WWE SummerSlam Plans for Randy Orton, Matt Riddle; AJ Styles Criticizes Heyman

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2020

World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton poses for photographers during the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Super Showdown event in the Saudi Red Sea port city of Jeddah late on January 7, 2019. (Photo by Amer HILABI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read AMER HILABI/AFP via Getty Images)
AMER HILABI/Getty Images

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Orton vs. McIntyre Reportedly Planned for SummerSlam

Randy Orton has been on one of the most impressive runs of his career, and he is reportedly on the verge of entering into a major program for SummerSlam.

According to Louis Dangoor of WrestleTalk, WWE's likely plan is to have Orton challenge Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam in August.

Orton vs. Edge was reportedly in the works for SummerSlam originally, but Edge suffered a torn triceps in his loss to Orton at Backlash in the "Greatest Wrestling Match Ever." As a result, WWE has to go in a different direction with The Viper.

To some degree, Orton has reprised his former Legend Killer moniker in recent weeks. In addition to punting Edge at Backlash, Orton punted Christian on the following episode of Raw. He is also involved in a feud with Big Show that could lead to a match at Extreme Rules.

Once Orton finishes his program with Big Show, he will need something significant to sink his teeth into in order to maintain his momentum, and a feud with McIntyre certainly fits the bill.

McIntyre has been a dominant force since beating Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, and Orton is one of the few people on the roster who can believably go toe to toe with him and potentially beat him right now.

Orton doesn't necessarily need another title reign considering all he has accomplished, but he has undoubtedly earned it, and it wouldn't be at all surprising to see Orton take the championship from the Scottish Superstar.

Orton is firing on all cylinders in the ring and on the mic, and he may be exactly the type of opponent McIntyre needs in order to reach the next level in his own right as well.


Riddle Possibly Set to Face Styles at SummerSlam

After beating Intercontinental champion AJ Styles in his main roster debut, Matt Riddle may be in line for a title shot in the near future.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t H Jenkins of Ringside News), there has been talk of WWE doing Riddle vs. King Corbin at Extreme Rules with Riddle winning and then going on to face Styles for the title at SummerSlam.

Riddle scored a non-title win over The Phenomenal One a few weeks ago after Styles got distracted by Daniel Bryan, and Riddle then got involved in a feud with Corbin since he was among those who attacked Corbin following a loss to Jeff Hardy on SmackDown.

Last week, Riddle wanted to face Corbin after Corbin interrupted his promo, but he faced and defeated John Morrison instead. Now, all signs point toward a Riddle vs. Corbin match in the near future.

If the match happens at Extreme Rules rather than SummerSlam, Styles would make a ton of sense as Riddle's opponent at SummerSlam since they already have some built-in history.

The first match between Riddle and Styles was an entertaining one, and if they are given the time to impress on the pay-per-view stage, they would undoubtedly have the capability to steal the show.

WWE clearly sees big things in Riddle's future and is giving him a massive push early in his main roster run. A win over Styles for the IC title would take him to new heights, but even a loss in a competitive match could go a long way toward establishing him as a top star.


Styles Calls Heyman a 'Bold-Faced Liar'

A few weeks after rumors surfaced regarding the reasoning for Styles going from Raw to SmackDown, The Phenomenal One addressed them Thursday night.

Last month, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Raj Giri), reported that Styles was "furious" over Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson getting released from WWE in April and blamed then-Raw Executive Director Paul Heyman due to his belief that Heyman could've done more to prevent it from happening.

As a result, Styles reportedly asked to be moved from Raw to SmackDown in order to get away from Heyman.

Styles said the following about the situation on his Mixer stream Thursday (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Robert Gunier):

"When it came to the rumor about Paul Heyman and being upset with him because he didn't take up for Gallows and Anderson before they got released, that's not what it was at all. It's not even close. I'll give you a snippet of what me, Gallows, and Anderson already know—[Paul Heyman] is a liar. Now you know; I'm sure you've heard that before if you go back to his ECW days, you'll hear that. He's a bold-faced liar. So, that's my take on that. I will let Gallows and Anderson [add to it]."

Styles didn't clarify what he felt Heyman was lying about, although his comments suggest he may have believed it was Heyman who leaked the rumor about his move from Raw to SmackDown.

After nearly one year as Raw's Executive Director, Heyman was removed from the role last month and replaced by Bruce Prichard. Now, Heyman only has an on-screen role as Lesnar's advocate.

Regardless of the reason for it, Styles' move to SmackDown paid immediate dividends, as he won a tournament to become Intercontinental champion and is in something of a rivalry with Bryan at the moment.


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