Randy Orton - the Evolution of a Predator
For a good amount of people this is a DVD release that they’ve been waiting for. Instead of getting multiple releases for Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Steve Austin or Rey Mysterio, although most of them are worth checking out, we are given finally given one for one of the best currently in WWE.
Disc 1: Documentary
How this is setup is different than usual documentaries. It touches upon his life from a child to his wrestling career yet place throughout is the time period, in and out of the ring, from PPVs Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania XXVII which are essentially concerning his feud at the time with CM Punk.
This doesn’t always portray Orton as a good guy as it refers to the time that many, himself included, felt that he was a jerk and was virtually screwing up his career. During the segments involving his home life we are told that he was close to killing himself from an overdose of sleeping pills if it wasn’t for his Samantha who appears and until in previous “appearance”, it’s actually her and not just some actress playing her. It would be his family, particularly the birth of his daughter Alanna that he cleaned up his life and his attitude changed.
Other topics that are discussed is his not so successful first reign as world champion, going A.W.O.L. in Military, being handpicked to be involved in Evolution and later Legacy. Each segment, among others, is discussed. Both good and bad are referred from not just Orton but by others. As a whole the documentary runs basically an hour and thirty minutes but didn’t feel that I was screwed for it not being longer. Fans of Randy Orton will enjoy it and perhaps learns something more about him.
Disc 2: Matches
Randy Orton vs. Slick Robbie D
OVW Christmas Chaos – January 31, 2001
Great that one of the matches that was included prior to his debut in WWE. Even though the video quality wasn’t that great it didn’t take away from this little match from being worth a look. Added bonus is that during the entire match we get commentary from Jim Cornette and that in itself is worth hearing.
Randy Orton vs. Hardcore Holly
SmackDown! – April 25, 2002
This was the 1st match that Orton would have on WWE TV. Holly was known to not go lightly on rookies and this was no exception as he beat the living hell out of Randy. As a whole this wasn’t a great match and we only got a glimpse of what was to come from the third generation wrestler.
Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels
Unforgiven – September 21, 2003
Already the career of Orton was on the rise by being a part of Evolution but was still somewhat merely a supporting member of that group. It would be this match that would show that Orton was capable of going with arguably one of the best in wrestling history. Might be forgotten when compared to the other matches they would have later on but this is still among one of the better ones.
Intercontinental Title Match:
Rob Van Dam (c) vs. Randy Orton
Special Referee: Mick Foley
Armageddon – December 14, 2003
Before the whole concussion angle that lead to RVD being “removed” from WWE, these two had a match for a title that was more prestigious than it has become lately. It had great back and forth action that showed how good both men were. The ending was nicely done and this would start Orton’s reign that would be one of the longest one for quite some time.
Evolution vs. Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection
WrestleMania XX – March 14, 2004
Before the epic match Orton and Foley would have Backlash they would have this match. It was The Rock’s first match in almost a year and was four years for Mick Foley. Despite that they were able to put on a fun match with Ric Flair, Orton and Batista. One of the highlights was the interaction between Rock and Flair as they showed what might’ve happen if circumstances were different. The Backlash match might be the more memorable one but by no means should this one be overlooked.
Intercontinental Title No Holds Barred Falls Count Anywhere Match:
Randy Orton (c) vs. Mick Foley
Backlash – April 18, 2004
For a long time when someone asked Foley what his favorite match was he would say that it was the WWE Championship match with Shawn Michaels at In Your House: Mind Games. That would change when this one was all said and done. Honestly, the Foley vs. Orton feud was perhaps one of the best feuds WWE had going that year as there were hardcore moments and great usage of weapons that has been lost for the most part in this era of WWE.
It was this feud that led Orton to truly be in the main event status that he would remain to have this very day. If you have never seen this match, find a way to do so.
Intercontinental Title Match:
Randy Orton (c) vs. Edge
Vengeance – July 11, 2004
Before these two became multiple time world champions they solidify themselves by competing for the Intercontinental title. While the title has more or less lost the value that it once held in the 80’s and 90’s, there were still shinning moments that showed that it held importance.
For nearly thirty minutes these two had a match that from bell to bell had the attention of the crowd. There were even moments where the crowd chanted “Let’s go Edge. Let’s go Orton.” and Orton did a good job in getting the heat directed toward him again. In the end it didn’t matter who won as this was a match that delivered and showed why both of them were deserving of the pushes they would received afterward.
Handicap Casket Match:
Undertaker vs. Randy Orton & “Cowboy” Bob Orton
No Mercy - October 9, 2005
For the most part the feud with the Undertaker was one of the better ones that Orton has had in his career. Sadly, there were moments that tarnished it and this was such an example. Having the cowboy join his son to go against the dead man was a nice addition but having him actually participate in matches did little to really progress things. Ending felt a felt like a rehashing to a previous casket match, the one from Royal Rumble 1998, and was obvious that it was just another way to continue the feud.
Disc 3: Matches Continues
Kurt Angle vs. Randy Orton
Vengeance – June 25, 2006
Short-lived feud that went on during the earlier days of the WWE version of ECW where Angle was a part of before he was let go by the company a few months later. Although it has been perhaps forgotten the matches that came from it were great. This was the rematch from the second One Night Stand PPV which had more reaction from the crowd which might’ve been due to the ECW supporters.
Be that as it might be this wasn’t a letdown and helped to further establish Orton as a major heel. The feud basically ended here and wouldn’t really pick up again due to other circumstances.
Legend vs. Legend Killer:
Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Orton
SummerSlam – August 20, 2006
This should’ve been a major match that could be paired up with Hogan vs. Rock at WrestleMania X8. Keyword is “should’ve”. Hogan’s career at the point was already on the downhill and it didn’t help that shortly before the match he sustained a legit knee injury that almost made this match not happen. For the most part this wasn’t as good as the Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels at the previous SummerSlam, which had issues in its own right, and another case of backstage politics resulted in the wrong person winning.
Texas Bull Rope Match:
Randy Orton vs. Dusty Rhodes
Great American Bash – July 22, 2007
Despite being passed his prime, the American Dream could occasionally put out an entertaining match; the other bull rope match he had with Steve Corino in ECW is an example of that. It wouldn’t be the case with this match as it was mostly just to help further the Legend Killer that Orton was known for. It was nice to see a debuting Cody Rhodes appearing as the two would become two thirds of Legacy.
WWE Championship Triple Threat Match:
Randy Orton (c) vs. Triple H vs. John Cena
WrestleMania XXIV – March 30, 2008
Typical triple threat match as all three participants put out non-stop action, no pun attended. It was expected by the majority of people that either Triple H or Cena would’ve become champion which resulted in a shocker when Orton retained his title. It was one of Orton’s biggest moments in his earlier reigns of WWE champion and he would become only the 4th heel to walk out of WrestleMania as a world champion.
WWE Championship “I Quit” Match:
Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena
Breaking Point – September 13, 2009
Much like the feud with Edge, the feud between Orton and Cena was overdone but at the same time, the matches they had were usually good ones. Was a pretty hard-hitting match considering it was around the PG era as actual welts developed on Cena from the multiple kendo stick shots. When compared to the other matches they had this would be high on the list but I would’ve preferred the iron man match they had at Bragging Rights.
WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match:
Randy Orton (c) vs. Sheamus
Hell in a Cell – October 3, 2010
To be honest I wasn’t sure how an Orton vs. Sheamus feud could work although I’ll admit that the one-off match they had at the Royal Rumble of that year proved out better than I thought it would. This would be the blow off to the program they had during the summer and was to determine who the “better man” between the two. Won’t rate up there when compared to the better hell in the cell matches however it by no means was bad. This was definitely the best that these two had in their series.
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
WrestleMania XXVII – April 3, 2011
Kind of wish they had instead the last man standing match they had at Extreme Rules but with how the documentary was done it was understandable to have this match in the set. Match proved to be good and told a great story. Punk worked on Orton’s leg through the entire match which the Viper sold beautifully. That is something that should be done more in wrestling. Wished the feud went on longer then it did but not disappointed by what came because of it.
World Heavyweight Title Match:
Christian (c) vs. Randy Orton
SmackDown! – May 6, 2011
Remember that what happened in this match caused a huge uproar with the IWC as they let Christian lose the title less than a week after winning it. Perhaps it wasn’t a questionable move by WWE but in the long run it started up a feud that for the most part fans consider one of the best in quite some time. For the actual match, it was one of the better matches on TV of this year. Orton and Christian worked well together and not once was I bored by what they were doing. Can’t say where I would place this match in comparison to the others they’ve had though I can say that it was a great one.
Again I’ll say that this was a DVD release that most people were hoping to be done, myself included, and honestly I think the wait was well was worth it. The documentary was enlightening while at the same time entertaining. Felt that all of the matches that were included were good choices as they had some sort of significance in the Viper’s career. Sadly the matches between him and Chris Benoit at SummerSlam 2005 for the world title and/or the rematch the follow night are absent but the reason behind that is a whole other story. Definite a buy if you’re a Orton fan and even if you’re not at least consider giving it a look anyways.