The Legacy (professional wrestling)

The Legacy (professional wrestling)
The Legacy
The original trio of The Legacy.
Left to right: Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase
Tag team
Members Randy Orton
Ted DiBiase, Jr.
Cody Rhodes
Name(s) The Legacy
Randy Orton & The Legacy
Debut January 5, 2009[1]
Disbanded April 27, 2010

The Legacy was a villainous alliance of professional wrestlers in World Wrestling Entertainment. The group was led by Randy Orton and contained the tag team of Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase.

In June 2008, Rhodes and DiBiase first formed an alliance after winning the World Tag Team Championship at Night of Champions, when Rhodes betrayed his original partner, Hardcore Holly, to align with DiBiase. Soon after, the pair tried to earn Orton's respect, which they eventually did. Together, the team helped Orton win the 2009 Royal Rumble match, giving Orton an opportunity to main event at WrestleMania XXV. The team also wrestled together in a tag team match to win the WWE Championship for Orton at Backlash. The team would help Orton win the championship three times over the course of 2009 despite a tumultuous relationship which saw Orton often physically attacking his two students. This led to Orton splitting from the group in early 2010. Rhodes and DiBiase eventually turned on each other in their match with Orton at WrestleMania XXVI, splitting up the trio.



The concept behind the group was that each member is a multi-generational wrestler. The name of the faction, The Legacy, referred to their extensive family histories in wrestling.[2] Randy Orton's father (Bob Orton, Jr.), uncle (Barry Orton) and grandfather (Bob Orton, Sr.) were all professional wrestlers. Ted DiBiase, meanwhile, takes his name from his father, (Ted DiBiase) who wrestled before him along with both his grandparents (adoptive grandfather, Mike DiBiase and grandmother Helen Hild).[3][4] Cody Rhodes is only a second generation wrestler, taking after his father (Dusty Rhodes) and his two uncles (Jerry Sags and Fred Ottman), who precede him in the business.[5] Due to their status as second or third generation wrestlers, all the members of The Legacy believe themselves to be superior to the other wrestlers in WWE, in storyline.[6]

In an interview, Orton said the point of The Legacy was to create "future opponents" for himself and the others who would be wrestling in main events in WWE over the next decade.[7] The Legacy has been compared to the former WWE faction Evolution of which Orton was a member, but Rhodes and DiBiase have said that they see the comparison as an opportunity to prove themselves and show their potential.[8]


Formation (2008)

Cody Rhodes was a World Tag Team Champion throughout the beginning of 2008 alongside Hardcore Holly, who was acting as a mentor to him.[9] Ted DiBiase made his first WWE appearance on the May 26 episode of Raw, in which he claimed that he and a mystery partner would take the World Tag Team Championship from Rhodes and Holly.[10] At the Night of Champions pay-per-view event in June, DiBiase revealed his partner was running late and started the match without him, however Rhodes quickly betrayed Holly by attacking him. This turned Rhodes into a villainous character and meant that he and DiBiase won the championship.[11]

Two dark-haired men are both wearing black wrestling tights. One wears knee-high blue wrestling boots with blue knee-pads and a black elbow pad on his right arm, and the other wears black knee-high wrestling boots with black knee-pads, and white tape around his wrists. The two are wearing professional wrestling championship belts around their waists.
DiBiase and Rhodes as World Tag Team Champions

In September, Randy Orton, who at the time was injured, made an appearance on Raw, where he criticized all the champions, mocking Rhodes and DiBiase for allowing their title belts to be stolen by Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard and JTG).[12] The two responded by assaulting Cryme Tyme and introducing Manu (son of Afa the Wild Samoan) as their new member at Unforgiven.[12][13] This did little to impress Orton, so later that evening Rhodes, DiBiase, and Manu assaulted World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk as Orton confronted him backstage. This allowed Orton to punt Punk in the head, removing him from his championship match, and gaining Orton's respect.[13]

When Orton was well enough to wrestle, Punk demanded a match with him, which he won via disqualification when DiBiase interfered. As a result, Orton punted DiBiase in the head, putting him out of action; this storyline was put in place in order for DiBiase to take time off to film The Marine 2.[14][15] Orton then invited Rhodes and Manu to form a group with him called The Legacy, and used them to help in his rivalry with Batista leading to a three-on-two handicap match where Batista was put out of action for four months.[16][17]

After Sim Snuka, the son of Jimmy Snuka, also expressed interest in joining the group, Orton made them qualify through a series of tests which Manu failed the first week.[18] On the January 5 episode of Raw, Snuka and Rhodes won a tag team match against Cryme Tyme. Before the match, Orton informed them that they had to win the match in order to be part of the group. After the match, Orton explained that since Snuka did not pick up the pinfall, he was out of the group.[19] The following week, Manu and Snuka informed Rhodes that they were intending to assault Orton and had brought someone to help them do so, giving Rhodes an ultimatum to choose a side. When Rhodes refused to side with them, Manu and Snuka brought out a returning Ted DiBiase to aid them, and tried to assault Rhodes and Orton. Instead, however, DiBiase joined The Legacy, attacking Manu and Snuka, and forgiving Orton for attacking him.[1]

Feud with the McMahon family (2009)

A caucasian male with closely cropped dair hair stands on the turnbuckles of a wrestling ring with red ropes. He has 'sleeve' tattoos covering both his arms, black wrist tape around both wrists, and is wearing short black wrestling tights and black kneepads.
Randy Orton after winning the 2009 Royal Rumble match

With The Legacy finally formed, Manu and Snuka still wanted revenge on Orton. Fearing they would try to convince Raw General Manager Stephanie McMahon to fire him, Orton went to speak to her himself but their conversation ended in an argument. When Mr McMahon, Stephanie's father, made his return that night Orton maintained he was owed an apology. His brashness angered McMahon who responded by trying to fire Orton, but before he could finish his sentence Orton slapped McMahon and gave him a running punt which left him hospitalized in the storyline.[20] During the 30-man Royal Rumble match that Sunday the group worked as a team, making them three of the last four contestants in the ring with Triple H as the other. Ultimately, in throwing out Rhodes and DiBiase, Triple H was distracted enough to allow Orton to throw him over the top rope and win the match.[21] The next evening on Raw, The Legacy came to the ring accompanied by lawyers and doctors, with Orton explaining his outburst against Mr McMahon was a result of intermittent explosive disorder (IED) and threatened to sue the company and cancel WrestleMania XXV if he was fired, as winning the Rumble guaranteed him a championship match at WrestleMania. Instead he was booked for a no holds barred match with Mr McMahon's son, Shane, at No Way Out in February, which Orton won.[22][23] The night after the event, they fought again until Orton punted Shane unconscious. Stephanie McMahon came to the ring to oversee her brother being carried away by the paramedics and shouted at Orton until he performed an RKO, his finishing move, to her. Triple H ran to the ring and chased away the group, standing over the body of Stephanie McMahon.[24]

In an interview on SmackDown that week, Triple H revealed his real life marriage to Stephanie (even though they had divorced on-screen in 2002 prior to their actual marriage).[25] Originally, Orton announced he did not have intentions of facing Triple H, who at the time was the WWE Champion, but instead planned to face the World Heavyweight Champion. Triple H, however, goaded Orton into "avenging" his first World Championship loss and ousting from their previous stable, Evolution, and Orton changed his mind, leading to their match being booked for WrestleMania XXV.[26] Orton revealed that he had targeted the McMahon family in order to avenge his unceremonious departure from Evolution in 2004. Due to the intensity of the rivalry, the decision was made that the WWE Championship could change hands at WrestleMania due to a countout or disqualification; despite this, Triple H won the match after hitting Orton with a sledgehammer while the referee was knocked down.[27]

The night after WrestleMania, Orton demanded a rematch, threatening Linda McMahon, Mr McMahon's wife, as well as their grandchildren. McMahon did not grant him the rematch but scheduled a six-man tag team match for the pay-per-view Backlash between Triple H, Shane and Mr McMahon and The Legacy, with a preview that evening between Mr McMahon and Orton. However, Raw's General Manager at that time, Vickie Guerrero, made their six-man tag team match a WWE Championship match. The stipulation was that if Triple H's team won, he retained the championship, while if The Legacy won, Orton would win the title. As the singles match progressed, Shane and Triple H came to Mr McMahon's aid, causing both Rhodes and DiBiase to interfere until a returning Batista appeared and cleared the ring; McMahon then announced that Batista was to replace him in the match at Backlash.[28] At the event, Orton won by pinning Triple H after an RKO and a running punt, leaving Triple H hospitalized according to the storyline.[29] In spite of Triple H's absence, Shane McMahon continued his feud with the group, leading to another match between him and Orton on Raw. After the original match ended in a no contest due to interference, Rhodes and DiBiase won singles matches to be entered into a handicap match with all of The Legacy facing Shane later that night. This match was used to write him out of the storyline, as The Legacy members used the steel ring steps to shatter his ankle.[30]

Orton as WWE Champion (2009)

A caucasian male with closely cropped black hair carries a wrestling championship belt over one shoulder. He is wearing short black wrestling tights, with an orange design, and a 'sleeve' tattoo is visible covering one of his arms.
Orton won the WWE Championship three times throughout 2009.

Batista was left on his own as a result of The Legacy attacking Shane McMahon, but continued to challenge Orton for the WWE Championship. Orton and Batista had a match at Judgment Day, but it ended with Orton intentionally slapping the referee to cause a disqualification, which meant that the championship did not change hands.[31] In their rematch, however, which was held inside a steel cage at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, Batista won the championship.[32]

The following night on Raw, during Batista's celebratory speech, The Legacy attacked Batista, and injured him in storyline. This storyline was used to cover a real injury Batista had sustained.[33] Orton's rematch that night, intended to be used despite Batista's absence, went awry when Triple H returned, resulting in the match being declared a no contest.[34] The following week, a match was held to determine the new WWE Champion between Orton, Triple H, John Cena and The Big Show, which Orton won.[35] At The Bash pay-per-view, signs of dissention between DiBiase and Orton appeared when DiBiase argued with Orton backstage. Despite this, DiBiase and Rhodes both helped Orton retain his WWE Championship later that night against Triple H.[36] This tension was later expanded upon when DiBiase's father booked Orton and DiBiase in a match on Raw while he was in charge; Orton won the match but the team showed solidarity later in the same evening by interfering in a WWE Championship contender match between Triple H and Cena, leading to it being ruled a no contest. This made the subsequent match at Night of Champions a triple threat contest.[37] Similar tensions arose briefly in the group late in August when Rhodes' father, Dusty, booked Orton and Rhodes in a match on Raw. It quickly turned out to be a ruse with Dusty's intention to allow The Legacy to attack Cena, who was special guest referee. Despite the four standing tall together, Orton quickly gave an RKO to Dusty which angered Rhodes though he would fall in line.[38]

After Orton retained the championship in July's Night of Champions, the team worked together again to prevent Triple H from receiving a rematch against Orton by slowing his Beat The Clock Challenge match, so that he did not have the quickest time and did not receive a championship match.[39] As a result, Triple H refocused his attention on Rhodes and DiBiase, losing to them in a handicap match, and reforming D-Generation X (DX) with Shawn Michaels.[40] Rhodes and DiBiase faced DX at SummerSlam, but lost the match, although they later defeated DX in a Submissions Count Anywhere match at the Breaking Point pay-per-view, using a combined figure-four leg lock and Million Dollar Dream on Shawn Michaels.[41][42] The following month DX defeated DiBiase and Rhodes at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view by locking DiBiase out of the cell and double-teaming Rhodes, just as the team had done to Michaels earlier in the match.[43] Meanwhile, Orton retained the title against Cena at SummerSlam after the match was restarted a number of times to prevent Orton sneaking a win through disqualification and count out, with an unknown fan, later revealed to be Ted's brother Brett, eventually coming in from the crowd to attack the referee and cause a distraction which helped Orton retain.[41] At Breaking Point, Orton lost the WWE Championship to John Cena in an "I Quit" match[42] only to win it back the next month in a Hell in a Cell match at the eponymous event.[43] At WWE Bragging Rights, Orton lost the championship back to Cena in a 60 minute Iron Man match with the stipulation that it would be the last championship match between the two. Earlier in the evening Rhodes appeared on Team Raw in a match that pitted Raw against SmackDown in a tag team match. He was seen backstage blaming Kofi Kingston for the loss and in retaliation Kingston ran out to chase away Rhodes and DiBiase when they interfered in the Iron Man match.[44]

Kingston won a return match against Chris Jericho the following night, who had pinned him at Bragging Rights, but after the match Orton attacked him. Kingston retaliated by vandalising a NASCAR that Rhodes and DiBiase bought him to cheer him after his title loss.[45] The rivalry continued when, at Madison Square Garden, Orton attacked Hall of Famer Roddy Piper but just before he could deliver a punt Kingston came out and attacked Orton, making him bleed and leg dropping him through a table.[46] Kofi headed a team at November's Survivor Series against Orton's team of The Legacy, William Regal and CM Punk which ended with Kingston eliminating Punk and then Orton in quick succession to become the sole survivor while Christian eliminated Rhodes and DiBiase earlier.[47] The next night on Raw Jesse Ventura announced the contender for the WWE Championship would be determined by a series of matches contested for by wrestlers who had never held the title before. Despite this Orton managed to persuade Ventura to allow him into the tournament by defeating Evan Bourne while Rhodes and DiBiase defeated Cryme Tyme to make it through but in the Battle Royal final were eliminated by Mark Henry while Orton was pulled over by Kingston, who held on to the ropes after Orton had thrown him out.[48] Orton defeated Kingston the following week on November 30's Raw after he was attacked from behind by both Rhodes and DiBiase separately,[49] while Kingston took a return win the following week after guest referee Mark Cuban made a fast count[50] leading to a rubber match at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view which Orton won.[51]

Split from Orton and dissolution (2010)

Two dark haired men standing in a wrestling ring with red ropes, one with his back to the camera. The man with his back to the camera is wearing short black wrestling tights with the name 'Orton' written on them in white lettering, and has a tribal design tattoo on his back. He is throwing a punch at the other man, who is facing the camera with a look of surprise, and is wearing short purple wrestling tights and a black top with a white design on it.
Orton attacking Rhodes after being disqualified at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view in January 2010.

On the January 11, 2010 episode of Raw, guest host Mike Tyson announced that the winner of a triple threat match later that night between Orton, Kingston, and John Cena would challenge Sheamus for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. Orton ultimately won with the help of The Legacy, who attacked Cena and Kingston.[52] At the Royal Rumble, Orton failed to win the championship when he was disqualified when Rhodes tried to interfere. After the match, Orton attacked Rhodes and DiBiase, who attempted to aid Rhodes.[53] On the February 15 episode of Raw, Orton took on Sheamus in a non-title rematch, but was again disqualified after Rhodes and DiBiase interfered.[54] During the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, in which both Orton and DiBiase participated, Rhodes passed a pipe to DiBiase. DiBiase hit Orton with it, and eliminated him.[55] The next night on Raw, The Legacy participated in a six-man tag team match against Kingston, Yoshi Tatsu, and Evan Bourne, designed to show their unity, but Orton attacked Rhodes and DiBiase[56] and the following week on Raw, Rhodes and DiBiase attacked Orton in retaliation, although Orton was able to fight them off.[57] Orton's split from the group was cemented when he lost a handicap match against both Rhodes and DiBiase on Raw and showed increasing signs of becoming a fan favorite.[58] This led to a Triple Threat Match between all three members at WrestleMania XXVI, where Rhodes and DiBiase proclaimed neither minded not winning so long as Orton was pinned, but in the match Orton pinned DiBiase. DiBiase and Rhodes attacked each other during the match, ending the duo, and Rhodes was punted by Orton and taken out of action for approximately a month.[59] The split was confirmed when Rhodes moved to SmackDown brand during the 2010 WWE Supplemental Draft.

Brief reformation (2011)

Rhodes and DiBiase reunited on SmackDown in May 2011. On the August 12, 2011 edition of SmackDown Cody Rhodes defeated Ezekiel Jackson to win the Intercontinental Championship for the first time. On the August 19, 2011 edition of SmackDown, Rhodes announced that Legacy had officially reunited, though he was simply mentioning that all of the members were in the ring (Orton, DiBiase, and Rhodes) not officially reuniting with Orton. On the August 26 edition of SmackDown, the team once again disbanded when Rhodes turned on DiBiase after DiBiase lost a match to then World Heavyweight Champion, Randy Orton. On the September 23, 2011 episode of SmackDown, the feud between Orton and Rhodes began when Orton bashed Rhodes' head with a timekeeper's bell resulting in Rhodes getting nine stitches and a huge loss of blood.[60] The feud continued when Rhodes prevented Orton from winning his match against Mark Henry and then proceeded to humiliate Orton by putting a paper bag over his head.[61] This resulted a match for Vengeance (2011) in which Orton won.[62][63]

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments


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