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post #76 of (permalink) Old 02-10-2011, 06:24 PM
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Re: Which Evolution Star became Bigger?

Originally Posted by scrilla View Post
Batista was no Shelton Benjamin, but he had great ring psychology and intensity that carried his matches.
Ironically two things which for the most part Benjamin lacked as a singles performer. It's no coincidence that almost all of Benjamin's best matches, save for against Orton in 2004, who's always had a precocious grasp of psychology himself, have been against battle-hardened veterans who knew a great deal about in-ring psychology.

As for the question itself, this isn't even arguable. It speaks volumes to how one man organically rose to the top within the timeframe of a few mere months and was at the very least the #2 man in the company throughout his entire run, drawing major gates, buyrates, ratings and being the spearhead of WWE's international marketing and in many ways their top international star until a couple years ago or so, and and the other, after one extremely hard push after another after another, has yet to actually impact much of anything yet, though I will say he's become a solid sidekick to Cena on Raw in the past year or so as a face.

Orton has, I think, another nine years of a contract with WWE as of now, so he's got a long, long way to go, but despite the fact that he'll doubtless be considered a "legend" in only a few years and he's currently one of their three biggest draws with so many guys out of action amidst their pushing of numerous young guys to the top, it's unlikely that he'll ever reach the levels Batista did (and sustained) in his run. Probably the best thing that could happen for Orton is the continuation of pushes/completion of establishing of guys like Punk, Miz, and a host of others, who offer fresh match-ups for him (and Cena), but at the same time I can also see at least a couple of these guys become bigger stars than Orton himself and supplant his #2 spot.

It also speaks volumes that Vince McMahon in his latest quarterly report brings Orton up as possibly the "next Cena" alongside names such as The Miz and Alberto Del Rio. I'd say that's a huge compliment for Miz and Del Rio, who are in their virginal main event pushes, but while Orton's only 30 years old, he's also been either at or just beneath the main event tier for years and years now, and he's still being spoken of as a young star potentially rising up to rival Cena. Orton has star value, particularly since turning face, he's a sound asset and he's absolutely a vital and important piece of the WWE puzzle right now, but he's where he is right now mainly because of departures and pending retirements of guys who are already part-time workers in the next couple of years, and if somebody like, say, Punk or Miz or Del Rio, catches on strongly, especially once they've turned face, I can see them or someone else becoming WWE's new #2 guy behind Cena.

It's clear that Vince isn't satisfied with Orton's performance up to date in his spot, as gates went down along with buyrates while Orton was headlining Raw as a face, meaning that if he were to ever substantially change WWE's figures, he'd probably have done so in the last year as a red-hot, newly-turned babyface and it just didn't happen. I suspect they'll stick with Orton as a face for a good while because from an artistic standpoint he had kind of exhausted his heel run by about a year ago now, and a significant number of fans had been wanting him to cheer him for a long time before then, but it's very likely that one of the current "Youth Movement" heels will be turned face once they've established and/or exahusted themselves as a heel to find the "next Cena" as Vince said. This truly is a transitional time period, and Vince knows exactly what he's looking forward to in the near future, with Wrestlemania XXVII being in his words the actual launch date of a number of "new talents."
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