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Randy Orton Reportedly On The WWE Hot Seat

Randy OrtonThe Randy Orton story has now moved passed his suspension and is now questioning his future with the WWE. A new report suggests that Orton is on the hot seat and may be looking for work elsewhere when his suspension is up in 60 days.

I was a little hesitant to write about this story because quite frankly, I don’t believe it. However, enough pro wrestling blogs are pontificating on it, so I figured I’d throw my two-cents in on the matter. While I certainly don’t believe this story, I’ll be happy to entertain it for the purposes of my blog.

A report on SuperLuchas.net (a Mexican pro wrestling news website) suggests that there is internal pressure within the WWE to outright release Randy Orton following a hostile meeting last week between Orton and a couple of McMahons.

SuperLuchas.net reports the SmackDown wrestler met with Chairman Vince McMahon, Executive Vice President of Talent and Live Events Paul Levesque and Executive Vice President of Television Production Kevin Dunn at the organization’s headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut on Friday to discuss his future with the organization.

A WWE source described the meeting’s atmosphere as “hostile;” it was determined that a further decision concerning Orton awaits. The report adds there are “several” officials lobbying for his termination as a cost-cutting measure. They feel his lucrative ten-year contract—signed in January 2010—can no longer be justified if he is brought back in a mid-level role. His second suspension hinders WWE from continuing to feature Orton in headline role since a third drug-testing policy infraction would result in automatic termination.

The report also suggests that Vince McMahon is “infuriated” with Orton. The report suggests that McMahon felt Orton had matured and was past these kinds of problems. The report also indicates that Orton tested positive for Dianabol and marijuana. Diananbol is a steroid.

I think this is a juicy story but I just can’t see the WWE outright releasing Orton. Ratings are down, business is down, and Orton is the second biggest star in the company. On top of all of this, the WWE will be expanding Monday Night Raw in a few weeks to three hours. Orton is one of the few stars that truly moves the ratings meter. While it is nice to think that McMahon will lay down the law, at the end of the day I think he is willing to roll the dice with the pressures of falling ratings and a RAW expansion right around the corner.

I will say this. Releasing Orton would not be an unprecedented move. Kurt Angle was arguably a bigger star than Orton when he was released under similar circumstances. Jeff Hardy was shown the door as well, although he wasn’t as big a star as Orton at the time. Bret Hart was also a much bigger star than Orton and released during his run as WWE champion in 1997 under completely different circumstances during a wrestling war. So yes, it very well could happen.

Obviously there is only one real option for Orton if he was released and that would be TNA Impact Wrestling. The addition of Orton would come at a perfect time as TNA is trying to establish its new 8 PM Impact timeslot. As nice as it is to think that Orton would be a game changer, I don’t think he’d mean much over the long haul. He’d certainly garner immediate attention and bump the numbers, but I don’t see the sustainability. Kurt Angle came into TNA hotter than Orton and hasn’t made a big difference. Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair are two of the biggest wrestling stars of all time and didn’t mean a thing. In ten years TNA hasn’t been able to capitalize on these kinds of opportunities and I don’t see them doing it now.

And because of this, maybe Vince McMahon does roll the dice and surprise us after all. Wouldn’t it be something if he fired him live on RAW next week?

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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