Randy Orton vs. Kane at WrestleMania 28: How the Viper Can Turn Heel
It's been long overdue.
Though the fans may not be even the slightest bit cognizant of The Viper's creative deprivation, an evolutionary heel-turn on the industry's grandest stage may very well be the solution needed to make this possible match relevant (which hasn't been made official) and solve the "Randy Orton problem" in one foul swoop.
The Ortonites will be disappointed to see that, despite having the opportunity to use Orton's star-power to make the Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus main-event relevant, the WWE appears to have instead opted to degrade Orton's character by feeding him the likes of Kane.
The aforementioned is less a derision to Kane's character than it is acknowledgement of the obvious—Randy Orton deserves better.
At the age Ric Flair was when he won his first of 16 World Heavyweight Championships, Randy Orton has a staggering nine title reigns to his resume. With more main-event PPV experience than The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin, Orton remains younger than CM Punk, Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio.
With names like The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Batista, Edge, Chris Jericho, Mick Foley, and yes, Kane, featured prominently on Randy Orton’s laundry-list of victims, there is not much left for this future Hall of Famer to achieve.
During the years he has been absent from WrestleMania's main-event scene, the likes of The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, Daniel Bryan and Sheamus have ascended to center stage.
The Miz's WrestleMania performance was forgettable.
With visions of The Rock and John Cena burned into the public's collective conscious, casual fans will soon forget his presence was even involved.
Alberto Del Rio struggled to last over ten minutes with Edge at WrestleMania 27, another forgettable (and in my opinion) essentially wasted main-event contest.
Though I hate to be a pessimist, suffice to say the reasonable assumption to be that Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus will not be remembered along with Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart at WrestleMania 12 or “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Rock at WrestleMania 17 as one of the greatest main-events in WWE history.
No main event for Orton—instead, The Viper's been fed a filler.
A match of such little magnitude can really only end in one of two ways, neither of which boast too much promise for either Superstar involved.
1) Kane wins in an upset and uses the victory as momentum for either further conflicts with Orton or another title push that would be about as historic as his last.
2) The fan favorite wins a "hard-fought contest" that adds exceptionally little to the laundry list of greater Superstars he's already defeated in more important matches.
But what is there was another angle?
Ortonites will tell you, Randy's talents are not best utilized when being force fed through a Viper-like pseudo-Cena impersonation that contains the typical fist-pounding, conspicuous conniption-fit-driven RKO slaughter.
We've already seen that.
YouTube "Randy Orton 2010/2011 RKO" and you'll see it again for free.
What if this Randy Orton vs. Kane WrestleMania filler could instead be used as a tool to better promote the industry's greatest star?
Ask Randy Orton how his talents are best utilized.
Much like Ric Flair and Triple H before him, Randy Orton is by his own very nature, a heel.
Not a heel for the moment, not a heel for a gimmick, but rather, a heel for all ages.
Think about it, which Randy Orton will we think about after he’s inducted into the WWE's Hall of Fame?
His eventual heel-turn is inevitable and the evolutionary return to his roots is more a question of "when" than "if."
So what "if" WrestleMania 28 could become the "when" needed to solve the "Randy Orton problem"?
However unlikely, the opportunity to do so lies 29 days away in Miami, Florida.
Kane returned recently sporting an obvious wig and a re-packaged "monster of hate" gimmick.
Forgive me for not being impressed.
Much like Mark Henry's "Hall of Pain" gimmick, it's tailor-made to last the moment.
The WWE has displayed no concern with using the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship as "tools" to get over less-significant Superstars, so why not use Kane's "monster of hate" gimmick as a tool to bring The Legend Killer back to his roots?
The big question: How?
For every beating that Kane has administered as a result of him being an over-sized WWE "toughman," the time has come for a beating of the ages to be delivered by the man who is (creatively speaking) the more dangerous of the two.
Pinning Kane is not going to be enough.
Making Kane tap out is not going to be enough.
He's done both, so a re-hashing of past YouTube experience will do little to excite the crowd that will undoubtedly sit there in anticipation of The Rock vs. John Cena should the WWE opt to waste this potential match by delivering one of the two predictable options I alluded to earlier.
Truth be told, Randy Orton is the real monster.
He's done things to other Superstars that would make a gimmick-less Kane looks like a muppet in comparison. He's brought tears to the eyes of Triple H, physically destroyed families (John Cena's father and the McMahon's), mocked and insulted the dead (Eddie Guerrero) and ended careers.
If Kane can be beaten to the point in which Randy Orton's screaming fans plead for him to be merciful, if Randy Orton can physically dismantle Kane so much so that the cheers evolve into boos, he may actually provide us with a Wrestlemania moment worth remembering.
It's an unlikely scenario, granted, but one that would be both unexpected and meaningful.
We’ve grown accustomed to receiving either one or the other.
The combination of the two would be refreshing.
Ryan Michael is a Senior Writer for Bleacher Report. Any questions, comments, or professional inquiries can be directed to his email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/#!/theryanmichael
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