Fueling rumors that WWE may part ways with Randy Orton as a result of his second violation of the Talent Wellness Program, former WCW announcer Mark Madden stated Thursday on Twitter, “WWE wants to get rid of Orton PERMANENTLY. Character and popularity have plateaued, and he’s a pain to deal with.”
In response to his statement, a Twitter user asked Madden whether Vince McMahon has suddenly stopped liking money. Madden responded, “Vince thinks everybody is a WWE creation, and therefore disposable, to be replaced by another WWE creation. And you’re overrating Orton.”
The Wrestling Observer reported Wednesday that there is a ‘small, vocal pocket’ within the sports entertainment organization lobbying for his termination. Vince McMahon is reportedly contemplating the move, but many employees believe he will ultimately retain the nine-time world champion due to the lack of roster depth.
The Observer added that there are people within WWE saying Orton’s hiatus ‘isn’t going to be that big a problem.’ For the first time, employees are openly categorizing CM Punk as the second-ranked babyface rather than Punk and Orton being on the same level. Many also feel SmackDown’s babyface side will be adequate with Sheamus, Christian, Sin Cara, Rey Mysterio returning soon from suspension and the option to turn Daniel Bryan at a moment’s notice.