The degree of Randy Orton's creative drought had become so discouraging that I abandoned watching WWE programming all together for a few weeks.
It just wasn't worth it anymore.
I had absolutely nothing left to motivate me to tune in and watch Raw anymore; and after almost a full year of one disappointment (Bragging Rights 2009) after another (Survivor Series 2009), after another (TLC 2009), after another (Royal Rumble 2010), after another (Elimination Chamber 2010), after another (Wrestlemania XXVI), after another (Extreme Rules 2010), after another (Over The Limit 2010), after another (Fatal Four Way 2010), after another (Money In The Bank 2010), and even after my regained sense of hope...
another (Summerslam 2010), that was the end of it.
Let’s face it; you can never keep wrestling fans happy all of the time. But I'm not talking about walking away from something the moment things didn't go as I may have hoped. I'm taking about turning my back to a program I've watched almost every week for over a decade because there reaches a point where enough is enough.
Why do I watch Raw?
Answer: Randy Orton
Everything else comes afterwards. The rest of the storylines, the rest of the roster, they all play second fiddle to the company's top performer.
It's not hero-worship; it's about being a fan of the very best this industry has to offer.
Orton’s been the WWE's creative catalyst for years now and it's almost as though they've been intent on punishing his character for being so successful; even though he's gone on to become the hottest act in professional wrestling in spite of the utter abuse and mis-use of his character.
I'll bring back the laundry list that is Randy Orton's PPV-record in matches that actually matter.
First though, I'll mention the victory over Kofi Kingston at TLC 2009 and the victory over Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase at Wrestlemania XXVI that both amounted to nothing short of major creative demotions during his only two PPV victories over the past 337 days (and counting).
Two victories over the combination of three men who have never won a single major world title; and two of them never even sniffing the scent of Intercontinental or United States mid-card championship gold.
Essentially, TLC 2009 and Wrestlemania XXVI did absolutely nothing to benefit Orton's character; hence my disappointment with both two events as detailed above.
With those two disheartening months set aside, it gets even worse.
WWE championship match vs. John Cena at Bragging Rights = loss.
WWE championship match vs. Sheamus at the Royal Rumble = loss.
WWE championship match at Elimination Chamber = loss.
World championship match vs. Jack Swagger at Extreme Rules = loss.
Singles match vs. Edge at Over The Limit = draw.
WWE championship match at Fatal Four Way = loss.
MITB match at Money In The Bank = loss.
WWE championship match at Summerslam = loss.
And yes, I'm now counting disqualifications as "losses" because time and time again, they have managed to come up with a way for Orton to walk away without the WWE championship; opting to rather use his name-recognition to sell main-events that always ended with the predictable disappointing finish.
Victories on Raw amount to nothing when over such an extended period of time, Orton's character has nothing at all to show for his viper-like exploits week after week.
I view our weekly programming as the set-up for what actually matters and when that time has come, Orton has had a zero-percent winning percentage (0-7-1) to show for his efforts over the course of almost an entire year.
What's worse is what happened at Summerslam.
There was an opportunity to set everything right in the WWE Universe.
It has been clear for a very long time that the WWE championship is no longer the centerpiece of the WWE Universe. It has been used as the great "tool" to get over Superstars who would be unable draw for the company and remain relevant without them.
Performers like Randy Orton who can captivate arenas full of screaming fans are thought to not "need" the title to "get over" and have thus, been removed from the championship scene all together.
And despite having had six WWE or World championship matches over the past 337 days, Orton has not truly been part of the scene because he has not been given any opportunity to actually win. It's like a villain fighting Superman in the cartoons; he's not there to actually win, only to draw people's attention.
All of this has taken away almost a full year of the career of a Hall of Fame Superstar in his prime.
And believe me, Randy Orton has achieved, accomplished, and sold out more arenas than the majority of the performers already inducted into the Hall of Fame. The reality of his legacy is not even in question.
I have no optimism whatsoever anymore.
I have no reason at all to believe that Randy Orton has any chance of winning the WWE title at Night of Champions beyond the fact that it has continued to defy logic to see him go this long with nothing to show for it.
As of September 7, 2009, Randy Orton's creative drought has lasted 337 days.
337 days without a single credible victory over an established opponent during a time that it matters.
337 days without the WWE championship.
I'd say that things will be different this time around, but Bragging Rights 2009, Survivor Series 2009, TLC 2009, Royal Rumble 2010, Elimination Chamber 2010, Wrestlemania XXIV, Extreme Rules 2010, Over The Limit 2010, Fatal Four Way 2010, Money In The Bank 2010, and Summerslam 2010 would all beg to differ.
What's another month and another PPV gone by anyway?
This "trend" has evolved into "tradition".
Oh well, there's always Hell in a Cell 2010...
Only I stopped caring after Summerslam.