Randy Orton's Most Memorable Matches, Moments in WrestleMania History

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2018

Randy Orton's Most Memorable Matches, Moments in WrestleMania History

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    Randy Orton is one of the most decorated WWE Superstars in the modern era. He's a nine-time WWE champion, four-time world heavyweight champion and two-time Royal Rumble winner.

    His WrestleMania resume doesn't rise to the same level, though.

    The Apex Predator has made the 'Mania card 13 times in the past 14 years. Yet his only two appearances in the main event resulted in losses, and many of his opportunities in recent editions have been part of lackluster feuds, including his WWE title win over Bray Wyatt in 2017.

    While it's impossible to blame a wrestler for the creative team's booking decisions, it's also fair to say Orton's character has become stale since his days as the Legend Killer. So part of the responsibility falls on his shoulders to reinvent and reinvigorate his persona to rewrite his WrestleMania legacy.

    Let's check out some of his top matches and moments at The Showcase of the Immortals ahead of WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans on April 8.

WrestleMania Debut with Evolution vs. Rock 'n' Sock Connection (2004)

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    Orton was the ultimate blue-chip prospect. The grandson of Bob Orton Sr. and son of "Cowboy" Bob Orton quickly rose up the wrestling ranks and signed with WWE in 2001 at age 21, spending some time in Ohio Valley Wrestling before getting called up to the main roster.

    His first chance to shine at WrestleMania pitted him alongside several of the industry's legends in the 20th edition. He teamed up with fellow Evolution members Batista and Ric Flair to take on The Rock and Mick Foley, the reuniting Rock 'n' Sock Connection, in an undercard match.

    Getting a chance to learn from Flair and then facing off with The Rock and Foley in his first 'Mania match showcased the high hopes the company had for Orton. He delivered and was even given the chance to secure the win after delivering an RKO to the hardcore legend.

    It helped accelerate what would become a meteoric rise for the longtime fan favorite.

Tries to End Undertaker's Undefeated Streak (2005)

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    There has been no greater honor for a WWE Superstar over the past couple decades than getting a chance to face The Undertaker at The Show of Shows. Orton received that opportunity at WrestleMania 21 as part of a long-running feud with the Deadman.

    Not only was it a solid all-around match, but it also received a boost because of interference from Bob Orton. He attempted to help his son end Taker's streak, which would have provided the pinnacle moment for the Legend Killer gimmick.

    While the younger Orton fell short as Undertaker moved to 13-0 at 'Mania, his feud with the WWE legend, which included a victory at SummerSlam a couple of months later, is arguably the best work he's done in his career.

Faces John Cena and Triple H for WWE Championship (2008)

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    Since Orton has never triumphed in a WrestleMania main event, his crowning achievement may have occurred at WrestleMania XXIV, when he overcame John Cena and Triple H to retain the WWE Championship in one of the final matches on the card.

    Not only did he keep the belt, but he was allowed to control the match for extended stretches against two of the top wrestlers at the time. It was a legitimate showcase of his natural talent, which has always shone through—even when his character development has been sluggish.

    Unfortunately for Orton, a decade has passed since the marquee triumph, and he's never done anything to surpass it, at least on the 'Mania stage. He still has time to change that, though.

Finishes Time with The Legacy with Win over Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes (2010)

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    The Legacy had its moments during its near-two years of existence, but it's fair to wonder whether the faction lived up to its potential given the upside of Orton, Ted DiBiase Jr. and Cody Rhodes. They were three Superstars from wrestling families, but the group never seemed to reach an all-time great level.

    Their match at WrestleMania XXVI showcased what they were capable of for at least one night. The storyline surrounded DiBiase and Rhodes working together to take out Orton before predictably turning on each other to make it a Triple Threat match.

    Unfortunately for Legacy, even on a night when they put on a standout performance, they were overshadowed by a strong card, highlighted by Undertaker's win over Shawn Michaels. Perhaps it was a fitting end for the alliance in that regard.