Orton's road to redemption

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May 17, 2007

Randy Orton demonstrated on Raw that his former tag team partner, Edge, isn't the only WWE Superstar who minds falling under the umbrella of "opportunist."

Following a grueling match where a concussed Shawn Michaels fought his way back to win a match that referee Mike Chioda nearly stopped on Michaels' behalf, HBK found himself on the receiving end of a focused RKO attack. Orton dropped flurries of damaging punches to the temple of a physically drained Michaels and capped off the horrendous beating with a neck-snapping kick to the head that stopped The Showstopper cold.

"Did I intentionally punt Michaels in the head? Yes, I did. There's no question in his mind that I'm gunning for him," remarked the Legend Killer, his patented cocky grin plastered on his face. "It's not my fault that he had a concussion from his encounter with The Great Khali last week, and it certainly won't be my fault when I target his head again this Sunday at Judgment Day."

Mirroring his entire WWE career, Orton refused to shy away from the controversy surrounding his questionable actions. He defended his strategic tactic by claiming that he was merely seizing an opportunity that had presented itself — something that anyone who labels themselves a professional sports-entertainer would do.

"What I did was get into HBK's head and show him that I'm not scared," Orton said. "I'm ready to be the champion I know I can be. Don't forget, I am the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history."

The personal issues Orton has recently overcome, paired with his vow to destroy Michaels at Judgment Day, plus a decisive victory on Sunday, would equal a definitive way to attain his goal of "getting my career and title hopes back on track."

"There's no denying that Shawn Michaels is an icon. Let's face it, he's a legend," admitted Orton. "That's why I'm going after him; because I am the Legend Killer. And at Judgment Day, when I'm peering over a beaten Shawn Michaels, I'll have taken the first step to becoming a champion again."

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