Randy Orton continues to plod through what has been one of the most awkward babyface runs in recent memory.
Overwhelmingly positive reactions to Orton as a productive heel compelled the WWE to not only turn him face but to book him as one of the top two babyfaces in the company while trying to carry the SmackDown brand.
The experiment, for all intents and purposes, failed, as the WWE's booking of Orton seems more forced with every passing week.
Randy Orton continues to receive positive reactions from live crowds, but once the fanfare dies down and the creative process begins, it becomes clear that Randy Orton simply isn't built to be a babyface.
Orton's limitations on the mic and deliberate in-ring style make it difficult to even book Orton as an antihero.
Orton's feuds over the past few months have been lackluster at best, as they give fans very little to sink their teeth into outside of the wrestling matches. He is noticeably uncomfortable performing in this role and has reportedly lobbied backstage to return to his heel roots, according to Wrestler Observer (h/t wrestlenewz.com).
At this point, the WWE would be wise to pull the plug on Orton's current good-guy run. While babyface depth is always a concern with the WWE, few superstars are more effective as a heel than Orton, and Orton could help the cause for WWE's roster by elevating up-and-coming babyfaces.
There is very little room left for Orton to grow while on cruise control and languishing in feuds and storylines in which he is not equipped to thrive, given his impossible-to-ignore heel disposition.
With Randy Orton is entering the back end of his wrestling career, his legacy could be damaged somewhat by a face turn that has rendered him irrelevant.
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