A little while back, Drew McIntyre talked about how much he wanted to face Randy Orton at SummerSlam. His reason, in part, was because Orton was the Joker to his Batman.
In actuality, the McIntyre/Orton story is much better than that - for a WWE title feud, anyway. It’s hard to top the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime. But I digress...
As we heard in straight-forward, pro wrestling 101 promos that kicked off their program on Raw last night (July 27), you’d be hard-pressed to find two performers and characters to more naturally slot into a big ‘Reality’ Era angle.
Orton, entitled to call his own shot the championship by his legacy as a third generation wrestler, his resume of past accomplishments, and the violent acts he’s committed over the past several months. He’ll do whatever is necessary to wipe out his rivals, take the easiest path to whatever he wants, and tell us how little he cares what anyone thinks of it.
McIntyre, who not only was fired and had to earn back his job, but then had to work through injury and being booked as a lackey & gatekeeper to be deemed worthy of a spot in the main event scene. He’ll come right at you and tell you what his issue with you is, welcoming any fight, any chance to prove he’s deserving of everything he’s accomplished.
Both men’s kayfabe persona is an outgrowth of their legitimate backstory, making their characters feel authentic. This isn’t Vince McMahon trying to convince us we should love Roman Reigns or John Cena, or telling us we should hate CM Punk or Becky Lynch. Most of the WWE Universe will be pulling for Drew because of his career journey and because he’s an ideal fighting babyface champion. And we’ll be rooting against Randy because - even though he’s earned a lot of people’s respect in all kinds of ways this year - he inherited a role a lot of people would kill for, and he knows just how to rub that in everyone’s face.
It wasn’t McMahon’s plan, for sure. In an ideal world, SummerSlam would be in Boston, and Reigns, Edge, and Brock Lesnar would be in the mix.
But as Orton & McIntyre showed last night, Vince has landed on the perfect main event for next month’s PPV.
These guys were made for this. And they’re just getting started.