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 circum