Randy Orton has never looked better. I tend to agree with JBL when he made those comments on SmackDown on Friday night. The WWE’s biggest heel is getting better and better. If the WWE wanted a super villain, they did the right thing in making Orton possibly the most hated heel in the WWE since Ted DiBiase.
Orton has gone from a pudgy kid who came to the WWE from Ohio Valley Wrestling and immediately turned the company on its ear. The third generation star is now at the height of his greatness and to think a few years ago I was calling him stiff, robotic and freakishly stale. Orton is all of those things at times, but add to that list arrogant, repulsive at times and one of the best at telling a story in the ring right now.
While John Cena is great at telling the wrestling “story” outside the ring, Orton has learned to become adept at making the ring the centerpiece for a novel and the outer part of the ring the parts of a play.
The only issue with Orton being a champion – and I think he was the right choice at the TLC pay-per-view to carry the new unified title – is that he must lose the strap. In doing so, we are building him up for title reigns, which does not work for me. You cannot continually all title reigns for the sake of building a wrestler up as “the greatest.” Ric Flair, Bruno Sammartino, even Hulk Hogan and CM Punk had huge runs because they were the best at their craft at the time.
Orton has to work with the likes of Cena, Daniel Bryan, Punk and Cody Rhodes. Soon, there will be Roman Reigns, Damien Sandow and Dean Ambrose.
Oh and on January 20, Batista makes his appearance. Who know how that will turn out.
For now, Orton continues to show he is the best in the business going today. The WWE cannot lose that kind of presence on screen. If the company wants to bring back the fans, the WWE Universe and ratings, Orton must be the one to lead the way.
Dusty Rhodes once said in an interview that he thought Barry Windham had the most, “God given athletic ability that I have ever seen.” That is pretty high praise from a superstar and legend like Dusty. And in a way, as a huge Windham fan, who I thought was hurt in his career (not because he turned heel) but because Flair held the belt longer than expected (because of Magnum TA’s injuries). Windham could do just about anything in the ring.
Maybe to his credit, Orton can do the same thing. There is not a thing this tall, lanky phenom cannot do. Windham was one of the best heels in the 1990s. Orton is the best heel now. I could go on and on about the comparisons.
I also remember years ago an interview about Bob Orton, Jr. Randy’s father with Roddy Piper. Piper, who had been in the ring with thousands of stars over decades. He said Bob Orton, Jr. or “Ace” as he was affectionately known in the WWF, was the best pure wrestler of his day. “Ace” could give you a standing drop kick that knocked you out of you boots. You see the similarities of father and son today. And in the end, the “face” that was once the father became the “heel” of the WWF with Piper.
It’s one thing to be good for the times, it is another to be good for the generation. The “heel” Randy Piper is good for both.
Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71
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