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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - Excited for John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan at WWE SummerSlam 2013? Watch Out for Randy Orton!
By Mr. Tito
Jul 16, 2013 - 10:00:18 PM
Let just state it up front: LAST NIGHT'S MONDAY NIGHT RAW WAS AWESOME!!!! I was sort of depressed by the booking outcomes of Money in the Bank 2013 and was worried about the start of Monday Night RAW by having Fandango interrupt the WWE Champion John Cena and the Money in the Bank All-Star winner Randy Orton confrontation in the ring... But last night's show was gold!
Thanks to RAW last night, SummerSlam will be bought via Pay Per View at the Mr. Tito household in glorious HD. We are getting CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar. Think about that match-up for a second... You're getting CM Punk in his prime against Brock freakin' Lesnar who can now join a compelling storyline for a change. In just 10 short minutes or so, Paul Heyman turned CM Punk into full blown babyface. That was one of the best cutting promos by Paul Heyman and possibly his finest, ever. And Heyman has cut many awesome promos in his life... He put so much heat between himself and Punk and then transferred that onto Heyman's new favorite guy (or always favorite), Brock Lesnar. Lesnar them came down and attacked CM Punk. It was an even brawl until Heyman, that filthy heel, interfered and Lesnar took advantage to them thump CM Punk. That segment was epic and one of the best that I've EVER seen in my 25 years as a pro wrestling fan. It had awesome mic work, great storytelling, and a heat drawing brawl at the end that made you want to tell the WWE "TAKE MY MONEY".
And that's why I still watch pro wrestling. Very few forms of entertainment, whether its movies, television, or sports, can compete with Pro Wrestling when it's hitting all cylinders. For all of the bad storylines and pushes we endure, when the WWE gets it right, you're glued to the television and you're begging for more. I would say that only the drama of the National Football League (NFL) can beat pro wrestling in its finest hour. When you watch that segment, it makes you proud to be a pro wrestling fan. The Monday Night Wars had MANY of these type of segments that made you craving to see more and that's why WWE/WCW expanded the fanbase significantly during the late 1990's. It's no secret that the wrestling audience has been shrinking since the early 2000's and that's because of a lack of compelling moments by the WWE Creative Team. Just push John Cena or other handpicked McMahon favorites...
Then, every once and a while, that wrestler that the fans have handpicked gets the push... Face it, the WWE is the McMahon playground, particularly when there exists no strong competitors to significantly challenge the WWE's market share. Sorry, but TNA is scraping to get 1 million fans watching, which I bet half are WWE fans seeking more wrestling, while RAW hits 4 million each week. Anyway, the McMahons push who they want to push. Vince McMahon loves Alberto Del Rio while Triple H enjoys working out with Sheamus. Reportedly, Stephanie is very high on the AJ Lee character, so hence the sometimes over-the-top attention for her. But then, the McMahons hear the fans and push their guy... They've heard the "YES! YES! YES!" chants for over a year, particularly after the Wrestlemania 28 short opener debacle, and now the McMahons are going to give Daniel Bryan a legitimate WWE Title shot at SummerSlam 2013.
Bryan is a guy who goes against the grain on who the WWE typically wants to push. While Vince McMahon's expectations that every Main Eventer must be a 6'5"+ HOSS have eased with time, he still likes the main eventers to at least be above 6 foot. Daniel Bryan is billed at 5'10", although standing with John Cena at 6'1" last night on RAW looked at least inches shorter, and is under the new Vince McMahon height threshold. But Vince must finally hear you and now, the coveted SummerSlam 2013 WWE Title shot against John Cena, of all people, is going to Daniel Bryan. The RAW crowd last night was going bonkers with the "YES! YES! YES!" chants and it ended the night perfectly. It felt as though the WWE was actually doing something right for the fans...
But I sense that a Viper is lurking in the grass...
Randy Orton won the "Money in the Bank All-Stars" match that is specific to winning a WWE Title shot. I know that the WWE has tried to give us the "RAW Supershow" and that the brand extension lines have been blurred officially since 2011, but since the 2011 WWE Draft, Randy Orton has been a Smackdown brand wrestler and has mostly gone after the World Heavyweight Championship (WHC). Orton has been mostly dedicated to the Smackdown brand and stayed out of the way as John Cena and CM Punk have dominated the WWE Title scene. All of the sudden, here in July 2013, Randy Orton wins a WWE Title shot. That's a BRAND switch, brother, and a promotion to the RAW roster. That tells me that the WWE has big plans involving Randy Orton for Monday Night RAW for the rest of 2013 and probably into 2014. And you know for sure that John Cena sure as hell isn't giving up his spot... So who suffers?
I wouldn't get your hopes up just yet for a John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan match yet for SummerSlam 2013.
Randy Orton alluded to the fact that he could cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase at any time and he's been in the WWE long enough that he doesn't need months of build before cashing it in. The guy has been receiving repeat title shots and repeat title reigns since his first World Title victory 9 years ago at SummerSlam 2004. He's a 9 time World Champion since that first title victory with 3 World Heavyweight Titles and 6 WWE Titles. Seriously, that's 1 title reign per year...
Better watch out for that TRIPLE THREAT match, folks... History has showed that the WWE can get cold feet on newer wrestler pushes and then adds a 3rd wrestler to the fold. WWE is in love with Triple Threat matches, to be exact, and thinks that they are big drawing type matches. Hence, why they try it often...
Think about it, folks... Orton was a Smackdown specific wrestler. He's also one who embarrassed the WWE over a year ago with a Wellness Policy violation. But, he's poised to possibly hold the WWE Title again and become a top star of the RAW shows again. If Daniel Bryan was really the "WWE Champ in waiting", why did Randy Orton win that Money in the Bank match? Doesn't make sense to me unless (a) WWE believes Randy Orton is still a draw or (b) WWE doesn't believe that Daniel Bryan is a long term investment in the Main Event. I would bet on both (a) and (b), particularly due to one fateful June 17th match...
The June 17th edition of Monday Night RAW, I believe, was a huge influence not only on Vince McMahon, but on Triple H as well. Those 2, obviously as #1 and #2 guys in the company, are the ones who determine who gets pushed long term for the WWE. I believe that the Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan match opened their eyes and convinced them that Randy Orton is THE GUY to still keep pushing, not Daniel Bryan. Before the match, there was talk about having Daniel Bryan winning the "Money in the Bank" match for the briefcase #1 contendership for the WWE Title and then cashing it in to challenge John Cena at SummerSlam 2013. That was the reported booking plan in the aftermath of the WWE Payback... But then that RAW match happened on June 17th and 2 things happened that may have changed Vince and Triple H's minds.
For one, Randy Orton is a reported 6'5" to Daniel Bryan's 5'10". Orton is clean cut while Daniel Bryan has prided himself on not shaving or cutting his hair for 2013. Makes you wonder if both Vince and Triple H were watching backstage and wondered if they were pushing the right guy? Maybe they came to the realization that Randy Orton still had some tread on the tires and was being wasted on the Smackdown brand? Vince has had many second thoughts on Daniel Bryan dating back to the infamous Nexus debut firing to monkeying with Daniel Bryan's World Heavyweight Championship reign. The yo-yo booking gets confusing with Bryan but he appears to overcome it every time. However, this is the WWE Title we're talking about and also needing to be "the guy" to defeat top WWE Superstar John Cena for the title. Maybe they thought, at that instant, that Randy Orton would look better in the ring with John Cena and better with a WWE Title reign, long-term, than Daniel Bryan. Why else would Randy "World Title Shots Grow on Trees for Me" Orton win the Money in the Bank match?
Secondly, I believe Daniel Bryan hurt himself by reaming Triple H after the June 17th RAW match. As you'll recall, Daniel Bryan was legitimately injured during that NO DQ match against Randy Orton with a neck stinger and Triple H backstage told the referees to stop the match (for real, no kayfabe). This rare moment of a match being called due to injury caused by a concerned backstage that probably had Bryan pissed when he returned through the curtain. The booking was supposed to go Bryan's way and catapult him towards the WWE Title push but obviously, the calling of the match could threaten to derail it. He actually yelled at Triple H for the call in front of everybody backstage. If you don't think that Triple H took that personally, you haven't been following the WWE for the past 15 years or so. I have heard from wrestlers and agents of the rabbit ears that Triple H has had for wrestler spreading gossip about he and Stephanie, so I could imagine how a confrontation in front of many backstage could go. I believe that heading into Money in the Bank 2013, Vince and Triple H had second thoughts about Bryan and opted to propel Randy Orton BACK onto the RAW roster instead as its future WWE Title contender. Long-term, Randy Orton is going to be "the guy" who challenges for the WWE Title, possibly not Bryan.
The Curtis Axel attack on Daniel Bryan is interesting to me... On #LOPRadio during Sunday Night, the Son of Repoman radio host was talking about how the WWE might use Daniel Bryan to get Curtis Axel over, along with the Intercontinental Title. I laughed at him then and even mocked him on a few Tweets... But damn it, that idea seems to be sticking in my head now... After all, look what Daniel Bryan did for (a) AJ Lee, (b) Kane, and (c) WWE Tag Titles. Everything in the midcard that Daniel Bryan has touched, he's made better... AJ Lee caught on quick as a character when being portrayed as Daniel Bryan's girlfriend, insomuch that they've pushed her much harder for more television time than Bryan (even with the failed General Manager role). Kane is BACK as a wrestler and was a huge beneficiary of tagging up with Bryan. His comeback was nice, but got old quick... Bryan gave Kane some personality and Kane is enjoying a continued WWE career of relevance. Tagging with Kane, the WWE Tag Team division had some life again. They defended the belts with pride... 8 month Tag Title reign! The Shield are quite credible thanks to their match-ups and later the title victory from Team Hell No. Maybe once the Cena shot is done, Curtis Axel AND the Intercontinental Title is the next project... Damn it, Son of Repoman.......
Hardcore and impatient Daniel Bryan fans better keep an eye on Randy Orton as we head into SummerSlam 2013. I can see the Triple Threat happening if Vince doesn't like how Daniel Bryan looks up against John Cena. If you'll recall last night on RAW, Triple H actually called SummerSlam the "second biggest WWE show of the year" last night... While the Royal Rumble has something to say about that, recall that SummerSlam was created in 1988 to be "Wrestlemania Jr." whereas Survivor Series and Royal Rumble were specialty Pay Per Views. SummerSlam has historically had something involving the aftermath of a Wrestlemania or headlined by its own big main event match. If a Quarter Hour involving Daniel Bryan goes bad, I wouldn't be surprised if the WWE goes nuclear and puts Orton in the match. After all, there's nothing wrong with a Triple Threat match between Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena (c) match. Actually, that could be a pretty damn good match... But many fans want to see Daniel Bryan individually get a shot at the Main Event... Sometimes, the WWE would like to warm up to a newcomer to a main event scene with a Triple Threat match. Go watch SummerSlam 1999 when the WWE wasn't comfortable with just booking Triple H against Steve Austin when Mick Foley was added (many stories surrounding that match). WWE got cold feat on Chris Benoit vs. Triple H at Wrestlemania 20, so Shawn Michaels was added to boost interest...
However, we could go another way... I'm seeing many parallels to 2011 right now. John Cena is the WWE Champion (well, he was the 2nd WWE Champion in 2011), a fan favorite is challenging Cena (CM Punk in 2011, Daniel Bryan in 2013), and yet a backstage darling of the McMahons is holding the Money in the Bank briefcase (Alberto Del Rio in 2011, Randy Orton in 2013). It would absolutely NOT surprise me to see Daniel Bryan get the huge WWE Title victory and then I HEAR VOICES IN MY HEAD plays and Randy Orton wins the WWE Title by cashing in Money in the Bank. In fact, that rumored HEEL turn that we keep hearing about for Randy Orton could be his destruction of Daniel Bryan. The McMahons might actually believe that they could turn the "YES! YES! YES!" chants going towards Daniel Bryan into legitimate heel heat for Randy Orton as a heel when he shatters the dreams of Daniel Bryan fans. WWE could run a few Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan matches for the next few Pay Per Views before giving us John Cena vs. Randy Orton straight up at Survivor Series 2013. Maybe even Randy Orton vs. Brock Lesnar, as the WWE has talked about that match backstage over the past year. Maybe even CM Punk against Orton... But NOT Daniel Bryan... McMahons like Orton.
It's hard to understand WHY Randy Orton gets such favorable booking and for the last 10 years. He was a great developmental prospect within the Ohio Valley Wrestling territory before joining the WWE roster during 2002. WWE liked him because he obviously had in-ring talent, but he was the son of "Cowboy" Bob Orton who used to work for the WWE and played an important role at Wrestlemania 1. Cowboy Bob was managing the team of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Mr. Wonderful Paul Ordorff as they took on the team of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T in the match that put Wrestlemania on the map. The famous scene of Wrestlemania 1 is Bob Orton coming off the top rope and accidentally hitting Paul Ordorff with the cast wrapped around Orton's arm. Vince McMahon tends to have loyalty to family members of former WWE employees, particularly those who did Vince a huge favor financially. Bob was a key member of Wrestlemania 1. Another prime example is WWE Executive Producer Kevin Dunn. His dad, Dennis Dunn, oversaw the production of WWE shows during the 1970's and early 1980's and even risked his own life by saving weeks of WWE taped shows on film from a burning car. Vince can be eternally grateful to family members of former WWE employees who did him great favors, especially from the early days of Vince's WWE career and ownership.
Randy Orton has received favorable booking from day one because of his bloodline. Not only that, somehow he befriended Triple H backstage along with another Ohio Valley Wrestling prospect, Batista. Together, which was a natural fit, they formed the heel stable EVOLUTION along with Ric Flair. The group was beginning to do quite well with Triple H as the Main Eventer while Orton and Batista could develop in the midcard. Then, for whatever reason during the summer of 2004, the booking changed quickly and Randy Orton was pushed immediately towards the World Heavyweight Title without any Main Event experience. But as a babyface, too... WWE had Randy Orton defeat Chris Benoit at SummerSlam 2004 for World Title reign #1 and had Evolution turn on Orton on the RAW following the show. WWE tried hard to push him as a Main Event babyface, even wheeling out "Randywear" clothing lines. Utter failure... By the next Pay Per View, Unforgiven 2004, Triple H beat Randy Orton for that World Title. The lack of patience on Orton hurt his career...
And then 8 more World Title reigns... Can anyone remember any of them? I can remember the multiple times that the WWE tried Randy Orton as a headliner, yet I can't remember a single BIG main event match that he had other than SummerSlam 2004 that sticks out. Maybe the John Cena shadow has always been too big to allow Randy Orton to stick out, but he just seems like just a veteran member of the WWE roster. Like Kane, like Christian, etc...
The thing about Randy Orton is that he IS a good in-ring performer. The bloodlines are present with the Orton family, as he can mechanically outwork most opponents in the ring. But it's the intangibles that Orton lacks... There just seems to be an emotional detachment that isn't connecting the character of Randy Orton with the strong in-ring ability. Go watch his matches... Extremely polished, moves well executed, and hardly any botched moves... But there's no emotion behind the moves, nor is there charisma to draw fans in. I hate to say it, but he's like a robot out there... Each time, the McMahons program GO OUT THERE, HAVE A GOOD MATCH and he does it... But you take nothing from it because each of his matches feel like there is a lack of purpose and that his character lacks a "sense of urgency" towards chasing a title or get revenge upon another wrestler. Bland mic skills... The non-wrestling skills are just missing with this wrestler.
Sure, Randy Orton gets a decent reaction... But he's been there since 2002. Fans are used to seeing him for over 10 years. However, if you compare him to fellow Ohio Valley Wrestling "Class of 2002" graduates John Cena and Brock Lesnar, he lacks their drawing power. Fans weren't clamoring to see him headline Smackdown shows, nor were they filling excessive seats at Smackdown based houseshows that he headlined.
If Randy Orton is to be THE GUY, especially over fan picked Daniel Bryan long-term, then we need a major character change. Orton worked better as a heel and the WWE should let Orton ramp up his intensity as a heel. Better yet, let him tell fans what he really thinks... Let Orton release the building rage of his personal life (pending divorce, TMZ reports) and actually give us a legitimate Main Event heel that the WWE would actually push strong over the long haul. After all, if he's going to become a RAW roster wrestler, the Creative Team could only push him strong as a heel with John Cena already having the strong babyface role covered. And unlike the CM Punks and Daniel Bryans of the world, the WWE might keep booking him consistently strong.
It would be a shame to let Daniel Bryan's fan reaction go to waste... In my opinion, he's OVER. Fans like his personality and they appreciate what he brings in the ring. There's a reason why Kane, AJ Lee, and the WWE Tag Titles got over while Daniel Bryan was around them. The Shield got over by repeatedly wrestling Bryan (while he put them over, too). Sure, he's only 5'10", but he has credible offense (notably the kicking strikes) to defeat any wrestler without any doubt or disbelief. Every match he wrestles, the fans are into... Any segment he's involved with, the fans are active and participating. Do you hear those extremely loud "YES! YES! YES!" chants? I don't hear the McMahon darlings (Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, and Randy Orton) getting anything close to that.
I could be wrong and what makes me wrong is the WWE's strong push of the WWE Divas show on E!. WWE might actually inject some real life stuff by revealing that the Bella Twins are dating wrestlers behind the scenes... Not just any wrestlers, but Daniel Bryan (Brie) and John Cena (Nikki). WWE might be willing to put the Randy Orton push on hold in favor of using SummerSlam to push a freakin E! show. After all, WWE believes that the WWE Network can still exist...
Unless there is a long lost Bella that Randy Orton can now date....
SO JUST CHILL TILL THE NEXT EPISODE!
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