Because of the WWE’s inability to grow new stars, it allows someone like Randy Orton to not lose his spot on the card despite being one strike away from being kicked out of the WWE due to the company’s Wellness Policy.
There are a small group of people in the WWE that are considered “untouchable.” Because of the lack of top-drawing stars in the WWE, Orton has entered that realm of untouchable stars—even with his two wellness violations.
On a recent episode of the podcast show, the T.J. McAloon and the Sports Half Hour, my guest and I discussed how Orton can walk right back into the top of the card on SmackDown despite serving a second suspension.
Or as we said on the show, “Orton is like the hot girl that constantly cheats on you. You want to break up with her, but you can’t, because you know you won’t do any better.”
Orton being left off of the 2012 SummerSlam card was not the result of that second strike, but more because of him not being involved in a major storyline when he came back.
However, that doesn’t mean Orton will not somehow be involved in the show. Because of the lack of depth at the top of SmackDown’s heel roster, it could lead into him getting involved in the World Heavyweight Title match between champion Sheamus and challenger Alberto Del Rio.
Since Sheamus won the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania 28, he hasn’t had a major feud to help get him over champion. Instead, he’s gone through a short feud with Daniel Bryan, a fatal four-way with Del Rio, Orton and Chris Jericho, a short feud with Dolph Ziggler and then back to Del Rio.
With the WWE coming up to its biggest pay-per-views of the year—Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 29—the company will need a big name to challenge for the World Heavyweight Title. With Orton’s popularity and name recognition, he will get that first look as someone who can help sell tickets and drive the buyrate up on pay-per-view.
Allowing Orton to come right back into the top spot on SmackDown is a dangerous move by the WWE.
Will the WWE push Orton to the top of SmackDown before anyone else?
If Orton violates the Wellness Policy again, it says that he will be terminated from the company. One strike is a mistake, two strikes can be looked at as either a problem or a reoccurrence.
However, because of his popularity and the WWE’s making him a big star in the company—plus its lack of making other great heels—it will be like nothing happened and Orton will continue to be one of the untouchables even with his out-of-the-ring baggage.