Since 2004 we have see the star of Randy Orton’s climb to the highest of heights in the WWE. He was part of the John Cena and Batista group of major pushes that took place around Wrestlemania 21 that would build the future of the WWE & lead us to the product that we see today. Whether as a heel or as a face he was part of that top tier of WWE talent that would main event pay-per-view after pay-per-view, when it came down to who was the top stars in the WWE it was he and John Cena. He is ½ of the face that represents the WWE.
Then something started to happen during the summer of 2011. Things started changing for the character of Randy Orton. He was no longer going over talents on a regular basis and holding onto some sort of World Championship in the WWE. Instead he assumed a role that was many cemented big name talents had before him; he is the main event level talent now being used to create new stars.
In my wrestling fan of a mind I typically call this position the “Chris Jericho spot.” He is the former World Champion, the former Wrestlemania main eventer and top tier talent in the WWE & he is helping build the future by putting over younger talent in the process. Jericho did it for years putting over the likes of John Cena, Jeff Hardy and a slew of others. The current top crop of WWE stars at one time or another probably feuded with Jericho as helped create them as a top level talent for the company.
Well with Chris Jericho gone that spot was no more. This spot of a main eventer putting over younger talent has been occupied by many other wrestlers who are no longer actively wrestling or with the company (i.e. Triple H & Kurt Angle) so someone had to take over the role or the future of the business & the WWE would be in jeopardy. It comes as a shock that this role has now been fulfilled by Randy Orton.
Orton isn’t an old guy in age but in WWE standards he is starting be a long standing ring veteran. He’s been on WWE TV since 2003 when he debuted and has had countless World Title runs & main event feuds. He fits the mold of a guy who can create new talent and help build the future of the WWE, just like what was done for him when he was coming up by guys like Mick Foley, The Undertaker and Chris Benoit. If it wasn’t for the wrestlers just listed and the feuds Randy Orton had with them during that time (2003 – 2005) who knows where his level of stardom would be right now, it certainly wouldn’t be where it’s at currently that’s for sure.
Since the summer of 2011 we have seen Randy Orton put over Christian in a World Title match (despite the finish not being clean), Mark Henry in a World Title match (clean finish), Cody Rhodes (clean finish) and most recently Wade Barrett (clean finish) at the 2011 Survivor Series. While two of these names aren’t fresh faces to the WWE roster (Christian and Mark Henry), their level of stardom is higher then it is now then it was a year ago thanks to Randy Orton. As for Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett these are two guys are looking more & more as the future of this company as they have always had the talent & potential to become big stars for the WWE, just like Randy Orton did in his career early on.
Many of us on the internet liked to bash Randy Orton for not putting over new talent in the WWE and now he is all of a sudden putting new talent over on a consistent basis. You have to give credit for the guy doing this because he could easily take his ball home on any given night or just refuse to do the job or build new stars. He has that type of swagger in the WWE to make moves and do things where he doesn’t have to put over the talent listed above, credit needs to be given to where it is due and he deserves a lot of credit right now.
I believe when we look at the WWE a year from now we can thank the current top tier main event level of talent to Randy Orton. Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett are soon-to-be main eventers in the WWE hierarchy while Christian & Mark Henry are already there on the main event level. For some of you reading this blog it’s a hard pill to swallow but Randy Orton is doing the right thing for business by doing what other talent did for him and that’s building the future.
Props to “The Viper” for preserving this business and helping it change & grow over time. The future looks bright in the WWE and it’s partially in thanks to Randy Orton.
How’s that for something most wrestling fans thought they would never see written in any blog or article?
For more on this topic join Eric Gargiulo & myself for the Thursday November 24th edition of “The Still Real to Us Show” and download the show at www.wheelhouseradio.com and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site.
If you would like to subscribe to “The Wheelhouse” on iTunes simply subscribe for free at iTunes by typing in “Wheelhouse Radio!”
You can follow “The Champ Jeff Peck” on Twitter at www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck you can also follow Wheelhouse Radio on twitter at www.twitter.com/thewheelhouse and you can e-mail them @ email@example.com
Grab discounted WWE DVDs, merchandise, t -shirts, figures, and more from the WWE Shop on Amazon.com