Both seemingly stuck without a plan or storyline heading into SummerSlam season, Randy Orton and Rusev have apparently decided to butt heads with one another.
WWE announced a match between the Bulgarian Brute and the Viper on Tuesday's SmackDown Live for the upcoming pay-per-view:
The booking essentially came out of nowhere, with Orton responding to Rusev's desire for a challenge after defeating Chad Gable in a one-on-one match Tuesday. Orton had just come off a months-long feud with Jinder Mahal and the recently returning Rusev lost in a Flag match to John Cena at Battleground.
There really is not all that much to say here. This seems like a transition feud for both guys and a match that could be relegated to the pre-show.
Orton may have the least amount of forward momentum of any main event star in the company at the moment. His feuds with Mahal and Bray Wyatt have ranked among the worst in the company this year, both featuring uninspiring work rates and convoluted match types that didn't do much to help matters.
Rusev has been kind of in limbo since returning from injury, with WWE separating him from Lana once again and not really giving him much storyline rope. The Cena-Rusev mini feud was a by-the-numbers Cena vs. anti-American competitor they've done countless times, and their blow-off Flag match paled in comparison to some of their previous work together.
The Rusev-Orton combination is, thankfully, something that's not been done hundreds of times in the past. So that's something to look forward to. But there doesn't appear to be much reason for these two getting together other than getting them on the SummerSlam card.