It was announced on Saturday that Barry Orton – best remembered as WWF enhancement talent Barry O – had passed away. He was 62 years old. Barry Orton is the younger brother of WWE Hall of Famer “Cowboy” Bob “Ace” Orton Jr., son of Bob Orton Sr., and uncle of current WWE Superstar Randy Orton.
— Wrestling Travel (@WrestlingTravel) March 20, 2021
Barry’s father, “The Big O” Bob Orton Sr., was a wrestling star in the 1950s and 1960s, working for multiple territories of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), as well as Capitol Sports (the pre-cursor to WWE) and American Wrestling Association (AWA), where he was a 2x AWA World Heavyweight Champion. In 1972, his eldest son, Bob Orton Jr., became a pro wrestler, and in 1976, the younger Barry would also enter the family business. As Barry Orton, he began working in his home state of Missouri, competing for NWA Central States. Over the next few years, he would work multiple NWA territories, including Big Time Wrestling in California, Big Time Wrestling in Dallas (later to become WCCW), NWA Pacific Northwest in Portland, and Georgia Championship Wrestling. He also appeared for Angelo Poffo‘s “outlaw” promotion, International Championship Wrestling (ICW), in 1979, and that same year won the NWA Americas Tag Team titles alongside Hector Guerrero in NWA Hollywood.
He joined Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (Jim Crockett’s promotion in the Carolinas) in 1983, but by 1985, he had joined his big brother in the WWF. But while Bob Orton Jr. was in the main event as the bodyguard of Rowdy Roddy Piper against Hulk Hogan, Barry Orton – renamed to simply Barry O – became one of the WWF’s most famous enhancement talents for WWF’s Rock N’ Wrestling Era of the 1980s. In 1987, he briefly competed for Stampede Wrestling in Canada as the masked Zodiac, the wrestling manager of Jason The Terrible, but continued to work as Barry O until 1991. His last WWF appearance was (shockingly) a loss to Jake “The Snake” Roberts on a March 1991 episode of WWF Wrestling Challenge. Orton would retire from pro wrestling altogether in 1992. In 2011, he would make a brief return to the ring as part of a Legends Battle Royal with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla at PWG Kurt Russellreunion 2.
LWOPW sends its condolences to the Orton family as well as Barry’s friends, peers, and fans around the world.
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