Friday, July 1, 2022
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Inside The Wheelhouse – Booking Randy Orton

Randy OrtonI have been heavily confused lately on where the WWE is taking Randy Orton’s angle into Wrestlemania 26. Each week instead of being excited and thrilled to watch next week’s Raw due to the angles leading into Wrestlemania (i.e. Batista/Cena, Hart/McMahon), I find myself sitting down in a chair every Saturday to do “The Still Real to us Show” and wondering where in the heck they are taking this Randy Orton angle. I know it’s hard to believe that someone would get confused with an angle in wrestling and an angle in the WWE.

I was almost positive that WWE was heading into the direction of Orton/DiBiase at Wrestlemania 26 to make Ted DiBiase the big time babyface as was rumored for much of the year. I really thought I was on the right path of that prediction until this past Monday Night on Raw. That’s where the WWE booked a handicap match with the team of Legacy (DiBiase & Rhodes) vs. Randy Orton.

I felt so positive that we would see Cody Rhodes turn on his partner and help build Ted DiBiase as the sympathetic babyface heading into a Wrestlemania 26 matchup with Randy Orton. Instead we got Legacy beating down Orton and the fans cheering on Randy Orton throughout the match. I know this is something the fans have been trying to do since late-2008 heading into the 2009 Royal Rumble. But the WWE has kept him a heel the entire time.

[adinserter block=”1″]People felt that Randy Orton would make a great tweener character similar to the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin. I never really saw the comparison nor have really jumped on the Orton bandwagon since he joined the WWE back in the early part of the decade. While his promos I feel are horrible due to being so monotone, I always felt he was a great antagonist and a great heel as he made the fans like the person he was in the ring with more then they did before they got into the angle with Orton. He made wrestlers superstars and fan favorites (i.e. Kofi Kingston before WWE pulled the plug on that push).

That’s where Ted DiBiase re-enters the picture. The WWE wants to make this guy a star. He has the WWE look they like or they would have never put him in the Marine 2 movie. But then again they did put Mr. Kennedy in a movie and look how that went…either way the WWE saw some future potential in the son of “The Million Dollar Man” and I can’t blame them. Since the kid debuted in the WWE he had a “look” that you could tell he would be a star someday.

The reports finger pointed towards Ted DiBiase being a face heading into Wrestlemania this year and that he would be involved in a program with his mentor Randy Orton. While I think that is the way this angle will go I still am very much confused on the entire angle thus far. As another week passes I have yet another prediction on this entire thing.

I feel like we may get the classic Wrestlemania face/heel switch in a matchup between Orton & DiBiase. Don’t know what I mean yet? Watch Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin from Wrestlemania 13 and Triple H vs. Kane from Wrestlemania 15. Those are two matches where the face and the heel entering the match walked out of the match with a switch persona. Bret Hart & Triple H entered as the face and walked out as the heel. Steve Austin & Kane walked in as the heel and walked out as the face.

[adinserter block=”2″]I can see Orton entering as the face and DiBiase entering as the heel with Cody Rhodes in his corner. At some point in the match Rhodes turns on DiBiase setting up some sort of beat down where the fans get behind DiBiase due to pure sympathy for his character. If WWE does the angle well enough they will make DiBiase look sympathetic yet still have an amazing heart in the match that the fans can grasp onto and back even more.

Personally I love these types of angles and I hope that this is the way they are booking it right now. Very rarely do we see these types of angles play out anymore and it would be fresh to the wrestling audience since it hasn’t been done in a while. Plus you’re doing it at Wrestlemania and hope that you can reach that “wrestlemania moment.”

As I write this we are two weeks away still from Wrestlemania 26. That means two more Raw’s until Wrestlemania. Look for the Triple H/Orton match to end in a DQ due to either Legacy and/or Sheamus where we could actually see a mini-evolution reunion for the first time in a long time. If creative is going into Wrestlemania with Orton receiving this mini-babyface push then this would be a huge way to keep building it that way.

While the Orton angle heading into Wrestlemania 26 is still extremely blurry and confusing I am still finding myself watching it week after week. After much thought and doing my own sort of booking for it I hope I have helped find some sort of resolution in this entire confusing angle. Who knows maybe next week I’ll be writing another blog on how I would book Orton going into Wrestlemania 26 and scrapping the idea I put in this blog.

If you have any questions or comments for Eric Gargiulo and I for this week’s “The Still Real to us Show” please e-mail us at

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at and at @ 2am ET/11pm PT

Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site. There you can also download many different shows including “The Wheelhouse”, “24 on 24” and “Lost: Smoke Monsters and You.”

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  1. There is simply no way that the WWE could pull off with Ted Dibiase what they did with Steve Austin at WM13. The big difference is that whether he was a heel or not Austin was way over with the fans. Austin was someone the fans wanted to get behind even before he officially turned face. Meanwhile Bret Hart was also over and had started whining about everything and the fans had already started turning against him.

    The match with Legacy contains none of these conditions that would lead to a successful double switch. Dibiase is not over enough and the fans will not care about him more than Orton no matter what dastardly deed takes place. Furthermore Orton is clearly transitioning into a babyface. I think Orton fans are excited about the turn and seeing something new with him. Orton won't become a smiling, hand slapping wuss but he will simply start targeting heels and allow the fans to be the voices in his head. I think Orton will have a very successful face run and WWE should stay that course. Dibiase will have plenty of opportunity to come into his own away from Orton and Legacy. I think this mania match is simply the blow off to the whole Legacy faction and not a means to strap the Rocket to Dibiase. I see at least one or two Legacy members going to Smackdown in the draft.

  2. I definitely agree with the orton- tripple H match ending in a DQ, but personally I can see this possibly turning the HHH sheamus wrestlemania match into a triple threat match. I mean think about it from this angle:

    Orton has beef with sheamus from the royal rumble where he had him beat but rhodes caused a DQ. Also, orton and HHH had that last year's biggest storyline leading into wrestlemania 25. Top that off with the fact that there are no tripple threat matches this year booked yet on the card.

    Im also very curious what the hell orton is going to be doing at WM26, but I feel that scenario would make for a sick match considering no belt is on the line.

    Taking it a step further I feel this type of match would prob. be a no DQ match, allowing rhodes and diabase to interfere as per usual.

  3. Dibiase would have to be taken out bloody and on a stretcher to get cheered. And then it's not definate.

    Orton has got the fans cheering him on, despite the WWE not really wanting them to until recently. Cody is a Rhodes. It feels unantural to boo.

    Ted's a Dibiase. The crowd is used to booing them. Hell, they're getting a reminder of what his father was like thanks to him going into the Hall at Mania. Earlier, perhaps it could have worked. Right now, Cody turning on Ted makes Cody a face.


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