Mark Henry retained the World Heavyweight Championship against Randy Orton at WWE Hell in a Cell on Sunday night. Orton took the World’s Strongest Slam from Henry, who then pinned "The Viper" to win the match.
Surprised by this one? I would dare say you’re not alone.
Most of the time, when a guy loses a match, it’s chalked up to just business as usual. Wins and losses are just a part of the game, and it’s expected for a worker to lose occasionally.
But in the world of WWE, there are two exceptions. One is John Cena, and the other is Orton.
Of course, Orton is not quite on the same level as John when it comes to being totally dominant in his matches, but he is a close number two.
After all, the last major feud he had was with Christian, and we all know how that turned out.
While Christian had come a long way in terms of being considered a serious main-event threat, the fact is that fans knew the deal from the first moment that Christian turned on Orton.
Christian’s run at the top of SmackDown was not strong, and the booking did him no favors. Most of the time, he looked weak, like a self-centered crybaby who was simply not talented enough to pin Orton cleanly.
No matter what advantage Christian had over "The Viper," it became painfully obvious that he was not on the same level as the man who is the face of WWE on Friday nights. Though the two had some great matches, Christian could simply not get it done without resorting to one underhanded tactic after another.
Christian may be a heel, but to not win one match without breaking the rules against the program’s top guy did very little to advance him in the eyes of the fans.
The fact is, it did the complete opposite.
So, when Henry soundly defeated Orton for the World Title at Night of Champions, fans were not only surprised, they were shocked.
Yes, Henry’s build-up to the match was huge, as he had never looked better in terms of his character. Henry had been booked as an unstoppable monster who was destroying everyone in his path, and Orton was the next victim on the list.
But, no matter how impressive his run was, the common opinion among many fans was that when he finally did get in the ring against Orton, everything would change.
Orton would take over, completely controlling the match, hit the RKO, and leave Henry lying in a pool of "what could have been."
But, to Orton’s credit, and the brilliant booking of Henry, the match came off quite differently, and "The World’s Strongest Man" had the upper hand through most of the contest.
When Henry hit his finisher on Orton, and then pinned him, with no effort by Orton to kick out, the realization that something big just happened was evident on the many shocked faces in attendance, and watching at home.
But, look out, Orton was getting his rematch at Hell in a Cell. This would have to be it, right? Obviously, WWE would come to their senses, and return Orton to the top of the mountain, where they feel he belongs.
But, Henry is now 2-0 against Orton. Once again, WWE has given fans something new to debate on.
What’s next for Orton?
A possible feud lies with Orton’s former Legacy teammate Cody Rhodes, who has just emerged from a series of matches with "The Viper." There is a lot of bad blood between these two, thus a lot to draw upon for a lengthy, significant feud.
Christian is another possibility, his rivalry with Sheamus could have been short lived, and perhaps he is headed back into a new program with Orton. But, considering Christian has lost against Orton one time, the chances of him being thrown back in the mix with Orton are likely slim to none.
Let’s face it, what’s next for Orton is what most fans believed was next at Hell in a Cell. Orton is headed back to the world championship. It is only a matter of time.
WWE does not make the commitment, putting all the time and effort into a Superstar, like they have with Orton, only to push him down to nothing. He will regain the belt, sooner or later.
Considering Orton’s vicious attack on Henry following their match in the cell, fans are surely expecting their heat to continue, with the World Title likely changing hands again sometime in the near future.
Orton is the "two" in the one-two punch of WWE. He is a solidified star who has become as synonymous with the World Title as John Cena has with the WWE Title. He has the whole world at this feet, and that does not look to change anytime soon.