Ian Malone vs Kevin Stonebarger
Best Rivalry in WWE Today
Once upon a time in WWE, we were treated to some of the greatest feuds and rivalries we have ever seen.
Rock vs Austin, Hardyz vs Dudleyz vs Edge and Christian, Cena vs Edge and Jericho vs Michaels.
These are just some of the great rivalries that WWE had once managed to produce for us, giving us quality programming week in and week out.
In this day and age, the WWE has lost any intention to retain the freshness of its product. In case you missed my point, the WWE has recycled numerous feuds over the space of two years.
WWE has lost the art of creating a great feud, there in no doubt about it.
Half the time they fail to create a story compelling enough. When they do, they screw it up in the ring and we completely lose interest—and quite a few of the feuds they have are rehashed and have been done before in the past.
And then there are rivalries that have been horrible and gone on way too long, an example being Cole vs Lawler.
It’s not hard to wonder why WWE is not as popular as it had once been.
But one rivalry has managed to stand out as the best rivalry in WWE today—and perhaps of the year.
I am, of course, talking about Randy Orton vs Christian.
This feud began when Orton beat Christian for the World Title, just five days after Christian won it for the first time in his career. This event caused a huge uproar amongst the fans. They felt Christian was screwed in favor of Orton, and that he would be dropped back down to mid-card.
There is a good chance that there was no plan other than to get the title on Orton.
But WWE has managed to turn this all into one of the best angles and rivalries in recent WWE memory.
Is it the popular choice for this topic? Indeed.
Is that why I chose it? No way in hell.
The reason I chose it is because it has captured my full attention and has had me watching Smackdown each week, just dying to see what happens next in this rivalry. It’s not just because of what the characters are doing, but because of the story that is being told. And that is a major point of this feud’s success.
In the sea of WWE mediocrity, we almost never see quality storytelling. Most is just thrown together or doesn’t make sense. But this feud has managed to rise above all that and create a compelling story.
The story these two have created is such a simple one, yet it has been told so well—and elevated beyond it’s usual standard.
For 17 years Christian fought tooth and nail to reach his goal, his boyhood dream of being World Heavyweight Champion. He has had to overcome lack of faith from Vince McMahon and WWE, untimely injuries and being viewed as just a “good worker.” In his fight to the top he has earned the respect and admiration of many fans around the world.
And when Christian won the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules, it was one of the most emotional and feel-good moments ever for the fans. He finally achieved his boyhood dream.
But it all came crashing down as Orton defeated Christian just five days later to become champion, in a match the live audience voted for. The Internet practically exploded in anger and rage, as hatred for Orton reached an all-time high—close to the level of Cena hatred.
Twitter, Facebook and other social media overflowed with hate messages to WWE and Orton about how they screwed Christian over and took away his dream.
The emotion that this has all sparked has been absolutely amazing, and it has added to the drama and realism that this rivalry now possesses. It helped put over the event and subsequent feud, and has truly defined the line between being a fan of Orton or a critic and hater.
Orton and Christian’s feud has gone through such an amazing, logical and organic evolution that it has been completely believable—something rarely seen in WWE rivalries today.
When this all began, Christian remained calm, confident and respectful to Orton. He was so sure he could beat Randy Orton when he was 100% and prepared and be able to relive his dream, with the fans cheering him on the whole way.
But Christian lost. He just could not beat Orton with the title on the line.
No matter what he threw at Orton, Christian always fell after one RKO.
Seeds of doubt and frustration slowly began to creep into Christian as his failures began to pile up and the fans continued to cheer for Orton, despite what he had done to Christian's dreams.
It was only a matter of time before Christian snapped.
The result: A classic belt shot right to the skull of Orton.
That belt shot would be the moment that would define this feud and propel it to the next level.
Christian's transformation into a bitter, selfish complainer, obsessed with not only becoming World Champion but also beating Orton for that very title has been amazing. It has been so built-up, organic and completely believable.
And what makes it even better is that he has every right to be bitter and frustrated.
From being forced to defend the title five days after he won it to losing a match to Orton despite having his foot under the bottom rope, Christian has been screwed so many times that we cannot blame him for turning his back on us.
Christian's heel turn has basically added a whole new level of intrigue. His dream has turned into an obsession that he desperately tries to cling onto it as long as he can.
Orton, stabbed in the back by someone he once respected, has now made it his personal goal to make sure not only that Christian never becomes World Champion again, but to one-up and beat him...every single time.
It is all about being the better man in this one, and that has been displayed on so many levels of intrigue.
But there are other rivalries that have the storytelling and build that Orton/Christian has, like Miz vs Riley. So what makes this feud the cream of the crop?
That is what has made this feud so much better than the rest, and will probably propel itself to be among the greatest of feuds.
The past three matches that these two have given us have been absolute classics. They have stolen the show each time they have been in the ring, giving us PPV quality matches.
Hell, they're match at Over the Limit is a Match of the Year candidate.
And what makes it even better is that they don't need gimmicks or stipulations added to their matches to make them that good. The chemistry they have with one another is completely crazy.
A great feud needs not only a great storyline, but also amazing matches. They need to deliver in the ring or the feud will fall flat on its face, losing all of its built up momentum.
Randy Orton vs Triple H at Wrestlemania 25 had one of the greatest builds ever. But the match failed to deliver on that build, leaving the fans asking "That's all?"
If it had delivered, their rivalry would probably be considered one of the best of all time.
Orton and Christian is the best total package feud that the WWE has given us in recent memory, with a great storyline and amazing matches.
Not only that, but the feud has also seen a large success.
It has helped Christian get over as main-event star on Smackdown. If he had not feuded with Orton, he would have dealt with many small-time competitors—like Rey Mysterio's reign in 2006.
But he is going toe-to-toe with the 2nd biggest star of the company and has more then held his own against the Viper. He has proven to everyone that he is more than capable of being in the main-event, and probably wouldn't have without this feud.
This feud has carried the Smackdown brand throughout the months. It has gotten so much build and momentum that the only appropriate place to end it is at this year's Summerslam.
When a feud goes on as long as this has and seemingly has to end at Summerslam—the 2nd biggest PPV of the year—that's when you know you have an amazing feud.
Now, while many might say I picked the easy choice in this competition, I did it because in my mind it is truly the best.
No other feud comes close to the magic this one has produced, and while it may have several flaws, the success and benefits greatly overshadow them.
This is the total package, and has been the bright gem in a sea of stones.
If Orton vs Christian does not win feud of the year I'll be as shocked as hell.
Randy Orton vs Christian, the best rivalry in WWE today.