Is Randy Orton’s current run putting him in the GOAT conversation in WWE?
Randy Orton is the best heel in WWE. Further, Randy Orton is the best heel in professional wrestling – honorable mentions goes to MJF and EVIL. Orton’s character work has been nothing short of phenomenal. His recent promo work rocketed him into the great-promo-stratosphere, where Dusty, Flair, The Rock, Austin, Jericho, and Triple H (the version that doesn’t take his sweet ass time getting to the point) all reside. When Orton holds the mic, he is gripping, to say the least. He makes you hang on every word. Hell, he doesn’t even need to speak.
Remember when this Randy Renaissance began earlier this year? The week after he reminded Edge what a “Conchairto” felt like, he didn’t have to say a single word to get the entire arena to boo him for what felt like an hour. Every time the mic hit his lips, the booing got louder, stifling his words. That’s a rare occasion – especially, in these PG days. I challenge you to find a more “negative” (i.e. “outstanding”) response in the last ten or fifteen years. Randy Orton and his cohorts/friends/enemies have all done something that no one in WWE has been able to do since I started watching it again. It made me FEEL something. It had my ATTENTION.
I’ve watched WWE for the last five years because, after spending 10 years in the bottle, I had quit drinking and needed to find something to focus on – something that gave me positive vibes. The sad truth is about it is that WWE has continually failed me. I stopped watching religiously in 2003.
When I left the product, it was fun, exciting, and can’t-miss television (unless something happens to you like what happened to me, of course). Since I’ve been back, it’s been a shell of what I used to love. AEW came in and returned some of that excitement – I love what they’re doing, but this article is not about that. Not even AEW has done what Randy Orton has accomplished in the last seven months.
Randy Orton is making WWE feel can’t-miss
Orton has effectively created “can’t miss” wrestling for WWE again. The ratings have sucked, sure. That’s because the majority of the show is PG garbage. Sometimes, it feels like we’re back in 1991, when cartoonish characters that had specific vocations occupied the screen. Then, “I hear voices in my head, they counsel me, they understand, they talk to me…” hits and suddenly, we’re transported back to the early 2000s. The vibe is that anything can happen. The promos are fantastically crafted and aimed at a more mature crowd than say the entire Otis character does. Randy Orton made us care a great deal about Edge and what happened to him. Okay, that’s a returning Edge, that’s easy.
Then, Christian came along. Christian has been around. Before it was cut back to a once a month gig, he was an analyst on WWE Backstage. No reason to get excited, and yet, by the end of RAW, Orton made you give a damn about Christian and what might happen to him.
I feel as though they handed the book over to Orton and gave him free reign, because it’s hard to believe something as awesome as Orton’s story is written by the same people that shell out the rest of the crap that is RAW and SmackDown (save anything related to Bray Wyatt..again, I think they must have given him his own “book” to write).
Regardless, Orton’s delivery of this long, intricate character story has been masterful. Honestly, it’s legendary work. Orton had 12 championship reigns before I “met” him back in 2015. He had one run while I was watching again – when he beat Bray Wyatt after a story that was decent, but should have been legendary (like the stuff Wyatt is producing now). So, in my mind, Orton was just okay. I was sure a 13-time champion was storied and legendary, but in my opinion, he was, quite honestly, overrated.
Randy Orton is entrenched as a legend in WWE
Randy Orton’s story has been can’t miss television. It’s been a blast from the past, when the characters have your undivided attention for as long as they’re on screen. He may have been a legend in your minds for a lot longer than me, but the fact is, I’m writing this article and you’re not, so keep your negative comments to yourself (lol).
Randy Orton is now a legend. I don’t know if this is his swan song or if this saga will continue for another ten years. It’s going to be very hard to top what he’s done this year – it very could be his swan song. Either way, he has secured his spot in my mind as a true legend and serious contender for the universally coveted title with the acronym G.O.A.T.
That stands for Greatest of All Time…
…and since January, Randy Orton has made a hell of a case to take that title. That title, and probably Drew McIntyre’s title, as well. Orton is just too good and too hot right now. Losing to Orton doesn’t hurt McIntyre – you gotta lose to become a multi-time champion, right?
At SummerSlam, The Viper goes over.
It’s a wonderful time to be Randy Orton.