A Lot of Excitement

Randy Orton’s recent loss at the 2016 SummerSlam created a lot of speculation on the part of fans that “the Viper” may soon begin considering other available career options. If he does leave the WWE, he would still remain in the headlines due to his fame as a world-class wrestler. In the past, some acclaimed wrestling stars have transitioned successfully into potentially high-paying MMA (“Mixed Martial Arts”) as a career step. Brock Lesnar, who defeated Randy Orton this August during a grueling match, actually re-joined the WWE after previously fighting in MMA matches.

The WWE Versus The MMA

World Wrestling Entertainment conducts business under the popular name “WWE”. The company entertains fans around the world by sponsoring live and televised professional wrestling matches, licensing products and promoting music and film events. Legions of fans follow poplar wrestlers who perform in WWE matches, such as Randy Orton. “The Viper” seemed a natural match for the WWE when he signed with the organization a few years ago. His father, “Cowboy” Bob Orton earned a place in the WWE Hall of Fame. Both Randy Orton’s grandfather and his uncle had won renown as wrestling stars.

Mixed Martial Arts developed as an umbrella encompassing several forms of full body combat sports competitions. It welcomes contestants from a wide variety of martial arts backgrounds, including judo, jiu-jitsu, boxing and wrestling. Due to the potential for serious injuries suffered by participants, the MMA did not obtain legal approval to conduct games within the entire United States until just a few years ago. Its matches have resulted in a higher rate of player injuries in the past than other combat-based sports. Yet the MMA does appeal to a wide cross-section of professional bodybuilders and athletes because these competitions sometimes offer large prizes for contestants who prevail in different weight classes.

Charting Lucrative Career Paths

If Randy Orton decides to explore MMA events, he would follow a course charted by a number of other WWE stars in the past. For example, Brock Lesner, who prevailed in the WWE SummerSlam this August, comes from a broadly-based professional sports background that includes MMA experience. Athlete and actor Dave Bautista also used the WWE as a springboard to transition into lucrative MMA matches, while advancing a film career also:

Brock Lesnar

For example, Brock Lesnar, who signed as an NFL football player with the Minnestoa Vikings several years ago, has competed in several MMA fights. Betonline.com review the success him and his competitors  have gained during their professional sports career. After joining the WWE in 2002 and winning three WWE Championship matches, he focused on football and martial arts before recently returning to WWE Raw. During the recent SummerSlam he attacked Randy Orton so aggressively that the Viper required 10 staples to close a bloody gash in head. Brock Lesner received a $500 fine from the WWE for the incident, probably a token gesture when levied against a competitor who won well over a million dollars in a UFC match this July.

Dave Bautista

Dave Bautista’s career also demonstrates professional wrestlers sometimes depart from the WWE to pursue titles and financial rewards in the mixed martial arts. In 2000, the 6’6″ tall athlete debuted in wrestling using the professional name “Leviathan”. He soon won the Ohio Valley Wrestling Heavyweight Championship. Shortly after losing it, he received an invitation to join the WWE roster. He won the WWE Championship twice and then launched a successful film career in 2006. He signed to participate in MMA games for Classic Entertainment & Sports in August, 2012 and has continued acting in movie roles while also competing in MMA sports competitions.

Many Options

Randy Orton could remain with the WWE, of course. Yet he might consider pursuing other careers, too. Wrestlers often excel in mixed martial arts competitions.

About The Author

Staff Writer/Betting Analyst

Phil Oscarson is a sports writer and betting odds analyst with over 10 years experience in the sports betting industry. When not writing about sports, he loves to play golf, basketball and tennis.