I think this attitude should be embraced. I don’t mean that Michael Cole should inexplicably begin talking about Orton’s work rate, I mean that Orton’s character should be tweaked to reflect his “can’t be bovvered” attitude.
|Look at this. He can't even be bothered to speak.
Instead of fleeing in terror Orton should calmly leave the ring when confronted by a good guy, strolling to the back like he doesn’t care. He probably genuinely won’t care about the segment, so that feat of acting shouldn’t be a stretch for him. Skip the usual stop at the top of the aisle to look back and grimace at the mighty babyface routine too. A lazy, arrogant wrestler would wander up the aisle and go backstage without ever glancing back.
The ideal way I’d like to see Orton booked would be as a heel who brags about being the most gifted physical specimen in WWE (and even if he’s not he’s a contender by any reasonable standards). Have him tell crowds that he’s more than capable of giving them the matches of their dreams and stealing every show he’s on, but that it’s not worth his time to do so. Make his athleticism a bigger part of his character and play on his natural, much-demonstrated complacency.
This approach would turn his very real laziness into a character trait designed to elicit a negative reaction and would allow for storylines in which ‘The Viper’ is outperformed or shown up and gets dragged into an excellent match despite himself. Opposite a guy like Dolph Ziggler (a very obvious example of an ideal opponent) ‘The Viper’ could lose his rag as Ziggler bests him in exchanges, taking a breather at ringside before getting back into the ring and pushing himself to best Dolph in a faster, more intense exchange before realising the crowd are enjoying the match and… stopping.
This approach would not only make sense, it would set Orton apart from every other bad guy on the roster by having him act differently. Current WWE lacks character diversity so much that introducing some variety should be a top priority. But I'm pretty sure it's not.