Randy Orton's Lack of a SummerSlam Feud Is Poor Booking

Sharon GlencrossContributor IApril 11, 2017

Randy Orton does not currently have a match for SummerSlam and—barring some last minute development—probably isn’t going to.

Yes, as crazy as it sounds, Randy Orton, one of the top stars in the company, is not booked for a match on the second-biggest pay-per-view of the year.

OK, so you can argue his role on the card may be to swoop in at the end of the Daniel Bryan/John Cena bout and cash in his Money in the Bank title shot on the vulnerable winner. Indeed, reports from F4Wonline, via WrestlingInc, have claimed this is one plan currently being talked about.

But, still, Orton cashing in is far from certain.

Indeed, WWE has teased this development so much, it may be more likely that it refrains from doing so. Generally, in the history of the Money in the Bank briefcase, guys cashing usually comes out of nowhere and is a surprise.

So, there is a decent chance Orton will not make any sort of appearance on the card.

As WWE is forced to consider to a short-term future without Cena—reports (F4Wonline via CageSideSeats) claim he is going into surgery soon for his banged-up elbow—is it really wise of them to put one of the few established stars it has left on the backburner?

Of course not.

And the company’s refusal to book Orton into any sort of meaningful sort of program or feud is evidence of its lack of focus and inability to script anyone not named Cena or Brock Lesnar well these days.

Granted, there are a couple of reasons WWE might be reluctant to build Raw around Orton again. His two drug suspensions, mainly. As is well known, per the policy if he fails one more time he’ll be fired.

Maybe management are worried about the prospect of Orton cashing in, winning the belt and then failing a third test and having to be terminated? (And what terrible press firing the WWE champion would get them.)

Of course, if that is the case, you have to wonder why the company even bothered letting him win the briefcase at the July pay-per-view if it doesn't feel that they can fully trust him.

Note to management: either push Orton or don’t. This lukewarm, stop-start approach is doing no-one any favors.

Hopefully WWE makes an attempt to rectify the situation and books him to cash in this Sunday. Ideally, this will lead into a heel turn too. Could Orton be the new “Corporate champion” Vince McMahon is desperately looking for? It’s a tantalizing prospect.

Fresh off of his win at Money in the Bank, Orton has momentum which the company risks squandering by refusing to do anything with him.

Come on, can he really wait on the sidelines for months until the company decides to have him cash in his title shot?