Randy Orton fans would be wise to root for him to fall at WrestleMania XXX, as losing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship would reinvigorate his career.
Orton is at his best as a powder keg with no mercy on his opponents. That's the version of "The Viper" that would emerge should Daniel Bryan, Batista or Triple H yank the WWE title from his hands.
He's been too comfortable on the mountaintop, too much of a kiss-up and slippery coward during this championship reign. Having it taken from him is the easiest way to awaken the hellion inside of him.
The way that Steve Austin was best suited to play a badass, Orton's best fit is as an ill-tempered sadist.
So many of his career highlights have come when he is at his most vicious. He has engaged the audience most when he was pushing Mick Foley down the stairs, kicking John Cena's father in the head or knocking Vince McMahon unconscious.
We have seen far less of those kinds of moments in Orton's recent reign.
He's been asked to do more whining, placate to the bosses and depend on outside help to win. That's because he's caught up in a story that isn't truly about him.
The story of the WWE title since SummerSlam has been more a clash between Triple H and Bryan. They are the principal actors in that drama, the rebel colliding with authority, David continually suffering Golitah's wrath.
Orton has become a bit player.
Even now as he prepares to enter WrestleMania's main event with the WWE title still draped over his shoulder, WWE has focused more on Bryan, Triple H and Batista. For example, note how the following promo video only shows "The Animal" at the very end. It's as if Batista's pursuit of the championship is more important than the man holding it.
Orton doesn't have an equivalent video. Bryan, on the other hand, is featured in one documenting his rise to his current position.
That's why giving way to Bryan's momentum will boost Orton forward. He will be free to be a more prominent part of another storyline, and the injustice he is sure to feel he suffered is the perfect way to set him off and bring back The Viper of old.
Should he feel slighted by The Authority for putting him in a Triple Threat match rather than just have one opponent, anger is sure to build in him. Should he lose the championship without even getting pinned, a breakdown is sure to come.
When Orton snaps, it's a magnificent sight. Fans saw that when Kofi Kingston beat him on Jan. 13.
That's the kind of eruption in which Orton thrives. Watching another man celebrate while holding his titles is sure to inspire that again.
The problem with the blowup post-Kingston was, though, that this rage didn't last. Orton was skirting out of the arena the next week, Cena charging behind him.
With the title in his possession, Orton has been forced to be the hunted, the sneaky animal darting through the forest. He's been The Authority's submissive tool since he was dubbed the face of WWE last year.
Losing at WrestleMania frees him from that incarnation of himself, frees him to begin a new story.
WWE will have to find another narrative for him. Whatever that may be promises to focus more on him and can be the place where he starts tearing apart his opponents again.
Corporate bootlicker is a bad fit for him.
With fury powering him and aiming his animosity at a new rival, Orton can return to when he was at his peak character-wise. Let Bryan have his moment and his gold. It only gives Orton a chance to slip into a new skin.
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