The Ultimate Reward for Randy Orton, By @TheCiaranJames

 The Viper Vs The Beast, August 2016

In the early summer months of 2016 it was rumoured that Randy Orton would be clashing with Brock Lesnar upon his return to the main roster, it was scheduled for Summerslam. The match itself was the main event, it was treated as such by the WWE hype machine and the lyrical genius Paul Heyman, quite surprisingly though the card also featured Styles/Cena and the inaugural WWE Universal title match. By Summerslam quite a portion of the audience believed Brock Lesnar had outstayed his welcome, his performances at the previous Wrestlemania received backlash, and many thought Orton could win the bout. The match had the big fight feel, despite your feelings on either man they have earned their spots and paid their dues in the business, both are respected ring generals and deserved the spot. The result was what we all deep down knew, however it was the way Lesnar prevailed that was most controversial, after a few minutes of back and forth action Brock started to pummel Orton. The former 12 time World Champion was soon a bloody mess, Lesnar was declared the winner by TKO as Orton lay seemingly unconscious on the mat.

 

A Wyatt, Autumn 2016 

The controversy at Summerslam ended the Orton/Lesnar feud, both has been drafted to their respected brands and new challenges lay ahead. For Orton the next chapter of his career would include fellow third generation superstar Bray Wyatt, after seemingly being at odds with one another and with Randy not gaining an advantage over the Wyatt’s, he chose instead to side with them. Both Randy & Bray’s respective careers had slumped in recent years, therefore by teaming the two what harm could come? The audience seemed to accept the alliance, Randy and the Wyatt family had never been more over, the company got behind them so much that they surprisingly captured the tag team titles from the popular Heath Slater & Rhyno. Many surmised that this would eventually lead to the inevitable Orton/Bray spit, however it did not, and after a few weeks of holding the titles they dropped them to American Alpha. The loss however did cause a rift, but it was between Harper and Orton who couldn’t get along no matter what Bray attempted to do, eventually it was decided that the family members would sort their issues in the ring. Unfortunately for Harper he couldn’t keep his temper which forced the hand of Bray, he struck his long-time brother and took the side of Orton.

 

The Reward, Royal Rumble, January 2017

Since his return in 2012 Brock Lesnar has steamrolled everyone, it used to be that if you took a loss it would be repaid down the road. There have been many rumours over the years of talent not being happy after doing the job and not gaining retribution in the future, Shawn Michaels, CM Punk, Bret Hart are just a few who have commented. This leads me to think that Orton’s selfless behaviour over the last six months is the reason he was chosen as the Rumble winner. In his own right Randy Orton is a WWE legend, after nearly two decades in the business he has become the consummate professional and a respected ring general. His loss to Brock Lesnar was shocking at Summerslam but it was not the problem, it was the way in which he lost, the decorated WWE superstar was left a bloody mess. Following that he was paired up with then lukewarm act Bray Wyatt, together they have become one of the top acts on SDLive and one of the main storylines coming out the Rumble. In the days before the Rumble when all spotlights were on everyone else the odds for Orton winning the Rumble went up, few were surprised but as rumoured he emerged victorious with a fixed Wrestlemania main event opportunity against the WWE champion.

 

Loss for a Gain

It’s been two years since Orton held championship gold, since then he has feuded with and put over a number of WWE superstars, in the last decade there has been no one as selfless as Randy Orton. When Brock needed reheating after his mediocre display at Wrestlemania Orton obliged, when the Wyatt family needed legitimising Orton obliged. No matter critic or fan opinion, Randy has now moved into the elite league of guys who fans have too much respect for, whether it’s his music or an RKO the audience erupt. WWE could be criticised for taking the title of AJ Styles, after the years he’s had there is an argument to be had, however Orton has done the time and earnt the opportunity to be champion once again. With fresh opponents ahead and the inevitable debut of Shinsuke Nakamura after Wrestlemania, the future reign for Randy Orton could be most intriguing, plus with the possible added incentive of a Brock Lesnar rematch who could earn the ultimate reward.

 

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