The fact Randy Orton beat AJ Styles in the No. 1 contender’s match to see who faces Bray Wyatt for the WWE World Title wasn’t all that surprising. What will surprise me is WWE sustaining the momentum this kind of match offers the company’s fan base.
WWE did a good job of not only creating a compelling story line in Orton and Wyatt and a backstory it can build from. It also booked a match in Styles and Orton that could have been a headliner at WrestleMania 33.
SmackDown Live may not have been as solid as it has in the past few weeks, but there is no denying the amount of potential a round-robin program between all three wrestlers can generate. Add the emergence of Luke Harper to the mix and the blue brand has once again created more with less.
The best thing about this holy union is no mention of John Cena anywhere. WWE is doing the right thing to stay clear of the Cena train and the possible backlash from the fans over giving him yet another chance at a world title.
My immediate fear about the match between Orton and Wyatt is the creative team gave the fans the rising action and the climax of the movie long before it gave them the beginning and rising action. It may have been a bit too soon. How will the writers remedy that? How can Orton, who is not as skilled on the mic as Wyatt or flashy as someone like Triple H, give us a few more poetic masterpieces? If this is supposed to be the 12-time world champion’s chance to unseat Wyatt at the leader’s table, he will have to be just as proficient in a promo as his is in the ring.
Can Orton, who is stiff and robotic at times, come out of his shell and adapt to the unorthodox style of the current WWE World Champion?
There are times when WWE has gone to its well too often, bringing along veteran talent to compete for titles. I don’t think this is the case. Cena is an overused commodity. Orton, although long in tenure, has a flare for the dramatic. By turning on his “master” two weeks ago, he has also made Wyatt the sympathetic babyface, which is a role the Eater of Worlds is not accustomed to. WWE has been searching for a new cryptic character to fill the role Undertaker has so willingly accepted over the years. With the potential retirement stipulation added to the match with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania, might Wyatt step in and reap the benefits of a man with a dark soul should acquire?
This is the kind of match where Orton does not have to win to prove a point. For so long, Wyatt has lost to the best WWE had to offer. Putting the company strap on his shoulder was the right thing to do and the right time to do it. The worst thing that could happen now is he drops the title to his pupil. This main event may blow the roof off the event in Orlando, but don’t expect a new champion to be crowned. The best thing for business is for Wyatt to retain and Orton to look great putting him over.
Anything less would prove WWE is retreating from progress. The Viper isn’t a bad idea as champion. It’s just not the right chess move for the company to play right now.