Welcome to this week’s edition of “From Across the Pond” with yours truly. Hopefully your week’s been good! We’re coming off a decent, but not great, No Way Out PPV, which was pretty predictable for the most part. If you’ve not seen the show, I’d recommend checking out the three male singles title matches. They were the best on the show and worth the purchase price alone. The rest was filler that wouldn’t look out of place at a TV taping.
This week, I wanted to talk about the possibility of Randy Orton being severely punished by WWE management for his recent Wellness Policy violation. As we all know, Randy’s currently serving a 60-day suspension for his second Wellness Policy violation and it’s left WWE in a difficult situation. Yeah, Randy’s a third-generation superstar and a multi-time World Champion, but he’s not irreplaceable. There are a whole raft of superstars on the mid-card, like Kingston, Ziggler, Rhodes and Barrett who would LOVE to have the spot that Randy has on the card, but they don’t. These men are lucky if they get sustained pushes or TV time.
Vince McMahon is reportedly pissed at Randy for the nonchalant way that he dealt with the news he was being suspended. Some of you might think that Vince is just being cranky and over-reacting, but think about it this way. In 2010, when Randy was still just 29 years old, Randy signed a lucrative 10-year deal with WWE and let’s be clear about it, Randy’s getting WELL paid to be one of the focal points of the WWE for the next decade. However, that doesn’t give him carte-blanche to act like a complete and utter douchebag.
Let’s take a quick look through some of the behaviour Randy’s displayed during his tenure in WWE. He’s already been suspended once before for a Wellness Policy violation, he was sent on an anger management course for his irrational behaviour and he’s reportedly been responsible for the firing of Ken Anderson (Mr Kennedy) and the de-push of Kofi Kingston in late 2009/early 2010. Some examples of his irrational behaviour include, but aren’t limited to, harassing members of the Divas roster in 2006/2007. Rumours were that he’d taken a sh*t in one of the Divas bags as well.
At that time, Randy was 24/25 years old. He wasn’t an adolescent high-school student, he was a young man. I mean that story is like something you’d see in an American Pie movie, it’s got no place in the wrestling world. Did he actually think it was funny? It’s not, it just shows how messed up he was at the time and WWE had no other choice but to discipline him for it to make him learn that his antics were unacceptable.
The thing that’s even more annoying about Orton’s latest f*ck-up is that he seemed, for all the world, to have put all this bullsh*t behind him. Since 2008, he’d been heavily focused on at the top of the card and was pretty much a staple in the WWE Title picture. It seemed like he’d grown up a little because he’d settled down and married his wife. He was rewarded for his work with a 10-year deal in January 2010. I believe I’m right in saying that he was the first superstar since Bret Hart to be offered a deal of that length, which is a HUGE thing for WWE.
Orton’s behaviour just beggars belief. It’s bad enough that he’s not on the roster, but it’s not as if WWE has enough established main-event wrestlers to cope with his absence. Right now, five men are bearing the brunt of Randy’s stupidity: CM Punk, John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Kane and Sheamus. They’re all working two TV tapings a week, plus all the live events, doing promotional work, media appearances and PPV’s. If WWE isn’t careful, then these guys are running the risk of either being burnt out or injured, and all because Randy allegedly had a “tainted prescription”.
Because of what’s happened, Randy is now a member of a very exclusive club and no, it’s not the Vince McMahon Kiss My Ass Club. Orton is a member of the Two Strike Club, along with Rey Mysterio, Evan Bourne and William Regal. WWE would find themselves in an embarrassing situation if any of these men were high (no pun intended) up the card and they failed another test, then they’d have no choice but to fire them. These men only have themselves to blame for the situation they’re in.
All these ramblings lead me to one question: how does WWE use Randy Orton when he’s ready to return? For me, there’s only two things they can do. They can either bring him back and just have him continually elevate mid-carders (like Ziggler, Rhodes, Kingston and Barrett) or leave him at home to stew about what’s happened.
The first option, elevating other stars, helps WWE in the long-run. If Vince is still pissed at Orton (and by all accounts, it doesn’t look like Vince will calm down anytime soon), then bring him back once they can and have Orton put over every single mid-carder on the roster. That achieves a few things. It means that, if any major star gets injured or suspended in future, there are more main-event level superstars there to help guys like Punk, Cena and Sheamus to carry the load. Secondly, it would maybe make Orton appreciate his position and lifestyle a little bit more if he’s “jobbing” out all the time, like some of the other mid-carders like Jack Swagger, Alex Riley and Zack Ryder have to do.
Personally, I’d be more inclined to take the second option. When his suspension’s up, leave him at home. Don’t call him straight back to the shows. Leave Randy to think about what his behaviour has made all the people who believed in him (like Vince, HHH and Stephanie) look like. Give him a metaphorical/figurative “F*ck you Randy, we don’t need you to put on a show!”
Can you imagine what someone like Edge thinks when he looks at Randy Orton’s behaviour? Edge is a guy who loved wrestling just as much as, if not more than, Orton but he can’t wrestle anymore because if he takes one more bad bump, he could end up being paralysed. There’s a reason why Edge can’t wrestle and it must kill him to not be able to the thing he loved most. He must look at Orton and think that he’s a disgrace.
Judging by my opinion about what to do with Orton when his suspension’s up, you must be thinking “But George, what if Randy decides to ask for his release and goes to TNA?” That’s a good question, what if he did ask to be released and went to TNA?
If, and this is a massive IF, TNA were in a position where they could sign Orton, it could transform their fortunes. Regardless of his attitude, Orton is a huge star in the wrestling world. The only problem is that I genuinely don’t think Randy would go. I think that if Randy were to leave WWE, or if he was released, he wouldn’t have anything to do with wrestling. He’s made a sh*tload of money and he’s in a position financially where he doesn’t need to work another damn day in his life.
The best way for WWE to take the venom out of “The Viper” is to just leave him to stew once his suspension is up. Maybe that way, he’ll appreciate what a fortunate position he’s in, stop f*cking up his career and show some respect to his co-workers. Orton’s a big name, but he’s not irreplaceable. It’s about time he realised that.
Well, that about sums up what I wanted to talk about this week. Whether you agree or disagree with me, then get in touch on Twitter and let’s talk it out! As usual, I’ll leave my Twitter handle at the end. Before I get going this week, I wanted to do a few shameless plugs. It’s not something I do all the time, so hopefully you’ll indulge me.
The first thing I want to mention is that one of the other writers on PWMania.com, Liam (who brings you Tea Time with Liam every week or so) is taking part in a charity event. It’s the third gaming marathon that Liam and his group have done for charity. In October 2011, they raised $1010 for the Autism Speaks Foundation in a four day marathon and in December 2011 we raised $2,120 for the St Jude Children’s Hospital.
He’s part of a video gaming community known as the Main Event Network. They’re all gamers who enjoy playing live on the internet for people to watch. They’ve been around for about a year now and they’re holding a seventeen day non-stop charity gaming marathon. That means for the next seventeen days, the Main Event Network group are broadcasting video games live for the world to see. It’s all in aid of the Wounded Warrior Project with all donations going to them, so if you have free time to kill over the next two and a half weeks, stop by and check them out. It’s for a fantastic cause and even if you don’t have the funds to donate, just being there helps out a lot. If you’ve got the time, send Liam a tweet @leojokerhart and he’ll give you all the site info that you need.
The second shameless plug is pretty much aimed at the US readers of the site. One of my friends is going to be wrestling over in Florida a week on Friday, which is June 29th. She’ll be making her in-ring USA debut for FUW Pro in St Petersburg, Florida. She’s an awesome in-ring talent and she’s going to be a star! She’s on Twitter @BacardiWrestler. Contact her for more details. She doesn’t bite! Haha.. Bacardi also has signed 8×10 promo photos available. If you order a photo, she’ll include a keychain as well. Spread the word, cos I get 50p per sale if you tell her I sent ya!
Next, I wanted to bring your attention to the wrestling banter and chat on offer with a top couple of boys and girls on Twitter. Follow @NATLASMITH, @SimonJMac and @bigdan02 for laughs, wrestling chat and pretty much everything in-between!
Last, but certainly not least, I need to plug another couple of sites that I’m writing for. I’m exclusively reviewing all future WWE PPV’s for the guys over at wrestlingrambles.com, as well as providing them with exclusive content that you won’t find anywhere else. I’m also writing almost daily new blogs for a site based out of England, called STLDWrestling.co.uk. It’s a site that covers everything from WWE and TNA, to local promotions across the UK so be sure to check them out. They also do a weekly wrestling podcast that gets uploaded to iTunes every Saturday. Just search for STLDWrestling on iTunes and click subscribe. Remember to leave a review of the shows too!
Phew, now all those plugs are out of the way, it’s time for me to get going! Hopefully you enjoyed the latest edition of “From Across The Pond”. I’ll be back same time, same place next week so until then, thanks for reading.