WWE: What Happened to Randy Orton?

John Nizinski@@jniz73Analyst IIIJanuary 16, 2013

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08:  World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton during the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium on July 08, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

It's always fascinating when a WWE Superstar can be on the top of the world and then in a short amount of time become irrelevant.

That is evident right now with Randy Orton.

Orton entered the WWE in 2002, and it didn't take him a long time to rise to the top. He was being billed as a prodigy and shot up the ladder as a part of the faction, Evolution.

In just two years, Orton became the youngest person to hold the World Heavyweight Championship in WWE history at the age of 24.

From that point forward, Orton was one of the top superstars in the company and arguably the best heel. He had several successful runs with Edge in Rated RKO, in feuds against John Cena and as the leader of The Legacy.

While he was always a top guy, after his face turn in 2010, his career reached new heights. Orton was, for the first time, the face of the WWE.

We saw Orton getting the biggest pop each night, and he also was the Superstar on the cover of WWE '12

However, the gimmick of a babyface who "hears voices in his head" and can't control his actions doesn't necessarily make much sense. And we are seeing now that it doesn't fit well.

After a few injuries and suspensions, Orton has found himself to be pretty irrelevant. His face run has grown stale, and it is time for a change. 

This past Monday, we saw Orton lose cleanly to intercontinental champion Wade Barrett. Orton also came out to help Ryback against The Shield, but the loss to Barrett is more significant.

In the WWE, it is hard for the top superstars to lose cleanly on Raw. Does that mean that the WWE doesn't see Orton as a top guy anymore?

Many have been waiting for Orton to turn heel again and find himself back on top of the company. 

Lately, it feels like Orton doesn't fit in anywhere and nobody knows what to do with him. A change would definitely freshen up his character.

As the WWE is on the Road to WrestleMania, putting Orton in the World Heavyweight Championship picture as a heel would definitely add to the already exciting WrestleMania 29 card.

Orton is more than likely going to be in the WWE Hall of Fame one day. He is one of the top superstars in the last 20 years. However, if you watched WWE just this last year, you would think he was an unimportant midcarder.

I'm sure Orton is relatively comfortable in the WWE and it would take a lot for him to leave the only pro wrestling company he has known. However, if the WWE doesn't do something to get Orton relevant again, it may lose a legendary talent who is in the prime of his career.