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Ranking Randy Orton's Different Factions

Randy Orton is undeniably one of the best wrestlers who has ever worked with WWE. Randy Orton has been a part of WWE for more than 16 years and he is still going strong. Randy Orton’s career has witnessed several heel and face turns. Randy is a 13 time World Champion. He is a 2 time royal rumble winner and a former money in the bank winner too. Earlier this year, he also became a Grand Slam champion by winning the only title which he never won in his career (The United States Championship). To say that Randy Orton is a decorated athlete would be an understatement.

One more thing that Randy Orton has enjoyed a lot during his 16 year career is being a part of various stables. Randy Orton has been a part of many different factions. Being a part of these factions made us realize that Randy Orton is as good a team player as he is a singles superstar. Here we will rank the 5 most dominant stables that Randy Orton has been a part of.

5. The Authority:

Randy Orton shocked the world when he turned heel at Summerslam 2013 and cashed in his money in the bank contract to defeat Daniel Bryan to become the WWE champion. Triple H helped Orton in becoming the champion and with the help of The Shield, they formed the Authority. Authority also recruited Shawn Michaels in October to help Randy retain the WWE title against Bryan at Hell in a Cell. After Hell in a Cell, Kane (Corporate Kane) joined The Authority too as the new Director of Operations. Authority dominated the second half of 2013 by punishing anyone who dared to stand up against them. The Authority was dissolved for a short period of time after Wrestlemania 30 when Randy Orton lost his WWE title to Daniel Bryan and The Shield turned on them too. Triple H and Randy Orton along with Batista reformed “The Evolution” while Kane went on to feud with Daniel Bryan. Evolution unsuccessfully challenged the Shield at Extreme Rules 2014 and Payback 2014. On the Raw after Payback, Seth Rollins turned on Shield to join the Authority. Kane returned to The Authority too. After Summerslam, Randy Orton started to have troubles with the Authority as he realized that Seth has replaced him as the crown jewel of The Authority and all he and Kane had to do was protect Seth Rollins. Randy lost to Seth Rollins in a match that took place to settle their differences and after that, Randy attacked the Authority but he got outnumbered and brutally beaten. Randy took some time off after that in November. Randy Orton returned in February 2015 at Fastlane. He attacked Seth Rollins, Kane and Big Show (who joined at Survivor Series 2014). The next night on Raw, Randy Orton rejoined the authority. This was all a part of his plan to isolate Seth Rollins from the authority and as soon as Seth was left alone, Randy attacked him and turned face. Randy defeated Seth at Wrestlemania 31 and took his revenge.

Intitially, The Authority was about Randy Orton but soon it became about Seth Rollins and Randy Orton became a glorified henchman but Randy’s revenge story and feud with Seth Rollins was executed perfectly and thus, it helped in re-elevating Randy Orton’s career.

4. The Wyatt Family:

After losing to Bray Wyatt at No Mercy 2016, Randy Orton showed signs of joining the Wyatt Family when he helped Bray in his match against Kane. In return, Wyatt and Luke Harper also helped Randy against Kane, thus confirming Randy’s alliance with the Wyatt Family. Randy Orton had a successful 4th quarter of 2016 being a part of the Wyatt Family. Randy and Bray helped Team Smackdown win against Team Raw at that year’s Survivor Series as they were the sole survivors for their team. Randy and Bray also won the Tag Team Titles but soon problems began to evolve between Randy and Luke. Luke didn’t trust Randy Orton while Bray fully trusted Orton. This led to Harper breaking free from the Wyatt Family, turning face in the process. Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble in January 2017. Bray Wyatt won the WWE Championship in February and Randy refused to compete against Wyatt and AJ Styles was named as the next challenger but Randy soon changed his mind, leading to a #01 contender’s match between himself and Styles, which Orton won. Randy then burned Wyatt’s Family Compund down and turned face yet again. Randy went on to defeat Wyatt at Wrestlemania 33 to win his 9th WWE Championship.

The strategy that Randy applied to get close to Bray Wyatt by isolating him from Luke Harper was kind of repetitive in the sense that he did exactly the same with Seth Rollins, and the alliance of Orton/Bray, although was fun while it lasted but didn’t help either superstar after the team broke up as Wyatt went to become a midcarder on Raw after Mania while Orton went on to feud with Jinder Mahal, a feud which wasn’t quite well received from the WWE universe and Orton ended up losing most of the momentum he gained during the alliance and feud with Bray Wyatt.

3. Rated-RKO

Edge and Randy Orton as the Tag Team Champions — by Ali Siddiqui
Edge and Randy Orton as the Tag Team Champions — by Ali Siddiqui

After Unforgiven 2006, Randy Orton aligned himself with Edge to form Rated-RKO to feud with DX. Rated-RKO defeated DX at Cyber Sunday 2006 but were unsuccessful at Survivor Series 2006 when Team Rated-RKO was defeated by Team DX in a clean sweep but that didn’t stop their dominant run. Rated RKO won the Tag Team titles from Ric Flair and Roddy Piper and went on to continue their feud with DX. The feud got shelved when Triple H legitimately got injured at New Year’s Revolution 2007 during the ongoing match between DX and Rated-RKO. Rated-RKO began a short feud with Shawn Michaels and John Cena and lost their tag team championships to them. Miscommunications started to happen between Randy and Edge after that. Randy and Edge then lost to Shawn Michaels in a #01 contender’s triple threat match, thus losing their chance to main event Wrestlemania 23 and were then unsuccessful in winning the Money in the Bank ladder match either. Randy and Edge then unsuccessfully challenged John Cena in a fatal 4 way match at Backlash 2007 for the WWE championship. The match also involved Shawn Michaels. After Backlash, Edge moved to Smackdown while Randy went on a vicious streak that involved attacking and injuring legends including Rob Van Dam and Shawn Michaels.

Rated-RKO was a fun group to watch and a great roadblock in the path of the unstoppable DX. Randy’s career skyrocketed after Edge moved to Smackdown as he began to attack legends and also found his way into the WWE title picture and finally won it in October 2007 at No Mercy from Triple H in a last man standing match.

2. Evolution:

Members of Evolution posing with their respective Championships — by Ali Siddiqui
Members of Evolution posing with their respective Championships — by Ali Siddiqui

Who can forget Evolution? Randy Orton got his first break in WWE when he was recruited by Ric Flair and Triple H in early 2003 to form Evolution. Initially, Randy was a part of the group just to help Triple H against his opponents but gradually, he started to evolve. When Batista returned and became the Muscle of Evolution, Randy started to have more singles feuds. Randy was the sole survivor in the 5 on 5 traditional Survivor Series match between Team Bischoff and Team Austin in 2003 and went on to win the Intercontinental championship from Rob Van Dam at Armageddon 2003. Randy Orton, Batista and Ric Flair then defeated Mick Foley and The Rock at Wrestlemania 20. Randy then had an amazing Hardcore match with Mick Foley at Backlash. Randy Orton lost the Intercontinental Championship to Edge at Vengeance 2004 but was then immediately inserted into the World Title picture. He won the World Heavyweight Championship at Summerslam 2004 and became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion at the age of 24. The next night on Raw, Evolution turned on Orton, attacked him and kicked him out of Evolution, turning Orton face in the process. Triple H claimed that Evolution was all about him and that Randy Orton was trying to take his place. Randy lost the World title to Triple H the next month at Unforgiven.

Evolution reformed to feud against Shield in 2014 — by Ali Siddiqui
Evolution reformed to feud against Shield in 2014 — by Ali Siddiqui

Being a part of Evolution paved way for Randy Orton to become the Legend Killer and star he is today. Although Randy’s face turn wasn’t effective and he turned heel again shortly after but being a part of Evolution helped Randy in becoming the star that he is today and it may not have been possible if he hadn’t joined Evolution.

1. Legacy:

The Legacy — by Ali Siddiqui
The Legacy — by Ali Siddiqui

Randy Orton recruited up and coming stars Ted Dibiase Jr. and Cody Rhodes along with a few others to form Legacy in 2008. Randy Orton was their leader. Randy Orton, with the help of Rhodes and Dibiase, won the 2009 Royal Rumble match and went on to feud with the McMahon family and ended up attacking Vince, Shane and even Stephanie McMahon which caused WWE Champion Triple H to move to Raw from Smackdown. Legacy and Mcmahon Family/Triple H feuded which resulted in Randy Orton winning the WWE championship at Backlash 2009. Randy Orton lost the WWE championship to John Cena at Breaking Point 2009 in an I quit match but regained it at Hell in a Cell before losing it again to John Cena in a 60 minute Iron Man match at Bragging Rights 2009. Legacy then went on to feud with Kofi Kingston and lost to his team at Survivor Series but Randy defeated Kofi at TLC the very next month. Randy started losing faith in Cody and Ted and gave them matches against Mark Henry and Evan Bourne respectively and told them that they would be kicked out of Legacy if they lost. Cody and Ted both won their respective matches. Then, the next week, they told Orton that if he lost his match against Kofi, he would be kicked out of Legacy. Orton ended up winning the match. Troubles started yet again when Orton attacked Rhodes and Dibiase after his loss to John Cena at Royal Rumble 2010 blaming Rhodes for his loss. At Elimination Chamber 2010, Ted Dibiase hit Orton with a lead pipe and eliminated him from the match. Then during a six man tag match shortly after Elimination Chamber, Orton attacked Dibiase and Rhodes, and was attacked by Rhodes and Dibiase the following week clarifying the breakup of the group and Randy turned face for the first time since 2005. This resulted in a triple threat match at Wrestlemania 26 in which Randy Orton pinned Dibiase and punt kicked Rhodes.

Being a part of The Legacy helped in cementing Randy Orton’s legacy. Randy Orton had a great run with the group which resulted in some excellent storylines and matches. Randy also demonstrated excellent leadership qualities. Randy Orton’s face turn was well received by the fans and Randy went on to feud for the WWE championship, finally winning it at Night of Champions 2010 from Sheamus.

This article was originally published on @alisidd123