Thursday, November 02, 2006

From the Vault: Orton's Entitlement?

8/09/06: When Randy Orton burst onto the WWE scene years ago, I more than detested the latest OVW superstar to break through.

Randy Orton had some pretty impressive athletecism, but where does that honestly get you? Probably a couple IC title runs. At the time, it was getting Randy Orton chopped in the throat by Bob Holly.

Randy Orton got hurt, and pretty soon WWE offered a place to send you get well wishes. This was a nice throwback to when Earthquake sat on the Hulkster, and we got to wish him well. I got a sweet postcard out of that deal.

Well, I didn't feel for Randy Orton the way I felt about Hulk Hogan. So being in my smarkest smark mode, I send him about the most vile e-mail I've ever sent.

I chastized Orton for having absolutely no personality, yet taking away TV time from Val Venis and Al Snow, guys that could work both in the ring and on the stick that I felt weren't getting their due. That certainly wasn't Orton's fault, but I figured I'd let him be my scapegoat.

However, those Get Well Randy segments are what gave Randy Orton a personality and an identity. Shortly thereafter he was the Intercontinental Champion and thrust into Evolution.

At this point I have done a total 180, and looked at Orton as the future of the company. His good looks, natural charisma, and in ring abilities were sure to take him to the top, right?

Orton eventually dropped his IC title, and they attempted to pull the trigger on a Randy Orton title reign and a babyface turn...

The turn was largely unsuccessful, but it's hard to place the blame on Orton. First off, Orton took the title off of Chris Benoit, who had been an internet darling for 10 years. The IWC wanted to see Benoit with a lengthy reign. Whoever the man was to end it was not going to be popular in their eyes.

In addition, Orton's turn was too fast. Rather than a slow build of Triple H's jealousy, and the interesting character development and situations that would have/could have/should have happened while Triple H took a backseat to someone for the first time in his life were lost.

Batista dropped Orton like a sack of shit, and Orton was our new hero. But the qualities we had grown to like in Orton were gone. This wasn't the spit-in-your-face cocky young upstart that was good enough to back his attitude up...

This was Blandy Orton. So bland that his futile attempt to be The Rock included a horribly unentertaining skit where Orton showed the crowd pictures on easels up by the Titantron.

Within a week the rug was pulled from under him and the momentum was gone. Orton was a shell of former champions and a shell of his former self.

Orton worked as a babyface until it was time to meet the Undertaker, and at the time, it certainly looked as if he would be the man to break the Wrestlemania Streak.

Tired of the Undertaker's schtick, I looked forward to Orton getting the big win. I mean, yeah Foley put him over, but that seemingly comes with the territory nowadays. I'd argue that a win over Foley now doesn't really mean much of anything.

Orton was unable to one up the Undertaker, and got hurt before his inevitable program with Batista could happen.

Orton however has not reached the level of mediocrity that a failed push and two injuries normally gives a WWE superstar.

Knowing that, Orton's ego grew and grew. The office was behind Randy Orton. Randy Orton could do no wrong.

So Randy Orton shit in a diva's bag and Randy Orton smoked pot and Randy Orton was just pretty much the biggest asshole he could be, which shows why he is so successful in his role as an asshole character. The apple does not fall far from the tree.

And like Edge before him who slept with his close friend's longtime girlfriend on the way to becoming the greatest heel in the company, there would be no real punishment for Orton.

A quick suspension moved him back to Raw. Raw is undoubtedly the A show. Now Orton is locked in a program against the greatest professional wrestler of all time. You can argue about Hogan's abilities day and night, but when America thinks Pro Wrestling, America thinks of Hogan.

For whatever reason, Hogan did or didn't tear his meniscus. Maybe we will never know. We do know however that if Orton is able to RKO the Hulkster, he will be one of the very few in the last 20 plus years to obtain a victory over Hogan.

Maybe Hogan wants to be able to say on Regis and Kelly that he had a bum knee. After all, he's Hulk Hogan. He's beaten giants. Is he really slowing down so much that he can't beat Orton? He's supposed to be our hero!

Well, I for one am not 100% for wrestlers returning to put over new talent. I think it's best if they stay away all together. However if they want to pop a buyrate and bring back someone, should the automatically job?

I think we've seen what's happened with Mick Foley, and we can argue no. Up until his program with Flair, Foley's programs haven't been as interesting as they could be, because you know he is going to lose. That's his role. Much like Terry Funk, he lets those who are still wrestling get the victory. That is a good thing, until you are trying to use your name to elevate other talent. How many guys can you lose to, before it stops having meaning.

That's why Hogan is the Holy Grail. Hogan faced Shawn Michaels at last year's Summerslam, and did not put Michaels over. Michaels certainly isn't the next big thing. While he sells t-shirts and draws crowds, he is well past his prime. He can fool you on any given night however and make you think he's in his prime right now.

But the best wrestler of the 80's was not willing to be defeated by the best of the 90's, and the list of the men Hogan has allowed to defeat him has stayed relatively short.

A win for Randy Orton at Summerslam would do wonders for his career and his legend killer character, but what would it do to the WWE as a whole?

Orton has no shame in any of his past actions. He simply serves his time, pays his fines, and continues on without any remorse.

Orton has a lot of growing up to do before he is given a win over Hulk Hogan, clean or otherwise. Yes, Hogan has an ego, but he has 30 years of work that back it up.

What does Orton have right now? Not much. What may he have by fall? A victory over "The Immortal" Hulk Hogan...

So ask yourself, what is really good for business?

What makes Orton extremely talented?

I was watching a WWE blooper real on YouTube that began with him saying Eugene and Regal will meet La Resistance for the World Heavyweight Championship and ended with him botching an RKO on Chris Jericho, to which he ran off the ropes and did the damn thing again.

Orton can't play any character other than the asshole, which he's proven. He was boring when they brought him in and bland when they turned him back to being a babyface.

He was no boost to Smackdown when he was brought over, and he should have been a major star in the absence of a lot of talent. He didn't show anything.

As I said, I was a big Orton supporter, but he's a prick who really hasn't shown anything. Rob Conway could easily be in his spot right now.

Due to Orton's look and lineage, he gets many more opportunities that guys better than him would kill for, and he's lazy with them.

Orton had all the potential to be big money, but I think that opportunity has been squandered.

They can put Orton over til the cows come home, but all they will get is a Heavyweight title run for him 5 years down the road that winds up with him walking out of the company to pursue acting or getting busted for drugs...

Randy Orton is not a sound investment because he has respect only for himself. That flys on WWE TV, but shouldn't fly in the locker room.

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