RKO has got that dough! “The Viper” Randy Orton is a third-generation superstar bred for success and has accomplished more in the ring than his father and grandfather combined. He is a 12-time world champion and has been a main event fixture in WWE for over a decade. He is the youngest World Heavyweight Champion, at the tender age of 24 in 2004, and since then, he has been the main event of a litany of pay per views, including WrestleMania, most recently in 2014. And Orton is still going strong to this day as one of WWE’s most valued employees.
Randy Orton was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, but later moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he would take up amateur wrestling as a high school student. But professional wrestling ran through his veins like blood. His father is “Cowboy” Bob Orton, a wrestler famous for his partnership with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. His uncle Barry Orton was also a pro wrestler (and later a musician), along with his grandfather, Bob Orton, Sr. who ran the ring ropes in the 1950s and ’60s. Despite this deep family connection to professional wrestling, his parents would plead with Randy not to follow the path of his father, uncle, and grandfather. They warned him that life as a wrestler meant a lifetime of the road away from your family.
After he graduated high school in 1998, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, but this stint in the military didn’t work out for the young Orton as he went AWOL and was court marshaled, which meant he would have to spend 38 days in a military prison. After this failed stint as a military man, he set his sights once more on wrestling. And in 2000, he began training in his hometown of St. Louis. Despite that his father protested his son’s involvement in the “family business,” the elder Orton would help train his son to become a pro. And it wouldn’t be long until the WWE caught wind of this emerging star in Randy Orton. In 2001, he signed a developmental deal with the WWE, and the rest would be history.
Since his SmackDown! debut in 2002, “The Apex Predator” has gone on to achieve accolade after accolade in the WWE. He’s a Royal Rumble winner, a WrestleMania main eventer and has a dozen world title reigns under his belt. But after all this success, how much has The Viper made in dollars? How much dough has Randy raked in? Let’s look and see how much money the “Legend Killer” has acquired.
Randy Orton’s Net Worth as of 2017: $15.5 million
Randy Orton’s net worth rolls in at an impressive $15.5 million. He might have made significantly less money than the top paid performer John Cena, but so does everyone else in the company! In 2015, he was the third top paid performer in the WWE, making less than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and of course, John Cena. That year, Orton pulled in $2.5 million, which is nothing to shake a stick at. And after over a decade of shining in the main event scene, it is no wonder that The Viper was able to slither his way to a fortune. Read below and see for yourself how Orton rose through the ranks to becoming a professional wrestling icon.
2000 – 2004
Orton would make his official in-ring debut way back in the year 2000 in a wrestling promotion called the Mid-Missouri Wrestling Association-Southern Illinois Conference Wrestling. He only wrestled for that promotion for a month, and by 2001, he had already signed a developmental contract with WWE to be shipped down south to Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, Kentucky. In the minor leagues of WWE, he captured the OVW Hardcore Championship on two separate occasions. Orton would transition over to the main roster, making his official WWE debut at WrestleMania X8 Fan Access as he defeated ECW icon Tommy Dreamer. A month later, he would make his official televised debut, defeating Hardcore Holly on the April 25, 2002 edition of WWE SmackDown! After a series of matches with Holly, Orton was drafted to Monday Night Raw, where he would soon break out of his shell and become one of WWE’s elite superstars.
Shortly after his Raw debut, Orton suffered a shoulder injury, which sidelined him for months. While injured, Orton would rudely interrupt segments on Raw to give the audience video packages of the Randy News Network. In early 2003, Orton would return and form a villainous faction known as Evolution, which dominated the Monday night scene for the next two years. Orton would make his SummerSlam debut that year in a main event elimination chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship. He would fail to capture the top prize of Raw, but he would not end the year without gold over his shoulder as he defeated Rob Van Dam for the Intercontinental Championship at Armageddon on December 14, 2003. But before he defeated Van Dam, he started to refer to himself as the “Legend Killer,” assaulting and disrespecting legends, kicking Mick Foley down a flight of stairs and defeating Shawn Michaels with brass knuckles at Unforgiven 2003.
At the time, Orton was the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion in seven years, as he held onto the gold for seven months before losing it to another future world champion Edge at Vengeance 2004. But earlier in the year, he would have one of the most memorable moments of his career, putting the IC belt on the line in a hardcore match against a man who bleeds barbed wire, thumb tacks, and baseball bats, Mick Foley. Orton’s rise to success didn’t end with the IC Championship, as a month after he lost the gold, he would be promoted once again to the main event of WWE SummerSlam, where he would capture his very first World Heavyweight Championship. At 24 years old, Randy Orton became the youngest world champion in WWE’s history, a record that continues to this day.
2004 – 2009
However, Orton’s run at the top of the mountain would take a quick downturn, as his Evolution teammates turned on the young star and later the leader of the group Triple H would defeat Orton less than a month later, ending his first reign as World Heavyweight Champion. Orton would spend the rest of 2004 and the early months of 2005 fighting off Evolution and chasing after Triple H for the big gold belt. Although, Orton’s run as a good guy wasn’t picking up steam; he was becoming a stale fan favorite and was starting to lose support, so he turned into a bad guy again and went after The Undertaker. Orton was unsuccessful in his match with The Deadman at WrestleMania 21, and a couple of months later, he was drafted back over to the SmackDown! Over on the blue brand, Orton would continue his feud with the Demon of Death Valley for the rest of 2005, as they both turned wins and losses, culminating inside a Hell in a Cell.
Orton competed at WrestleMania 22 in a triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship and came up empty. He returned to the Raw brand in June 2006, picking up his feud with Kurt Angle. At SummerSlam 2006, Orton would look to kill the biggest legend of them all, more specifically, Hulk Hogan, but he once again came up short. Damn, how did the 25-year-old Orton lose to an old man years past his prime? No wonder it took him three years to win another world title, but you’ll learn about this soon enough. Later on, he would form Rated RKO with Edge to take on the newly-formed D-Generation X, and Orton would pick up some retribution against old man wrestling from the ’80s as him and Edge defeated the team of Ric Flair and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper for the World Tag Team Championship (Yes, that was in 2006).
In 2007, Orton once again a prominent fixture of the main event scene. In Fall 2007, he would finally win another world title, as he was granted the WWE Championship by his boss Vince McMahon after John Cena vacated the belt because of injury. Orton would trade this title back and forth with Triple H. And in 2008, Orton would main event his very first WrestleMania, as he defeated both John Cena and Triple H to retain the gold. He would main event WrestleMania the following year as well, losing to Triple H, but he regained the title a month later at Backlash 2009. In 2009, Orton would lead a group of his own known as “Legacy” with other wrestlers who have a family tree in the wrestling ring, Ted DiBiase (Jr.) and Cody Rhodes. This small group really packed a punch, and that year, Orton would pick up quite a few additional titles as he traded title wins with John Cena.
2010 – present
As 2010 rolled on, tensions within Legacy were boiling, as both younger performers turned on the wily Orton, leading to a triple threat match at WrestleMania 26, which Randy Orton won. Orton was once again a good guy and feuded with Edge and Sheamus for much of the year. Orton would win the WWE Championship once more at Night of Champions 2010 in a six-pack challenge elimination match. At WrestleMania 27, Orton would pick up another win at the grandest stage of them all by defeating CM Punk with a mid-air RKO. On April 25, he was drafted over to SmakcDown, and quickly rose through the ranks, defeating Christian for the World Heavyweight Championship on May 6. He would feud with Christian well into the summer, trading world title reigns before defeating Captain Charisma at that year’s SummerSlam event.
After losing the world title to Mark Henry, Orton would move on to a feud with British tough guy Wade Barrett, which saw Orton suffer a herniated disc after being thrown down a flight of stairs, causing him to be out of action for four weeks. Orton would go on to feud with “The Demon” Kane and look for allies to fend off The Shield. But Randy Orton wouldn’t return to real prominence until 2013, when he won the Money in the Bank ladder match, cashed it in on a vulnerable Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam and would onto be the ultimate bad guy, claiming to be the new face of the WWE, when he was more akin to The Authority’s Puppet. Later in 2013, he would defeat John Cena in a ladder match at the Tables, Ladies and Chairs pay per view, where he would capture the World Heavyweight Championship, becoming a dual world champion in the process. But the YES! Movement proved too much for the Viper and he lost all the gold in the main event of WrestleMania to Daniel Bryan in a triple threat match that also included the just-as-villainous Batista. After this match, Orton would return to his Evolution roots, teaming up with Triple H to take on The Shield in a fantasy showdown between truly iconic groups in this business.
Since then, Orton has mainly faded away from the world title scene. The exception to this rule is a brief feud with Seth Rollins in 2015 over the biggest prize in this industry at Extreme Rules and a fatal four-way match at Payback against all three former members of The Shield, all of which Randy came up on the losing end. Orton is now back to being a good guy even with his current oddball pairing with The Wyatt Family, as fans still favor “The Apex Predator.” He did have a high profile match against Brock Lesnar at this year’s SummerSlam, which concluded with a devastating defeat for Orton as Brock demolished The Viper; an essential TKO to the master of the RKO. Outside the ring, Orton has proven to be a valuable asset for WWE’s film division, starring in That’s What I Am, The Condemned 2, 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded, and most recently The Viper lent his talents to the film Countdown.
At Royal Rumble 2017, Randy earned his right to fight in the main event of WrestleMania 33. Orton will now face his former leader Bray Wyatt for the WWE World Championship on the grandest stage of them all.
Randy Orton has shined like a diamond on WWE television for over a decade. He has been the main event of numerous events, including WrestleMania, and has forever carved his face into the fabric of professional wrestling history. The story of Randy Orton is that of legend; he fell from grace during his stint in the military to rise up to superpower status in the world of wrestling. Orton has a career oozing in decadence and accomplishment, so it’s of little wonder that The Viper was able to slither away with such a large fortune. The career of the Viper is long from finished; it’ll still be quite a few years before he recoils into retirement. This Apex Predator will surely one day grace the halls of the WWE Hall of Fame, but for now, he’ll remain in active competition as his stock continues to grow. We can only guess how his net worth will look at the end of his career. Hopefully, he won’t go down the same path as his mentor “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair and party most of his earnings away. The Viper appears to be on the hunt for more glistening gold and mouth-watering dough.