In case you have not heard by now, Randy Orton has suffered a legitimate injury that is going to force him to miss the Elimination Chamber PPV and perhaps a few more shows in the upcoming weeks.
While the nature of the exact injury is still not known, WWE is labeling it as a concussion injury.
With that said, at the SmackDown tapings in Fresno, California last night, general manager Theodore Long pulled Orton from the Chamber match and insisted on having a Wild Card Battle Royal to determine who will be the Apex Predator’s replacement.
The victor of this battle royal was none other than Santino Marella, who sent RAW superstar David Otunga tumbling over the top rope to earn himself a spot inside the SmackDown Elimination Chamber.
Based on early comments, it is obvious that this decision has caused quite the stir.
Fans all across the Internet are questioning why WWE went with Santino when there were so many other possibilities.
To those people, I say…lighten up!
Keep in mind this was a Wild Card Battle Royal to begin with. No main event-caliber superstar was going to be involved in this match.
Fans wanted Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio, Christian or even an injured Mark Henry to be named as Orton’s replacement.
Henry and Mysterio, who aren’t 100 percent healthy, are not ready to return to action yet, and it would be disastrous to risk further injury.
As for Del Rio and Christian, it would not make sense for either one of those two men to return only to lose at the Elimination Chamber.
We all know that either Daniel Bryan or Wade Barrett will walk out as the World Heavyweight Champion, so there is no need to have these main event-caliber superstars return only to lose. That would kill just about any momentum they would have coming off injury.
Then there are superstars like a Jack Swagger, Drew McIntyre, Hunico and Ted Dibiase.
Let’s face it: The SmackDown Elimination Chamber is already heel heavy.
Adding another heel will leave only Big Show and Great Khali as the two faces in the match.
Not only are those two limited when it comes to the ring, but it would be difficult for the crowd to become invested in the match.
Truthfully speaking, there is no other active mid-carder or “wild-carder” out there who can get the fans in attendance to make some real noise other than Santino.
If last night’s reaction was any indication, then Santino will have the crowd in the palm of his hand this Sunday.
Is Santino Marella a Suitable Replacement?
Sure, Santino is not the most athletic guy out there, but he will get the crowd going this Sunday so the viewers at home won’t have to witness a snooze fest.
Besides all that, is there anything really wrong with having Santino in the match?
I get that he is a laughing stock, but he provides a different dynamic.
Not everything has to be 100 percent strictly serious. A little humor in the world title scene is alright as long as it doesn’t become the norm.
Plus, when Santino hits the Cobra on Daniel Bryan this Sunday, the crowd will go absolutely nuts and just for a split second, the WWE Universe will wonder if the Italian Stallion can pull off the ultimate miracle.
It’s not like Santino will win this Sunday. So no need to panic, you Internet fans.
Just calm down and enjoy one of the more entertaining superstars work his magic.