Randy Orton Becoming WWE Champion Can Right the Wrongs in the WWE Universe
With but a quick stroke of genius on the part of the WWE's creative team, they might be well on track to righting the wrongs in the WWE Universe; and increasing their PPV buy-rates while they're at it.
Monday Night Raw as of late has been, well, stale.
Of course there is plenty of blame to go around.
Their reliance of the "guest-host gimmick" and the lack of a credible Superstar hierarchy comes to mind but the lack of stability is what strikes me as being the WWE's most glaring weakness.
No longer is the product being carried by the Superstars as the WWE has opted to put their future in the hands of their "guest-hosts" in the hopes that their celebrity status will bring in ratings.
It's a good idea, on paper at least.
While the WWE is bound to attract out-side viewers who might not happen be loyal fans of their product, they continue to push away the core fan base due to what their product has become.
But entertainment that lacks structure and stability.
There was a time when the WWE Championship was used to represent the pinnacle of this business, the prime motivation that drove the performers who helped build the business into what it is today.
But somewhere along the lone, they abandoned this previous concept in favor of transforming the WWE Championship into the ultimate “tool”.
They know that Superstars such as Triple H and Shawn Michaels don't need the title to help "get them over" (as they are already well-established performers) so they instead use the title as a means to get the less credible Superstars over with the fans.
This has always been done to one degree or another; but this tradition was once used as a rite of passage; as a passing of the torch that then put the company's future in the hands of a performer who was best for business at that point in time.
But no longer.
Sheamus is not what's best for business and Vince McMahon knows it.
Of course the WWE Championship has been in a state of flux since Triple H dropped it to Jeff Hardy at Armageddon 2008 ; but it has never been degraded in the same way as it has been since Sheamus defeated John Cena at TLC 2009 .
The apparent goal on the WWE's part was to create another credible heel (which they've desperately needed) and they decided that the WWE title would be the tool used to meet that end.
They got us with shock-value, but little more.
If their intent was to use the WWE Championship as a tool to make Sheamus appear more credible, they've failed miserably.
Every week I've seen him wear the belt around his waist is simply another week that I'm counting down for the WWE to rectify their mistake.
It's happened before (The Great Khali comes to mind) but at least his striking stature helped make up for a complete and utter lack of ability to perform in the ring.
Sheamus is a better performer, but nothing more.
This world is full of wrestlers who could compete at Sheamus' level; but the WWE Champion is supposed to be the one guy who stands alone as a representation of the best this business has to offer.
Sheamus isn't the best this business has to offer; he wasn't even the best that ECW had to offer.
But he fit the mold of a traditional "tuffmin" and the WWE gave him a shot.
But all too quickly, the WWE learned the most important lesson that resulted from their mistake.
Sheamus cannot make them money.
There was a time when Raw was built around the WWE Championship; so much so that they would often open and close each show with storyline centered around the industry's centerpiece.
They can't do that with Sheamus.
The show begins with the "guest-host" and often ends with Hornswoggle.
When guest-hosts, the tag-team division, and leprechauns carry your flagship program instead of the WWE title, you know that there is a major problem.
Few people have invested their care and devotion into the future of the championship because it has gotten to the point that they only care if Sheamus loses; and they know that it will take time to build up a credible rivalry in the wake of his departure (from the main-event scene at least).
Enter Randy Orton.
The man who might very well be the devil to answer our prayers and restore order to the WWE Universe.
When comparing Sheamus with Randy Orton, we see two men of strikingly different calibers.
Sheamus is the personification of an under-qualified champion.
A man who out of the creative team’s sheer desperation, was pushed above and beyond his capacity into a realm in which he never belonged.
A man who's association with the WWE title alone has tarnished the championship to the point in which we now need a savior to help restore credibility.
Randy Orton, is the embodiment of credibility.
A man who has defeated the likes of John Cena, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Batista, The Undertaker, you name it and he's beaten them all.
A man who's main-evented Wrestlemania three times and headlined enough PPV's to carry the company for years.
But more importantly, a man who has brought in money.
Just imagine for a moment if you will, what the WWE Universe would have done without Orton's services as a heel over the past decade?
And he's also a man who despite his past success, has yet to reach his full potential.
He's carried Raw for much of the past year and has managed to do so without the stability his character has to desperately needed.
One week he's punting Hall of Famers in the head and the next, he's running like a frightened girl.
Such lack of stability has prevented Orton (as a character) from taking that next step.
Yet, he has been the reason that people have tuned in to watch Raw for much of the past year. He's also been out of the WWE title picture for long enough (by today's standards) to make him both relevant and captivating to the audience who is starving for a true champion.
To put him in the same league as Sheamus is insulting.
The WWE needs to shy away from their devotion to building comic-book characters (such as Sheamus and Hornswoggle) and focus more on building credible characters who will endure for the long-run.
Now is the time to build towards that stability; and what better time than on the road to Wrestlemania?
The WWE has to start to think about the main-event picture and they need to work towards building main-event matches for the ages; not simply main-events that fit well within the scheme of March.
If they allow Sheamus to hold onto the title longer than the Royal Rumble , they're going to be creating a major issue for themselves.
They need to have a Superstar that reeks of credibility walking into Wrestlemania 26. A Superstar so popular (as a face of heel) that he alone could fill an arena with his sheer star-power alone.
Honestly, should a Wrestlemania main-event consist of anything less?
Allow me if you will, to give you a realistic scenario.
Place Sheamus in a mall full of people and have Randy Orton hang out in the outside parking-lot.
Randy Orton would be surrounded in a parking-lot by a sea of humanity and Sheamus would be standing in an empty mall.
The bottom line is, if you have Sheamus drop the title after the Royal Rumble , you create a situation where the champion going into Wrestlemania won't have a long enough track-record with his current title-run and if you are even thinking about having Sheamus main-event Wrestlemania, you lower your PPV buy-rate without any need to do so.
Wrestlemania 26 has every reason to be a Wrestlemania for the ages. So please don't just construct a random main-event built around Sheamus.
Countless people will still buy the PPV; just not at all because of him.
Wrestlemania main-eventers need to be a proven "draw" and ones that we know will continue to carry the company long after the road to Wrestlemania reaches its end.
I remember after the conclusion of Wrestlemania 23, I felt that the WWE did something very dangerous by allowing John Cena to retain the title.
They had him defeat two future Hall of Famers in the main-event of back to back Wrestlemanias and doing so placed Cena on a plateau higher than most would want to fathom at the time.
It was a huge risk and if Cena were to ever fall out of line or leave the company, you would have someone running around with enough credibility to harm you if he ever decided to take the "Jeff Hardy" approach to things.
Thankfully John Cena became the poster-boy for WWE boy-scouts so in retrospect, it didn't hurt the WWE Universe beyond pissing off some fans of Shawn Michaels.
But think about this.
You've already had Sheamus defeat John Cena in clean fashion.
The same man who beat Triple H and Shawn Michaels was over-matched by this "Celtic Warrior".
That victory was bad enough but you helped cover your a** by letting him retain the title in dubious fashion against Cena a few weeks later.
But imagine what you will do if you allow him to beat Randy Orton as well.
It would put him right up there in the same class as two men who are undoubtedly the top face and heel (respectively) of this generation.
It wouldn’t be much different than having an un-proven Superstar defeating The Rock and Triple H in back to back PPV's ten years ago.
It could damage the credibility of the product to an extreme extent during a time in which the WWE can ill-afford such backlash.
During the road to Wrestlemania when TNA has upped their game and stolen talent that doesn't belong competing amongst the likes of their kind; is the least opportune time to place the company's future in the hands of Sheamus.
With all due respect (and I mean this with no ill-will towards Sheamus), the WWE Universe deserves a lot better.
But not only that; so do you Vince McMahon.
You are "the" creative genius beyond measure who deserves nothing more (in my opinion) than to see the WWE monopolize itself all over the competition that can't compete to begin with.
Now is the time for the WWE to separate itself more than ever because its Universe is filled with so many talented Superstars and dedicated performers that there should be no reason why we can't see the dawning of a new era.
The evolution of satellite-TV might make it impossible to reach the TV-ratings of old (due to how fragmented our society has become); but I see no reason why the PPV buy-rates can't go up instead of down.
I see no reason why the WWE cannot bury its competition with ruthless aggression.
We need ruthless aggression and we need a credible savior.
We need...Randy Orton.
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