Blaming Randy: The Reason Why
By Peter Dawson
So people angry at the WWE for Randy beating Christian are taking flak, and there’s quite a few justifiable reasons why. One big question raised is why people are focusing on Randy Orton rather than Vince McMahon or the writers. The problem is, Randy is the face of this mess. He may not intentionally be the cause, but he’s still the face. This isn’t the first time this has happened in the media either, looking just as far back as Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien. Jay Leno was the vilified face of that mess, even if the network had more influence in the change than he did and his only fault was being a valued commodity.
Randy likewise is a valuable commodity, no question. Randy Orton is one of the two biggest names in the WWE right now, at least who actively participate every damn night. Even better for the WWE, he’s go the big, classic look and isn’t tiny like Rey Mysterio, who for quite a while was the face of Smackdown. Randy is easy to package, and thus it make sense why they’d want him to be champion. Christian isn’t easy to package as he’s more of an all-rounder, having a mix of power and agility moves, and he’s not as much of a muscular guy compared to Randy or John Cena. Randy’s appeal over Christian is obvious from a marketing stand-point. The trick is, Randy’s mere existence is a slight to people who would like to see people like Christian, CM Punk of even Daniel Bryan be the face. Randy is a symbol of everything fans of non-traditional champions hate.
Beyond being a symbol, Randy is a more logical target, though that may seem counter-intuitive. Vince McMahon has final say on everything so you can blame him, but the guy is incredibly resilient. It’s hard to blame writers in general too and with the fact that no one writer seems ready to stand up for Christian but a bunch are for Orton its hard to single people out. Randy however seems more touchable as he’s constantly out and about, easier to badger and annoy about the situation.
So while it seems odd to target Randy for something he had little control over (though he was complaining at Wrestlemania about his placement on the card, so it is possible this was to help appease him), he is a reachable symbol, if not really the guy who deserves the blame. Conan and NBC contributed to the Tonight Show mishap as well, yet Leno was the guy who got all the hate. Why attack a generic building when you can target the statue that represents everything you hate?