Randy Orton has compiled a multitude of accolades throughout his tenure in WWE, and has earned himself a long list of nicknames over the years, as well.
Whether they call him “The Legend Killer,” “The Viper,” “The Apex Predator,” wrestling fans know all about Orton’s successes and reputation in the ring.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, however, Orton has inadvertently built up an entirely different kind of reputation that happens to benefit a rival company.
Over the 20 months, a laundry list of longtime WWE superstars left the company for a variety of reasons, whether their contract was terminated or simply expired.
Big names like Big Show, Christian Cage, Mark Henry, and Matt Hardy all wound up in AEW, a fast-rising competitor to WWE in the professional wrestling scene.
They were all able to bring along a wealth of experience in the business, and were all able to bond through a unique connection, as well.
In each of those four instances, the superstar’s last interaction on WWE television involved Orton.
Whether it was a brutal beatdown in the ring or an attack backstage, Orton basically did the equivalent of writing each superstar out of WWE’s programming, apparently sending them all the way to a rival company as a result.
The trend gained a lot of steam throughout the course of 2020 and 2021, and garnered some more momentum as WWE started to release more talent as a result of “budget cuts.”
Most notably, fans were sent into a frenzy when WWE let go of “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt on July 31, 2021.
Naturally, fans began to wonder about AEW as a potential landing spot for the former WWE champion. At the same time, fans realized that Wyatt could be added to the list of legendary stars that Orton sent through the “forbidden door.”
Wyatt’s last match in WWE came against Orton at WrestleMania 37 in April, where “The Viper” picked up a surprise win over “The Fiend” as a result of a distraction from Alexa Bliss.
Wyatt did make one more appearance on WWE television after WrestleMania 37, which didn’t actually involve Orton and seemingly pokes a hole in the fast-spreading conspiracy.
But, if Wyatt were to make the jump from WWE to AEW in search of a fresh start, Orton would be able to add another name to his Chris Jericho-esque “list” of victims.
All things considered, if a WWE superstar wants to stick around in the company and avoid having to transition to AEW’s programming, they may want to stay away from Randy Orton in the immediate future.