Many champions have came and went that never really got their chance to shine as the king of the mountain. Whether it’s down to being struck by injuries or just poor booking by WWE, there’s always a little something that prevents these champions from reaching their full potential. Sometimes, it’s just lack of faith that prevents a champion from making his mark. For Christian, WWE’s faith in him lasted all of about two days when he won the World Heavyweight Championship in 2011. Christian really got the wrong end of the deal in his main event push. If we were going to put the title on Christian back in 2011, how would we have booked him?
Like a number of past How I Would Book pieces, this one was inspired by the attempts of Adam’s WhatCulture in his How WWE Should Have Booked video about Christian.
Christian’s “one more match” storyline (which is what it was dubbed as in the WWE 2K15 showcase mode) was not exactly a bad storyline. All of the matches between Randy Orton and Christian were usually great. However, the issue a lot of people have had with it was how weak Christian looked through out. He couldn’t gain a single legitimate victory over Randy Orton and many fans were irate when Christian’s initial title win at Extreme Rules was ended two days later (the title win was recorded two days after Extreme Rules and aired on the Friday).
Let’s run down the storyline to see where the faults were with this storyline…
After Wrestlemania 27, World Heavyweight Champion Edge retired and vacated the championship. Edge had been scheduled to defend the title at Extreme Rules in a ladder match against Alberto Del Rio. Since Edge was out, Teddy Long booked a 20 man battle royal to find someone to fight Del Rio. The winner of the battle royal turned out to be Edge’s best friend Christian. At Extreme Rules, Christian managed to win the World title for the first time in his life. This truly was a great moment for Christian and Edge, as they celebrated in the ring. However, Christian’s world came crashing down on him… just two days later.
SmackDown!’s newest draftee Randy Orton interrupted Christian’s title celebration on SmackDown! SmackDown! GM Teddy Long announced that Christian would defend his newly-won championship against Randy Orton… that night. In what was a shocking turn of events, Orton beat Christian to win the championship. Christian was heartbroken.
Christian then became desperate to prove that he could beat Randy Orton. Their rematch took place at Over The Limit, with Randy Orton winning. Christian turned heel and was given one more match. In the match, Randy Orton won. Christian’s foot was under the bottom rope, so Christian was given one more match at Money In The Bank. If Randy Orton got disqualified or if there was a bad referee call, Christian would win the title. Finally, Christian did win the title… by disqualification. Randy Orton went berserk at Money In The Bank and destroyed Christian post-match. One final match took place at Summerslam, with COO Triple H making it No Holds Barred. In this feud-ending match, Randy Orton regained the World title once more.
Fans of Christian would have been incensed over how he was treated in this program. He lost the title so quickly after winning it in an emotional match at Extreme Rules. He was never truly able to beat Randy Orton and look strong. When he came out of this feud, he was booked to be completely dominated by Sheamus afterwards. There was a huge opportunity to make Christian a true main-eventer. At the time, the SmackDown! roster was very short-stacked in terms of having main-event talent. There was no one, other than Orton, that could have lead the brand and Christian could have been made a true star with this storyline. Let’s see how we could have improved it.
The first thing to change up about this storyline is the portrayal of Christian as a heel. The transformation of Christian from face to heel was actually well executed by WWE and Christian was great in this role. However, the issue is that Christian had been the victim all along. He was forced to defend the World Title a whole TWO DAYS after winning it in a hard-hitting ladder match. If anything, this was unfair on Christian and he should have had time to rest.
After he wins at Extreme Rules, I’d have Christian go on to hold the World Heavyweight Championship…. for two days.
PITCHFORKS DOWN everyone! Trust me. There’s a purpose to this!
Christian still loses the World Heavyweight Championship like he did in real life. The big thing that changes is that WWE highlights just how unfair this is to Christian. What I means is, Teddy Long needs to act more like a compete pick.
Teddy Long interrupts Christian telling him that he needs to prove himself as a true fighting champion. Teddy Long guilts Christian into defending the title, even though that Christian admits he’s not 100%. Christian says he’ll do it no matter who he faces. Teddy announces that his opponent is Randy Orton.
Randy Orton approaches Teddy backstage just before the match, claiming that he doesn’t have a problem in winning the title tonight. However, he did not want Christian to have any excuses for losing the title. He proposes that the match happens at Over The Limit but Teddy Long denies him. Teddy says that this is Orton’s chance to be the face of SmackDown!
The match happens and Christian is rocked by the hits to the head by Orton. This match still plays out like it did in real life but Orton focuses a lot more on the head of Christian. In similar fashion to how Dolph Ziggler lost the title to Del Rio in 2013, Orton targets the head. Orton throws up the X sign which is usually given whenever someone is actually injured. Teddy Long comes out and tells him to finish the match. Teddy guilts Orton by saying “You walk out on this and you walk out on the people.” Orton eventually caves in, RKOs Christian but Christian kicks out. Teddy orders Orton to punt Christian. Orton tells Christian to stay down but Christian slaps him. Orton ends up getting mad, giving him one last RKO and finally punting him to win the championship.
At least with this finish, Christian is portrayed as an actual villain. Plus, it doesn’t make Christian look entirely weak because of the way he was booked in the finish. Christian kicked out of everything before being punted in the head. So Randy Orton is champion and Teddy Long… is a heel.
With Triple H taking over the company in July anyway, it doesn’t hurt to have Teddy Long be the heel for this storyline. Teddy should want do what he thinks is right for SmackDown! What he thinks is right is for Randy Orton to be the champion. That’s his motivation throughout but Orton doesn’t exactly want to sell out either.
Anyway, a rematch is scheduled for Over The Limit. Christian initially wins the match by hitting the spear to pin Randy Orton. Teddy Long comes out and tells Christian that the Spear finishing move was exclusively used by Edge on SmackDown! for years. Teddy decrees that Christian is banned from ever using it again and tells Christian to get the job done his own way. The match continues. Randy catches Christian in mid-air with the RKO. Randy goes for the pin but Christian’s foot was on the rope. The ref does the pin anyway as Orton retains the title. The video replay reveals that the referee DID in fact see Christian’s foot on the rope, but simply continued the pin anyway. Christian would be irate, spears Randy and then goes after Teddy Long and the referee.
Now, I know the banned spear thing is a bit of a phony decision. However, it’s alright to have those types of BS decisions sometimes as it makes Teddy seem like a total prick. It also emphasizes how much Christian has been screwed in this storyline.
Teddy Long then makes a #1 contendership match on SmackDown! with Mark Henry, Sheamus and Christian, like they did in real life. It ends pretty much the same way too. Randy Orton distracts Christian which leads to Sheamus picking up the win. Now the tension is really building between Orton and Christian. By the way, the #1 contendership match was for a World title match at Capitol Punishment. In a tag team match with Orton and Christian vs Henry and Sheamus, miscommunication causes the heels to win. This eventually leads into a fight between Orton and Christian. Teddy makes Orton vs Christian for the next SmackDown! If Christian wins, he’s added to the World title match. Christian wins cleanly and it’s Orton vs Sheamus vs Christian at the PPV.
During the triple threat match, Christian pins Sheamus off the Unprettier to seemingly win the championship. Sheamus’ foot is under the bottom rope this time. Then in comes Mr Buzzkill, Theodore Long…
Teddy says that what happened last month at Over The Limit will not be repeated. He restarts the match which leads to Randy RKO’ing both men to retain the title. Now Teddy Long is really just taking the Mickey. I mean this is three times that Christian has been screwed out of the title. Christian goes on an angry tirade on SmackDown! about Randy Orton being Teddy Long’s hand-picked champion and that enough is enough. Christian challenges Orton for one more match at Money In The Bank. Teddy Long decrees that if Christian doesn’t win the match, he will never challenge for the World title again. Christian and Randy have heated words leading into the PPV. In the match, Orton is unable to put Christian away. He hits two RKOs but Christian kicks out at both. Randy then hits the mid-air RKO that he hit at Over The Limit but Christian shockingly kicks out. Orton gets angry, pushes aside the referee and kicks Christian in the nuts. The referee calls for the DQ. Randy Orton goes crazy just like he did in real life (because it was pretty awesome when he actually did that) and Christian wins the match via DQ. The rules stated that if Christian lost the match, he’d never have a tittle shot. Therefore, Christian is safe. Since he never won the title though, Christian is again upset.
Teddy Long is getting annoyed that Christian is still clamouring for a title shot. He’s had three opportunities in the last three PPVs and says Christian needs to go to the back in the line. Christian eventually beats up Teddy and says that he wants one more match at Summerslam. Teddy Long then finally agrees, but Christian has to earn his one more match. Since Rey Mysterio had to beat three men in a tournament on RAW to become the WWE Champion, Christian must beat three men in a gauntlet on SmackDown! The first man he must beat is Cody Rhodes and he succeeds. The second man he must beat is Wade Barrett and he succeeds. The third man is Kane. However, Christian defies the odds and beats Kane to get one last match. At the end of this gauntlet, Teddy drops a bombshell. His match with Randy Orton is NO HOLDS BARRED. If Christian loses, he leaves SmackDown!
They have this last match and finally, Christian wins the World Heavyweight Championship. It’s a really touching moment. Edge comes out like he did in real life. Instead of calling him a bitch, he hugs him. Randy Orton shakes his hand. Teddy Long comes out and complains. Edge punches Teddy Long into Christian who spears him. A bit of irony in that because of what happened at Over The Limit. A really great ending to Christian’s title pursuit.
And that’s pretty much the gist of it. OK, I must admit that the title of the blog post was a bit deceiving. I call it “Christian’s World Title Run In 2011” when Christian doesn’t really have the title and only wins it in the final match of the storyline. However, the struggle of Christian needed to be showed as a means to get Christian truly over as a star. If he came off as a whiny heel, then it’s not going to do him any favours. However, if he comes off as a fighting challenger, the fans will rally behind him. Randy Orton also doesn’t really need to turn heel in order to do the storyline, meaning that Orton can still be one of the top faces of SmackDown! like WWE was wanting him to be. This can then lead to Christian defending the title against Mark Henry, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan etc. There was a lot of money to be made by having Captain Charisma run the show…
Have any suggestions for a How I Would Book? Simply tweet me at either @ArmbarExpress or @TomRobinson5199 on Twitter with your suggestions. Do also check out the rest of the content on my blog. I do a lot of other cool fantasy booking blog posts with my playthroughs of fantasy booking game Extreme Warfare Revenge. And there’s all sorts of other wrestling content as well. You never know, you might just like what you see!