Why Randy Orton is a Great Number One Contender but a Mediocre Champion
While he has been in the media recently about comments he made about the global indie wrestling scene, Randy Orton is by no doubt one of the greatest names to have come out of the WWE. The reigning WWE Champion, is a 13 time world champion and has had one of the most decorated careers in the business. Orton also claims ownership to one of the most exciting finishing moves in professional wrestling – the RKO. While variations of the move have been used by known wrestlers previously, Randy’s version which literally comes ‘Outta Nowhere’ adds to the excitement around its execution. Having said that however, there is one fact that Orton may not be very proud of – he has had some of the most lackluster title reigns of all time. This is especially worrisome as he is not a midcarder but an established main eventer.
Now don’t get me wrong, Orton is a very entertaining wrestler, and it is always great to watch him in the ring. His title chases are in fact some of the most entertaining and exciting storylines of their time. His recent feud with The Wyatt Family was a year in the making and was one of the most well thought off and consistent story arcs in the business last year (the fact that the resulting Wrestlemania match was kinda mediocre is a whole different story in itself). However the resulting championship reign has been anything but. You could call it interesting if you compared it to the other main event title (whose holder, the so called Beast is very conspicuous due to his absence from live TV since winning the title) but let’s face it, the midcard title scene on both shows is way more interesting right now. And that says a lot, considering he is the only fulltime main event champion available on TV right now. But let us not judge Orton on the basis of just this title reign – he is a 13 time world champion after all!
Orton’s title reigns have always been uneventful, be it due to lackluster competition, or him losing the belt early-on due to injury or absence. His 2014 feud with John Cena, was an epic showdown which led to Orton becoming the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion but resulted in another mediocre 161 day reign as champion before Daniel Bryan relieved him of his duties as the top guy at Wrestlemania XXX. In 2011 Orton started a very interesting feud with then World Heavyweight Champion Christian, winning the belt from him in his first title opportunity against the former tag champion. Orton again began a very mediocre title reign that finally ended at the hands of Mark Henry who was at the time at the peak of his career. These are just a few examples of how Orton hasn’t been the most entertaining world champion in recent times.
On the other hand, some of his more entertaining feuds have been non-title ones, or ones when he has been chasing the title. His feud with Seth Rollins a few years ago which culminated at Wrestlemania 31 with a glorious RKO Outta Nowhere, or even the epic program he had with CM Punk in 2011 that ended with another grand RKO Outta Nowhere at Wrestlemania 27, are some of the memorable moments from his career that come to mind.
While his current feud with surprise “main-eventer” Jinder Mahal also seeming to go nowhere, with Orton expected to retain the title at Backlash, we hope the future holds a better, more interesting turn (maybe a feud with a certain Phenomenal One) for it is something both the Viper and the fans of pro-wrestling deserve at the moment.