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Randy Orton's Absence from the WWE Network Announcement
By Tom Clark|
January 11, 2014
(image from wrestlinginc.com)
As every WWE fan knows by now, January 8 marked the official announcement from the company regarding its new network, which is set to begin on February 24. The moment was done in grand fashion as we have come to expect from WWE and featured many of the company's longtime stars including Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin.
But no Randy Orton. This was perhaps the single biggest announcement in WWE history. And the truth is that the unified champion, the man referred to as the face of the company, likely should have had a spot during the event. However that was just not the case and now the question must be asked; how long before Randy Orton turns on The Authority?
From a real world perspective, Randy was likely just not needed at the event. The announcement had a plethora of big names and top executives on hand, the addition of The Viper may have actually been too much. The fact is that the excitement for fans was in the details of the network, not in who was presenting those details.
But from a storyline perspective, Randy's omission was a very big deal. And you can be sure that he will respond.
The fact is that Randy has had more than his fair share of issues with both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. While the alliance between Orton and The Authority seemed like a good business move for all involved, there have been some serious growing pains along the way.
Most of this of course comes from Orton's side. He is the top heel in the company and along with that comes a serious ego. And that ego dictates that he be made happy all the time. This includes being not only respected by The Authority but also helped and even protected as well.
Randy believes that he deserves the very best as WWE world champion. For him, the primary focus of the company should be to serve him and give him everything he needs to succeed. Basically, this means he should get a helping hand whenever he needs it.
But The Authority has not always agreed with that sentiment. In fact, they seem to take issue with it every time Randy mentions it.
It seems that Triple H will only provide the protection when he deems it's necessary. And any other time, it just doesn't happen. This power struggle between Orton and The Authority has played out more than once, which ultimately results in paranoia on Randy's part.
"Do I have your support? Will you be there when I need you?"
This familiar mantra is repeated nearly every time that there is a moment of doubt on Randy Orton's part. But what he does not realize is that his is not the only ego in this alliance.
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have to be in charge. That's it. No one calls the shots except them and no one determines how they should and should not handle business. This includes Randy Orton, who may believe he is on a pedestal but does not understand that The Authority put him there in the first place.
And they can take him down just as quickly.
So when the champ complains on Raw that he was not featured on the night of WWE's big announcement, Triple H will listen. He will absorb. And then he will likely say something that will not make Randy very happy. But will The Viper go along with it this time?
Will he bite the bullet and ultimately keep his mouth shut, knowing that his reign over WWE is shaky at best? Will he realize that at the end of the day there is no way he can make it on his own and instead stay the course with The Authority's cooperation?
Or could this be the moment when Randy says enough to The Authority? Will he decide that he is done being manipulated and controlled by the McMahon family?
The truth is that Randy Orton is in a tough spot. If he continues the alliance with The Authority, he will always be in a subservient role to them. His stroke and influence goes only as far as Triple H will allow it to go. He will always be seen as the diva, the Prima Donna that has been handed everything as a WWE Superstar and is now fully protected as WWE world champion.
But if he leaves then the championship will likely not remain around his waist very long, The Authority will see to that. He loses his spot and is humiliated, cast out by the rest of the locker room that he has looked down upon for so long. His self-absorbed ego and unreasonable sense of entitlement will fall upon deaf ears and before long he will be nothing but a memory on the main event scene.
Randy Orton made a deal with the devil when he joined forces with The Authority. And now it will be hell trying to get out of it.
But will that stop him from trying?
Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report, a Contributor for Whatculture.com and a Contributor for the Camel Clutch Blog