The first of four title matches on the card for SmackDown’s last pay-per-view (PPV) before WrestleMania 34 presented the opportunity for history to made. Future Hall of Famer Randy Orton’s impressive WWE resume somehow doesn’t include a United States championship. At Fastlane in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday, Mar. 11, The Viper had a chance to change that when he faced the man who carried that belt into Nationwide Arena, Bobby Roode.
But since fighting over a prestigious title isn’t enough, apparently, the build for this one featured Jinder Mahal trying to get under both men’s skins by bringing up General Manager Daniel Bryan’s “Top Ten” Superstars list. Hopefully, that would fall by the wayside once the bell rang, though... right?
It looked that way in the early going, as this first match between these two stars was worked to a standstill when Roode and Orton went hold-for-hold and power-for-power. The Glorious One slipped away just before Randy could hit an early RKO; moments later, The Viper slide out from under a DDT set-up by the champ.
Orton used the ropes to his advantage several times, and before he even attempted his own signature DDT. Hanging Roode up on the top one damaged the Canadian’s midsection, and that cost him when Randy caught him outside and dropped him stomach-first on the barricade.
Action on the ropes continued to be key. The champ got a nearfall when he powerbombed Orton from the top turnbuckle; Roode barely kicked out of a big superplex.
Advantage: Bob Roode pic.twitter.com/o6WiT7JjW6— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) March 12, 2018
"Show me that again, Kevin." pic.twitter.com/jthkFs9oSX— TDE Wrestling (@totaldivaseps) March 12, 2018
In the end, history came OUT OF NOWHERE! Roode, looking for a big shot off the ropes, jumped right into a RKO, and The Viper became a Grand Slam champ.
¡TERRIBLE RKO! ¡RANDY ORTON DERROTA A BOBBY ROODE! #WWEFastlane pic.twitter.com/zFQ23CTk3i— MUNDO WWE (@FansWWEUniverse) March 12, 2018
THEN, Jinder got involved, going straight at Orton. The deposed champ came to his aid, but Roode’s frustration was palpable, and he took out the new titleholder before heading to the back.
So... ‘Mania Triple Threat incoming. At least they didn’t mention the Top 10 list.
Get complete Fastlane results and coverage here.