NoDQ.com > Columns > Burnham's Words- Orton: Greatest of All-Time?
Posted by Alex Burnham on 01/08/2013 at 10:26 AM

Match of the Day: WWE Championship John Cena vs. Randy Orton Hell In A Cell


Once again the focus of today’s column will be on Orton. This was a physical encounter. It was a really good match for not having blood, especially for it being a cell match. The two did have an intense rivalry that deserved this stipulation.

For those of you that missed Monday Night Raw, you didn’t miss much. 3MB and Dolph Ziggler are officially in the Royal Rumble. Punk beat Ryback with help from The Shield. Punk and The Rock had a solid back and forth promo to end the show, and a rock bottom. For me, Punk and Ryback didn’t deliver very well. I expected a little more considering all the hype and delay for it. I know Ryback is limited in the ring, not horrible but he is limited. It just didn’t ever get going for me. Others might think it was great. I just wasn’t feeling it.

Email from Jess

“Here's the question, what is missing from him? He has all the tools (minus his mic skills to a point) He has been blown up as the #2 guy in the company for years, he has the look , the tools, the following but yet i just can't place him as being in the "best ever" category although with his reigns and accomplishment. There is something missing, what is it? when I think greatest of all time, I think he should be in the top 30 but at the same time, I just can't do it. I'd rate Jake the Snake over Orton. Is it because he seems like the new age Austin , in a sense, or is it because of the wellness policy that they (wwe) belittled him in 2012 but still kept him as a main event player? Something is lacking from him that just doesn't ooze top 20 even though he has all the ability to become that. His attitude maybe? In a sense, it seems like HHH all over again but without all the suspensions. I don't know, maybe he is just stale again because of the face run, maybe it's the 3rd generation thing where he thinks he is owed, maybe it's creative not giving him a good storyline, maybe it's not having big enough feuds, maybe it's just me. Orton is a special athlete and entertainer but something is missing.
your thoughts please.”

I definitely see your point here. That is why I am going to focus my entire article on this question. First off, I don’t see Orton in anyway associated with Stone Cold. I have heard it time and time again them being compared since his face turn. There are almost no similarities. He is the first age Randy Orton.

Randy Orton is a tweener. He appeals to the older fans and teenagers. Basically, anyone who John Cena doesn’t appeal to. His current face run has mostly been forgettable, excluding a feud or two. He got sent to SmackDown after Edge retired to be their main face. He starts off there with a great feud with Christian that produced several quality matches. Since he dropped the title to Henry, he has pretty much faded out of the scene. The focus has been on building Sheamus and other younger guys. That probably has a lot to do with your feeling. Orton isn’t featured as a major player right now. He doesn’t have a feud. Sheamus has been the main focus. Orton pretty much has fallen down to the 4th face in the company behind Ryback, Sheamus, and John Cena.

His wellness policy violations are well documented. He has two strikes against him. He hadn’t had many problems since his first one. He seemed really cleaned up and focused, until the summer of 2012. That really hurt him. He was appearing to be dependable. He was doing really great in ring work. His promos aren’t great as a face, but he was getting the job done solid. Then he is gone for 60 days. Jeff Hardy got the push years ago with all his issues, so that doesn’t spell the end of it. Orton chose to make his mistake in the middle of a youth movement. When new, hungry, young, talent were pushing for an upper level spot. A spot he left wide open. Orton has not been featured in a match for the World Championship since May of 2012. Sheamus has been the main focus clearly as I have stated, but Orton set all this up on his own.

In my opinion, Orton has done his best work as a heel. The Legend Killer, Rated RKO, and Legacy are all the memorable moments in the career of Randy Orton. People will remember his matches with Christian and CM Punk. Nothing tops his moments against the Undertaker at WM21, his World Championship match with Benoit at SummerSlam, or the Age of Orton. His promos are better when he can be a heel. He has that methodical delivery. He comes off as a bad guy, simple as that. Perhaps he has lost some passion, or he is displeased with his role. He definitely wants to be a heel again. He has been vocal about it for a long time. That would be the best way to help Orton reinvent himself. Become a heel again, and tweak the character or change all of it.

Now the big question, where does Orton rank amongst the all-time greats? I would say he is up there. It is hard to put a number on these things. He is a 9 time World Champion. He has been the main focus on television for several years, even if he isn’t right now. He has been one of those guys that has defined the PG Era. He has had a lot of memorable moments. Orton has a lot more to give to the company. He is still a good age. I think we can expect to see him for several more years. His legacy will continually grow. In my opinion, he just needs to change up the character. I don’t think he is boring, he just isn’t doing anything memorable.

What do you think on Orton? Is he stale and boring? Who is the greatest of all time? Let me know.

Email: alex_graves09@hotmail.com

Twitter: @burnahm222

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