This often underappreciated superstar was the star of RAW and the Internet this past week.
On an episode of RAW filled with terrific matches, Orton and Dolph Ziggler put together an incredible match that was head-and-shoulders above everything else on RAW.
After a long back-and-forth match, Orton prevailed with one of his most creative RKOs. Orton caught Ziggler trying to deliver a “fameasser” leg drop. Holding Ziggler up at shoulder level while facing him, Orton threw Ziggler up in the air and then caught him with an RKO on the way down. It was an awesome move to end an awesome match.
Orton, who also delivered a picture-perfect superplex off the top rope during that match, was also involved in the best angle on RAW. While the feud between Dean Ambrose and John Cena over which one should get a piece of Seth Rollins first has taken center stage, the best storyline is the slowly budding rivalry between Orton and Rollins.
Orton has grumbled to The Authority (Triple H and Stephanie McMahon) about having to put out fires Rollins has started during the past month. On RAW this past week, Orton and Rollins engaged in a “Can you top this?” contest. Or, using a song from “Fiddler on the Roof” – and that reference is a first her at Heel Turns – a contest of “Anything you can do, I can do better.”
After Orton defeated Ziggler, Rollins, who was watching from the entrance ramp, came to the ring and delivered a curb-stomp to Ziggler. Not to be outdone, after Rollins beat Jack Swagger, Orton delivered an RKO to the Real American.
This rivalry clearly is just picking up steam. Achilles Heel wouldn’t be shocked if both Orton and Rollins won their Hell in a Cell matches on Oct. 26. They would then argue over who had the more impressive victory. Or, if one wins and one loses, expect the winner to remind the loser of the outcome, further building the rivalry until the two Authority members attack one another.
The best match. The best move. The best angle.
Randy Orton is on a roll. Like a fine wine, he keeps getting better with age.
ORTON RULES THE INTERNET: If you haven’t seen any of the Randy Orton RKO vines on the Internet, do yourself a favor and click this link to check out a compilation of some of the best RKO vines. And if you’ve seen some of them, watch them again and enjoy a hearty laugh.
WRESTLING MATTERS: One reason this past week’s RAW was so good was the quality of the wrestling. The triple-threat tag team match involving the Usos, Goldust and Stardust and the team of John Cena and Dean Ambrose started the string of outstanding in-ring action. Big Show and Rusev produced a crowd-pleasing match and, of course, Orton and Ziggler combined for a classic. The Seth Rollins-Jack Swagger and Cena-Ambrose matches, which normally would have been highlights, took a backseat to the other matches in terms of in-ring quality.
Angles and storylines matter. But professional wrestling is at its best when the wrestling is excellent. To paraphrase an infamous TNA slogan, “Wrestling matters.”
FALL OF CHAMPIONS: The Greek god of wrestling doesn’t like when Intercontinental, U.S. and tag team champions are used for fodder for wrestlers in the world championship picture. These losses diminish the respective championships.
Having said that, Dolph Ziggler was elevated by his valiant effort in the RAW loss to Randy Orton. What didn’t help Ziggler was having him lose to Rusev the previous week and Seth Rollins on Smackdown this past Friday.
If Cesaro wrests the Intercontinental Championship from Ziggler, his win will be less meaningful because the tree consecutive televised losses have pushed Ziggler lower down the WWE pecking order. Similarly, Goldust and Stardust have barely won a match since capturing the tag team titles form the Usos.
WEB GEMS: Biff Busick defends the Combat Zone Wrestling World Championship against Chris Dickinson tonight (Saturday) at 7:30 p.m. during Tangled Web 7 at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees. In the co-main event, Matt Tremont battles Devon Moore in a tangled web match.
The tag team titles will be up for grabs as 014K defends against Team Tremendous. Shane Strickland defends the CZW Wired Championship against Mike Bailey.
MAIN EVENT SAVES SHOW: For the second straight week, a sub-par edition of TNA’s Impact Wrestling was saved by the main event. The four-way No. 1 contenders elimination match between Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, Eric Young and Jeff Hardy. Roode pinned Aries at the end to earn another title shot at Bobby Lashley.
TNA is advertising a tag team tournament, which will begin Wednesday, to determine the No. 1 contenders for The Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards) for the TNA tag team championship.
GLORY DAYS: As the Greek god of wrestling wrote last week, why should I spend time discussing Bound for Glory when TNA could barely promote its own event. TNA World champion Bobby Lashley and tag team champions The Wolves were not on the card. The Great Muta and Tajiri defeated James Storm and Great Sanada in the main event. Team 3-D (Bully Ray and Devon) defeated Tommy Dreamer and Abyss in an eminently forgettable event.
WWE included Roddy Piper, Ted DiBiase, Paul Orndorff, Magnum T.A., Jake Roberts and Arn Anderson, but where were Jimmy Snuka, Don Muraco, Gorilla Monsson, Rick Rude, Owen Hart and Don Leo Jonathan? Their spots on the list were taken by, among others, Tatanka, Marty Janetty and Goldust.
HIGHWAY TO HELL: The co-main events for Hell in a Cell next Sunday will be a pair of Hell in a Cell matches. Former Shield members Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins battle in one cage. Randy Orton and John Cena square off in the other Hell in a Cell match.
Other matches include Big Show vs. Rusev, Sheamus defending the United States Championship against The Miz, and Nikki and Brie Bella fighting, with the loser having to work as the winner’s personal assistant or be fired.