All the odds seemed to be stacked against WWE Champion Randy Orton heading into his match against Big Show at Survivor Series, but "The Viper" managed to slither out of TD Garden in Boston with the title in tow on Sunday.
Fans didn't seem to be particularly enthralled by the prospects of Orton and Big Show headlining Survivor Series, but both men worked hard and did a nice job in the ring. Orton and Big Show seem to have pretty solid chemistry, but there is little doubt that most are hoping that the feud has reached its conclusion.
This result probably doesn't come as a huge surprise to many since Big Show is a veteran who doesn't need the title to bolster his credibility.
Orton captured the WWE Championship at SummerSlam when he successfully cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Daniel Bryan. He dropped the strap to Bryan at Night of Champions, but he recaptured it about six weeks later.
With Triple H and Stephanie McMahon behind him, Orton had all the tools necessary to dominate the main-event scene for months. Orton also had The Shield in his corner leading up to Survivor Series, but Triple H barred the dominant trio from interfering in the WWE Championship match.
Triple H and Stephanie questioned their decision to make Orton the face of the company after he initially lost to Bryan at Night of Champions, and the fact that he needed help from Shawn Michaels to beat Bryan at Hell in a Cell didn't exactly inspire a great deal of confidence.
Orton was attacked by Big Show on Raw in London, which resulted in The Viper getting chokeslammed through the announce table. The Authority was on vacation, and Orton certainly wasn't pleased. He asked them if they were committed to him the following week on Raw, and even though they said that they were, their actions suggested otherwise.
Even though Orton managed to keep the title, it remains to be seen if The Authority is firmly behind him. Considering how things went down on Sunday, it seems very possible that a rematch could be on tap for TLC. Triple H and Stephanie may firmly back Orton, but it could just as easily result in Big Show capturing the title next month.
Considering the fact Big Show doesn't need the WWE Championship at this point in his career, such a reign would almost certainly be transitional in nature. Who would he be transitioning the title to, though?
One very strong possibility is Triple H himself. "The Game" has talked a lot about whether or not Orton is the face of the company, and that could very well lead to Triple H ultimately deciding that the only person capable of owning that title is himself.
A Triple H vs. Big Show feud has been brewing, and it could boil over at Royal Rumble in a match for the WWE Championship. Fans may be sour when it comes to a part-time wrestler holding the WWE Championship after The Rock held it from Royal Rumble until WrestleMania early this year, but Triple H would be in an entirely different position.
He appears on WWE programming on a weekly basis, and there is no reason why he wouldn't be able to wrestle full-time for a couple months. That could include either a rematch against Big Show at Elimination Chamber or putting the WWE Championship on the line inside the chamber.
Add in Bryan reentering himself into the WWE Championship scene by winning the Royal Rumble, and it would set up a fantastic WrestleMania main event between Triple H and Bryan with Bryan going over.
It's possible the creative team will decide to give Orton a long title reign instead, but it's difficult to envision a feud involving Orton that would be as intriguing and meaningful as Triple H vs. Bryan.
Orton is the WWE champion for now, however, it doesn't seem as though his run with the belt is built to last.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter