Friday, May 6th, 2011.
This date will remain synonymous with one of the most infamous events in WWE History. The date not only marks the night Randy Orton began his eighth World Championship reign.
It also marks the day the WWE swept in and stole our hopes and dreams. The night the WWE sparked outrage among the majority of the Internet Wrestling Community with the news of a simple title win.
On Sunday night, Christian finally won the big one.
Captain Charisma finally climbed the mountain top (or shall I say ladder) to the richest prize in sports entertainment. Fans across the globe were ecstatic for Christian’s win.
After multiple years in Edge’s shadow, Christian finally shined bright as he held the World Title high. Shortly afterwards, Christian embraced his best friend, as if it was displaying the notion, finally.
A longtime veteran of the WWE, most of us felt Christian deserved this title win years ago. With no visible flaws, Christian was one of few WWE Superstars who could lay claim to the notion, total package. The charisma, in ring ability, and popularity among the WWE Universe seemingly guarantees a World Title reign.
Rumors of a grudge held by Vince McMahon seemingly murdered any chance of Christian winning the World Title. A short tenure in a small company based out of Nashville, Tennessee would play an important factor in Christian’s retention in the mid card.
In a sick twist of fate, Edge was forced to retire, leaving Alberto Del Rio without an opponent for the Extreme Rules ladder match.
Christian quickly replaced Edge after an over the top rope battle royal. Christian won the Ladder match after an assist by Edge himself.
The fans predicted a one month title at the least. When Randy Orton defeated Christian on this week’s Smackdown, it sent the IWC into an uncontrollable rage. Fans sent Randy Orton and the WWE’s Twitter pages disparaging remarks and complained of Christian’s short reign as Champion.
Orton responded, claiming that the WWE Fans chose him as the opponent for Christian.
Other wrestling personalities such as Y2J and Joey Styles also responded to angry fans. Styles attempted using sarcastic humor which was properly met with more insults from fans.
Jericho claimed the title switch could’ve alluded to bigger and better plans from the WWE. Jericho’s response mimicked a number of B/R Writers who felt it was done to turn Christian heel.
As a fan who has observed the transformation of Orton since WM of last year, I’ve already witnessed the things to come.
The vs. Orton Effect
Since turning face last year, Randy Orton has become the WWE’s biggest star behind John Cena. Orton was involved in almost every WWE Title match in 2010 and became an edgier alternative to John Cena. The thing is, Orton wasn’t losing. Besides Jack Swagger and Wade Barrett, Randy Orton hasn’t been pinned cleanly since his face turn.
The Elimination Chamber loss to Punk and MITB cash in by The Miz is noteworthy. But both occurrences involved a considerably high amount of controversy. The loss of the little charisma he possessed, high frequency of wins, and a better win loss ratio than Cena spelled out one thing.
Randy Orton was the second coming of John Cena.
Orton was subject to a feud with CM Punk which ended in Punk losing all three encounters. Being that Punk is considered the best all-around WWE Superstar by the majority, a clean win over Orton wasn’t as far-fetched. But like Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Edge, and Chris Jericho before him, Punk fell to the Viper.
It’s hard to ignore that Orton is near impossible to defeat at this point.
Being that he was moved to Smackdown to replace Edge and is a huge draw as a face, the chances of Orton turning heel are slim. The chances of Christian actually winning a match against Orton are below zero.
Randy Orton and his victims
While Orton has his detractors, he has an equal amount of defenders. Most of his fans claimed that Orton wasn’t to blame but the WWE itself. It’s no secret that the WWE doesn’t have faith in Christian. No Creative member considers Christian a main event performer in the WWE. While those reasons are certainly substantial and hard to ignore, the detractors also carry a reasonable explanation.
Orton is known for his whining and complaining backstage. Kofi Kingston and Ken Anderson are prime examples of the Orton effect backstage. While I won’t go into detail (you should already know), it’s extremely difficult to deny that Orton has pull backstage. Let’s say Orton is upset that he’s being moved to the Smackdown.
Raw seemed like the perfect place for a performer of Orton’s standards. A move to the B Show could spell trouble for Orton and his rising popularity. The WWE decides to sweeten the deal by having Smackdown revolve around Orton and immediately hand him the World Title.
Orton’s a bigger draw than Christian, why not? Why not give the title to the lesser talented Superstar?
Why not crush the dreams of a veteran to succeed in this cut throat business of professional wrestling?
I’m not saying this is true but we have to admit that it’s a high possibility.
Out with the old, in with the new
Now that Randy Orton and John Cena both rein as the Champions of the WWE, it’s almost frightening to predict the future. With John Cena seemingly set to hold the WWE Championship until WrestleMania 28, a simultaneous reign by Orton on Smackdown will send the hate meter flying through the roof.
Win after win, title reign after title reign, contender after contender; it seems as if Orton and Cena will run through the WWE Locker Room.
We should note that Cena hadn’t been WWE Champion in almost a year and The Miz had run out of contender worth faces. With the numbers down, it was almost certain that Cena would regain the WWE Championship. Orton, on the other hand, has no worthy contenders besides Christian.
Let’s take a look at the possible contenders.
Sheamus? How many times have we seen this scenario in 2010? Cody Rhodes? Possible but McMahon doesn’t consider Rhodes a top level Superstar. Sin Cara? The WWE wouldn’t want to ruin the momentum of Triple H’s latest project.
Daniel Bryan? Remains a face and has no current direction. Mark Henry? Used as a jobber since the end of his ECW Championship reign. Ted Dibiase? Considering his treatment as of late, a feud with Orton wouldn’t register as believable.
This leaves Wade Barrett and each member of the Corre. Barrett has taken on Orton a number of times and the others don’t have the star power or charisma to face Orton in a main event title match.
In case you’ve completely missed my point, I’m stating that the WWE should attempt to push more fresh faces to the top card. The WWE will never know when one of their top guys goes down with an injury or something of that nature. Take Edge’s retirement as an example.
WWE Fans will grow tired of seeing Orton headline each ppv and will eventually turn on him like Cena.
Conclusion: a prelude of things to come?
Let’s restate the obvious shall we? Orton’s on Smackdown and will eventually become the John Cena of the b show. Christian will never win the World Championship again. If Christian turns heel, Orton will squash him in a series of matches.
Orton has pull backstage and is known to complain about others. Fan’s will eventually grow tired of Orton and hate him more than John Cena.
The moral of the story is that logical WWE Fans aren’t mad because Orton ended Christian’s reign prematurely. Fans are angry because of what Orton’s win means for the WWE.
We’re angry because the errors of the past have taught us to see through the smoke and mirrors of pro wrestling. Fans are upset that the WWE is trying to create John Cena 2.0.
In the end, each WWE Fan awaits the day the WWE gives other Superstars opportunities. They don’t want to see Cena and Orton rule the WWE with their superhuman abilities and invincibility. Christian’s loss exposed the things to come and from the first sight, the future is dim.