I enjoyed the United States Title match between Randy Orton and Bobby Roode at WWE Fastlane. I did not enjoy the notion there will be a triple threat match at WrestleMania 34 involving the two superstars and Jinder Mahal.
The match between Roode and Orton, which gave the Viper his first United States Title which means he is now a Grand Slam Champion, was as good as I thought it would be. It was slow at times. It was predictable, with the two about as evenly matched as could be. What I appreciate most is WWE took the time to build this feud, one that more than likely will force a Roode heel turn, which is better suited for his character.
For everything Orton has been for WWE, which is the “go to” guy when needed and the guy who is consistently good in matches, either as a babyface or heel, why isn’t he given as much credit as John Cena or Edge or Undertaker? Orton’s career rivals theirs and others as one of the greats to ever lace up a pair of wrestling boots.
Oh, and note to everyone reading this, I am writing this blog while the women’s tag team match is on the pay-per-view.
I liken Orton to this generation’s Barry Windham with more titles in his trophy case. A tall, rangy performer with solid athletic skills. Someone that has very few bad matches. When Cena’s name is mentioned, he is treated as royalty. The same is not true for the third-generation superstar who burst on the scene the same time the 16-time world champion made his way to WWE’s main roster.
Orton has held the WWE Championship nine times and WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship four times. He was the final holder of the World Heavyweight Championship, which he unified with the WWE Championship at TLC 2013 to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Orton is recognized by WWE as having the fourth-most world championship victories in history behind only Triple H, Ric Flair, and John Cena. He is the winner of the 2013 Money in the Bank ladder match, both the 2009 and 2017 Royal Rumble matches, and has headlined multiple pay-per-view events for WWE, including WrestleMania XXV and WrestleMania XXX. And now, he has the one title that evaded his legacy.
As Mike Chiari of Bleacher Report wrote following the Roode-Orton match, the win by the new champ adds a bit of glamour to a belt forgotten since the days of Cena’s open challenge.
“While Orton has largely focused on being a world champion throughout his career, his win should provide a major boost to what has been a somewhat forgotten title in recent years,” he said.
Orton’s title run may be short-lived as I can see Mahal winning the title at WrestleMania 34, which will lead to a program with John Cena. If Cena needs a program to work following New Orleans, he need not look any further than another anti-American wrestler looking to get over as a top heel in the company.
If you remember, I wrote about this last week right here on Camel Cutch Blog.
Orton should get another crack at the WWE World Title. Whether he will challenge the 16 world titles that both Ric Flair and Cena hold isn’t on the company’s agenda right now. But if careers are equal, then it should happen. In my eyes, Orton is an underrated and underappreciated performer WWE still needs as part of its weekly programming on Tuesday nights.
Rankings aside, the decision to put Orton over as United States champion helps both he and Roode. And now that he has won all championships within the promotion, he can be compared to the greats of his generation – something many may not have done or thought about because of Cena’s over-the-top standing and the decision to push new talent while Orton is still one of the best at what he does in a WWE ring.