WWE is known for its larger-than-life characters and over-the-top personas. WWE legends and icons such as The Undertaker, The Rock, Triple H and more have all crossed over into the psyche of mainstream media.
However, most viewers of Monday Night RAW or Friday Night SmackDown often forget about the person behind the portrayal of their favorite WWE Superstars.
As is the case with most actors in a television or film production, many wrestlers adopt a “stage name” or character whose name is different to their birth name.
This is often done for trademarking purposes or because their real name doesn’t have the “showbiz” ring to it that is required of a professional wrestler. But there are a few exceptions to this rule.
Certain professional wrestlers utilize their real name for their on-screen persona. This can be due to their prior career in sports or entertainment. It can also be because they wish to blur the lines between fiction and reality when it comes to their professional wrestling character.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at five WWE Superstars who wrestle using their real names.
#5 Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton
Born Randal Keith Orton on April 1, 1980, Randy Orton has gone on to become one of the most successful and iconic WWE Superstars in WWE history.
The Viper made his WWE main roster debut on SmackDown in 2002 and has since developed into one of the most tenured superstars on the current roster.
The former WWE World Heavyweight Champion is a third generation wrestler. His father, WWE Hall of Famer Cowboy Bob Orton Jr. and his grandfather, Bob Orton Sr., both competed at a high level in the industry. The lineage of the Orton name is likely the reason why The Aprex Predator decided to use his real name as his on-screen persona.
Randy Orton’s CV reads as one of the most successful in WWE history. Orton is a 14-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Other championships won by The Viper include the Intercontinental Championship, United States Championship and WWE Tag Team Championship.
Randy Orton has also claimed other accolades, such as the 2013 Money in the Bank briefcase, and has won the men’s Royal Rumble match on two occasions in 2009 and 2017 respectively.