Randy needs to give the fans a reason to care about him. Randy is crazy talented. He was born to be a pro wrestler. Too often though, especially in recent years, fans feel like he is just going through the motions and coasting on his past success and favorable reputation in the company to stay on top instead of actually trying to reinvent his stale persona and actually putting in the hard work that so many fans desire from these guys.
There are a lot of similarities between he and Cena that you pointed you, but there are key differences as well.
A lot of it comes down to what each guy is and was willing to do in ring. Yes, there was a time where Cena deserved the criticism of his five moves of doom and predictable matches. That isn't the case the last few years. John goes out almost each night and is determined to put on his best. He is willing to work with the other guy, play to their strengths, give them their moments. It's why a John Cena PPV match these days is rarely bad.
Orton though, hasn't been willing to go that extra mile. I'm not going to go so far as call him lazy, but he is content to just go out each night and put on passable matches. Rarely is a Randy Orton match bad, but let me ask you something. How many classic matches can you name that Orton had?
His booking the last few years hasn't helped. He has been around the title picture way too often. Remember the title match he had with Cena a few PPVs before Wrestlemania 30? I think that was at Royal Rumble. Anyway, the match the two had, as has been the case for the other 499 matches they have wrestled, was solid. The fans just didn't care because it was Cena vs. Orton again. Aside from too much time in the title picture, most of his storylines are uninspired. The Wyatt feud had promise and was interesting at times, if a little cartoonish, but the payoff sucked. Nearly every other feud has been almost a carbon copy of this feud with Rusev. Someone cuts a promo, Randy hits an RKO, they have uninspired matches in the middle of the show, and no one benefits.
There are things he could change and the writers could change to help him though. For one, stop having the announcers go absolute ape shit over each and every RKO and stop reminding us how each RKO is out of nowhere. I've always found it to be an overrated finisher, but most of the crowd enjoys it and it has provided some amazing moments over the years, but stop treating every single RKO like it's this sudden surprise move that no one saw coming. On that subject, stop hyping up signature moves that he relies on far too often. Before I go any further, I'm aware that every wrestler worth a damn ever has signature moves. It's been a staple of pro wrestling since almost the beginning and you need these moves to pop the crowd. The problem though, especially with the elevated DDT, is that it should be a devastating move that is used to leave guys down and out but he doesn't even try to consistently try to pin guys after. I also don't need Cole or JBL yelling about vintage Orton when he hits it. Every move is vintage Orton because he hasn't added a new move to his arsenal since 2002.
They also needs to have the announcers stop covering for how his mood dictates his in ring performance. I'll touch on it again soon, but Randy has reputations of having a bad temper and often not being invested in feuds. When he is mad at opponents for various reasons, he is a right dick in the ring and is overly stiff and the announcers play it up to his Apex Predator persona. When he isn't invested he often works a super slow and boring style and the announcers cover it by calling it methodical. When he does this, it sucks the energy out of the crowd.
Here is another issue, and I will preface this by saying I'm aware he has been at this for fifteen years and he does have shoulder problems, but Orton almost never takes solid bumps. I'm not asking the guy to go out and pull some Mick Foley type spots, but he really really needs to not over protect himself for every bump.
He also has that reputation of a bit of a hot head due to his actions earlier in his career and wrestling fans never forget.
So yeah, a lot of salvaging Randy falls on his hyper mobile shoulders. He needs to care and be invested and not act bored almost each night.
Oh and why doesn't he do that sexy drop kick anymore?
WZCW: Join Today