For years, Mr. RKO Out of Nowhere has been one of the most consistent performers in the WWE. However, he's also been one of the most consistently misused performers--possibly because what the company feels he can do with what the fans may want/need him to do are usually not on the same page.
I feel that Randy Orton is best when he's kind of able to be "himself." Kind of a snarky, sarcastic, ready-to-flip-you-off-and/or-legit-beat-you-if-you-act-"STUPID STUPID STUPID!" a-hole. For instance, let's take a look at Orton's match versus David Otunga from around Christmas 2011.
Now, the match itself isn't great. In fact, like a lot of Orton matches circa 2009-2012, it was kind of garbage (my favorite Orton eras for quality matches are The Legend Killer era, followed--oddly enough--by 2013-present Orton). However, those moments of Orton being Orton, such as his "HO HO HO!" before throwing Otunga into the steps (or the "mmm cookies" face he makes in the beginning of this clip), made the match stick out to me. It was the perfect mix of "crazy, spot-filled goodness" and dark, albeit physical, comedy. Orton is the type of guy who doesn't let a botch or a "CM PUNK!"-chanting crowd really get to him (read: he absolutely lets it get to them then ramps up the awesome).
Let's look at earlier this year in a match versus Daniel Bryan. A fan, during a No DQ match, screamed out for the ref to ring the bell. Randy kindly reminded the fan of da rules...by suplexing Bryan onto the announcers' table after screaming "there's no bell to ring!"
If/when WWE lets Orton let the voices in his head actually tell him to be kind of a d-bag, Orton is golden. When the voices tell him to conform, we get Orton spewing drivel about how "XYZ is 'best for business.'" You want Orton to truly be the face of the company, Triple H? Let the guy become a straight-up anti-hero. Not a heel, not a face, not a tweener. A straight-up, "I play by my own rules (within the confines of the law)" anti-hero. That'll legit put butts in seats, in my humble opinion. That and keep him far the f*** away from John Cena.
— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) October 18, 2014