Randy Orton: How the WWE Can Help Bring Venom Back to the Viper
I have to applaud our community leader for tackling one of the most disturbing issues in the Sports Entertainment. While it might not be immediately apparent, the WWE's lack of consistent story-telling has drained the venom of their most poisonous Superstar.
So, why is the so disturbing you might ask?
Because each and every week as we wait for the creative team to make up their minds, the industry’s most exceptional talent will continue to regress as his venom drains away.
Call not for the second coming of the Attitude Era when we could be embracing the very positive future the WWE "could" have in store for us.
I don't claim to have all the answers.
If I did, Vince McMahon would be signing my pay-checks before he heaved countless thousands into the laps of those who fail to bring stability to a product that needs it.
It might not seem fair of me to levy such an accusation; but I would be hard-pressed to substantiate a valid case in favor of the opposite.
The WWE's programming is far from horrible.
If it was, I wouldn't be inspired to cover their exploits each and every week.
But the line between imperfection and adequate-progression tends to be slim.
The WWE isn't on life-support; they just need a little medicine.
So allow me if you will, the opportunity to offer my two-cents for free, in regards to a subject that I feel I know well.
What you have WWE is (in my view) the most talented performer of the past decade in the prime of his career.
Whether you discovered lightening in a bottle last January or whether the creative team simply ran out of ideas; the No. 1 issue is stability.
1) Establish the best creative direction; and stick with it while leaving room for logical progression.
Now, what do I mean?
The business as we all know, is an evolving one. Therefore, to claim that progressing in one direction would be the answer would simply be ignorant.
But there is a difference between allowing for logical creative progression and changing the character's demeanor to suit a specific week's angle.
Don't have Randy Orton punting people in the head one week, and running away at the first sign of trouble the next.
And if you insist upon portraying your most venomous character as a coward, allow him to verbalize the logic behinds such actions.
Randy Orton doesn't refuse to answer a "face-to-face" call because he's a coward; he chooses to strike when the moment is most ripe for him and most vexatious for his victim.
Give him the time of day to verbalize this logic. Your "faces" won't lose credibility because he still ran away, and the fans will be irked by his excuse (or logical justification if you will).
It's a win-win situation that helps restore a little credibility to the Superstar whom you've just painted a coward.
My advice would be to enable his character to become reminiscent of the venomous viper we saw leading up to last year's Wrestlemania.
We don't have to see people taken out on stretchers every week, but vicious attacks from time to time shouldn't be out of the question.
2) Appearances can be deceiving but shouldn't be ignored.
This might not seem like a big issue, but so much more could be done with Orton's character if they were to visualize him properly.
Randy Orton needs to not only perform like a true star; he needs to look like one also.
The bald head.
Call me psychic, but I imagine that decision was made to make Orton's character appear less appealing to the fans who are supposed to boo him.
Perhaps he looked a bit too "cool" at the beginning of the year so you had to knock him down a few pegs.
If the fans are cheering him when they shouldn't be, it's the least of your problems.
Trust me; you'd rather have the fans cheer for him than become detached.
You should know by now that looks mean everything in this business; and I find it no coincidence that the level of fan-interest has declined with Orton's physical appearance.
Remember when he would actually wear jeans when not competing?
When we see Randy Orton run around with just a t-shirt and trunks, it looks as though he lives in the arena each and every week and while you might not think so, it makes his character less believable.
I personally feel that most Superstars look better wearing real clothes (and yes, that can include WWE t-shirts in addition to regular clothing) instead of looking like they have no personality beyond the ring.
Give the guy some jeans, let him grow some hair, and he'll stop looking like a comic book character and start looking like the same viper who didn't f*ck around earlier last year.
3) When without gold, strike gold with relevant story-telling.
Right now Randy Orton is not the WWE champion, which essentially means that the belt is on someone less qualified.
But with accurate bias aside, this is what needs to be done.
When Randy Orton isn't involved in a championship feud, make proper use of his services.
Allow me to clue you in.
If you don't intend on him winning the Royal Rumble again this year, encourage him to become involved with Legacy.
I'm sick of seeing his children fail to progress in any way shape or form.
Push them if you feel they deserve it (or push people of Sheamus’ caliber instead if you think I’m crazy).
If they don't deserve to be pushed, at least evolve their characters.
I'm tired of them looking like little store-brand Ortonites; they need to be relevant.
Not just weak body-guards or competitors competing in irrelevant matches; they need something more.
Feed them a bone; or feed them a viper.
Are you really going to keep Legacy going beyond Wrestlemania?
If so, evolve the characters.
If not, allow Randy Orton to punish them for no apparent reason.
I used to care when Randy Orton would beat on Ted DiBiase; perhaps you could explore than angle?
Push Orton towards the Royal Rumble but have Rhodes and/or DiBiase eliminate him during if you don’t want him to win (HINT, HINT).
Bottom line, there is limitless potential when it comes to the creative direction of Randy Orton.
If you don't believe me, ask me what I think he should be doing (and trust me, it wouldn't be as vague as the aforementioned) and compare it to what you actually see produced.
4) Let the Viper be a Viper.
Everything's PG now; I get it.
Yet, it was 11 months ago as well and I still saw enough venom to last me up to this point.
We don't need blood, we don't need stone cold substances, we just need a controlled sense of unpredictability.
We want to be shocked on occasion but don't propel your unpredictability to the point in which it loses credibility and becomes WCW.
I'm not worried about that ever happening because Vince McMahon is too smart for that; I'm just suggesting that you keep an open eye out.
During days in which mid-card ECW talent quickly ascends to the pinnacle of your profession, you have to keep a look out for just about anything.
Despite my criticism, the WWE does produce a fantastic product.
It just needs a little bit of creative direction.
I shouldn't be able to give good advice. You pay the creative team too much for an amateur to be able to inject some sense into an abundance of in-frequent senselessness.
You don't think my advice is logical, credible, or legitimate?
Tell me why.
Everything in regards to these types of concerns tends to be subjective.
But chime in to tell me whether I'm providing logical points or simply subjecting you to aimless marks-ism (love the word Joe).
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