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Randy Orton’S Suspension and the Fans Left Behind

Unless you haven’t picked up your phone, or opened your laptop in the past 24 hours, then you know by now that Randy Orton has been suspended for 60 days from WWE.  The suspension comes from a second violation of the company’s wellness policy, and for the Viper, one more and he’s gone.

Ugh.  So, let’s dive right in, shall we?

First off, I have to say that when it comes to Orton, I have been more than impressed with the level of maturity the guy has reached in the past few years.

More specifically, last year, upon doing the job to Mark Henry for the World Championship, Randy seemed to really settle into his role as a veteran leader in the locker room, a worker who gives back and is less concerned with getting himself over.

Suddenly, that “maturity level” thing is really coming into question, right?

The thing is, before anyone starts throwing stones at the Apex Predator, like I just sort of did,  we have to remember that the specifics of Orton’s violation, as of this writing, have not yet been released.  So, we don’t know exactly what it was that got the guy in trouble in the first place.

Could be steroids, could be marijuana, or some other recreational drug, perhaps even the abuse of prescription drugs.  We just don’t know at this point, and until we do, it’s hard to pass judgment on his physical well-being.

But, what we can say is that if you are a Randy Orton fan, then there’s a good chance you are not all that happy today.  And, you can be sure that he is not very happy, either.

After all, WWE Superstars live and die by their exposure on TV.  Not being on the air means not being featured, and that is never a good thing for any worker who either has a spot and is trying to keep it, or for a worker who is attempting to earn a spot and is working hard to get there.

In other words, for a lot of these guys, out of sight eventually equals out of mind.

Randy Orton is a top level, main-event Superstar.  It makes no difference in my mind how long he has been without a title, the fact remains that he is a proven commodity, and a bankable star that Vince McMahon has heavily utilized in the past.

So, we’re not likely going to forget him anytime soon, right?  Think Randy feels that way?  Don’t count on it.

While Orton’s suspension is obviously not good for the man himself, the fact is, it’s not doing much for fans, either.  We are the paying customers after all, the ones who make it possible for WWE to operate on the high level it does in the first place.

And, when someone as big as Randy Orton is out of the picture, very likely due to something he irresponsibly did, then his fans are ultimately the ones who get cheated.

For example, I am headed to Monday Night Raw on June 4, and now I will not see one of the company’s best workers because of some dumb mistake that he made.

I am not exactly a huge Orton fan, but I am a fan of his ring work, so I do feel a bit cheated.  Just mere moments ago, I Scotch-taped his photo to a dartboard.  Time to take out some aggression.


But the truth is, the fans are the ones who make all of this important.  We are the ones who make or break these guys, with either our support or our lack of it.  It’s a big deal to us when one of them is gone, for whatever reason, be it injury or personal crisis.

For non wrestling fans, this may not make much sense, mostly because the business is not the same as other so-called “legitimate” sports like the NFL and NBA.

A star player’s absence is huge for his team, as the question that immediately arises is ‘what now?’
How do we win?  How do we go on without him?  What adjustments have to be made in order to continue toward the ultimate goal, a championship victory?

When Randy Orton is suspended for 60 days, it’s not like he left a team behind that needs him, and nor did he disappoint a city that is counting on him to bring home the trophy.

He only let down the fans who want to see him perform.

Now does that make him a bad guy?  Of course not.  It makes him human.

Just because WWE Superstars are presented as larger than life, and nearly invincible due to the constant physical damage their bodies endure night in and night out, does not mean that just below the surface, they’re not capable of screwing up like we all do.

This is still a developing story, so stay tuned for what will happen next.  I am very interested to see what exactly Orton took, or is taking, that got him in trouble with WWE.  But no matter what it is, don’t forget that he only has one strike left.

One more, and he goes home for good.

Sure hope I don’t have tickets for that Monday Night Raw, if Randy Orton were to get suspended again, and ultimately released.  Because, if I do, someone owes me some money.

Kidding.  No, seriously, they will.





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