As soon as I learned that Randy Orton was going to square-off against The Undertaker, I got a little disappointed.
Which is a shame because anytime I get to see my favorite wrestler compete against a Legend of Legends, I should be excited.
Yet with the past setting the precedent, I prepared myself for Randy Orton to get humiliated...again.
While many people may not have noticed, I have subtly picked up on The Undertaker's refusal to allow Randy Orton to remain competitive against him.
Not years ago, back then, The Undertaker went above and beyond the call of duty to put Orton over time and time again. He helped lay the foundation of what would become Randy Orton's ever-impressive resume.
For that, Randy Orton owes The Undertaker a debt of gratitude.
And if you've ever heard Orton talk out of character in interviews, you can tell just how much he respects "The Dead Man".
But in recent years, I had begun to see a progressive change that would prove to be disturbing to Ortonites world-wide.
It seemed as though every time Randy Orton and The Undertaker ended up in the same ring, Orton was headed for a beating for which he had no means to defend himself.
Three specific instances come to mind, and you'd have to YouTube the matches to see what I'm talking about.
There was the six-man tag match with Orton, Kane, & JBL taking on The Undertaker, Triple H, & John Cena.
Right off the bat, the teams appear to be a little unfair but that's beside the point.
The few times Orton got in the ring with the Undertaker, he simply couldn't hold his own.
The other two instances came during the 2009 Royal Rumble match and their one on one singles match on Raw leading up to Wrestlemania .
Both times Orton failed to look anything even closely resembling of an equal competitor.
While we are only talking about three instances, it bothered me.
It bothered me because of the respect that I've always had for The Undertaker (my feelings regarding his character aside). When my favorite Superstar got in the ring with someone of his caliber, I paid attention to what happened.
Could you imagine if every time Triple H and The Undertaker got in the ring, you kept seeing Triple H get beat on without delivering any punishment himself?
It would strike you.
But last night's match on Raw was quite different.
While their confrontation only lasted a few minutes, I was impressed with both competitors.
With the exception of both of them throwing punches without the proper force and execution, the work between the two of them was solid.
For once, it was 50/50 instead of 80/20.
Both men were going blow for blow, move for move, and the match was exactly what it should have been.
Even had Orton lost, if they continued to structure the match in a fair and balanced way, I would still have had something to good to say about it.
Much like I enjoyed the Orton/Cena match, with the exception of its conclusion...obviously.
But it’s rare to be able to see a guy (who isn't huge) go blow for blow with The Undertaker.
Orton found a way to mix his "viper-like" tactics with intense aggression, which complimented The Undertaker's style well.
The fact that The Undertaker was willing to work (even a few minutes) this way was impressive to me.
While it might seem like a small thing, it helped make up for the inequality present over the past few years and helped deliver a satisfying (yet short) match.
For that Undertaker, you've earned my respect.