There are a lot of reasons for it, but the Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton feud is at a far from an ideal place right now. In the latest development Sunday night, their match ended with no victor when Big Show knocked out both wrestlers as well as returning, mildly evil referee Scott Armstrong.
It was eerily reminiscent of the October PPV that took place 15 years ago, where the Kane vs. The Undertaker main event, also the vacant WWE Championship, ended with no decision when Steve Austin knocked both wrestlers out.
If WWE is saving a Daniel Bryan title win for Hell in a Cell, which is the obvious direction, why couldn't Randy Orton just win this match? Orton has yet to get a decisive win over Bryan during this feud. Bryan won their Raw match during the summer, which set him up as number one contender. At SummerSlam, Orton won the title from him thanks to Triple H's interference. At Night of Champions, Bryan ended up getting screwed out of the title by the fast count plot, but he beat Orton cleanly.
The problem with Bryan does not lie in him losing—under the right circumstances, he can lose. The problem was that he won the title twice before getting screwed out of it both times. It's not that he lost, or was even screwed out of the title per se, but he was screwed out of the title right after winning it. Wrestling fans can deal with their favorites losing if they win in the end, but pulling the rug out from under them two PPVs in a row is a completely different scenario.
Orton didn't even have to win cleanly! That's what makes it extra ridiculous. As long as they protected Bryan, he could have lost. Hell in a Cell is the blowoff, for crying out loud.
Everything that went wrong with last night's finish is also symptomatic of the current PPV schedule. While WWE has 12 PPVs scheduled this year, the pre-WrestleMania break and WrestleMania coming too late to double up in April meant that there would be a period with too many shows: September into October got the nod, with three shows in six weeks.
Should Randy Orton have won the WWE Championship last night?
If there was no Battleground PPV arbitrarily stuffed in between Night of Champions and Hell in a Cell with three weeks on each side, and Hell in a Cell wasn't arbitrarily required to be main evented by a Hell in a Cell match (as opposed to being named "Badd Blood" or something), the storyline would be a lot different. The big climactic endpoint wouldn't have to be at a specific PPV and WWE wouldn't be backed into one more Bryan vs. Orton match than was necessary.
If WWE really wanted to, they could still book a Hell in a Cell match every October. The key is that they wouldn't have to do it. Same thing with TLC in December. What difference does a name make to the fans if the same gimmick was headlining? The gimmick could be sold to ticket buyers long before the matches were announced, but how many of those fans would be skipping a WWE PPV if it came to town, anyway?
With Orton as a heel champion heading into the blowoff and all of the complications thrown out, I cannot possibly imagine a way in which this feud couldn't be better.