PWInsider had already reported that Randy Orton would take his time off from WWE in early 2018. Already Randy Orton's appearances on SmackDown had decreased With that being said, Randy Orton hasn't been in a good feud, after Jinder Mahal's Championship bout, where he did not have quality in-ring performances.
Someone like Randy Orton deserves more ring time and good storylines to back him up. He has been a consistent performer and is a 13 time World Champion. Someone like Randy Orton on the match card creates anticipation among the fans. He has been one among those wrestlers in the list of few who have found support in both their baby-face and heel turns. Loosing out on Randy Orton and not backing him up with good storylines can affect WWE a lot. He is a legend and brings in the older audience who have seen the viper grow. What's not working is the angle at which Randy Orton can come back to his prime.
Over the past years, Randy Orton has his ups and downs. Winning the Royal Rumble and winning the Championship belt at Wrestlemania to poor stipulation matches with Jinder Mahal. The Intercontinental run which was anything but boring to the Jeff Hardy vs Randy Orton feud which failed to surprise the audience. Orton is an extremely skilled wrestler and there is no denying his achievements in the ring, but lately, we haven't seen much from Randy Orton except his RKO's out of nowhere, and that too have become so common and predictable.
That being said, Randy Orton has been the most consistent performer in the roster unlike his contemporaries like John Cena and Brock Lesner. He has been an absolute gem for the SmackDown Live brand and has helped SmackDown Live gain momentum after the brands split last year. It is almost certain now that Randy Orton will be making sporadic appearances like other legendary wrestlers. But considering his age, the audience needs more of Randy Orton backed by an intriguing storyline.
Hence, the question arises what innovative plans are left. And what has happened to our apex predator who once upon a time had the whole audience dancing to the RKO chants. Randy Orton surely needs some re-branding for himself.
WWE creative team is very lousy these days. In an attempt to bring good performances, they have failed miserably to connect the audience to the feud. Remember the Shaun Michaels and Undertaker feud or the John Cena and Brock Lesner feud. Randy Orton going against Bray Wyatt wasn't such a bad idea either. But Randy Orton going against Jinder Mahal was the biggest down. Jinder Mahal needed a push, and WWE coming to India was seen as a massive step for the WWE market, but it all proved very meager to the WWE legend.