As WWE fans know, Randy Orton's unified championship loss came back on April 6 at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans. The match also featured the No. 1 contender Batista, as well as the man that won the WWE world title, Daniel Bryan.
And even though Orton's nearly six-month reign came to an end at the showcase of the immortals, the fact is that it's not over for him. That's because in the grand scheme of things, his WrestleMania loss does not hurt his standing in the company.
Fans likely expected Orton to perhaps drop in WWE's pecking order after coming up short at WrestleMania. After all, he had been The Authority's chosen champion since SummerSlam back in 2013 and in all that time, he had been the mainstay main event star.
Though his relationship with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon had seen its fair share of ups and downs, Randy had always been the top choice over Daniel Bryan. Bryan was the man that had come up the hard way, fighting his way from the bottom of the ladder to become the star that so many fans believed he could be.
Yet the McMahon family did not want any part of that feelgood story in regards to WWE's top spot. For The Authority, Bryan was nothing more than a B+ player and Randy Orton was the man truly deserving of their support.
And during his run, Randy turned in some good performances against Bryan. He had played the part of the spoiled champion and held up his end of the rivalry in terms of overall entertainment value. Orton was the antagonist that Bryan needed; he was the perfect tool for The Authority to use to ensure Bryan was kept down as far as possible.
Randy delivered in every way that mattered and was the best heel for the storyline. To expect him to stay at that level and not take a step back as Daniel begins his title run seemed like wishful thinking for Orton's fans. They surely expected he would drop down once again until the time was right to elevate him once again.
But truth be told, his loss to Bryan does not damage his character or his place in WWE. Daniel became so red hot after SummerSlam in 2013 that his eventual championship win and victory over The Authority was practically a forgone conclusion.
Basically, Randy was just keeping the belt warm until the time was right for Daniel to finally take it.
It's mainly because of that reason that fans should not be surprised Orton has not slipped right back down the ladder. Randy did his job as a transitional champion from John Cena to Daniel Bryan and he looked very good in the process. With that being the case, there's really no reason for Orton to perhaps fall down to mid-card status.
And even though he was portrayed as the whining, protected Superstar with an overwhelming sense of entitlement, Randy was clearly in a holding pattern while Daniel fought to beat the odds. Orton seemed to be destined to lose the championship from the very beginning.
As far as what happened after WrestleMania 30, Orton was paired with his triple-threat opponent in a tag team match. Batista joined Randy against The Usos for the tag team championships and even though they did not win the gold, seeing them together likely got the wheels turning in the minds of some.
Were fans witnessing a new day for Evolution?
The possibility of Orton and Batista together is an intriguing one, especially if Triple H were at the helm calling the shots. Since The New Age Outlaws are seemingly nowhere to be found and The Shield have turned on The Authority, it could be that Orton and Batista will join together to defend the corporate machine of WWE.
If that happens, then Orton will remain at a very high level. He will continue to be heavily featured on WWE programming due to his direct association with The Authority and due to his past heat with Daniel Bryan. If anything, losing to Bryan has actually improved Orton's chances of staying in and around the main event scene without the burden of the WWE World Championship to carry until the next guy takes it from him.
Randy Orton may not be WWE World Champion anymore but the fact is that his standing in the company has not been negatively affected. He will surely remain a top Superstar, likely involved with the top storyline in WWE.
He has not lost any ground and that will probably not change anytime soon.