We have seen this show before. The WWE push-machine gets behind Randy Orton, the fans get on board initially and yet are just as quick to jump off the bandwagon. Yet I have to wonder if this is the turn that will finally get Orton over the top.
Orton is generally a whipping boy among pro wrestling fans in social media. Fans have built up a resentment and hatred of Orton in some regards due to the frustration over the lack of evolution in Orton’s character. Orton’s run as a heel over the last 14 months was not his best and a lot of that had to do with Orton taking a backseat to the Authority and lack of fresh opponents. While many will argue that Orton is better as a heel, his character desperately needed a change if he was going to remain a top guy in 2015.
The seeds were planted immediately when Seth Rollins joined the Authority. Hey, I was like you. I had no overwhelming desire to see a Orton vs. Rollins feud. However, over the next several weeks the two of them did a great job of changing that attitude. I don’t know how or why it happened, but I started getting on board with this feud. After the last couple of weeks on RAW, I have buckled my seatbelt and settled in for the ride.
The past two weeks of RAW could be the start of something special. Orton is finally clicking with the fans and he is turning more sympathetic by the week. The company is also going back into its bag of tricks and giving Orton the Steve Austin treatment. Orton’s actions last Monday reminded me of something we would have seen out of Austin had he been in that same situation. There were rebellious, authentic, and exciting elements that could produce the most unlikely top babyface in a long time and that guy is Randy Orton.
Could this really work? Could Orton get back the popularity he briefly had many years ago when he defeated Chris Benoit for the WWE championship and was kicked out of Evolution? That is a lot to ask from a guy who has been fairly stagnant over the last several years, yet it is not impossible to predict. If the WWE can continue to portray Orton as this lone-wolf, rebellious, employee who has had enough of his boss screwing him over, there is a real shot that fans may get on board and revive interest in the Viper.
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