It’s Halloween time, and you’d think that we here at Wrestlecrap would roll out some scary themed inductions to mark the occasion.
Well, have no fear!
…No, have some fear, because it’s Halloween…
React with as much fear as you deem appropriate for this most frightening of all wrestling feuds: The Undertaker vs. the Ortons!
It’s all here, ladies and gentlemen (although some cursory demographic research suggests that not a whole lot of ladies visit this site).
Our story begins at Wrestlemania 21, where Randy Orton tried and failed to end The Undertaker’s Streak. Of course, all smart fans knew there was 0% chance of Randy actually winning (mainly because he had been booked to lose; his odds would have gone up to 100% if he had been booked to win).
For a long time after, nothing happened between the two men, who were separated by brand.
That all changed in July of that year, and all it took was an inter-brand draft lottery and a terrorist attack.
With Muhammad Hassan’s character being banned from the network thanks to a mock-terrorism segment aired the same day as the London bombings, suddenly The Undertaker was re-booked to win their #1 contender’s match.
Since an Undertaker title match wasn’t in the cards for Summerslam, Taker immediately lost his title opportunity to JBL thanks to interference from new Smackdown arrival Randy Orton.
This set up a match between Randy and The Undertaker at Summerslam, which saw The Dead Man well on his way to victory until a confused, senile old dork wandered into the ring for a very inopportune handshake.
The distraction allowed Randy to sneak-attack The Phenom and score the victory. He then celebrated with the aforementioned disoriented geezer who was, in fact, none other than his dad Bob Orton, Jr. with a latex facial prosthesis and a bad wig — a wig with its tag still attached.
If you’ve ever imagined what it looks like when The Lord of Darkness is foiled by a cheap rug, here’s your answer.
After that embarrassing loss for The Undertaker, Randy figured it was about time The Dead Man retired, offering him this giant check.
Taker declined the generous offer by casting Lightning. The stage was thus set for a casket match between Undertaker and both Ortons.
Leading up to that first-ever handicap casket match…
…Taker and the Ortons partook in a game of Dueling Mannequins, with each party scaring the other with caskets — caskets occupied by wax dummies so lifelike, you’d swear they were just the real Undertaker…
…and the real Ortons…
…posing in the casket for a cheesy closeup camera shot and spliced in during post-production.
I can’t imagine what kind of connections any of these guys have with Madam Tussauds to get all these wax figures made on demand, but at least the Ortons found a use for that $1,416.00 the Undertaker rejected.
Okay, okay, so the dummies really were simply the Undertaker and the Ortons pretending to be dummies. I just find it depressing that the company’s special effects budget had apparently shrunken since 1996; they couldn’t even afford a Casket Cam in 2005.
The Ortons tried holding a mock funeral for Taker…
…but it turned out to be the real Undertaker in the casket and not the dummy Undertaker (which in reality never actually existed and was just the real Undertaker to begin with, but let’s play along with kayfabe here).
Even with the psychological advantage, Taker lost to the Ortons at No Mercy, then suffered the horrific experience of being locked in the casket, doused with gasoline, and burned alive!
And he really hates when that happens.
Good thing these guys with fire extinguishers sprung into action before Randy could even finish taking his post-match shower backstage.
The next month, however, the Dead Man resurrected in the same place he had died: a flaming coffin (well, casket this time)…
…striking fear into the hearts of Randy Orton and the Smackdown locker room, including the short-tenured tag team of The Dicks.
Two days later, Randy Orton honored the memory of the recently-deceased Eddie Guerrero by backing The Undertaker into one of those famously explosive WWE sets with Eddie’s own memorial low-rider, then bragging that he had killed him (“Him” meaning the Undertaker, not Eddie Guerrero. Randy never claimed to have killed Eddie, just that he went to hell).
For some reason, Randy thought that a low-speed car crash was enough to kill the Undertaker, who had previously survived being buried alive on three different occasions (four as of this writing) and getting locked in a burning casket twice, most recently a month prior at No Mercy. And, Undertaker or not, if you hit someone with your car and by the time you got out of your car for closer inspection, the victim had disappeared completely instead of leaving behind a lifeless corpse, wouldn’t your first thought be, “He must be alive” and not, “He must be dead”?
Then the mind games started. And not the amateurish JBL-style mind games (such as ramming your car into your opponent’s head). I mean spooky mind games!
First, Randy saw Undertaker in the mirror, only for him to vanish when Orton turned around. Of course, Taker wasn’t literally “in” the mirror like Warrior was in WCW, which is good because nothing’s stupider than a hallucination that everybody watching at home can see.
Speaking of which… Randy won’t be winning any Slammy Awards for this kind of performance. Nor will the production people.
Nor will even Bob Orton. I can understand the fake blood used for shock value. I can understand this being all in Randy Orton’s head. What I can’t understand is why the Ace Cowboy keeps curling his lip like Elvis Presley.
Also, I lied. I can’t understand this being all in Randy Orton’s head, since it’s clearly being picked up on camera. I also can’t understand the nickname “Ace Cowboy,” come to think of it.
Unbeknownst to the Ortons, Undertaker appeared on backstage monitors to spy on his two opponents. Somebody should tell Undy that you can’t actually see through the other side of the screen when you’re on TV. I wonder if Michelle McCool has ever explained to Taker that it’s alright to watch The Tonight Show because Jimmy Fallon can’t see into their bedroom.
It wasn’t just Randy, the cameramen, the electronics, or the fabric of reality being messed with; Josh Mathews fell victim to Taker’s powers, getting possessed by The Dead Man to deliver a message to the Legend-Killer. A decade later, Vince McMahon would have insisted that Taker send Randy a Tout instead.
I should note that this possession occurred right after the Ortons’ car drove away by itself.
Finally, all the mind games prompted Randy to see a shrink, which was sadly not played for comedy – since he was still using his old theme song, the therapist never got to ask Orton about the voices he heard in his head.
At Armageddon, Undertaker beat Randy at Hell in a Cell to settle the feud. To cap off this five-month whirlwind of idiocy, Bob Orton Jr. was released shortly thereafter, and, rumor has it, a planned Randy Orton title run (with his dad running interference) went up in smoke like a joint in the Smackdown locker room.
See, it turned out that well before the match, Bob Orton Jr. had tested positive for Hepatitis-C, which was totally cool with a certain road agent (who may have also told Brock Lesnar to do that Shooting Star Press at WMXIX), but not so much with The Undertaker…
…especially since he didn’t find out until after the match and after Bob had, you know, bled all over him.
No wonder Randy was so scared of his dad.