The fire between Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan is the kind you let burn for months, staring into the crackling flames with awe.
It's a feud too captivating to end at Night of Champions. It deserves multiple chapters and ample time to develop as it has the potential to be the best feud of the year, and can elevate several Superstars at the same time.
Done right, The Shield, Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz and others could all benefit from the momentum of this rivalry.
The river of that narrative is set to diverge and WWE has a number of tributaries to travel. The battle for the WWE Championship and the right to become the face of the franchise can either become a story of revolution, an arduous journey to glory or a champion surviving.
A War To End It
Both he and Stephanie McMahon had the giant in tears, as he struggled to decide whether to put money or morals first. The tension building from that story could explode on a much larger scale.
Should Orton leave Night of Champions still champion by way of some Triple H-led assistance, an intriguing storyline could be a Superstar-led mutiny.
Ziggler and other Superstars have so far been scared into silence, but should they join forces against Orton, Triple H and The Shield, WWE suddenly has a wrestling war to showcase.
With the first-ever Battleground pay-per-view following Night of Champions, this would be the perfect opportunity for those two forces to collide.
This is an opportune time to integrate a War Games-type match. The corporation versus the rebels is not only an exciting option but one that highlights a large number of Superstars all at once.
For Miz, fighting the corrupt McMahon regime would be a huge step up from tangling with Fandango. For a guy like Barrett, he can be a loyal McMahon goon rather than sit on the sidelines. This allows WWE to add freshness to Orton and Bryan's feud while expanding the company's options.
Someone can turn on their allies and new feuds can be created from all the bad blood swirling between the ropes.
The Punishment From The Journey
Alternatively, Triple H can play the tormentor, setting bear traps along Bryan's path to the championship.
Should Bryan lose at Night of Champions, The Game can announce that Bryan doesn't deserve another shot. This could be especially infuriating if Orton's win came courtesy of interference.
To get back to being a top contender, Bryan will have to go through a number of obstacles, each one increasingly difficult to overcome.
Perhaps Triple H books a tournament at Battleground or over the course of several episodes of Raw to determine the No. 1 contender for the WWE title. Maybe he forces Bryan to first beat Ryback, Roman Reigns or even himself to earn another chance to challenge Orton.
Bryan's trials will have him rely on his guts, a bit of luck and perhaps an assist from a friend or two. Even if the majority of fans predict that Bryan will make it through his odyssey, WWE can create plenty of suspense and doubt along the way.
Orton then stands as Bryan's final test, awaiting him inside the Hell in a Cell for a climactic showdown.
The Champion Refusing To Be Caught
Bryan winning back the title seems like the hardest part of his current trek, but perhaps WWE makes him keeping the championship the more difficult task. Bryan could win the championship back at Night of Champions and promptly become the hunted.
The story then becomes how Triple H and Orton make life hell for him.
The new champ would be put in one disadvantageous situation after another, being asked to defend the title far more often than the norm and being forced into dangerous matches where he is sent crashing through tables and beaten with kendo sticks. Bryan survives each time much the way he did during his world title run.
Even when it looks most dire for him, he finds a way out, inciting another round of "Yes!" chants.
This is a chance to have Orton look increasingly vicious as he skirts around the rules and around morality. The Viper can be made to be the predator and Bryan the elusive prey.
This scenario can end with Orton failing to recapture the title in the Hell in a Cell or perhaps stretched all the way to December where Bryan fends Orton off one final time in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match.
Regardless of what direction WWE takes with this story, fans will be tuned in, slid to their edge of the seats. The question will be can the company maximize the potential of this rivalry. Will Orton versus Bryan fizzle out or become an inferno we can't keep our eyes off?