How I Would Book… The End Of The Streak – Randy Orton [Part Four]

Part One – Introduction

Part Two – John Cena

Part Three – CM Punk

I’ve recapped who others believed should have broken the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania. We’ve discussed men of controversy and men of the people as the top runners to have broken the most coveted streak in wrestling history. As good as these picks may seem, I believe I have two candidates that would have been great choices to end the Undertaker’s streak. My first choice is a man who’s once faced Undertaker before at a Wrestlemania event. In my opinion, if the result of the match had been altered, then it would have had even greater implications for the conqueror.

However, let me ask you guys a question. Out of all the victims of the streak, who is the one person that was the right man, in the right place and in the right time to break that streak? Who is one person that needed the win over the Undertaker to become the WWE’s next mega star? More importantly, who is the one person with the special credentials and natural ability to justify being given such an honor? That’s right. The streak should have been broken… by Randy Orton.

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OK, maybe around Wrestlemania XXX time, Randy Orton didn’t exactly need to break the Undertaker’s streak. However, when he did challenge the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 21, then it would have been perfect for Randy Orton to do the seemingly impossible. Think about it. Randy Orton was around 24-25 years old when he took on the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 21. He’s at the right age to beat the Undertaker, break his streak and elevate himself to being the very next mega star in WWE a lot sooner. He had so many years ahead of him. Now obviously, Randy does end up becoming an all-time great in WWE. However, how incredibly over would Randy have become if he had beaten the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 21? Plus, he’s got all the special credentials needed to support his claim to break the streak. Let’s look at Randy Orton’s character.

He is the son of Hall of Famer “Cowboy” Bob Orton. He has the bloodline of a great WWE legend running through his veins. He was born to be in this business and born to be a star. It also didn’t take long for Randy Orton to make WWE officials realize that he was something special. He was one of the most naturally gifted wrestlers in the WWE and got his first big break as part of Triple H’s Evolution stable. Randy forged his own legacy as the “Legend Killer”, beating legends every week on RAW. He was shown to be tough too. Look no further than his brutal hardcore match with Cactus Jack at Backlash 2004. Randy Orton’s Intercontinental title reign was the longest in seven years and after dropping the title to Edge, he shockingly won the World Heavyweight Championship at Summerslam just a few months later. And he did ALL of this, at the age of 24.

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Now obviously WWE hyping Orton this way and putting him over to this degree is not just enough to make a star. It also doesn’t mean that Orton should be the right man to break the streak… which was only at 12-0 before Taker took on Orton. Anyone can be booked to look like a million dollars and can be “given the ball”, but it’s up to the wrestler to run with it. Even though the momentum of the initial Randy Orton face turn after Summerslam couldn’t be maintained, Orton was still able to maintain his position and look of a main eventer. He was still probably the top face on RAW at the start of January. However, with Batista now getting the chance to be the top face, Orton had to take a step back out of the top guy role. With that, Orton was turned back heel, which was perfect for his next challenge.

Randy Orton was the first person to properly acknowledge the streak of the Undertaker and vowed to beat it. Undertaker himself had referenced to it before but this was the first time where the storyline of the match was about somebody trying to break the streak. It became a Wrestlemania tradition. In my opinion, it was the exact right moment for Orton to do what no man had ever done.

Considering Randy Orton was the “legend killer”, there’s no bigger legend for him to beat than the Undertaker. Up until that point in his career, he had beaten the likes of Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair and Mick Foley in matches. However, getting a simple win is one thing. However, beating somebody and effectively “killing” one of the things that made him so great is another. It would be the ultimate kill for Orton and it would be an appropriate means to pass the torch not from the Undertaker, but from Triple H.

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Up until that point in WWE, Triple H had been the king of heels in the WWE universe. There was no man more hated than Triple H from both RAW and SmackDown! Fans were sick of the Game being on top, running the show. So with Triple H beaten by Batista, it would make all the sense in the world for Randy Orton to take over as the top heel in the company. And there’s no better way for Orton to garner the heel heat than to beat the Undertaker.

Now obviously at the time, the streak itself wasn’t as beloved by the fans than it would eventually become. However, Randy was the type of character that could shove his win over the Undertaker down your throat every single week. He’s a cocky and arrogant young gun whose ego would be elevated so highly by beating the Undertaker at Wrestlemania.

With Randy’s constant bragging, he could wind the fans right up. However, it’ll also make the fans realize just how great a streak Undertaker had developed. Over time, after noticing that nobody is ever gonna duplicate it, the fans would have missed the streak and wanting Undertaker to be undefeated still. You don’t realize how much you miss something until it is taken away from you. And the streak is no exception…

I’ve spent quite a while going through the reasons for Orton’s big win, but now it’s time to discuss the execution. How does he break the streak? What happens next? And what is the ultimate end-game of all of this?

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The Wrestlemania match these two originally had would play out exactly as it did in real life up until Orton countering Undertaker’s chokeslam into the RKO. That spot would be the finish of the match. I must admit, when Taker kicked out of the RKO in real life and went onto win the match, it took away from what was an incredible spot at the time. Yeah we see Orton pull off these “Outta Nowhere” RKOs so frequently nowadays, but this RKO was one of the original instances of Randy pulling off a cool variation of the move. Why couldn’t this be the move that ended the streak? To see Taker simply kick out of the RKO took away from the finisher’s credibility. Especially considering we had never seen a counter like this with the RKO before. If Orton got the pin off the RKO, it would make the moment seem a lot more impactful considering who he beat with it.

The win also gives Orton something else to brag about, as I mentioned before. Nothing helps give a heel credibility than when he has the wins to back it up. Therefore, the next time Orton loses a big match, it helps the victor get over tremendously.

I’m going to try and stick with some of the original incidents in real-life WWE at this time. Therefore, Orton would get sidelined with his injury through his match with World Heavyweight Champion Batista the next night on RAW. Batista does not beat Orton, of course. Triple H could do the run in to cause the DQ, leading into THEIR match at Backlash.

It’s important to note that Undertaker would still be on television around this time, like he was in real-life. Undertaker would just try to put the defeat at Wrestlemania behind him. The draft would play out the same.┬áRandy Orton WOULD still be drafted onto SmackDown! like he was in real life, but he would not appear on WWE television until The Great American Bash. After Batista beats JBL clean to retain the World Championship, Randy drops Batista with the RKO upon his return and holds the World title over him to end the PPV.

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Randy would challenge Batista to a title match at Summerslam, but Undertaker would have his own claim at a title shot too. His match with Muhammad Hassan at the Great American Bash was to determine the number one contender for the World Title. So Teddy Long would book himself a tag team match on SmackDown! Randy Orton and JBL would take on Batista and Undertaker. JBL would also be crying and demanding for another title shot himself, so Teddy states that Orton or JBL would get added to the match at Summerslam if anyone of them got the pin or submission. Of course, Orton gets the pin on Batista. This leads to the triple threat World Heavyweight Championship match at Summerslam which Randy Orton wins and becomes World Heavyweight Champion. This also gives Summerslam 2005 a world title match of significant value. That’s not to say the original WWE and world title matches at that PPV were bad, but they were easily over-shadowed by almost every other match on the card. Not to mention none of them could possibly compete with Hulk Hogan vs Shawn Michaels.

Orton’s title reign would continue on and he would face Undertaker in the casket match he and Cowboy Bob Orton faced him in at No Mercy. He would be apart of Team SmackDown! in their Survivor Series match up with RAW. Randy would be the sole survivor for his team and the Undertaker would come out like he did in real-life. Undertaker would challenge Randy Orton one last time at Armageddon for the World title in a Hell in a Cell match. Undertaker… would win.

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Keep in mind, when considering the end of the streak, you must also consider how it’ll effect Undertaker. Especially considering that we’re breaking the Undertaker’s streak in 2005. The Dead Man’s still got many years left in the tank. So having him completely white-washed by Randy Orton following his big loss would make Undertaker look like a complete joke. At least if Undertaker beat Randy Orton at Armageddon and won the title off him, it would be a satisfying end to a near year-long program between the two with Undertaker finally getting the win over the man that conquered his streak. It’s a good old Rocky Balboa comeback story which fans love to see but you’re not COMPLETELY burying your future talent at the same time. Randy’s title loss at Armageddon will also play into later events…

The hell Taker would put Randy through would deter the legend killer from invoking his rematch. While this may make him look weak in the short-run, it has great long term implications. Sometimes the toughest of heels has to play the coward once in a while. Orton would then decide to enter the Royal Rumble and vowed to challenge for RAW’s WWE Championship if he won. Coming in at #30, Orton wins the Rumble. He would spitefully eliminate #2 entrant Rey Mysterio last, who was fighting for the memory of Eddie Guerrero. Orton strolls into RAW with a great deal of heel heat and will eventually beat John Cena for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 22.

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And that’s about it for the first year since Orton broke the streak. His big win at Wrestlemania has led to him accomplishing more and more, even winning both brands’ titles in the span of a couple of months. This is exactly the kind of thing that someone breaking the streak needs to do. He needs to look untouchable and have the credentials to back up his hype. He’s the youngest World Champion in history. In fact, he’s held the World title twice because of this storyline. He’s now a WWE Champion.┬áHe’s now a Royal Rumble winner. He’s accomplished all of this… and he’s not even 26 years old yet! It’s how you build your next big star and Orton can use all of these accomplishment to brag about each week like Triple H used to brag about everybody he beat back in the day.

That’s about it for Randy Orton. However, I do have ONE MORE person who I think is a decent pick to have break the streak too. Stay tuned for the final part of the series, where we look at this candidate and see what he’s got.

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WWE Money In The Bank 2013 Predictions – Who’s Getting The Briefcases In Philideplhia?

I don’t care what every says. I love this theme!

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Hey wrestling fans, I’m “Mr Money In The Bank” himself Tom Robinson. It’s time for Money In The Bank!

MONEY! MONEY MONEY MONEY!

A grand total of 14 superstars competing in two money in the bank ladder matches this year. The objective is simple – climb the ladder, get the briefcase and earn a title opportunity that you can cash in at any time until Money In The Bank 2014. Two vastly different money in the bank ladder matches with All Stars and Rising Stars all wanting them briefcases with plenty of fireworks expected. Also we have title matches after title matches with the WWE Title, World Title, Intercontinental Title, Tag Titles and the Divas titles all being on the line. And we have a one on one clash between “Big Hungry” Ryback and “Y2J” Chris Jericho. Let’s get down to THE PREDICTIONS!

Quick Pre-Show Prediction…. The Shield defeats The Usos to retain the Tag Team Titles.

 

World Heavyweight Championship Money In The Bank Ladder Match (a.k.a. The Heel Money In The Bank)

Wade Barrett vs Fandango vs Cody Rhodes vs Damien Sandow vs Antonio Cesaro vs Jack Swagger vs Dean Ambrose

Background: Announced by Teddy Long on an episode of SmackDown!, the World Title Money In The Bank ladder match features up-and-coming heel superstars who are hoping that the World Title MITB Briefcase can help catapult their career. We have Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro – two of Zeb Colter’s recruits in his attempts to have “Real Americanism” spread across the country. We have partners and best friends Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes, with the latter entering his FOURTH World Title Money In The Bank ladder match in a row. Is it finally time for son of the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes to enter the main event scene? We have United States Champion and member of the Shield, Dean Ambrose looking to win even more power for the “Hounds Of Justice”. We have Wade Barrett, Britain’s own who looked set to win the Money In The Bank last year until an injury got in his way. And finally, there’s…..

What I Think Should Happen?: As far as I’m concerned, all of these guys have a legitimately good claim to the briefcase (except Fandango). Swagger would be right back where he began a year ago if he didn’t win it which is a little bit of a shame. Damien Sandow would be a good pick considering he’s starting to feud with the big faces like Sheamus. Cody Rhodes is a deserving candidate considering he should have won it last year, or the year before that. Antonio Cesaro has some incredible in-ring skills and with Zeb Colter has a manager that can help him be a big star and solve the “boring” problem Cesaro apparently has. Dean Ambrose winning would be great for The Shield’s quest for domination. But someone is in SERIOUS need to win it this year…. Wade Barrett. The Brit has some great mic skills and good in-ring abilities to back up what he says. And since he came back in September he’s been the victim of poor writing which has provided nothing for the “Barrett Barrage”. If he wins, he automatically enters the World Title frame where he rightfully belongs. I want Barrett to win because he needs it. And also because of this…

What I Think will happen?: It’s tough. Cody Rhodes could easily be the dark horse that wins the thing like Jack Swagger was a few years back. Sandow and Cesaro are slowly climbing the WWE ladder and the briefcase could elevate them further. Ambrose is even a good bet with his affiliation of The Shield. Barrett’s another dark horse. You can’t count out Swagger either. And yes…. Fandango has a chance too because apparently getting one great reaction from the crowd from the night after Wrestlemania purely because of your theme song makes you suddenly championship material. WWE Logic for you. I’m going to have to pick Barrett. He’s being booked in a similar way Dolph Ziggler was booked before he won it last year. And I think this is finally Barrett’s time.

 

Divas Championship

AJ Lee (c) vs Kaitlyn

Background: Great story behind this feud. AJ and Kaitlyn finally hooked it up for the title at WWE’s last Pay-Per-View “Payback”. It was probably the best WWE women’s match I’ve seen in the last few years and despite taking one hell of a beating, AJ was able to take advantage of Kaitlyn’s aggression to take the championship. After the loss of her title, Kaitlyn became an emotional wreck lashing out at divas and going as far as interuppting Stephanie McMahon (which she got a stern warning for). AJ had manipulated her way towards the title and continued to pile on the mental attacks on Kaitlyn, going as far as dressing up as Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn returned the favour with crappy slut jokes and dressing up as AJ. The rematch will finally happen at Money In The Bank, with these two emotional wrecks battling for the title.

What I think should happen?: AJ retains, but I hope this feud continues to AT LEAST Summerslam. These two have had a great feud going on and it will be good for the women’s division if they continued to lock up.

What I think will happen?: AJ retains. I don’t think they’ll continue the feud but I can see AJ being in a storyline with boyfriend Dolph Ziggler. Speaking of which…

 

World Heavyweight Championship

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Dolph Ziggler

Background: Dolph Ziggler cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase on Alberto Del Rio the night after Wrestlemania 29 to win the World Heavyweight Championship. Del Rio waited and waited until finally he got his rematch at the Payback PPV. Coming off a concussion at the hands of Jack Swagger, Ziggler defended the title against Del Rio in a rather one-sided affair. Del Rio ruthlessly targeted the champion’s head due to Dolph’s concussion problems. Despite been given the option to cancel the match, Ziggler refused and put up a valiant effort. But Del Rio’s ruthlessness eventually paid off and saw him win the World Title back. Since then, Ziggler has sought revenge. Ziggler attacked Del Rio a number of times during matches and even crashed his fiesta on SmackDown! Ziggler cashed in his rematch clause for the Money In The Bank PPV. Can Ziggler reclaim to gold from Del Rio?

What I think should happen?: I’d like to see Ziggler win, not because of whether I like Ziggler better but because it’d be cool to see the title constantly change hands. Yes, I’m a big fan of huge, long title reigns. BUT, the World Title is still second to the WWE Title and WWE should experiment with the belt a little and changing it back and forth between Del Rio and Ziggler could be interesting to see. Also, I’d love to see the Philadelphia crowd reaction to Ziggler winning the belt back.

What I think will happen?: Del Rio wins. I think Ziggler will have to break away from AJ and Big E before getting the World Title back. Del Rio will just keep the belt warm for him.

Will there be a cash in?: Nah. I don’t see it. If the title is gonna change tonight, I don’t think it’ll be down to a cash in. I see another Ziggler reign as Mr. MITB on the horizon.

 

Chris Jericho vs Ryback

Background: Both Chris Jericho and Ryback were irate over themselves not being included in the WWE Championship Money In The Bank ladder match. Then-Managing-Supervisor Vickie Guerrero put the two in a match with one an other on the PPV. In the weeks building up to the PPV, Jericho would get a lot of momentum over Ryback. Firstly, Ryback asked the ref for his own match with The Miz to be called off mid-match 2 weeks ago. In response, Jericho hit a codebreaker on Ryback. The next week, Jericho became the first person in WWE to beat Curtis Axel since he redebuted, giving Jericho the momentum he needed.

What I think should happen?: Ryback wins. He needs a PPV win, big time.

What I think will happen?: Ryback wins. He needs a PPV win, big time. And Jericho would be more than willing to put Ryback over since he’s back on the road with Fozzy soon (best of luck to him).

 

Intercontinental Championship

Curtis Axel (c) w/Paul Heyman vs The Miz

Background: At Payback, Paul Heyman’s newest client Curtis Axel took advantage of opportunity as he won the IC title from Wade Barrett in a triple threat match also involving The Miz. While Miz had Barrett in the figure-four, Axel covered Barrett for the 1, 2, 3. After successfully defending the IC Title against the former champion Barrett, The Miz was announced as the number one contender for Axel’s Championship at Money In The Bank?

What I Think Should Happen?: Axel wins and some other face other than The Miz goes after the championship.

What I Think will happen?: Axel wins. I’m fairly certain Axel will get in the mix with Punk and Lesnar. Miz? Well… there’s always commentating on Main Event….

 

WWE Championship Money In The Bank Ladder Match (a.k.a. The “All-Star” Money In The Bank)

CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus vs Randy Orton vs Christian vs Rob Van Dam vs A Mystery Entrant

Background: 8 days after Payback, Stephanie McMahon announced the entrants for the RAW Money In The Bank ladder match. We’d have “The Celtic Warrior” SHEAMUS, former World Champion who’s only ever been in one Money In The Bank Ladder match before (and was Chokeslammed on a ladder for his troubles). We’d have “The Viper” RANDY ORTON, former World Champion who’s not held a World Title since September 2011. We’d have CHRISTIAN, former World Champion who’s riding off a load of momentum since he returned with big wins of Wade Barrett and The Shield. We’d have DANIEL BRYAN, former World Champion determined to prove that he is not a weak link by winning the MITB briefcase. We’d have CM PUNK, former World Champion who’s put his problems with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman on the back-burner in the pursuit of a unprecedented THIRD Money In The Bank briefcase. We’d have ROB VAN DAM, former World Champion who’s return in Philadelphia on Sunday has been the hottest of topics in the wrestling world. And We’d have KANE, former World Champion which was scheduled to be in the Money In The Bank ladder match until he got taken out by the Wyatt Family (see my post about their debut by clicking on this link). This means there is still one spot in the match up for grabs. Will it be Bray Wyatt? R-Truth? Brock Lesnar? Iron Sheik? “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner? The Shockmaster? Only time will tell as 7 warriors will do battle for a briefcase that can revamp the career of one of these 7 all-stars.

What I think should happen?: Daniel Bryan should get this briefcase. After all this momentum he’s had, for him not to win it now would be so illogical. As much as I’d like to see Punk, RVD, Orton, Sheamo or Christian win the briefcase, this is Daniel Bryan’s time.

What I think will happen?: Daniel Bryan wins. And hopefully “The American Dragon” will ascend to WWE immortality with a clean victory over John Cena at Summerslam starting off the “Daniel Bryan Era”.

 

WWE Championship

John Cena (c) vs Mark Henry

Background: The night after Payback, WWE Champion John Cena addressed the WWE Universe about the Money In The Bank PPV. He welcomed whoever won the WWE Championship briefcase and vowed to be ready for anyone who dared to cash in on him as champion. At the end of the promo, Mark Henry came down to the ring in a rather dashing suit. After rumours all day about Mark Henry retirement, it seemed as if Henry was saying goodbye to us after heart-felt retirement speech. However, it all turned out to be a bluff as Henry deliereved a “World’s Strongest Slam” to John Cena. Henry declared he still had a “lot more left in the tank” and challenged Cena for the WWE Championship at Money In The Bank. Vickie Guerrero made the match official that same night. The next week, Henry showed zero guilt over his actions and said that Cena was now scared off him. This notion seemed to be true as Cena startled everytime Henry moved towards him teasing an attack. Henry might have gotten into the head of the WWE Champion, but can he get the job done on Sunday and win the WWE Championship for the first time?

What I think should happen?: Mark Henry winning the WWE Championship for the first time would be a great moment especially in front of the Philly crowd. However, Cena should really be the one holding the title when the holder cashes in (assuming Daniel Bryan wins it). Cena wins.

What I think will happen?: Cena wins. I think Henry’s time as champion came a couple of years ago. I don’t see another world title reign for the “World’s Strongest Man”.

Will there be a cash in?: No. I don’t see anyone cashing in on Cena the dick-ish way. Whoever wins will cash it in the legit way I think.

Anyway. It’s been good doing this blog post guys. It’ll be great watching Money In The Bank live. I’ll be up on Facebook and Twitter talking about the PPV as it happens. Like the Armbar Express on Facebook and follow it on Twitter at the new Armbar Express Twitter account @ArmbarExpress. Hoping to get the Armbar Express on the map through Social Networking but I need you guys to help me out and I’ll continue to provide the wrestling talk here on blog and Twitter and Facebook. I’m Tom Robinson, and I’ll leave you with the Random YouTube Video Of The Post. Because You’re Looking At The Real Deal Now!