One thing I just noticed during Orton/Angle from ONS... THERE'S ACTUALLY A SIGN THAT READS "JOHN CENA RULES"! Can you believe that? :shock
But Orton changed way too much. Going from arrogant, cocky heel to psychopath? Just sounds like too much of a change. When Cena or ROCK changed their characters, it was minor changes and not complete overhaul of their looks and how they carry themselves. Cena's rapping gimmick died in 2004 btw.
I think 2006/07 was the official end for Cena's gimmick. He was still insulting his opponents by rhyming words when he moved to RAW. Sure he wasn't rapping in every segment/promo like he was in 2003 but he did rap a few times. After 2007, he stopped completely.
I agree that he changed too much but my point is that Orton's viper gimmick only sucked after he turned face in 2010. He was cutting one of the best promos of 2009 when he was feuding with HHH. Compare the promo below to the any of his promos now. I don't think it really matters how different your gimmick is compared to previous gimmicks. Look at Taker's gimmicks. American badass is very different to his lord of ministry or Phenom gimmicks. It's how you play them and Orton has shown that he can be entertaining being the Viper. It's just that the guy is a natural heel, in the same way Punk and Edge are.
CM Punk had an array of 4 star-plus matches with Jeff leading up to Summerslam, Right before Jeff left for TNA.
My mistake Punk would be right up there as well, granted I'm not as high as everyone else on the TLC, it's still a great match. I loved though the Cage match on smackdown and there NOC match is great too
Holy shit, I'm watching Benoit and Angle from W17 to see how it holds up against their Rumble match and i was looking at the crowd to see how they were reacting to their match and I think i'm actually seeing Batista in the front row, He is wearing sun glasses and a yellow shirt. You need to check this out guys.