's back from the beginning, and now he's being marketed to the masses.
I kind of miss the days when supporting pro wrestling's greatest performer was more of a cult-like tradition, but you can't argue with success.
Orton's rise to the top was inevitable...
I'm just surprised it took this long.
Ryan Michael is a Senior Writer for Bleacher Report.
Readers can follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/#!/theryanmichael
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