Thanks for the suggestions Yeah. Where would you consider Orton's peak to have taken place ? It would have to be from the program with The Undertaker up until his suspension right after Wrestlemania XXII wouldn't it ? I mean, DAMN he put on some really great matches in that time period.
WM XXI vs Taker : **** 1/4
SS 05 vs Taker : ****
NM 05 Casket Match : **** 1/4
SS 05 Elimination Tag : ****
ARM 05 vs Taker HIAC : ****
NWO 06 vs Rey : ****
Plus you had the TV matches with Benoit that I'm currently watching. God damnit, I never realize how fucking awesome Orton was at that time period. Who was better than him at that point ? I can't think of very many honestly. That's actually better than Cena's peak.. Would have to agree. SIX **** PPV matches in a row ? Going to look back over the last few years to see how many times that's been done since then.
Honestly I'd probably consider his peak to be like a two year stretch. Around April 04-April 06. 2004 might be my favourite. Great Raw 2004 run with a ton of Evolution v Benoit & Co. tags, stuff with Edge, Benoit, Foley.
I'm not one to use Dave Meltzer as a source for anything, but you can go to this page and ctrlF '2004', and you'll get his ratings for the year. You can totally IGNORE those ratings if you want (2006- I like how he rated Michaels v Vince from Mania over Rey v Orton from NWO), but look at the match listings as there's a lot of great tag match-ups there. I like using star rating listings like this a lot to look at random matches that might have happened that I want to see.
Not too many guys in the WWE during that period as good as Orton, yeah. Benoit, Eddie and Rey were definitely better. I think a guy like Regal was better when he got the chance, but that didn't happen too often. Taker was probably better starting from 2005. I don't love his 2004, but then again I doubt Orton could have gotten the match out of Heidenreich that Taker did. Matt Hardy may have been better. He definitely was in 2005, anyway. I can't think of anyone else.
If both Orton and Cena retired by the end of 2006 I'd take Orton in *heartbeat*, but I would take Cena's 2007 peak over Orton's objectively. But I do like watching Orton more. That may or may not make all the sense in the world. I think it just comes down to me liking the dickhead heel cockface over the work-from-the-bottom unbeatable champ. I think I agree with Clique that Orton's a better week-to-week wrestler and Cena's better for your main events. Overall on a "best of" list I gotta go with Cena being higher.
Also I forgot to mention Orton/JBL/Finlay v Rey/Benoit/Lashley from 06. No one talks about that and it's fun as hell. Dave only gave it ***1/4, but I think it's better than that so poo to him.