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Barry Orton passes away at 62 years old


Randall Barry Orton, the uncle of Randy Orton and son of Bob Orton Sr., passed away yesterday at the age of 62.

Orton, who wrestled under names like Barry Orton, Berry Orton, Barry O, Superstar Barry O and the masked Zodiak, was best known in wrestling in 1991 and 1992 for being in the media spotlight in talking about issues in pro wrestling and claiming Terry Garvin, who at the time worked in Talent Relations with Pat Patterson, tried to sexually harass him on a car ride while he was a teenager breaking in wrestling in the Amarillo territory in the late 70s

This led to appearances on shows like Phil Donahue, Larry King and Geraldo Rivera shows, including two confrontations with Vince McMahon, who tried to discredit him on the air noting he had served time in prison for being involved in an auto accident where somebody had died and was writing a book. Garvin and Mel Phillips had been let go by McMahon shortly before the show aired, and Patterson resigned.

He was one of the first wrestlers to befriend Tom Cole, who passed away recently and had claimed Phillips came on to him when he was a teenager working for the ring crew, which Phillips was the supervisor of.

Orton foiled McMahon's attempt for a Perry Mason-like moment on the Donahue show as McMahon had planted Cole, who he had just secretly settled out of court in the days leading to the show, in the audience at the show with Linda McMahon and Liz "Elizabeth" Hulette if his name was mentioned by the panel before the show. Cole was to then say how the panel members who made claims about McMahon were lying and that he was Tom Cole. Orton, in the green room, noted that Cole had become incommunicado with him for a few days and had an intuition something funny was up and told others on the show not to mention Cole's name on the air.

That largely ended Orton's wrestling career at the age of 33. He was a good in-ring performer and strong talker who was a headliner in 1987 in Stampede Wrestling under a mask as The Zodiak, taking after his father who used the Zodiac name under a mask.

Zodiak & Jason the Terrible wrestled all the top babyfaces in the promotion, including Owen Hart, as well as the tag team of Bad Company (Bruce Hart & Brian Pillman) and future Hall of Famer, Senator and Cabinet member Hiroshi Hase, and future legend Jushin Liger as Fuji Yamada.

He worked two stints in the WWF, both as a prelim wrestler and television enhancement talent as Barry O. He worked 1985-86, and after spending time in prison, returned in 1990 and 1991 in a similar role.

As a wrestler, he held the Americas tag team championship at the age of 19 teaming with Hector Guerrero, and formed a tag team with brother Bob and held the Southeastern tag team championship with the Poffo family's ICW promotion. He also had a run as Jody Hamilton's partner in a remake of The Masked Assassins in Jim Crockett Promotions.

He had felt that making public revelations about the industry ended his career and transitioned into acting, where he appeared in a number of movies.