Wrestling as a concept is relatively simple. Good battles evil, for ultimate supremacy. The former will always win but only after a long and bloody series of engagements.Maybe in the PG era, they are no longer bloody battles, but the concept nonetheless remains the same.
Stone Cold may have changed the essence of being a face, but when he got cheered for his 3.16 revolution, he instantly became source of good.
Since the inception of the modern era, wrestling has returned to the world of cartoons. Gone are the edgy and controversial, and its place, warm and harmless characters. The firing of Bryan Danielson was the epitome of what would happen if this new era was threatened.
Hopes that Danielson might fire the first shots against PG or at least return as an edgy superstar, have thus far failed to materialise.
Wrestling needs leaders and while Cena and the Undertaker remain firm fan favourites, there is a need for further representation on RAW. Question remains whether Orton can provide this long term.
At present, Orton is popular. His reception is strong and the reaction to the RKO is reminiscent of the Stunner. The problem for the Viper is that his character is not only limited but he is also a victim of his environment. And for this reason, he cannot be the leader of the WWE.
Orton is a typical heel or anti-hero. But at present to sell this image, the worst he can do other than a few stomps and a DDT, is to hit an RKO and a punt. There can be little else.
In the old days of wrestling, you would simply throw a few chair shots or bleed your opponent to be instantly regarded as aggressive. Both are now out of bounds.
Maybe you can cut a Stone Cold promo and declare to the world a new revolution but its arguable that Orton's mic skills are not strong enough to do this. You need the energy and raw power of Austin, and Orton simply does not have this.
His deficiency on the mic is well masked by the slow and methodical approach which in turn sells his snake like personality
Orton's greatest asset in addition to his heritage is his age. Aged just 30, a full year younger than Mike McGillicutty, Orton is perhaps destined to surpass the championship achievements of Ric Flair and Triple H. Marked from the beginning as a Champion, Orton has already SEVEN world titles.
Need a comparison, that is already more than Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Randy Savage and equal to that of the Undertaker. Does Orton really deserve such prestige?
Its maybe more of an argument in relation to the meaning of gold, as I wrote before in the article, http://bleacherreport.com/articles/362708-wrestling-championships-is-less-actually-more, but does Randy Orton really offer that much to wrestling?
All wrestlers are systematic. They have a basic concept and its one they replay over and over again. For the characters to last however, amendments are needed though often its only a matter of turning face or heel. The likes of Undertaker, Hogan, and Shawn Michaels have lasted for decades repeating this pattern.
What really has changed with the Undertaker in twenty years? Very little fundamentally but its what has happened, that makes me wonder whether Randy Orton deserves his position of power.
The Undertaker as a concept is limited. The dominant force beating all, would have grown tired had he not added things to his repetoire. His character went from strength to strength because of the promos, interviews, the new match types and his mystique. The entrance of the Deadman is something truly magical even after twenty years.
But for Orton where are these qualities? There is only so many people he can kick so where is the room to adapt? He rarely does interviews, he does very few promos, he has offered nothing new in terms of new match types. This leaves only his snake like personality.
And this can only have a limited half life.
Its ironic that for Orton to succeed, he actually needs to turn heel again. In the era of PG, there is no direction for him. His inability to offer any energy in terms of interview or promo leaves him reliant on a fixed number of moves and actions. Unlike Cena who has mic skills, Orton has no means of selling himself. Orton can become a heel again and succeed, only because thats the nature of his real life character.
Orton's arrogance and backstage power makes him an unlikeable champion. Maybe all new superstars have this arrogance - certainly the Klique did, so maybe Orton is following a tradition. But his involvement with Ken Anderson and Kofi Kingston makes for a track record.
Money seemingly dictates power. Sell enough and you can succeed. Sell more than anyone else and the company will do what you want to keep you happy. Orton like Triple H, can be said to have created their own success.
Are either really better than Shawn Michaels or Bret Hart? And yet they have more titles.
Orton will remain popular as long as Cena is a face. Maybe thats his success - he is not Cena. The reaction of some fans to Jericho and Edge in recent times, is an indication that some look for superstars who are anti-establishment.
Orton despite his power backstage is the epitome of anti-establishment at present. He is not Cena, he does not wish to be Cena. And yet marketing this so called 'snake like psychotic' as a face during the PG era makes for a difficult sell. His attempts at being a face look awkward and even uncomfortable for him.
The future of wrestling is hard to predict but I would not be surprised to find that by Wrestlemania XXVII, Randy Orton had turned heel once more. As I will argue, its the only place he can go to succeed long term.
But as with all heels, no matter how many times they win, they will always lose in the end.