Randy Orton: Has WWE Killed Off The Viper Character We Once Loved?

Randy Orton has been with WWE the same amount of time as WWE’s golden boy John Cena. It is kind of weird that WWE always seems to give the shaft to him. Orton is a third generation star that has far surpassed his father “Cowboy” Bob Orton. While Randy has reached legendary status like his father before him, it seems that the days of dominance in WWE are far behind him.

Randy Orton is a 12-time World Champion in WWE and its first WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Orton has been a top heel in WWE, but after his face run, he went back to being the heel we all thought we wanted. However, it has been a bit disappointing.

Some would blame Orton for not showing up and doing better. People also cite Orton’s issues backstage over the years as one of his main reasons for not being put in Cena’s position. Some claim he has gotten slower over the years and is not nearly as exciting or physical in the ring.

To those people, I think there is some inaccuracy.

WWE obviously saw a blue chipper in Orton or they would not have basically had him bypass developmental and put him on the main roster. They also coddled him and then allowed him to work with some of the best in WWE history. They also gave him the world too quick; at 24, as he was the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in history.

Orton HHH

This seemed to only make him cocky and a complete jackass backstage. Anyone who knew him claimed as much. So his heel persona on WWE TV was not too far off from the actual guy.

Over time, it seemed Orton grew up a bit. This was a good thing, as it allowed WWE to market him more and use him greatly. This was when WWE began making him the top heel in the company. He was doing well, having matches with John Cena that could be seen as legendary. Yes, even in the PG Era there are legendary matches. He still had backstage issues, but WWE didn’t hold them as high after a while despite his position in the company.

Orton crossed many lines on what someone could do in a WWE ring as a heel. That was his allure though; you loved that a guy like Orton could literally be as vicious as a viper. That, in essence, is what made him great. Then, WWE took it away.

WWE made Orton a babyface. For a while, he seemed like a Stone Cold face, in that he was an anti-hero who was out for himself but did the ring then as much as possible. He didn’t whine or complain like a heel. So that made him fun to watch, as you wanted to see what this guy could do. Edge had to leave WWE in 2011 due to unexpected news that he had to retire due to injury. This meant a new guy had to lead SmackDown as the brand’s top guy. Orton fit the bill.

So he seemed to go well with what WWE needed him for, but this seemingly took his edge away. Once WWE needed Orton to become a heel again last year, many fans rejoiced. We’ll see the Orton we love instead of a watered down version.

For a bit, it seemed like the old Orton was back. It didn’t take long for that to disappear. Triple H said live on-air that he wanted to see the old Viper back. WWE literally wrote it out for them to see Orton become “the old Orton,” and it lasted for a few weeks before he went back to being a watered down version of the old Orton we all knew and loved.

Orton Stephanie

One could make a case that WWE allowed him to do some of the horrific things he did because it was TV-14 then. The problem is that WWE went PG in 2007, meaning WWE had allowed Orton to do some of his most memorable heel material in the PG era.

WWE has not given us much with Orton for a little while now. They had him hold the WWE World Heavyweight Title to WrestleMania 30. However, after Mania, Orton has been part of Evolution and simply been just another guy on the roster.

His position is not really the issue for most. It is that he is a heel again and nothing like the heel we wanted to see originally.

Sure, Orton is a 12-time World Champion. However, he is an afterthought in today’s WWE. Why? Because unlike the time in which his character demanded we pay attention, today he is watered down. Potentially this is done because creative doesn’t want to come off as strong as before. Maybe he is being punished. Who knows?

At the end of the day, WWE has a guy who is still very young at 34 years of age. He has been with WWE nearly 13 years now. He is potentially the only main veteran WWE will have in the next 10 years that can still go at his age. WWE has the ability to make him into a huge name once again. Why pass him over for such a thing?

Even when Orton was World Champion. WWE only talked about Batista and Daniel Bryan. Understandable since one was returning after years of being away and the other was a rising star. Meanwhile, Orton is the afterthought. The only reason this happened and still is might be because WWE has not bothered to make him the heel we know he should be.

Orton is better than being an afterthought for fans. So why shouldn’t WWE remedy that and let Orton be the guy many watched and thought was potentially the best heel in history at one point?

[IMG Credits: Google]