24. Team Raw (Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman) vs. Team SmackDown LIVE (AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Shane McMahon, Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton) — 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Men’s Elimination Match (Survivor Series)
If there was a WWE equivalent to a big-budget summer popcorn flick this year, it was undoubtedly the Survivor Series main event. The heavily hyped battle between Raw and SmackDown LIVE was so packed with marquee stars, high stakes and even comic relief (thanks to Team Blue mascot James Ellsworth) that you wouldn’t have been surprised to find out it was directed by Joss Whedon. The nearly hourlong (!) affair — which saw Roman Reigns almost hospitalize Shane McMahon with the ugliest Spear of 2016, The Shield Triple-Powerbomb AJ Styles through an announce table and Randy Orton & Bray Wyatt walk out as survivors — left us slack-jawed, breathless, and asking one question: When’s the sequel?
Even a pro wrestling bad guy like Randy Orton has a heart. Especially when it comes to family. That has been apparent in the last few weeks even as the heel Orton won the Smackdown tag team championship with Bray Wyatt last weekend at TLC and the actor Orton appears on USA Network’s Shooter on Tuesday as James Richards, a former Navy SEAL who leads a militia group.
On Thanksgiving, Randy and wife Kim welcomed daughter Brooklyn Rose. “Everybody is doing great,” Orton said this week. “The baby is perfect. Mom is healthy. They came home on Thanksgiving so that was pretty cool.” Days earlier, Orton stepped out of character during the Survivor Series pay-per-view to check in with Shane McMahon’s sons in the front row after McMahon took a wicked spear. “He whacked his head pretty hard,” Orton said. “I knew where the family was. I didn’t think the camera was going to be on me. I wanted to reassure the kids that daddy’s OK and he will be fine.”
Orton also was wearing an orange bracelet to raise awareness for leukemia after his 5-year-old nephew T.J. was recently diagnosed. “He’s a little badass,” Orton said. “It’s going to be a long journey. That’s why I wear the bracelet and will continue to wear it.” As a third-generation wrestler, Orton has been steeped in the wrestling business by his grandfather, father and uncle. Now a father of five kids, Orton fully understands to how his kids react to seeing him in the ring, too. While promoting Shooter – which airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET after Smackdown – Orton talked family, wrestling, his new tag team partner and more with For The Win. His Shooter episode is part of WWE Week on USA with Raw on Monday (8 p.m. ET), Smackdown on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET) and the 14th annual Tribute to the Troops on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET).
LET’S TALK ABOUT “SHOOTER.” HOW DID THIS ROLE COME ABOUT FOR YOU?
I got an opportunity while I was out of action in the ring after shoulder surgery in December. I was a couple of months away from being cleared and was still at home. Basically, that made me one of the candidates. They talked to a couple of other guys and wanted to give me the opportunity. You don’t really get to audition. USA Network talks to our people and the network wanted me to play the role. It was really cool that they picked me. It does make you feel good. I was really impressed with the director. He was willing to work with me. I needed a little extra in terms of pointers because I’m not as experienced as the other actors. It was a great group of people. The crew was awesome. Ryan Phillippe was great. Just a man’s man. He talked to me on the same level. There was no big-leaguing anybody on the set.
In an article written for The Player’s Tribune, WWE superstar Dolph Ziggler wrote about his Top 5 favorite finishing moves of all time. Randy’s infamous RKO was among the list, read below to see what Dolph had to say:
This list wouldn’t feel complete without the RKO. It’s a great finisher and I’ve taken a few of them. There’s something just special about Randy’s athleticism. He so good at what I’m trying to accomplish that it makes me mad. He has a way of doing something incredibly difficult, while having a look on his face that says I’m thinking about Disneyland right now but I’m still wrestling better than you ever can.
So the RKO is kind of perfect for him because it’s a difficult looking move to pull off that he’s made stand out through art, showmanship and impact. He has many well-documented snake attributes, but he’s also so smooth in the ring that it adds a lot to the RKO. And like a lot of these great finishers, it comes out of nowhere. Like I’m pretty sure he even sells a shirt that says “Out of Nowhere” on it.
WWE superstar Randy Orton’s next match will be against Ryan Phillippe on Shooter.
Orton, who is currently away from wrestling due to an injury, will guest-star on an episode of the new USA series. The former WWE Champion will play James Richards, an ex-Navy SEAL who now leads the militia group Tree of Liberty. An investigation by Bobby Lee Swagger (Phillippe) exposes Richards as something other than the patriot he appears to be.
— ít ԹհíӀՀ good (@RyanPhillippe) June 3, 2016
Shooter follows Swagger, a former Marine who has come out of seclusion to stop an assassination attempt on the president. The show is based on the Stephen Hunter novel Point of Impact, as well as the 2007 Mark Wahlberg film Shooter.
The first season of Shooter, which also stars Omar Epps and Shantel VanSanten, well debut on USA on July 19 at 10 p.m. ET.