From a ring standpoint, certainly not the Viper He works the viper character, and a viper being a type of snake, snakes hide in the grass, strike than slither back picking their spots, which is what Orton attempts to establish for his Viper character, hence the Viper striking with a "RKO out of nowhere" which is like the deadly bite out of the grass in an analogy. However, Orton remaining patient and wearing the opponent down for that deadly strike combined with the psychological element of Orton's apex predator persona enjoying the punishment of his opponent consequently results in Orton often cutting a pretty excruciating pace even for purists like many of us on the board. Another facet that Orton really tries to nail everytime is the facial expressions. now there isn't anything wrong with facial expressions at all seeing how they supplement and aid the story being told in the ring and narrate out what unfolds through the match, hence why elite workers like HBK, Bret Hart and Taker are commented on by commentators for the "face tells the story" remarks that makes for good storytelling. The thing with Orton though is that I notice that it seems like Orton has a facial expression after every single move and motion and especially headlock. Now in Orton's defense, his psychological aspects of his character lends itself to more expressions since he is one who is billed as "enjoying the process and suffering of his opponents", but I think Orton oversatures the expressions from time to time. Because Orton sets himself such parameters of this character, it is no accident that Orton while in this persona will either put on a fantastic contest when the little details click like vs Bryan on RAW regular match or a pending disaster.
Pros of the Viper: In 09 vs HHH, he produced such an entertaining wrestler whom from a segment standpoint played the role to absolute perfection combined with good material. The Vince punt, the Stephanie bit, all just a chilling potrayal that sort of reminded me of the killing joke in Orton whom at this point had been in and out of odds with HHH for several years was trying to drive the Game to lunacy. Orton's slow movement and lack of remorse for all his actions was fun to watch and the most entertaining he has been in his career.
Pros of Legend Killer Orton: This is probably alongside his midcard run on SD the best ing work of his career featuring in my opinion his top matches vs Foley at Backlash and vs Taker in HIAC both of which I feel are his two best individual performances as well as his best mania match vs Taker (wasn't his trmendous match vs Benoit here as well or after?). This was Orton's ascension
Cons of Legend Killer Orton: I thought the premise of Orton eliminating these well over the hill legends (well Michaels/Taker aside) when they are hardly in condition to defend themselves was pretty rediculous. I thought Orton was kind of cheesy at times as well especially when affiliated with Bob Jr and he still had monotone tendencies.
Pros of "Face of WWE" Orton: Has had both great moments in the ring and on the stick. His match on Raw vs Bryan (regular), his match vs Cesaro on SD (I thought he put on a clinic in that match)and his performance at EC were more great additions to Orton's catalogue. He also has probably been the most humerous he has been in his career on the stick (kiss my ass promo, locking himself in the Chamber, his taunts as of late, some actually good jokes and some golden lines ala "when you left nobody cared and when you came back people cared even less) When Orton has put passion into his work/things clicked, he has been one of the most entertaining wrestlers in the company)
Cons: INCONSISTANCY leading to some horrid lows, bad booking leading to him being a borderline afterthought.
In the ring, I think that his Legend Killer days were his best, entertainment wise the height of the Viper character and all around despite bad booking his current role. I can't pick a best because Orton has never dominated in the quality department long enough for one character to reign supreme in my view. Gun to my head I will pick Legend Killer Orton.