My question is why?
Is it because of his 60-day suspension? My opinion is that if a performer is punished for something that they did wrong, then the suspension is sufficient enough. Orton is back, yet it seems like the suspension has continued even though he has returned on the road.
Orton is a top guy. He's also one of the best performers that WWE has. It's hard to elicit the kind of reaction that Orton receives on a regular basis. When he returned to beat Heath Slater on Raw two weeks ago the ovation he received was reminiscent to any top guy in the history of the business. It was thunderous.
His signature finishing move, the RKO, is still one of the most popular moves in the company. Even though he's been using it for nearly 10 years now, the fans react to it as if they have never seen it before.
While I'm sure some fans consider Orton's act to be "stale" because he's been in the main event scene for eight years now, I'm of the belief that he's put forth the best efforts of his career in the last two years.
Remember the feuds he had with CM Punk (then a heel) and Christian in 2011? Both were long drawn out feuds with good storylines that led to excellent matches on a series of PPVs. I'll be the first to say that Punk was the best performer in WWE in 2011, but Orton was right there, too.
Big names sell tickets. For a major event like SummerSlam, which is arguably the third biggest WWE PPV of the year (I would rank WrestleMania & Royal Rumble ahead of it), all of the top names in WWE should be a part of it as long as they are physically able. Orton is a top-five performer, yet as he said himself on Twitter, "unfortunately I'm not working."
Orton is right that it's unfortunate especially because there is a "money" storyline waiting for him.
What should Orton be doing at SummerSlam? He should be wrestling Daniel Bryan.
The already announced Daniel Bryan match versus Kane at SummerSlam offers very little in terms of giving us something new. They've wrestled many times before on television as well as on pay-per-view. In the case of Orton vs. Bryan, there is a lot of freshness to it.
There was a phenomenal match on the February 10 edition of SmackDown this year that saw Orton take on Bryan in a back and forth encounter. There was no winner of the match due to Big Show's interference, but the quality in-ring performance they gave us left me wanting to see more.
They also had a shorter match in March when, coincidentally, Kane was the one to interfere to deprive us of a winner there as well.
SummerSlam should have been the place where the Orton vs. Bryan feud really kicked off. They could have even done the tie-in with Charlie Sheen for his Anger Management because the whole idea behind Orton's character is dealing with the "voices in his head" as his theme song suggests.
The Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan SummerSlam match could have been the third or fourth biggest match on a card that has a "big feel" to it.
Instead, Orton sits on the sidelines again. This time it's not his fault for something he did. He already served his suspension, so technically he "served his time" for that.
Being left off of SummerSlam is the fault of the negligent "creative team" that doesn't realize just how talented The Viper is.
Hopefully we get that Orton vs. Bryan feud soon because it could be a classic if they get the chance to actually do it.