Randy Orton's position; is it misleading?
It's no secret Randy hasn't had the best year of his career. Actually it's been over a year since his last title reign and there seems to no indication that he'll get it back soon. He's seemingly gone from the company's number 2 guy to forth (at best) dropping well below CM Punk and to a degree to Sheamus.
To be fair, even before his suspension he wasn't being treated like THE STAR anymore, performing in non-title matches within the first hour of Wrestlemania 26, 27 and 28, and he hasn't main evented a PPV since Survivor Series 2010.
However he's still been perceived as one of WWE's elite, and looked to become the franchise guy on Smackdown before Mark Henry, Big Show, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett started to build momentum.
Then there were injuries that had him off and on and of course the suspension, him publicly saying he's prefer being a heel, and speculation that he may make that turn soon or after WWE feel's comfortable with Sheamus' drawing power.
However, I'd say his ring work is at his peaking and he's only 32, unless something major happens he'll be in WWE for probably another decade if not more, but his recent booking has seen him tap out clean to Del Rio and has been beaten by Big Show insuring he won't be in the World Heavyweight Championship match at Hell in A Cell.
I'm sure many will say this is his punishment for the suspension, and it won't be long before he's back in the title hunt after he's "learned his lesson", but could Orton's new found vulnerability actually be slow building storyline?
Before Orton's suspension a feud with Sheamus was being teased, and if rumors are true Orton could be turning heel soon, and WWE could translate that into a a feud with Sheamus which would increase Sheamus' drawing power. (A good heel makes a great face, IMO, what's Batman without the Joker? Who would Hogan be without Piper, Dibiase, Savage, Sheik, Slaughter...)
While the brand split is essentially dead Sheamus really only has 2 big matches available to him right now CM Punk, which will occur on Main Event's premiere, and Randy Orton. Of course Ziggler and Barrett are good options too, but aren't as big marquee matches as Punk or Orton.
So, could WWE be holding on to that until Mania while continuously having Orton misfire in his opportunities? I mean seriously, why blow it in October?