At WrestleMania 29, WWE pulled the trigger on a major heel turn.
Well, kinda sorta.
After The Shield defeated Big Show, Randy Orton and Sheamus in the opening match, the creative team did perhaps the most predictable thing ever by having Big Show turn on both Orton and Sheamus. This, of course, was expected by many all along as Big Show hadn’t really ever settled in as a full-fledged babyface on the road to WrestleMania.
This wasn’t necessarily a bad move by the creative team. After all, it made sense to keep Big Show as a heel when he’s much better in that role.
But WWE shouldn’t have used the grand stage of WrestleMania to turn someone heel when he was already basically a heel to begin with. Rather, creative should have used this opportunity to pull off another turn—for Randy Orton.
It’s been said so many times that Orton “needs to turn heel” that it’s become almost as bad as the “when will John Cena turn heel?” talk. Yet, it’s talk that needs to continue until it happens.
After all, WWE missed quite the opportunity to turn Orton heel on its biggest show of the year—just like it missed out on so many others opportunities on the show in favor of having them take place on Raw instead.
Perhaps the biggest issue here is the fact that Big Show “turned heel” when it was a totally unnecessary move. Big Show has been one of WWE’s top heels over the last year or so, which made his “turn” at Mania a false on.
Essentially, WWE booked Big Show like a babyface for a month, only to—in true Bully Ray-like fashion—end up “turning him heel” again. I get that the idea behind it is to make the fans hate Big Show even more than they already do, but overall, he won’t benefit much from it.
The opposite could be said about Orton, however.
There’s no doubt that someone like John Cena has grown increasingly stale over the years, but you could make a case that Orton has been perhaps the stalest character in WWE over the last year. Despite his obvious talent, he sort of just coasts by or “mails it in” as a babyface, and it shows.
Orton clearly doesn’t like being a babyface all that much, and he will tell anyone who’s willing to listen that he’d prefer to be a heel. Why not grant him his wish?
When he’s motivated, “The Viper” is arguably one of the top-five, overall talents in WWE. But obviously, he’s not motivated as a face.
The solution to that problem is so simple and so easy, though: Turn him heel.
WWE has had countless opportunities to do this over the last several months, and the biggest of those opportunities came at WWE’s biggest pay-per-view of the year. It was there that the stage was set for Orton to do what makes the most sense and that’s go bad.
When will Randy Orton turn heel?
Orton could have walked out on his team, RKO’d the hell out of Sheamus, purposely helped The Shield or done any number of things that solidified him as a villain. Had he done that, the Raw crowd the next night probably wouldn’t have reacted to him with complete indifference.
Yet, they couldn’t care less about Orton, and why? Because that crowd loves its heels—and it loves heel Orton.
While that raucous crowd would have showered a heel Orton with cheers, “The Viper” would have garnered the exact opposite response in other arenas. He would be booed out of the building because, quite simply, heel Orton is better than face Orton.
If there were no other reason for Orton to turn face, that should be enough in and of itself. If something isn’t broke, you don’t fix it—but Orton is clearly broke as a babyface.
WWE could have easily fixed that problem at WrestleMania and in doing so could have got a lot of people talking.
But what happened instead? Big Show turned heel even though he’s been a bad guy for a year anyway.
What a waste.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!