Penny Candy: The One Thing Most Getting Under My Skin

Of all the recent developments in the world of wrestling, a lot of it bothers me for various reasons. Either it’s badly written or poorly planned out, or it’s awesome but overlooked, or it’s crap we’ve seen a billion times being rehashed with new packaging hoping we won’t notice the same tired product in the box.

I’m bothered by Kane’s corporate makeover. I’m HOPING that there’s actually a plan behind “Sharp Dressed Alan Rickman Thug” Kane, but my initial reaction to Kane in a normal average suit was “Ew”.

I’m bothered that Danielson’s main event run seems to have abruptly ended so we can see a Big Show Title Chase that precisely NO ONE wanted. (Although I WILL concede; Punk/Danielson VS The Wyatts? YES PLEASE!)

I’m bothered that Nikki Bella clearly doesn’t take ring work seriously as her sister, since Brie is clearly getting lessons from her Husband To Be and even IP’s own notorious Diva Hating misogynist prick Scott Kieth has admitted Brie is getting damned good while Nikki is still just sort of… there.

I’m bothered that despite pimping Total Divas into getting better ratings than Raw’s pulling in lately, they inexplicably continued to have Nattie play Khali’s squeeze until TJ was cleared to wrestle and only THEN decided to remember that more fans watched Nattie and TJ get married than watched Raw the past few weeks.

I’m bothered that they wasted HBK on a screwjob finish that would otherwise have set up a match fans would pay good money for that we’ll never get to see.

But the thing that bothers me most right now, that I’ve yet to see anyone mention, and might seem stupid to some?

Randy Orton’s inexplicably stupid Heel Dialect.

I understand the art of expressing character traits through inflection. I remember acting classes and wrestling training and all that lovely crap and learning how just subtly altering the way you speak can massively alter how your character is perceived. But there is NOTHING subtle about Orton’s weird habit of hyper-enunciating now. He’s never done it before, and it fails to make him sound evil or dangerous or scary.

He pronounces many words all of a sudden with excessive correctness. Like overemphasizing the t in his own last name, or pronouncing half his words in the strictest sense of correct pronunciation. I get that he’s attempting to alter his speech patterns to convey his heel persona better. I really do.

But he just bloody SUCKS at it. His monotone hyper-correct enunciating doesn’t come off as sinister or creepy. It comes off as mechanical, like Stephen Hawking’s Voice Box using Orton’s voice. He sounds robotic and stiff. We know from the Jersey Crowd raw that Orton doesn’t improv his promos like Cena or Punk get to. He clearly lacks the skills to do so. That night when we clearly saw him visibly ON CAMERA ask Sheamus what his next line was gave him away. But even though Two Strikes was a scripted promo guy, he was still usually at least competent in his delivery.

Now? In his sad attempt to actually act, he sounds like a high school drama student reading cue cards while simultaneously doing an English test.

I don’t expect an Oscar Speech from Two-Strikes. Hell I don’t even expect emotional range from him.  But he needs to stop actually trying to act extra evil. His heel antics and his natural dull monotone are more than enough to convey that he’s a bastard and we’re supposed to boo him. But promos were never his strong suit to begin with, and anyone who sat through 12 Rounds 2 knows acting sure as fuck isn’t.

He needs to stop trying to combine the two. It just isn’t working, and it’s hard to maintain my suspension of disbelief when I’m laughing at his inexplicably bad heel inflections. Two-Strikes is boring either way, but he’s normally less boring as a heel. As long as he sticks to what works. He’s just not equipped to successfully evolve his character, and he shouldn’t try.

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