Randy Orton has been ranked the fifth best wrestler of 2020 in the first-ever ITR 50 as announced in the latest issue of Inside The Ropes Magazine.
Orton underwent a career renascence in 2020, starting with a Rated RKO reunion with Edge during the Men’s Royal Rumble before being eliminated by his former partner. Orton would retaliate on RAW by viciously attacking ‘The Rated R Superstar’ the next night, kick-starting one of the year’s biggest rivalries. The two would eventually do battle in a brutal Last Man Standing bout at WrestleMania 36 where Edge claimed his first victory in almost nine years.
Their emotionally-charged feud didn’t end there though as ‘The Viper’ got the last laugh in their rematch at Backlash in a match that, despite being saddled with ‘The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever’ tagline, managed to live up and arguably exceed expectations. Following his win, Orton would revive his beloved ‘Legend Killer’ persona by assaulting the likes of Christian, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair over the summer before challenging WWE Champion Drew McIntyre.
Orton would chase RAW’s top prize throughout autumn and unsuccessfully challenge at both SummerSlam and Clash of Champions, losing to RAW newcomer Keith Lee in the process at Payback. ‘The Viper’ would finally capture the belt at Hell In A Cell after throwing McIntyre off the structure and through a table – tying with Triple H for the second most world title reigns in WWE history at 14.
Orton would lose the belt back to the ‘Scottish Warrior’ just six days before his Survivor Series clash with Universal Champion Roman Reigns, failing to become #1 contender again the following week, thanks to interference from ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt.
Esteemed wrestling journalist and Inside The Ropes Magazine writer Bill Apter detailed Orton’s ability to blur the lines between fiction and reality to summarise the rebirth of ‘The Viper’ in 2020:
“Randy Orton is thoroughly compelling. I’m still a wrestling fan. I still want to believe. Orton perfectly blurs the lines between ‘work’ and ‘shoot.’ It’s still real to him and that makes it still real to the rest of us. He makes you believe.”
Issue 4 of Inside The Ropes Magazine, which features the ITR 50 in full, is available for both digital and physical purchase online worldwide as well as in the United States, Canada, Australia and Ireland through select retailers.