Over the last month, there has been two huge developments that have shaken the foundation of the WWE/IWC Universe. One is of Randy Orton winning the WWE title, and another is the possible alliance/heel turn of John Cena with the Nexus (I've already written about the latter here).
Randy Orton since Wrestlemania of this year has unexpectedly catapulted into the hearts of WWE fans both young and adult. His cold snake-like demeanor as well his trademark viper logo and tattoos has given fans a whole new type of character to root for.
Unlike John Cena, Randy Orton is thought of as being more mature and multi-dimensional of both a character and a wrestler. His signature RKO finisher has caught the imagination of younger fans who for once can identify with a face that isn't dumbed down for their amusement. To numerous fans and even those in the business, Randy Orton is the real deal.
But if assuming that John Cena will become a heel, what exactly is needed in order for Randy Orton to become the new face of the company?
Quite frankly, more business needs to be done in order for Orton to become the true Austin-like face in the company. In more specific terms, more promotion towards Orton and his brand is needed. After all, the night after his title run witnessed very low ratings, even though most agree to other factors rather than his title win which received a huge ovation at Night of Champions.
Numerous people who have commented time and time again on the high status of John Cena have always taken note that he has been good for business. Adult fans and Vince in particular have made clear that Cena sells.
His merchandise a huge hit with the younger audience. He guest stars left and right on television shows such as "Hannah Montana." Not to mention, WWE has put him in several starring roles such as "The Marine' and "12 Rounds."
It's so easy to say that Cena sells because John Cena pretty much has been the only star that WWE is constantly selling.
If Randy Orton is destined to become the next main face for the WWE and presumably the next huge breadwinner, his name needs to be out more. Orton himself has already taken steps in order to connect with his fanbase more, such as creating his own Twitter account and interacting with randy-orton.com which is a very popular fansite dedicated to him. Next year he's also set to appear in a WWE Film currently titled, "That's the Way I Am."
It's a start, but WWE definitely needs to chip in on the effort. Now, I'm not saying that he needs to appear on Disney or Nickelodean shows/movies, cause that definitely isn't a part of Orton's character. Nor am I saying they should plaster his face all over 7/11 cups. Try to get him a gig on one of the serious USA/NBC shows. Law and Order SUV, White Collar, Pysch, Parenthood, whatever. Vince you are apart of a major Fall TV network, use it.
One of the huge keys that came with both Stone Cold and The Rock's rising star power is that they were marketed more to the mainstream. The Rock in particular, who's cameo in The Mummy Returns would open up more windows for his movie career and more wallets for cash in WWE's pockets. Guest host spots such as Saturday Night Live and MadTV also aided both Austin and Rock becoming known faces outside of wrestling.
Even Divas back in the Attitude Era days became well known faces. Sable had guest starring spots on several TV shows. Chyna also became popular in particular after her Playboy spread and also had a spot on MadTV.
The key I believe to Orton and also WWE's comeback is that they get back on the good side of the mainstream more. It's so easy to say that John Cena is the star that sells when again, he's pretty much the only star WWE is willing to sell consistently.
But even Cena has had his selling limits, since not that many people over the age of 14 I really know of truly knows about John Cena as much as they do about The Rock, Hulk Hogan, and even Austin. His movies also aren't that great in the box office. "12 Rounds" barely broke five million on opening box office weekend in comparison to The Rock's The Scorpion King, which opened in April of 2001 with 19 million at the box office.
In Orton's case what is a bigger plus for him is that he appeals to both younger and older audiences unlike Cena. Adult and more mature audiences will want to identify with Orton and actually know Orton more rather than the "Champ" who's tricks are for kids. That gives WWE more opportunity and versatility to spread the word about Orton without having to worry so much about alienating a particular audience.
Randy Orton must not only take the place of John Cena in popularity but also in revenue. It's obvious he's more willing now than ever to accept his status as the new go to guy in the WWE. Now it's just the matter of WWE putting his status in order to put him and themselves back on the mainstream market.