What was the single biggest gripe expressed by "smart" fans once wrestling abandoned kayfabe in the 1990s? It was that cartoonish, super-hero type characters a la Hulk Hogan were no longer viable. Once they were "smartened up," wrestling fans demanded better athletes and more reality-based storylines. Okay. Then what's up with the Popeye treatment WWE has been giving Randy Orton in his feud vs. Nexus?
Apparently, Orton has been taking his vitamins or saying his prayers or at least eating his spinach. How else are we to believe that after being laid out by five Nexus members backstage and then dragged to the ring, Orton could mount a comeback for the ages, throw uncountered RKOs all the way around, and live to fight another several weeks while systematically dismantling the entire New Nexus unit, no matter what it does to defeat him? I get it. The suspension of disbelief is as basic to pro wrestling as ring ropes. But accepting the cloak of invincibility WWE has wrapped around Orton is asking too much.
For me, the real shame of it is that this feud had such promise when it kicked off with Punk revisiting the 2008 Legacy beating that cost him his first World title. I thought it was a clever and different way to start a feud. But the angle has since developed into nothing more than Orton crawling on his fists with that goofy look on his face after kicking yet another Nexus member in the head. Been there, done that ... last week, and the week before that, and the week before that, and the week before that. Like most one-sided fights, this one has become stale, boring, and predictable. The feud is no longer hot; in fact it's become a farce, which can't be what WWE wants heading into WrestleMania.
You know what would make the Punk-Orton match at WM27 at least quasi-interesting? Maybe some adversity for Randy The Sailor Man, some momentum going Punk's/Nexus' way. In the time that's left before WrestleMania, Orton needs to be made vulnerable in some way. Otherwise, it's a foregone conclusion that his match with Punk will end exactly the same way his last five matches on Raw have ended: with Orton snatching yet another impossible-to-imagine victory from the jaws of defeat. If the past five episodes of Raw have shown us anything, it's that Randy Orton can swat down Nexus members as if they're gnats. After all, Punk, even with the help of his friends can't get to Orton, so what chance does he have against Orton at WM 27 on his own? None.
Since we already know this, why would we shell out $55+ to see it again? Will their WM match have a major surprise or swerve? Will Punk carry Orton to a five-star Match of the Year candidate?
I wouldn't bet on it ... not even $54.95 plus tax and fees.
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