Randy Orton will return to his hometown of St. Louis, Mo. for Extreme Rules. On May 19, St. Louis’ son will be back at the ranch and most likely perform. But he’ll leave with several questions about his career.
Orton has not won a pay-per-view match this year. He hasn’t won a pay-per-view match since beating Alberto Del Rio at Hell In A Cell in October. Orton’s coming off consecutive losses since this year’s Royal Rumble, a losing streak since Survivor Series. Although Orton’s won some matches on free television, his pay-per-view record leaves much to be desired in the wrestling world.
With Extreme Rules coming up, the question must be asked. Will Randy Orton finally turn heel? If you want a heel turn for Orton, you might have to wait until after Extreme Rules.
True, Orton may not be as popular as he was three years ago, but the Viper’s face turn was in full swing then, ultimately leading to a three-month reign as the WWE Champion. Now, Orton barely gets a rousing ovation. The wrestling fans during the post-WrestleMania shouted other chants instead of focusing on Orton’s match with Sheamus.
Orton is better as a heel because his characters become more compelling. His Viper gimmick led to amazing feuds with Triple H and John Cena. During his stint he formed Legacy, and they were dominant for almost the entire year in 2009. Orton also feuded with Kofi Kingston, who showed the most character ever in his entire career at that point.
The Viper is poised to make a heel turn, but turning at his hometown would be a bad idea.
Wrestling history should show us that. Stone Cold Steve Austin turned heel in 2001 at WrestleMania 17, his backyard in Houston, Texas, which never really generated until he joined the ill-fated Invasion angle. Not even allying with Vince McMahon could get the fans to completely hate Austin.
CM Punk is another example, who has always been proud of being a Chicagoan. He put in an appearance on a September edition of Raw at Chicago. Despite refusing to wrestle in front of his hometown that night, the Chicago fans cheered Punk.
Fast forward to Extreme Rules, where Randy Orton will most likely be welcomed with a thunderous ovation from his home crowd. If Orton does turn heel, who would it be against?
It can’t be Sheamus, who has also lost momentum. Forget about John Cena, as it’s cool that the WWE Champion gets relentlessly booed every single night. It also seems he’ll fight the Big Show as well.
My suggestion: Start the inevitable heel turn at St. Louis. Make it a slow build. Have him lose at Extreme Rules, maybe in an embarrassing way. Then, have Orton go nuts the next night. Starting a slow build on May 19 would intrigue fans on what Orton will do next.
Turning Orton heel at Extreme Rules is a huge mistake. The slow build, however, would pique the fans’ interest in his character.