Lutz's Blog: A motivated Randy Orton can still be a main event level player for WWE


prowrestling.net
MEMBERSHIP INFO | LOG-IN | CONTACT US | SUBMIT NEWS | ABOUT US
Insider News • Live TV & PPV Coverage • Hitlists • Results • Blogs

HOME | WWE NEWS | TNA NEWS | MMA NEWS | ALL NEWS | TV & PPV | ARENA REPORTS | VIEWPOINTS | PRODUCT REVIEWS | AWARDS



Dot Net App
GOT AN IPHONE, IPAD, IPOD TOUCH, SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB, OR ANDROID PHONE?

THEN BE SURE TO DOWNLOAD OUR NEW FREE APP
(or SEARCH "pro wrestling" in App Store or Android Marketplace)

Dot Net Podcast
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO DOT NET FREE PODCAST IN ITUNES OR CLICK HERE FOR LISTING OF LATEST SHOWS

Blogs


Lutz's Blog: A motivated Randy Orton can still be a main event level player for WWE
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:01 PM


By Jeffrey Lutz

Expectations for Randy Orton have never been lower.

That's my perception, anyway, especially after watching Orton in the opening match on Raw last week _ a two-on-one with Sheamus against Big Show in a storyline that has been slow to develop. I enjoyed the match, even though it was brief and essentially forgotten by the end of the show, and even though it kept Orton on the cusp of a true breakout moment. It's the same position he's been in for the last four years, since his hot feud with Triple H produced a dud of a match at WrestleMania 25.

Still, most of the reason I enjoyed the handicap match on Raw last week was due to Orton's performance. He seemed to have more energy than in the past, even uncharacteristically playing to the crowd on one occasion. I became hopeful that Orton could finally turn the corner to become a babyface character that could truly connect with the audience, rather than one who gained popularity because he's been around a while and won a bunch of championships. Of course, his renewed enthusiasm is probably a precursor to a heel turn, so I won't get my hopes up too much.

Orton's decline into basically an upper-midcard act has had many culprits, but Orton himself is mostly to blame. His long-expressed desire to become a heel has become a self-fulfilling prophecy, as he's gained virtually no babyface tendencies during his multi-year run as a fan favorite. He's been in the mold of Stone Cold Steve Austin in keeping most of his heel characteristics even as a good guy, but Orton either doesn't possess or refuses to exhibit the charisma that allowed Austin a smooth transition from villain to hero. He doesn't need to be Austin, but Orton has more to offer in the charisma department.

It's said that the best wrestling characters are those who turn the volume up on their true personality, and Orton seems to have taken that to heart. The problem is that he's not amplifying the right aspects of his personality, choosing to play up his quiet intensity rather than the versatility that forced us to take notice of Orton when he first arrived in WWE. 

Remember the "ONN" updates Orton gave on his physical condition after his debut but before he joined Evolution? Those were entertaining and they didn't keep Orton from being a heel. I know Orton has personality because I saw it first-hand when he was a guest on a radio show I work on in Wichita. He's engaging and smart and funny, but for some reason he refuses to deviate from the loner persona he has cultivated. Fans were drawn to that initially, but his lack of character development has forced Orton slowly down the pecking order.

Orton's inability or refusal to tap into those elements of his personality has likely made it easier for WWE's writers to keep him away from the main-event picture. It's difficult to make Orton a top star because his two strikes against WWE's wellness policy have him one mistake away from termination, but if Orton was as popular as John Cena, WWE would have no other choice. It's probably too risky to put Orton in a top match at WrestleMania, but during the rest of the year he could be in the title hunt if his performance warranted that.

Unfortunately, for most of the last four years, it hasn't. The match against Triple H served as a turning point _ he hasn't been in a marquee match at WrestleMania since. He began his babyface turn at WrestleMania 26 and has been in matches of little consequence during the last three years.

A heel turn is not the answer; Orton still has a lot of ground to break as a babyface character. He could start by embracing the role, as he appeared to begin to do with an energetic showing last week. Turning Orton heel would force him back into the habits he's already had difficulty breaking. Yes, he's playing a heel even when he's a babyface, but as a good-guy he can explore the parts of his personality that can connect with the fans he's lost over a refusal to change.

All Orton really needs is motivation. With two strikes, a secure spot near the top of the card, and a track record that includes several major accomplishments, it's not difficult to become complacent. But Orton likely still has a lot of years left, and the best way to become a top star again is to act as if he wants to. Orton can be a World Champion again or he can stay stuck in the middle. The choice is his.

Jeff Lutz has written for the Wichita Eagle newspaper in Kansas for over a decade and debuted with Prowrestling.net on November 4, 2012. He can be reached via email at jeffdlutz@hotmail.com.

RECOMMEND THIS ARTICLE:


READ OUR INSIDER NEWS BEFORE ANYONE ELSE! BECOME A MEMBER FOR JUST $7.50 A MONTH (or less with a year-long sub) - GET THE FIRST LOOK AT EXCLUSIVE INSIDER DOT NET NEWS, TONS OF EXCLUSIVE AUDIO CONTENT, MEMBER MESSAGE BOARD ACCESS, START YOUR OWN BLOG, AND VIEW THE SITE WITHOUT ANY ADVERTISING: SIGN ME UP (or MORE INFO)



RELATED ARTICLES FROM MGID AFFILIATE SITES...
Blogs • Latest Five Articles
Lutz's Blog: Razor Ramon's WWE Hall of Fame induction is nice, but Scott Hall's would have been better
Retro Raw Blog – March 1993 Raw - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
3/30 Gutt Reactions Blog: Scooby Doo's greatest mystery, translating Sheamus, and why Brock screams a lot
3/27 Dot Net One Shots: The Dot Net staff give their quick thoughts from the previous week in WWE, TNA, MMA and indy wrestling
3/23 Gutt Reactions Blog: Nuclear power, Daniel Bryan filling a complaint with WWE human resources, and how to create the biggest heel in wrestling
3/21 Dot Net One Shots: The Dot Net staff give their quick thoughts from the previous week in WWE, TNA, MMA and indy wrestling



MEMBERSHIP INFO
Become a Dot Net Member right now for $7.50 a month or $66 a year ($5.50 a month avg.). Get exclusive audio, first-look insider news, Forum access, member blogs, more...

CLICK FOR SIGN-UP INFO


The Current Must-Read List
• Powell's WrestleMania 3 review: Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant for the WWF Championship, Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat for the Intercontinental Championship, Roddy Piper vs. Adrian Adonis
• Pruett's Blog Flashback: The Undertaker's Streak Series Part Three - The American Bad Ass Years & The Deadman's Return - WrestleMania XVII - WrestleMania XX
04/02 Prowrestling.net All Access Interview: Artist Rob Schamberger on his WrestleMania Axxess project, his background, and more
• Powell's WWE DVD Review: "Signature Sounds: The Music of WWE"
04/01 Prowrestling.net Live Podcast: WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross on the Dot Net Weekly audio show
• 4/1 Kester's WWE Main Event Live Coverage Review: Sheamus vs. The Miz and Nikki Bella vs. Tamina
• Powell's WWE Raw Hit List: Daniel Bryan attacks Triple H, Brock Lesnar finally gets the better of Undertaker, John Cena in a sheep mask, Kane vs. Roman Reigns, final hype for WrestleMania 30
• Pruett's Blog Flashback: Undertaker's Streak Series Part Two - Coincidence Preserves The Streak - WrestleMania XII - WrestleMania XV
• Powell's WrestleMania 2 review: Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy in a cage match for the WWF Championship, Roddy Piper vs. Mr. T in a boxing match
• WWE News: Chris Jericho says the time isn't right for his WWE return
ACCESS PREVIOUS MUST-READ ARTICLES

Vote In Our Latest Poll

WrestleMania 30 Poll: Who ends the night as Divas Champion?
AJ Lee
Naomi
Cameron
Brie Bella
Nikki Bella
Natalya
Eva Marie
Emma
Aksana
Alicia Fox
Summer Rae
Rosa Mendes
Layla
Tamina
  
VOTE IN OR SEE RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLLS

Dot Net Free Podcasts
04/02 Prowrestling.net All Access Interview: Artist Rob Schamberger on his WrestleMania Axxess project, his background, and more
04/01 Prowrestling.net Live Podcast: WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross on the Dot Net Weekly audio show
03/31 Prowrestling.net Live Podcast: Jason Powell and Chris Shore take your phone calls on WWE Network launch day
CLICK FOR FULL LISTING OF ALL PODCASTS

Latest from Our Affiliate Site

_pwtorch.com_
CLICK HERE FOR MORE PWTORCH HEADLINES

© 2008-2012 LAST ROW MEDIA LLC • ALL RIGHTS RESERVED -- PRIVACY POLICY