Orton is an interesting case... in some ways his longevity is actually working against him, especially when you look at it from the perspective of how he HASN'T gotten himself fired. In truth, I've not been interested in him particularly since his aborted run with Wade Barrett, where he got tossed down the stairs... and that suspension killed Barrett's career as surely as Ziggler and Thwagger injuring him.
Despite his ahem, evolution over the years Orton doesn't actually change... he's a safe pair of hands for WWE to put into a title picture, championship role or to put someone over. The fans don't "love him" but they don't mind him either... in many ways he is like a modern Bret Hart circa 1996 or Jericho in 2004-5... People are so comfortable with him that they can't quite imagine life without him, until he is gone for a spell.
The best way to revitalize or energize Orton in the eyes of the fans and booking is to allow the fans to miss him.
He needs to take 1 or 2 years away from the business completely... no shock appearances, no "we're short cos of injuries, we need to have you here on Monday..." 2 years of no Orton at all...
He is young enough to take that kind of break and be able to perform at the same level when he returns...and having that break would make people miss him and possibly prolong his career.
That might be cos the guys they choose to replace him might fail, or someone steps up who you thing "Orton would be GREAT against this guy..."
The formula worked to an extent for Bret Hart in 1996, taking that time off did reivigorate him, albiet for a short time in the WWF, but in that year he was back he got two stellar matches with Austin, helped get Taker over as a legit main eventer rather than attraction and helped kickstart Attitude. Better proof is Chris Jericho when he was dragged kicking and screaming from RAW in 2005... We never saw him or heard of him on WWE TV for 2 years until the cryptic "SAVE US Y2J" stuff began and people were buzzing, not cos the product was stale but cos they really wanted Jericho back... likewise when he returned at the Rumble to that monster pop.
10 years after his original "return from the wilderness" (ironically against Orton) Jericho is still one of the most over and reliable workers the company has... the key to that longevity was the two years he took away doing Dancing with the Stars, singing with Fozzy and doing the family thing. Now Jericho goes away, even for a few months, we miss him.
We never get the chance to miss Orton cos he is ALWAYS there, and you get the sense that it would take nuclear war to shift Orton from the spot he's in and even then like a cockroach, there'd be Orton right near the top of the card...
To many people who know his history, Randy has led somewhat of a charmed life in that he's been given chance after chance in spite of often shocking behavior, and gotten away with things that other talents would be crucified, buried, fired or worse for (his dad bleeding on Taker or shitting in a bag for example) if they had done it and especially his drug issues.
However, he does seem to have turned it around behaviour wise, pretty much since he remarried so the chances of that 3rd strike seem to have vanished. But in someways, even being fired a few years back could have been a boon to Randy in the long term, he'd have been back by now and hot in that "bad boy" way that Brock failed to capitalize on after his recent failed test.
As it stands 2 years is unrealistic so 1 might do... could WWE do just ONE year without Randy Orton? Not cos of injury, but cos it would force them to think of new ways of booking without reverting to him... it would be a risk, but it's one worth taking and from Orton's perspective, even if it was a years paid sabbatical with his kids etc... it can only help him personally as well as professionally...especially if he is seriously wanting to be a top guy for the next decade, which he could be...
Last edited by THTRobtaylor : 08-11-2017 at 12:16 PM.