Ranking The Royal Rumble Winners – Part 12
It’s Royal Rumble season, which means it’s almost WrestleMania season. Thanks to the WWE Network, you can go back and watch all the old Royal Rumble pay per views and matches, and in that spirit, I decided to rank the winners. I’ll be ranking the winners every day until the we reach #1, and if you’re interested in checking out who’s already on the list, use the tricky magnifying glass at the top of the screen and search ‘Royal Rumble winners’ or scroll through the blog. Now, onto the rankings!
11. Randy Orton – 2009 Royal Rumble
Ever since his main roster debut, Randy Orton has been labeled ‘The Chosen One’. The son of ‘Cowboy’ Bob Orton and perhaps the most physically gifted athlete in the WWE, Orton has been a main eventer ever since he joined Evolution in 2003. While he’s currently on the IR, Orton has been a key member of the WWE for over a decade, and his showing in the 2009 Royal Rumble was one of the more impressive outings by a Rumble winner. He came in at #8 and lasted 48 minutes, finally eliminating HHH to win the match.
The Good: Orton was born to be a wrestler. As mentioned above, Orton was the son of Bob Orton, but his grandfather and uncle were also professional wrestlers. He’s a 12 time Heavyweight Champion, Tag Team Champion as a member of the underrated team Rated RKO, Royal Rumble winner and MITB winner. He turned his MITB win in 2013 into a WWE Championship win after conspiring with HHH to cash in on Daniel Bryan. Later that year he would defeat John Cena and unify the World Heavyweight and WWE title. He was a member of Evolution and Legacy, a group which he spearheaded with the help of Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. His ‘Legend Killer’ gimmick is still one of the better characters for any young WWE superstar, and he’s just as great in the ring now as he was 10 years ago.
The Not So Good: there have been two consistent knocks on Orton: he’s not as good as the hype, and his temper and penchant for failing drug tests makes it hard for the WWE to make him the top guy. The first one I don’t agree with. WWE is scripted sports entertainment. If Orton were a professional basketball or baseball player and he wasn’t performing, then you can make the argument that he’s not living up to the hype. In a scripted environment, it’s impossible to say that. What Orton does have control over are the failed drug tests. He’s been clean lately, but with his history, it’s understandable that the WWE is leery of giving him ‘John Cena status’.