What has happened to Randy Orton?
When was the last time we saw Orton in a match that meant something, other than his scene-stealing performance at WrestleMania?
Have we lost our MVP? Has WWE lost its underrated superstar?
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This has not been a kind year for Orton, falling into sink holes that have left him in a precarious state of purgatory.
There is really no place for the 12-time World Champion in WWE, no place for him to recapture his “Viper-ness” and his affinity for the fans adoration.
Times have changed
Man, it’s been a long time. And man, as a fan, I sure miss him being on top of the company ladder, or at least near it, within reach of grabbing the brass ring again.
Seth Rollins is the top dog everyone is following.
John Cena is sleeping with his United State Championship.
The creative team thinks Kevin Owens could be the next big thing and the second coming of Brock Lesnar.
Cesaro is being misused but is right there with an opportunity to be one of the best strongmen the company has lacked in some time.
Then there is Orton, there is the forgotten man. The one who looks the part, the one who can turn on greatness in a moment’s notice. The one we all hoped at some point could come in from being away because of injury or time off for one reason or another and save the day.
When he was a heel, working The Authority angle, Orton was as white-hot as a wrestler could be. Something happened once Daniel Bryan was injured and he had to relinquish his WWE World Title.
The wrestling world changed for Orton and it seems to have changed how the company views the third generation wrestler.
Go to guy
It shouldn’t change how we view Orton as the guy who always comes through in the clutch. To say Orton is the guy who comes off the bench and gets you a few hits in the bottom the ninth, something WWE needs right now.
The promotion is bleeding, in need of a bandage and Orton cannot deliver because of lack of opportunity.
Orton’s return the night after Night of Champions to bail out Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose because Chris Jericho was the wrong choice proves the roster still needs his services.
He isn’t the type of wrestler who can make the mid card better or help raise the bar of the tag team division. Orton is a main event star from the start, middle and end. There is no negotiation in that.
How WWE decides to promote Orton until the end of the year isn’t something it is rushing to share.
Rollins and his current feud with Kane is the hot ticket. How Owens faces competition for the Intercontinental Title is more pressing. How Cena has made the United States Title his own shrine is cute, but will eventually get old.
Nothing in those sentences speaks of Orton. It’s a shame to think WWE has forgotten him along the way. Maybe it’s a combination of Orton wanting time to deal with personal space and the company looking to find its future, even with Cena in the fold.
But until Orton decides to hang it up, he will still be a constant reminder of what the company has and is not using effectively.
With all that is wrong in WWE right now, Orton is still a good draw and fans love him, face or heel.
Maybe that is forgotten on management. Maybe that is something they want to forget. Maybe that is something the fans are hoping they realize and use him more effectively.
Hopefully, the last three months of the year will prove Orton is still a star. And he becomes a bigger part of WWE programing. And maybe, just maybe, he gets another shot at the brass ring.