Bob Orton Jr. is a second-generation professional wrestler. Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, the 72-year-old has been one of the most important figures in WWE for a period. Although he never went on to win a World Championship in WWE, his untanned legacy transcended those prestigious straps. After dropping out of college at 22, Orton started training with Hiro Matsuda. In 1972, he made his debut in Championship Wrestling.
Orton continued to pay visits to several independent circuits until making his first appearances for WWE (then WWF) in 1982. Notably, he unsuccessfully challenged Bob Backlund for the WWF Heavyweight Championship twice during that stint. Even though Orton rejoined the Vince McMahon-led promotion once again in 1984 for scattered runs over the next 4 years, he was mostly involved in mid-card feuds only.
He popularized the use of the top rope maneuver named the Superplex. To this date, superstars keep this offense in high regard as a mark of respect to the legends who originally produced them. For the most part of his wrestling career, Bob Orton worked as a heel. In 1984–85, he used to fake a limb injury and kept using a cast during his matches to his advantage.
Bob Orton’s WWE career and achievements
As mentioned above, the legendary wrestler from St. Louis never won any titles in the WWE. He was more cognitive about shaping the careers of his upcoming generation and his own son, Randy Orton. During his 3rd run with the Stamford-based promotion, Bob would use his son to accompany him to the ring. This father-son pairing grew dynamically, and fans eventually got invested in whatever they did.
Recognizing Bob Orton’s valuable contributions to this industry, WWE honored him by inducting the son of Bob Orton Sr. into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. Following this, Orton signed with the company under the Legends program. He continued to make sporadic appearances on several occasions. Back in 2017, at a Money in the Bank premium live event, Randy Orton challenged Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship.
For the match, Cowboy Bob Orton sat ringside along with other St. Louis WWE legends, including Ric Flair, Sgt. Slaughter, etc. After continued distractions, the match referee asked the Singh Brothers to vacate the ringside area and instructed them to head back. After learning the same, Samir and Sunil decided to lay their hands on The Viper’s dad. They weren’t able to cause much damage, as Randy came to the rescue sooner rather than later.
Bob Orton’s wife and Family
Since 1968, the WWE legend has been married to Elaine Orton. The couple has had three children together, namely Randy Orton, Nathan, and Becky. Undoubtedly, out of them, The Apex Predator has broken into the headlines and continued to sharpen his family’s storied history in professional wrestling.
Bob even had his first grandchild when Randy Orton and his ex-wife Samantha gave birth to a daughter in 2008. Throughout his life, Bob Orton has stayed loyal to his wife, having no history of separations. In 1986, Orton and Roddy Piper were caught in an incident in Fresno by their police department. The officials found Orton naked and drunk in a hotel.
How did Bob Orton help his son Randy Orton in his WWE success?
In 2005, Randy Orton feuded with The Undertaker in a heated rivalry. For the majority of their on-screen differences, Randy’s father, Bob, was by his side. During their first encounter at WrestleMania 21, The Legend Killer almost pulled off an upset over The Deadman. After surviving a devastating RKO, Taker ultimately outclassed a relatively young and inexperienced Randy Orton.
However, later that year at SummerSlam, Bob Orton caused heavy distractions in that Taker-Orton rematch from Mania. To his credit, Bob’s son was able to defeat The Undertaker via pinfall. Also at No Mercy, Bob teamed up with Randy to face The Reaper in a casket match, which the heels won. For sure, Randy was able to produce a memorable feud with The Undertaker due to the precious efforts of his father.
Getting to work with his dad on screen transformed Randy’s WWE career. After that feud, the Viper never looked back and eventually went on to become a 14-time World Champion in the company. At present, he’s sidelined with a serious back issue. Most recently, Bob Orton addressed the current situation of his son.
According to him, Randy is training well. However, he’s likely advised to stay away from in-ring competition, maybe forever. This came as an absolute heartbreak for most wrestling fans. Time will tell if the fans ever see Randy Orton back in a WWE ring or not.