Stars in Progress: Randy Orton, Brad Maddox, Vince McMahon

Chris Cash

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Randy OrtonRANDY ORTON – ONE STEP UP

The Viper is on his way back up the card and this writer couldn't be happier about it. You might think his gimmick has gone stale over the past couple years — and I won't necessarily argue that fact — but I think it's partly due to his position on the card causing a lack of true motivation. I still respect Randy Orton for taking that step back for the good of the company and helping put over other talent.

Randy Orton is still a Top 5 talent. He's a seasoned professional with a ton of respect from casual fans. I would guess the IWC is fairly split on their opinion of the former champ, but I can't imagine the majority doesn't at least think he's capable of more.

I'm curious to see whether or not WWE soon goes through with a heel turn for Orton. I would suspect they don't want him to overshadow Sheamus if he's to remain the top babyface of Smackdown, so Orton returning to a full-fledged bad guy might be inevitable.

If that does end up taking place, let's hope it gives him some renewed energy and motivation. As good as I think he is, his character still needs to evolve.

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