We miss you, Randy Orton.
We really do.
It has been far too long since we have seen "the" Randy Orton that struck fear into the hearts of each and every person foolish enough to get in his way.
Don't you remember?
Readers, think back the beginning of 2009.
Think back to the time when the evolution of Randy Orton was something that kept you on the edge of your sofa each and every Monday night.
Sure, the script writers butchered a few angles (Shane McMahon's kitten-punches, IED, and Orton's law come to mind) but the total product was something fresh, something original, something...
Everything seemed to work.
The return from a broken collar-bone made you fresh, your new tattoos gave you attitude, and your facial expressions provided the video footage to match your deranged theme music.
This was the Randy Orton the WWE Universe couldn't get enough of.
Yet what do we have before us today?
The top heel on Raw?
I'll give you that.
Someone the people will "pay" to see?
Yep, you still got it.
The No. 1 guy in the industry?
Unquestionably (though those who embrace the right to be incorrect might beg to differ).
But someone to be afraid of?
And it's a shame.
A shame that the WWE's finest script writers decided to turn you into a comic-book character.
"Here comes Randy Orton the bad guy, I hope Super Cena can defeat the villain."
That's the problem: Randy Orton should not be a villain, which is exactly what they've made him.
Kofi Kingston = good.
Randy Orton = bad.
Ryan Michael thinks...who cares?
Sure, it's nice to see the little guy stand triumphant but when it's all said and done, I feel as though I've watched a big sweaty version of a Saturday morning cartoon.
Way to go, PG-ratings.
Yet I yearn for the day when I can truly "care" about the WWE's Randy Orton product.
I stand by it, I'd buy it over and over again because my loyalty resides with the Superstar who has entertained me year after year.
That's called being a fan.
But when was the last time I sat and watched Raw, clutched my chest and said "What the f**k just happened?, I can't believe he just did that!"?
Where's the unpredictable Randy Orton?
You see, somewhere along the line Randy Orton ceased to be "the evil evolution of sports entertainment" and simply became a slithering snake of a villain.
NOT the same thing.
Back in the day (or should I say, 10 months ago) Randy Orton didn't take anyone's sh*t.
When Batista wanted to whine like a perplexed caveman about how he was "sick and tired" or Orton bad-mouthing the group that turned on him and beat him down for no reason, Orton punted him in the skull (saving us months of Batistic garbage) and cured the WWE again by tearing up his arm after he returned.
When Triple H found himself caught in the middle of "the destruction of the McMahon family" that came about as a result of the decisions that he made, Randy Orton made him cry in front of 20,000 people.
This was a Randy Orton who became a force to be reckoned with.
When the WWE's so-called bad-a**es would simply "beat you up," Randy Orton would take you out.
Randy Orton would never, and allow me to stress the word NEVER, allow someone like Kofi Kingston to cough on him, let alone make him bleed.
Randy Orton took men who had actually held the title, like CM Punk, and punted them out of relevance before they even had the opportunity to fight back.
He didn't get beat up by people under 6'0".
Okay, I can understand "selling" for people, but there has to be a limit to everything within reason.
As I say, give us the bad in moderation, don't make me throw up by having to drink the whole glass.
Randy Orton doesn't "need" to change because he's still 10 steps ahead of the curve on a bad week with the WWE's script writers writing backwards.
But if Randy Orton wants to become truly "great" again, we need to see that hunger, that hatred in his eyes every time the slightest thing goes wrong for him.
We can't see him getting beat up week after week but more importantly, we can't see his opponents walking around Raw without fear.
Randy Orton's opponents should either be overcome with fear as a result of their common-sense of they should be stricken by injury for their lack of it.
THAT is the Randy Orton we need to see back on television Monday nights.
Disclaimer: For those of you who might have taken this article a little too literally, please understand that the point of view conveyed in the article is representative of my opinion as it pertains to the fictional world of the WWE and is not intended to be reflective of my personal views regarding reality. Thank you.