Even the most diehard Randy Orton fan would have to admit that the man’s stock has fallen considerably over the last six months.
Oh, he’s still relevant. His association with Triple H and spot in Evolution ensure that.
But, really, the days of him being one of the top stars—and a centerpiece—of the show seem to be long gone. John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins and even Roman Reigns all appear to be above him in the pecking order these days.
Is there any way for the 34-year-old to turn things around?
Well, he does have some options. It just depends on whether he’d be willing to do them and/or whether WWE would be willing to make the effort to carry them out.
One potential idea is to turn him back babyface.
When Orton turned heel at last year’s SummerSlam, many fans were relieved. The naturally arrogant Orton always seemed like a better bad guy anyway, and his character change, along with new connection to The Authority, would likely open up many new opportunities for him.
Alas, it didn’t really work out that way. His feud with Daniel Bryan may have produced decent matches, but it delivered mediocre buyrates, per Wrestling Inc.
Nor did anyone care much about his Survivor Series pay-per-view match with The Big Show. That also had a terrible buyrate, by the way.
Booking the 2,478th Cena-Orton feud at the end of 2013 was also a big mistake on WWE’s part. The hugely negative—and downright embarrassing—reaction from the fans at the Royal Rumble to the pair’s title match said it all.
Since then, he has held a spot in Evolution but has played second fiddle to Triple H. More recently, he’s found himself upstaged by new member Rollins too, as his shock heel turn takes the spotlight.
Make no mistake about it: Orton’s heel turn has not been a success. Is it time to make him a babyface again? I think WWE should at least consider it.
Another idea is for The Viper to remain a heel but simply try to expand his range as a performer a bit more. He’s not a terrible talker by any means, but he isn’t nearly as good on the mic as guys such as Cena or Bryan are.
Honestly, his promo work has been stale for years. Granted, the material from the creative team isn’t great, but that’s no excuse for Orton’s flat and uninspired delivery.
Perhaps the star could consider attending acting or improv classes during his days off? Or hiring an acting coach to help him showcase more of his personality?
It’s worth a shot—because, really, his WWE career is going nowhere right now.