While modern fans will likely just know Bob Orton Jr. as Randy Orton’s father, there was a time when Bob Orton was considered to be one of the best heels in the business. Much of Bob’s success came during his time in WWE where Vince McMahon turned him into one of the company’s best bad guys. Orton’s loaded cast and brawler style helped him stand out from the more traditional wrestlers on the roster and even put him in the historic position of main eventing the first WrestleMania alongside Roddy Piper in a tag match vs. Mr. T and Hulk Hogan. That was certainly the peak of Orton’s career, but he did go on to wrestle in WCW as well as the indies. In fact, the 66-year-old Orton was seen working matches for a promotion in Illinois as recently as 2015.
Here’s a minor curve, but if you are a wrestling geek like me (and so many others), you might recognize that last name. Her father is Ed Leslie. He loved using scissors in the ring, but he also came to the ring under the moniker of Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, among zillions other ring names/gimmicks. So, naturally as Alana was trying to train and break into the business her father loved, she adopted the moniker of…Baby Beefcake. I might have gone with Bombshell Beefcake, as I think it’s far more accurate, but even if she never puts it all together for a successful in-ring career, she’s always going to be an incredibly gorgeous woman. If she was coming up in the ’80s or ’90s, she’d probably have a much better chance of success, back when hotness overcame any athletic deficiencies.
Unlike most industries, it can seriously pay off for a professional wrestler to be a naturally rude jerk. Unless, of course, they’re unable to ever turn it off, which is why “Bruiser” Bob Sweetan could never sustain his fortunes despite arguably being a main event level performer almost wherever he wrestled. He started in his native Canada, where he worked for Stu Hart and became recognized as Mr. Piledriver for his distinctive manner in using the maneuver. Sweetan still has a few fans left, including Shawn Michaels, who admired his ability to be such a good heel the loyal regional crowds would gradually start to cheer for him out of respect. Said respect may not have existed had fans known the truth, though, which was that Sweetan was a serious bully in real life, abusing so many of his coworkers he was repeatedly forced out of territories when people stopped agreeing to work with him. Much worse, he was also a convicted child molester, getting him kicked out of the entire United States and deported back to Canada. In his advanced age, Sweetan contracted diabetes, his condition gradually getting worse until February 10 th , when he passed away at the age 76.