What's Next for Randy Orton, Roman Reigns After WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 Results?

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2020

What's Next for Randy Orton, Roman Reigns After WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 Results?

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    Credit: WWE.com

    While Roman Reigns successfully retained the Universal Championship at Hell in a Cell 2020 against Jey Uso, Drew McIntyre wasn't as lucky when he put his WWE Championship on the line.

    The third time was the charm for Randy Orton, who now stands tall as the new WWE champion.

    Drastic ramifications will likely come out of those results: rosters will change considerably, Survivor Series plans will be directly influenced and they may have effects all the way through WrestleMania 37.

    While anything can happen in WWE and the company often books things with no plans of where to go thereafter, let's try to predict what's next for Raw's and SmackDown's top champions.

The Usos Must Fall in Line

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    Credit: WWE.com

    One consequence from Hell in a Cell we have known since Friday's SmackDown was what Jey Uso had to lose heading into his title shot.

    Reigns established that once Uso quit, he would have two options: either fall in line and follow orders or continue to rebel and be kicked out of the family.

    Since WWE can't produce vignettes every week showing The Usos not being invited to Sunday dinner because Reigns shunned them, the disowning angle can't exactly play out on television.

    Instead, now that Afa and Sika have recognized Reigns as The Tribal Chief, we should see an immediate end to the power struggle.

    Reigns has control over The Usos, and from this point on, he will start to use them as sacrificial lambs to take punishment for him, as well as likely order them to help him to win matches.

    The Usos may do this reluctantly at first, but a full-blown heel turn will be necessary sooner or later. Reigns may even instruct them to go after the SmackDown Tag Team Championship once Jimmy is cleared to compete.

The Survivor Series Conundrum

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Normally, the biggest prediction out of a pay-per-view is to guess which Superstars will become the next challengers for the titles.

    This time, with Survivor Series so close (Nov. 22), it isn't quite as simple as looking at the rosters and picking the next-best opponent.

    In the past few years, WWE has used the November classic as a means to pit Raw and SmackDown against each other in the traditional five-on-five elimination matches as well as have the champions of both brands in competition.

    Last year, a twist occurred, with NXT added to the mix. However, WWE copped out on having Brock Lesnar vs. Adam Cole vs. Bray Wyatt and booked those three to defend their titles.

    The current NXT champion, Finn Balor, is out of action with a broken jaw with no timetable for his return revealed. His injury could clear up in time for this show or keep him out of the ring.

    With Orton and Reigns as heel champions, along with an injured Balor acting as a tweener, it's a guarantee WWE goes with the titles on the line again rather than have these champions face each other.

    McIntyre vs. Reigns would have worked fine with or without Balor. Orton vs. Reigns is a no-go.

    Even if Raw, NXT and SmackDown face off in every other match on the card, you can bet on Orton and Reigns defending their belts rather than testing their mettle against their counterpart.

Who Fights Randy Orton at Survivor Series?

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    Credit: WWE.com

    A big problem with Orton winning the WWE Championship is that the 2020 WWE draft positioned far more heels on the roster to be options for McIntyre to feud with rather than babyfaces for The Viper to go up against.

    WWE does like to beat things into the ground with repetition, though, so it wouldn't be shocking if the game plan is just to have yet another match between Orton and McIntyre or Keith Lee.

    Outside of that, who else is there to pick from?

    AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Mr. Money in the Bank The Miz, John Morrison, Sheamus, everyone in The Hurt Business and Retribution are all heels, so they wouldn't be proper fits to challenge Orton. Short of one of them turning face specifically for this reason, they are out of the running.

    Once you eliminate those who are too far down the pecking order for a title shot, like Akira Tozawa, Lince Dorado and Titus O'Neil, as well as The New Day since they're tag team champions, that leaves only two people left to pick from: Jeff Hardy and Matt Riddle.

    Hardy just made his feud with Elias even stronger by hitting him with a guitar Sunday. That's not ending soon enough for The Charismatic Enigma to be built up as Orton's next challenger. Riddle, meanwhile, seems to be feuding with The Phenomenal One.

    It may sound farfetched, but if the plan is to have Orton defend the belt against anyone other than McIntyre or Lee and no heels turn babyface before November 22, the only other logical guess is The Undertaker.

    This event marks The Deadman's 30th anniversary in WWE, and marketing material for the PPV heavily features his iconography.

    Perhaps WWE's plan is to book The Legend Killer against The Phenom, which would explain why his name was brought up recently as someone Orton had feuded with inside Hell in a Cell years ago.

    The Undertaker has given no indication he's returning to wrestle, but a match against Orton would draw more eyes than if The Viper were heading toward an obvious victory in a rushed feud or a generic rematch.

Who Fights Roman Reigns at Survivor Series?

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Much like how Raw doesn't have enough babyfaces available to challenge Orton, SmackDown suffers from the same problem, leaving Reigns with few contenders.

    The two top babyfaces on the brand are Daniel Bryan and Kevin Owens, who started a tag team Friday. Switching one of them out of that story to be fed to Reigns would be an odd move.

    It was a stretch for Otis to be a serious challenger for Reigns when he was Mr. Money in the Bank. Now that he's lost that briefcase, that's even less feasible.

    Plus, Otis should theoretically feud with Tucker next, despite his former teammate being on the opposite brand. If not, he's drawn the ire of Sami Zayn as of late and would be a better fit gunning for the Intercontinental Championship than the universal title.

    The Mysterio family-Seth Rollins feud is seemingly never-ending, so that takes them out of the equation.

    Lars Sullivan is a heel, along with most others on the brand like King Corbin, and no matter how much of an upgrade Chad Gable has now that he's dropped the Shorty G nickname, he's not going to fight Reigns for the gold.

    WWE either has to bring in someone like Goldberg for a guest spot or hope that enough can be done in the coming weeks to build Big E as the next challenger. He's the only option left.

    Given those two scenarios, the bigger match would undoubtedly be Goldberg, but WWE hasn't hinted at that. Don't get your hopes up, as that's pure speculation.

What Happens in the Weeks Before Survivor Series?

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    Roman Reigns may just take a seat for a few weeks and do not much of anything at all.
    Roman Reigns may just take a seat for a few weeks and do not much of anything at all.Credit: WWE.com

    Don't be surprised if both Orton and Reigns have an uneventful few weeks.

    WWE treated Hell in a Cell like the event's three namesake matches were all that mattered. Outside of The Miz winning the Money in the Bank briefcase, everything else on the card didn't need to exist.

    This shows the creative team's mentality is still firmly of the opinion that if there's one selling point to a show, its job is done.

    Since Survivor Series will be built on the brand competition, the following weeks of Raw and SmackDown—as well as NXT if that roster is included—will consist largely of teasing that rather than focusing on championship matches.

    This week will be all about fallout from Hell in a Cell. Then it will be time to establish new No. 1 contenders.

    The following two weeks could feature something as simple as confrontations between the champions and their challengers, followed by random tag team matches or something as worthless as contract signing dust-ups.

    It would be shocking if WWE bothered doing anything but the bare minimum of riding Hell in a Cell's repercussions to make Survivor Series one of the better events of the year.

    Hopefully that prediction is wrong and there are some interesting twists and turns facing the champions in the coming weeks, but don't set your expectations too high.


    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.