Randy Orton has been boring. That doesn’t mean he’s any less of a future legend, and he’s certainly one of the best the WWE has to offer right now. The truth of the matter is that even a much-needed heel turn hasn’t rejuvenated “The Viper” all that much though, and in the eyes of many fans, he’s been stale.
Just think back to the atrocious main event at Survivor Series against Big Show, which was met by an apathetic crowd that was more interested in chanting “boring” than the actual match itself. Or how about any number of Orton’s promos during the build up to the unification match at the Tables Ladders Chairs pay-per-view.?
Yes, at times he held his own, but even John Cena was able to veer away from his typical promo style to deliver some interesting work; at least when compared to Orton.
None the less, the WWE gave Orton a huge push last Sunday night at TLC. The company believed him enough to push him over Cena for the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and he was crowned the first ever “Champion of Champions”.
So what do you do when the face of your company is kind of boring? You put him against someone who undoubtedly isn’t.
I was wondering how the WWE would move forward with this Orton storyline, but they handled it in the best possible way on Monday Night RAW. Orton continued to be the typical heel, and it really wasn’t anything different, but my thought process on that changed instantly when Daniel Bryan entered the picture.
Cena suggested that Bryan face Orton in RAW’s main event, and even though the title(s) weren’t on the line, the match delivered in every way possible. It even made Orton not boring, shockingly enough.
First off, Bryan is the most over wrestler in the WWE right now, so even just by facing him, Orton garnered more organic heat than he’s had for a while.
That aside, it was a brilliant match. Both Orton and Bryan targeted each other in certain spots—Orton went after DB’s arm and Bryan went for the Viper’s leg—and they sold the psychology perfectly. Not only that, but Bryan threw in a few new moves to keep things original, and neither man was afraid to get physical.
Whether it was the huge bump off the third rope that they both hit multiple times, or Orton sidestepping Bryan’s dive through the ropes and projecting him into the wall. Both parties sold, told a story and gave us something new to watch and cheer for. They even threw in a few bites for good measure.
The crowd was hot, with good reason, and for once in what seems like forever; an Orton main event had the crowd rowdy and on its feet.
Instead of “boring”, Dallas was chanting “This is awesome”.
Instead of the same old “Let’s go Cena, Cena Sucks” in the main event, the “Yes” chants were actually relevant because Bryan was in the ring; and not because fans wished that they could see him in the main event.
By simply adding potentially the best wrestler in the world right now, the WWE took something boring and turned it into an instant classic. No doubt the match last night will go down as one of the best of the year, and when all is said and done, I believe Bryan deserves much of the credit.
It’s been a rough few months for WWE in terms of fan happiness, but with Punk setting up a feud with The Authority and Bryan chasing the undisputed title, it looks like WrestleMania season is off to a great start.
Note: Photos via WWE.com