Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton
WWE championship match
If you told me last year that Randy Orton would get a WWE title match at SummerSlam this year, I wouldn’t be too surprised. He’s not in the title picture often any more, but he’s still a guy who can slot in there any time.
If you told me last year that I’d be all about Randy Orton winning a title match at SummerSlam this year, I wouldn’t believe you. But I probably wouldn’t believe most things you told me about 2020.
Yet here we are. Randy Orton is likely going to be in the main event of SummerSlam and I’m will be more than OK if he wins the gold. Because he’s been doing the best work of his career.
It all started when he embraced his vicious heel side for Edge’s return, immediately delivering a con-chair-to to the Rated R Superstar, igniting that blood feud. However his viciousness had another side to it. Because Randy thought he was the hero this time around. He felt he had to be nasty to protect Edge from himself. It was a great new wrinkle that illustrated how good the man is right now compared to the last time he was this nasty on screen.
Edge would win their Last Man Standing match at WrestleMania, but Randy Orton would win the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever at Backlash. Unfortunately, Edge sustained a triceps tear during that match and had to take time off, leaving Orton to continue building on his superb run without the foe that got him there.
Randy did just that, reprising his Legend Killer persona. He punted Christian in a match he goaded Captain Charisma into. (There wasn’t any real match given Ric Flair low blowed Christian leading right into the punt.)
Big Show took a punt too. Eventually, even Ric was too close to this dangerous man and ended up on the wrong side of a Orton boot. This was a masterclass from both men, from Orton calling out Flair for being a shell of who he once was to Ric admitting such but still wanting to see Orton be the man to beat his championship record.
Given how on top of his game the Viper has been, it was inevitable that he’d eventually run into Drew McIntrye.
Drew won the title from Brock Lesnar in front of no one in the WWE Performance Center at WrestleMania. He’s done his best to stick out in this different time for wrestling and in general has succeeded. The champ has cast aside Big Show, Seth Rolling, Bobby Lashley, and Dolph Ziggler to retain his gold.
But Orton is a different beast.
Randy is a superstar on the top of his game. He’s a man who’s a top villain and has proven he can excel in the no fan era. Drew has showed that too, but not to the degree of Orton.
And there’s a possible argument to be made that winning the title the way he did, in front of no one in the small PC, will always hinder this reign for Drew. That no matter what, his first run at top may be thought of in retrospect as “Oh yeah, he won in the pandemic era. That’s why it slipped my mind.” That wouldn’t affect Randy, who’d be winning his 15th title.
This isn’t an absolutely necessity for Drew. He’s talented enough to carve his path in this different time for wrestling. But the idea must be there to eventually take the championship off him and give him a real moment in front of real fans. When that will be, though, we have no idea.
Whatever they decide, this should be a strong match. Two men on top of their game clashing in the middle of the ring. Both men who are fine choices to win it, making this the first time I’d be really into a Randy Orton title match.
Randy Orton will challenge Drew McIntyre for the WWE championship tonight at SummerSlam, airing at 7 PM ET on the WWE Network. Keep it here to CagesideSeats.com for all your SummerSlam coverage.
Who will win this match?
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