Last week on Raw, Vince McMahon stated that he wishes neither Daniel Bryan nor John Cena leave SummerSlam as the WWE champion. He finds Cena to have become old and boring while Bryan just doesn't have what it takes to be the face of his company.
If only there were some way a legitimate, proven and established main-event talent could leave SummerSlam with the title despite not participating in the match. Wait a minute. I see what you're getting at Vinnie Mac.
Randy Orton is currently roaming the WWE with a gaudy briefcase in hand, ready to cash in his shot at the title at a moment's notice. He's already confronted Cena, warning him that there won't be a courtesy call to let him know when the Viper is ready to strike.
An RKO and it's over. Orton will walk out of SummerSlam as the WWE champion, leaving both Bryan and Cena behind as McMahon laughs all the way to the bank.
Honestly, this is the best option for shaking up the WWE title scene. The addition of Daniel Bryan to the company's upper tier of challengers is a nice nod to the Internet Wrestling Community and it's passion for the former American Dragon. However, it still doesn't solve the problem of Cena not having an equal heel to combat.
Orton has been a crowd-favorite babyface for three years running. He hasn't crossed into smiling, happy, awe-shucks territory, maintaining his scowl and vicious demeanor. It's actually these traits that keep him over with both casual and smart fans alike.
Eventually, though, you can only run second to Cena for so long before needing a change of pace.
Orton and Cena have been rivals for years. They battled in a seemingly endless series of pay-per-view main events that left fans begging for a change. They moved the two in different directions before the crowd unexpectedly latched onto Orton during the Legacy storyline. Hearing the fans' call for a good-guy, ass-kicking Orton, they turned the Viper face at WrestleMania.
Despite being red-hot at the moment, they shipped Orton over to Smackdown and left him to effectively rot in upper midcard hell for the last few years. Sure, Orton has held the World Heavyweight title and feuded with Christian, Alberto Del Rio and The Shield, but nothing ever amounted to a major storyline that the WWE went to the wall to promote.
Now is the perfect time for him to step back up and present himself as Cena's equal.
I expect Daniel Bryan to win the WWE title at SummerSlam. It will most likely end in a small package roll-up in order to protect Cena. In standard awe-shucks, wins-and-losses-don't-matter, I'm-such-a-good-guy Cena manner, he'll raise Bryan's arm and award him the belt with a smile on his face.
That's when Orton slides in, RKOs Cena, levels Bryan, presents the ref with the briefcase, hits another RKO on Bryan and walks out the champ. Ideally, this would also be accompanied by Vince walking to the ring and raising Orton's hand. Orton is Vince's chosen golden boy.
This could lead to a triple threat at Night of Champions when Orton escapes with the belt, pinning Bryan, and ultimately a Hell in a Cell match between Cena and Orton. Preferably, Orton retains the belt for most of the fall before dropping it to CM Punk who faces Rumble winner Bryan at WrestleMania for the strap, but that's too much fantasy booking for one B/R column. I'll save it for my post-SummerSlam WrestleMania XXX predictions.