Exclusive: Backstage News on Randy Orton, SD! and Triple H

Randy Orton is not only adjusting very well to his new role as lead character on WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown, he is quickly assuming the role as locker room leader in The Undertaker’s absence, according to a very well placed WWE key insider.

"When (WWE Chairman) Vince (McMahon) made the decision to move Randy to Smackdown, there was a lot of concern from the writers and the producers that Randy would view it as a demotion from Monday Night Raw," we were told this evening.

"But Randy viewed it as a chance to break out from underneath John Cena’s grip on the very top spot in WWE," our key insider continued, "And he also viewed it as a chance to step up even further and become the true undisputed leader of a locker room, which has been a role filled by Cena since Undertaker has been around so infrequently."

The WWE source continued, "the locker room dynamic is much different now than even six months ago, as HHH is gaining popularity in his role as liason between the talent and Vince. The wrestlers feel HHH understands things from a talent perspective, and that’s winning him a lot of points. He also advises the wrestlers on how they can solve problems with Vince, so HHH in many ways has become what’s he’s always wanted to be … the top dog in the locker room and in the office."

But the key insider also says, "Randy will never be in the McMahon Family, so wrestlers also understand HHH’s loyalty to his own father-in-law. Randy recognizes how huge an opportunity becoming the focal point of Smackdown, both on camera and corporately, can be for him!"