When Randy Orton burst onto the WWE scene as a young cocky punk in 2002, he could talk on the microphone for several minutes without hesitation. Fast forward to 2013 and he cannot even utter a word.
Usually in the professional wrestling world, most wrestlers are unable to cut a decent promo when they debut. Orton learned from his father (Bob Orton) and was a natural on the microphone from the get go. It wasn’t until Triple H and Ric Flair recruited him in Evolution did he become a very decent talker.
While most heels at the time were big monsters, Orton was one of the very few in the WWE that was arrogant and cocky instead. His promos may not have been to the level of The Rock or Chris Jericho, but they were entertaining nonetheless.
Upon leaving Evolution, Orton became known as the “Legend Killer”. During this time, he was always talking on the microphone and cutting entertaining promos about how he was better than the old guys. It wasn’t until in 2007 did his character change and his microphone skills bewilderingly got worse.
Although Orton was still a heel, he would bore people to death with his monotonous and robotic tone. He didn’t even mock his opponents like he did during his earlier gimmicks.
When Orton became a babyface in 2010, his mic skills became even worse. Even though Orton debuted back in 2002, all he could say to the audience was “My name is Randy Orton”. Most wrestling fans will know who he is by now and saying your own name is the last thing people want to hear in a wrestling promo.
The final nail in the coffin was put in place on this week’s Raw. Orton forgot his lines and had to ask Sheamus what it was. The worst part about this was that he was visible in front of all the cameras on live television. Unlike John Cena or CM Punk, Orton didn’t even have the ability to improvise his lines. This is the first time I have ever seen a wrestler ask another wrestler what he needed to say.
Hopefully Orton realizes how bad his promos have gotten as of late. He should go back and look at old tapes of himself to learn how to speak effectively on the microphone again.