WWE: Why Randy Orton Will Be the Next Big Crossover Star

Sharon GlencrossContributor IOctober 9, 2012

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08:  Big Show with World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton during the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium on July 08, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

Believe it or not, Randy Orton is on the verge of achieving true mainstream success.  

With the release of WWE Studios' upcoming film, 12 Rounds: Reloaded—the straight-to-DVD sequel to 2009's 12 Rounds—Randy Orton looks poised to possibly become the company's next breakout star.

The movie—the second to be made as part of WWE's recent three-film deal with Fox—stars Orton as an EMT who is forced to go through various dangerous tests and games (12 to be exact) after he is targeted by a criminal mastermind and his wife is abducted.

Actress Cindy Busby, best known for her role in hit Canadian TV show Heartland, is playing his wife, with Braveheart star David O'Hara rounding out the cast.

Notably, this is Orton's first starring role. He previously had a small supporting role in coming-of-age drama flick That's What I Am, starring Ed Harris. He was, of course, meant to star in The Marine: Homefront until his troubled real-life history with the U.S.M.C scuppered those plans and he was replaced with The Miz.

Per director Roel Reine's Twitter, 12 Rounds: Reloaded is due out next summer where, hopefully, it will become a hit on DVD.

Of course, most WWE Studios films struggle to be a success, either in theatres or on DVD, with the division losing so much money even Vince McMahon admitted in a stockholders' meeting the company was prepared to shut it down entirely if things didn't turn around.

Could 12 Rounds: Reloaded buck the trend, though?

Hey, the action genre has seen a minor revival in the straight-to-DVD market in recent times, with the likes of Steven Seagal and Steve Austin regularly churning out enjoyable but disposable low-budget films geared towards fans of mindless violence, cheesy one-liners and indestructible on-screen tough guys.

The film also has a relevant, recognizable star in Orton and is a follow-up to a fairly well-known theatrical release, meaning it has a decent amount of name value.

OK, 12 Rounds: Reloaded may not revitalize the genre or be winning any Oscars anytime soon, but it could certainly take off with audiences and make money.

It could also lead to Orton getting other acting roles, possibly even outside WWE. Orton, who has been crooning with enthusiasm on his Twitter about his role in the film, seems to like acting and enjoys the experience of being on a film set.

Hey, he wouldn't be the first wrestler to try his hand in Hollywood, would he? And Orton, with his good looks, charisma and screen presence, has a pretty decent shot at achieving success in movies. He’s not a particularly good actor, of course, but since when has that stopped anyone?

That's not to say he would leave WWE to pursue his thespian ambitions. Similarly to John Cena, he could do both for a prolonged period of time.

Not only would this put him in a position to bring in new fans to the product, but it would allow him to take time off from television to film these projects—meaning he will no longer continue to be over-exposed on television.