How good is Randy Orton?
That's not rhetorical praise; it's a philosophical question many WWE fans struggle with. For a man who has maintained a top level presence in WWE on such a consistent basis, he is arguably the most inconsistent of them all. His 2011 feud with Christian was dynamite in the ring - a superb blend of pacing and psychology. It lives on as the very best work Orton ever did - a counterargument to an ever-raging debate fuelled by memories of drab career rivalries opposite Triple H and John Cena. As if to crystallise the conundrum, his early summer TV matches with Daniel Bryan were blinding in every conceivable department. Their autumn PPV series, meanwhile, was desperately underwhelming.
You can never rule him out - his Night Of Champions 2014 match opposite Chris Jericho was an unexpected minor masterpiece wrestled by two men at a low ebb - but such reactionary, blow-away performances have become increasingly rare in parallel with his constant, almost overbearing presence. The conflated result is one of near-apathy. Is he boring, or is he a logical strategist? Is he underrated, or overrated? If, as countless accounts verify, he is the wrestler's wrestler, why isn't the same sentiment shared by fans?
One thing is certain: his presence in WWE is oversaturated in the extreme. Something needs to be done.