If you're not a fan of Randy Orton holding the WWE Championship, the next few months are going to be rough for you.
Every sign at the moment is pointing to Orton retaining the title all the way to WrestleMania, wherein he will most likely drop the title to CM Punk.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter (courtesy of WrestlingInc.com) has reported on rumors suggesting that WWE is planning to have this match take place at the biggest pay-per-view of the year, but the evidence doesn't stop there.
With Daniel Bryan being written out of the picture to fight alongside CM Punk against the Wyatt Family, it's safe to assume that this means Bryan will be doing other things rather than winning the title back any time soon.
It also gives us an insight into WWE's mindset in terms of the babyfaces that are important to it right now.
CM Punk is being grouped with Daniel Bryan to take away some of the momentum from Bryan.
This is not done to hinder Bryan but rather to help Punk. It also keeps him away from the title picture for now, as that's being saved for later.
While John Cena is trusted to go off on his own and do something else that will come to fruition later on when WWE thinks of it, the next logical step for the WWE Championship scene is to go with Big Show filling in Bryan's role as the contender to the title.
However, Big Show is more than just filling the role of contender. He's also fulfilling a different purpose as the rebound in response to the most recent Orton vs. Bryan feud.
Throughout their matches, Bryan was made to look like the better man in every situation. His first title loss came from a cheap Money in the Bank cash-in, which he subsequently followed up with another title victory, this time over Orton himself.
Orton, on the other hand, took the fall.
His cash-in victory was weak, his loss afterward was a negative, the draw at Battleground did him no favors, and his win at Hell in a Cell was only from interference, so it's also quite weak.
By now, Orton has little credibility in terms of his position at the top of the company, and he needs to earn it back.
That is where Big Show steps in. He will be the person that Randy Orton can defeat at Survivor Series and TLC in order to get a boost and look stronger.
They could have a third match at the Royal Rumble event, but that spot could easily go to someone else to keep things interesting.
That person, be it The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Cody Rhodes, whomever, will either have another solo title shot at Elimination Chamber or he will be featured amongst the other participants in the Elimination Chamber match itself.
It doesn't matter who the person is or what the lineup is, as Orton will retain either way.
Meanwhile, CM Punk will spend his time feuding with the Wyatt Family and the aftermath of a Royal Rumble victory.
This will be followed by a throwaway placeholder match at Elimination Chamber to give him something to do in the meantime while we wait for the build to WrestleMania to kick into gear.
As of right now, don't expect much interaction between Punk and Orton. They'll be kept apart so we aren't tired of them by the time WrestleMania comes around.
Once the Royal Rumble hits and not only is Orton successful in retaining his title, but Punk is able to get his title shot secured, we will start to see this feud formulate.
Many will be asking themselves where this leaves Daniel Bryan, but the obvious answer in turn is for him to have a match against Triple H—something that has been building for a while and has been foreshadowed with Triple H saying he would never have a match with him.
John Cena has been positioned to take charge of the World Heavyweight Championship situation, keeping him in a main event slot for the foreseeable future and heading into WrestleMania.
With The Undertaker's streak on the line (possibly against Brock Lesnar), Triple H and Daniel Bryan sorting out their issues, John Cena defending the World Heavyweight Championship against a top heel and Randy Orton facing off against CM Punk for the WWE title, WrestleMania will be adequately stacked as it should be.
The end of Triple H's oppression will take place at WrestleMania, which means Orton will drop the title to Punk, and Bryan will defeat Triple H. To balance it out so it isn't an entire event of babyfaces winning, John Cena will drop the World Heavyweight Championship to his heel opponent (who at this point, I would assume to be someone like Sheamus).
When all things are said and done, Orton will have had a title reign that lasted from Hell in a Cell to WrestleMania, which is lengthy enough for justification, and will have dropped it to a top babyface star that hasn't held the title in a while.
This will counterbalance things with a heel World Heavyweight champion and a babyface WWE champion—the opposite of what we have right now.
Anthony Mango is the owner-operator of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment as well as the host of its podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.
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