Thursday 27 March 2014

The Avenging Viper

It seems fairly likely that the months following WrestleMania XXX are going to see Daniel Bryan as a babyface champion. It seems almost as likely that Batista is going to officially ascend to lead heel status, quite possibly by officially aligning with The Authority as their new chosen one. Whether or not he will gain the on-screen epithet ‘Face of the Company’ is anyone’s guess at this point.  

These are developments which would leave Randy Orton strangely out of the loop. He could challenge Bryan in a rematch, but that would almost certainly have to be the end of their feud as they’ve been going at it on and off since August. There are no noteworthy gimmick matches left to put them through. Batista would be a fresher opponent for D-Bry and would make more sense in storyline terms, especially if he were The Authority’s new centrepiece.

It’s hard to tell what ‘The Viper’ will be given to do. The thing I keep imagining is WWE continuing with him in the title scene which, as already pointed out, would be a poor move. But luckily for WWE I’ve come up with an alternative they’re free to acquisition and use.

Have Orton lose the title at WrestleMania to either Bryan or Batista. For the purposes of this plan it really doesn’t matter which, all that matters is that Orton loses it. Between ‘Mania and Extreme Rules his relationship with The Authority would become strained, but they’d all still be aligned. Or as aligned as they already are, which is tenuously.

At Extreme Rules Orton would face Bryan and Batista again in a three-way rematch. He’d lose there too. And that loss would be the impetus for Orton to be kicked out of the group by Triple H on the May 5 post-Rules RAW. ‘The Game’ could cite Orton’s continued losses as a reason, as well as his inability to live up to his potential and a wish to go in a new direction with Batista.

From there ‘The Apex Predator’ could be presented as a neutral figure, not aligned with the lead heels but not liked by fans either. Over the course of a couple of months Orty could realise that he would have been better off embracing the fans rather than throwing in his lot with the McMahons to form The Authority. He could cut promos to that effect and say he wants to earn back respect by competing fairly and helping to bring down The Authority.

What does the summer have in store for Randy Orton?
During his realisation period Orton could be booked against mid-card wrestlers, the idea being that he’s being held back or punished by The Authority. In non-kayfabe terms this would be a nice chance to get some different matches on TV and give some people lower down the card the chance to raise their profile by competing with a main event name.

After cutting his babyface promo (assuming the fans accepted him trying to mend his mistakes) Orton could begin interfering in Batista matches and targeting, perhaps getting physical with Triple H too. Hinting at an Orton v Batista singles match should be avoided though. The last few months have taught anyone paying attention that WWE fans do not want to see Orton and Batista wrestle one another.

Orton would need to cost The Authority at least a couple of key victories in order to demonstrate that he really is against them and that he wants to see them fail. A good example would be Orton interfering in a Money in the Bank match to stop ‘The Animal’ winning, but it doesn’t have to specifically be that. Just any matches that in storyline terms The Authority need to win to regain control of the WWE championship.

The standard beatdowns from Kane, the Outlaws and Triple H himself could follow, with Orton always coming back for more the next week. Finally driven to his wits end, probably after the second key loss, Triple H could cut a promo talking about Orton not learning the easy way and needing to do things the hard way. The hard way would be revealed as a singles match between Orton and Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam.

That would be a fresh match with a logical reason for happening. Orton would (probably) be established as face again with fans being encouraged to boo Lesnar for siding with The Authority and effectively acting as their hired gun. It’s an ideal number two match for a big event like SummerSlam.

‘The Pain’ could be used to keep Orty occupied for a further one or two shows after SummerSlam, and from there Orton could be moved into a role similar to Cena in which he’s used to help establish new stars. It could also be used as a launching point for a Lesnar face turn: it could be revealed (via Paul Heyman) when Lesnar returns for SummerSlam that he’s agreed to take out Orton in exchange for the WWE championship match he’s felt he’s deserved all year but hasn’t received because WWE have been trying to get the title on to Batista or Triple H.

Next year’s ‘Mania season could see Lesnar go full on face and oppose The Authority after being double crossed out of his title match. By this point the title could be on Batista and Bryan could be doing something else before slotting back into the title scene in the summer of 2015. Lesnar versus Batista is another fresh (albeit potentially hideous) bout and I think fans would rally behind ‘The Beast’ because they’d want to see his aura of legitimacy directed at Batista.

I’d love to watch all of the above. It doesn’t seem likely though.

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