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Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator WWE DVD Review

Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator DVDRandy Orton the Evolution of a Predator is the newest WWE DVD featuring a WWE superstar. The three-disc set features one of the better documentaries the WWE has produced in a long time. For a guy that never liked Orton, it was hard to come away without a new found respect for The Viper.

The WWE tends to run hot and cold on their superstar home videos. Some like the Randy Savage will feature hosts chiming in between matches while others like the Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels DVDs are produced as a documentary. The Orton DVD falls into that category and sans a few goofy WWE moments, it is one of the best docs the WWE has produced in years.

In the ten years that Randy Orton has been a WWE superstar, he has only started to come out of his shell over the last year. Orton has done a great job since turning babyface of becoming one of the most media and fan friendly WWE superstars in the company. This new side to Orton’s personality shines throughout the entire DVD as Orton comes across as a genuinely good guy who is doing his best to turn the corner and bury the terrible reputation he earned during the first half of his WWE career.

The WWE starts out at the Elimination Chamber 2011 show, 42 days out of WrestleMania 27. The DVD follows Orton on the road and at home from the Elimination Chamber through WrestleMania. It told a story, but it seemed kind of odd since Orton wasn’t in anything significant at the show. I think it would have made more sense to start at WrestleMania and end with Orton winning the WWE world heavyweight title from Christian, which also would have included Orton’s reaction to being drafted to SmackDown.

I can’t get inside Orton’s head but he came across as honest and candid throughout the entire documentary. Unfortunately you had some WWE moments such as Orton asking the cameras to take a break while they filmed him in the locker room after being pinned by CM Punk in the Elimination Chamber. However, there really weren’t many other moments like this but it just seems kind of silly when you are trying to tell a true story throughout the DVD.

In addition to Orton, his wife (the real one, not the actresses), Triple H, John Cena, Cowboy Bob Orton, and Arn Anderson give comments throughout the DVD. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase also get into the mix when the Legacy is discussed. Stock interviews with Ric Flair and Batista are also cut into the DVD, but Triple H and Anderson probably offer more insight than anyone on The Viper.

The overriding theme of the DVD is that Orton couldn’t handle success early in his WWE career and spiraled out of control. Orton talks about his reputation for being a jerk and the DVD contains many candid moments outside of the ring backing up those stories. Triple H says that Orton was always good with him while Cena said he used to think Orton was a “d*ck.” I can’t disagree after seeing a lot of the early clips of Orton at autograph sessions and outside of the ring.

One thing that really grabbed me was Orton at home. Like him or not, he comes off as a very happy family man. Orton cites the birth of his daughter as the moment he turned around his life and I don’t doubt it. The guy is just glowing every second he is shown with his daughter. It is a side to Orton that you will never see on television and really makes you want to root for the guy.

He also appears to be great with his fans. I have heard this in general about Orton that out of everyone in the WWE, he is one of the best with his fans. Of course it is easy for Orton to go out of his way with fans when cameras are on, but all you have to do is follow his Twitter to see how authentic his relationship with his fans is. I remember reading a story about Orton at WrestleMania 26 Axxess telling fans to stop him if they see him on the streets for an autograph. I believe it and Orton even talks about how odd it is that he keeps getting request from the Make a Wish Foundation due to his many years as a dastardly heel.

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Orton gives a fairly detailed account of his background coming into the WWE. There are several clips of Orton wrestling in high school and plenty of pictures of Orton as a kid. Orton goes into great length about the story of his AWOL in the marines and provides a lot of context to a story which for years was simply reported as Randy Orton was a deserter.

Orton has also gained quite a reputation lately for his media appearances. The DVD follows Orton on a couple of those experiences. One was just downright embarrassing and it had nothing to do with Orton. Orton appeared to enjoy the appearances which probably isn’t easy when he has to get up early in the morning after a late night of travel to do. This is quite a change from the Randy Orton who flipped out on Mexican television two years ago.

One of the most talked about aspects of this DVD will likely be Orton discussing his issues with drugs. Again, I don’t know the man to tell you what is entirely true or false but the guy seems to be completely honest when reflecting back on his addiction. Orton tells a story about almost dying from an overdose and credits his family for helping him get on track. Triple H comments about how frustrated he’d get with Randy because he saw so much talent in him but he kept screwing it up. There is some great stuff here and another reason you really want to root for the guy after watching the video.

Of course Evolution and Legacy are discussed. Two things immediately come to mind when watching these segments. One, they really blew it with Ted DiBiase two years ago. Two, Evolution was really something special for its time. Members of all of the groups talk about working with Orton. Cody and Ted specifically talk about Orton being hard on DiBiase during Legacy, while Triple H compares Orton in the ring to Shawn Michaels.

Again, they follow Orton through WrestleMania 27 filming him backstage at several WWE events. Orton appears to keep to himself for the most part backstage. Orton also acknowledges his numerous shoulder injuries and visits WWE trainers often following matches to take the necessary precautions. You also really get an idea of how hard matches like the Elimination Chamber are on the body when you see Orton in the trainer’s office the day after the show.

I didn’t get too much into the matches because quite frankly, they didn’t interest me. However, if you are an Orton fan you can’t help from being excited about the match choices. But for me, my interest lied only in the documentary portion of the set.

Overall I would highly recommend the documentary. I came away from it thinking a lot differently about Orton than I ever did before. The clips are great and the documentary tells a great story about a guy struggling everyday with redemption and the power of family. If not for a few WWE moments, I would probably say that this was the best documentary ever produced by the company. I won’t go that far but it is certainly one of the best and well worth a spot in your collection.

Disc 1

I Am Randy Orton
The Road to WrestleMania Begins
Preparing for the Chamber
Embarking on a Path of Destiny
Training Days
The Elimination Chamber
Facing the Media
The Next Diamond
Signs of Trouble
Dealing with Injuries
The Legend Killer
The Man of Destiny
Punked Out
Coming Home
A Hard Lesson to Learn
Evening the Odds
The Mecca
The Price and Reward of WrestleMania
Making a Difference
Dark Days
Madison Square Melee
Randy’s Redemption
Axxess to the Apex Predator
Legacy
The Day Has Arrived…
I Won’t Be Your Hero
The Evolution of Randy Orton

Disc 2 – Matches

Randy Orton vs. Slick Robbie D
OVW Christmas Chaos – January 31, 2001

Randy Orton vs. Hardcore Holly
SmackDown – April 25, 2002

Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels
Unforgiven – September 21, 2003

Intercontinental Championship Match
Randy Orton vs. Rob Van Dam
Armageddon – December 14, 2003

Handicap Tag Team Match
Randy Orton, Ric Flair & Batista vs. The Rock & Mick Foley
WrestleMania 20 – March 14, 2004

Hardcore Match for the Intercontinental Championship
Randy Orton vs. Mick Foley
Backlash – April 18, 2004

Intercontinental Championship Match
Randy Orton vs. Edge
Vengeance – July 11, 2004

Handicap Casket Match
Randy Orton & “Cowboy” Bob Orton vs. The Undertaker
No Mercy – October 9, 2005

Disc 3 – Matches

Randy Orton vs. Kurt Angle
Vengeance – June 25, 2006

Legend Killer vs. Legend
Randy Orton vs. Hulk Hogan
SummerSlam – August 20, 2006

Texas Bull Rope Match
Randy Orton vs. Dusty Rhodes
The Great American Bash – July 22, 2007

Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship
Randy Orton vs. Triple H vs. John Cena
WrestleMania 24 – March 30, 2008

“I Quit” Match for the WWE Championship
Randy Orton vs. John Cena
Breaking Point – September 13, 2009

Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Championship
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
Hell in a Cell – October 3, 2010

Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
WrestleMania 27 – April 3, 2011

World Heavyweight Championship Match
Randy Orton vs. Christian
SmackDown – May 6, 2011


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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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