There was a time when Randy Orton was the hottest name on the roster, but these days he just seems to float from one random feud to another without any real progress toward reaching the stature he once had.
Not only did Orton break records by becoming the youngest champion in WWE history at age 24, but he has managed to win eight more WWE and World titles since.
Orton became so popular as a heel that fans were cheering him while booing his babyface opponents. You would think he was their biggest babyface by the reaction the crowd gave him when he won the Royal Rumble.
While Orton still holds a level of popularity with the fans and a certain position on the roster, there is no denying that the last two years have been the slowest moving of Orton's career.
At age 33, Orton is still young enough to have another decade of wrestling in him, maybe more. He has plenty of time to break Ric Flair's record, but at the rate he is going he is not going to get there anytime soon.
The feud he had with Christian over the World title was the last time Orton was really at the top of the roster on either show, and that was in 2011.
WWE needs to build new stars. Nobody can deny that. But Orton is not some old grappler who is best used getting someone else over. He is best used in the main event scene.
WWE has tried having guys like Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus as the top SmackDown babyface, but they pale in comparison to Orton in many ways.
His feuds with Triple H, John Cena and Shawn Michaels all produced very entertaining matches, and several other Superstars have given Orton a run for his money as well.
However, Orton had the luxury of coming into WWE when there was still a lot more leniency with the content they included. Being able to have that kind of history might help keep someone popular over the years as opposed to someone who has risen to the top during the PG era.
Would Stone Cold have become what he is today with PG restrictions?
Despite having fallen way down the roster in recent years, Orton has still managed to be one of the most popular Superstars with fans at live events.
He is a great babyface, but perhaps now is the time to turn him back into what made him popular in the first place: A vicious heel.
His best promos were from his heel days, and the RKO is a move tailor-made for a heel because it looks brutal and he can hit it on anyone at any time.
Some injuries and a suspension here and there may have been what brought Orton out of the main event scene in WWE and kept him in mid-upper card limbo, but he is worth the risks.
He is one of the more fluid in-ring performers to ever lace up a pair of boots, and a lot of that natural ability comes from the fact that he grew up in the business and watched the greats of the previous generation from up close.
Orton will only be as valuable as he is now for so long. Injuries pile up, opportunities outside the WWE come along and sometimes a Superstar just gets burnt out.
He will not be there as a backup forever, so WWE should pull the trigger on inserting him back into the WWE title hunt while they still have the chance.
Should Orton turn heel?
The WWE Championship scene has been up and down over the past couple of years. We had an epic title reign from CM Punk, a return to greatness for The Rock and a new title design.
But we have also been seeing the same matches over and over. Orton might be exactly what they need to spice up the rotation.
Nobody new is being cycled into the title picture and that has to change if they want to stay fresh. Having Orton feud with Cena, Ryback or someone like Daniel Bryan or Wade Barrett would really make Raw feel new again.
Randy Orton is exactly what the WWE title needs right now. He has a well-established history with Cena to where they could still feud and neither man would have to turn babyface, if that was how WWE wanted to do it.
A feud between Cena and Orton would feel fresh because it has been a few years since they were on opposite sides of the ring, and Orton as champion is something that would make many fans who are sick of the same thing week after week a little happier.
What do you think? Would Orton bring some variety to the WWE title scene or would his presence have no impact?
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