#ThrowbackThursday – Randy Orton: “Greatness Has Entered The Ring”



Evolution was a hell of a group back in the day. As the next genesis of the “Four Horsemen”, Evolution was a group that did exactly what the title says, it evolved those involved in it. With the wisdom of the Nature Boy Ric Flair and the leadership of Triple H, the two upstarts of the group ascended to levels of greatness that few have been able to match. The group met its end with the emergence of Batista who defeated his mentor Triple H to become the World Heavyweight Champion. But before the beast was unleashed, we had a believer of destiny who first entered the realms of WWE greatness with his Intercontinental TItle victory at Armageddon 2003.

Having made his name as the legend killer, Randy Orton won the IC championship as the entire group earned gold at the Armageddon PPV. Randy Orton has selected the recently named RAW General Manager Mick Foley as his next victim (who had previously been booted in the head down a flight of stairs by Orton). Being on the receiving of multiple beatdowns by Orton and the group, Foley left his position and the company putting people under the impression that he was a coward. That was until the Royal Rumble in 2004. Orton was the number two entrant in the match and did well to last a good 30 minutes in the match. However, his impressive performance came to a halt as the hardcore legend Mick Foley eliminated Orton leading to a huge scrap after both men were eliminated. Foley and Orton locked up in the ring at PPVS twice. Their first encounter was at Wrestlemania XX  where Orton pinned Foley in a 3 on 2 handicap match. The second time was Backlash 2004…

In what was a brutal encounter, Orton and Foley took each other to the limit. Foley delivered every brutal attack he can think of at Orton, but Orton refused to play down quietly and it resulted in Orton picking up the most important victory in his life. It was the victory that allowed him to on up in the card and towards the big one… the World Heavyweight Championship. After losing the Intercontinetal title to Edge, Orton earned the right to compete for the World Title at Summerslam. And in what was a sound encounter, Orton picked up the victory over Chris Benoit to become the youngest world champion in history.

But the next night on RAW, jubilation turned into decimation as Triple H wasn’t too happy about other members of the group winning the title he believed was his. Evolution delivered a bigtime beat down on Orton to “teach him a lesson”. But Orton didn’t prove to be a great learner as he spat in HHH’s face the next week to cement his turn from bad to good.

Orton’s rise to fame was played out really well since he returned from injury in 2003. Orton played his role as the cocky twat really well and he had a number of high-profile feuds as Intercontinental champion against the likes of RVD, Mick Foley and Edge. It was a great way for Orton to be catapulted into stardom.

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