I saw the comments post-SummerSlam-Legacy 2.0, specifically. In the follow-up RAW, I am not sure that anyone involved at the top did enough-or wanted to do enough-to dispel those insinuations. That is all clearly a part of this angle. Sure, as Hunter has done time and time again, he gave his solid mic work, cut a solid promo and furthered the angle-without going all in for a Legacy reunion.
Instead, the approach is “its for the future of this company, and he did it for all of us”. Cute, but not many folks want to hear that schtick. But, for a heel promo, that is why it works. Hunter spewing things like he checks his ego at the door, or that no WWE fan should settle for anything less than an A, is just rich. The fans who simply love Daniel Bryan will already seethe at HHH. The wrestling fanatics who read these articles will be even that much more into it by twisting his words as I basically just have.
On the one hand, I really much rather see an alpha heel stand alone, in a manner of speaking. No allies or factions, just a super badass. But, in this instance, to do what was done made perfect sense. This time last week, fans still popped big time for both Orton and Hunter-they were, in effect, faces. So, they HAD to do this. They had to basically screw over the hottest guy to get a ton of heel heat. It makes up for the fact that you essentially had face versus face as a main event-even if Cena splits the audience. Ryback just isn’t poised to be the monster top heel-yet. Henry they seem to be waffling on, now back more as a face role. So they needed a top heel or two. It was the literal two birds with one stone scenario.
So now we have a Corporate approved champion. I can’t say I dislike Orton as a champion – sometimes I’ve liked him, sometimes I’ve disliked him, but as someone who has held the top title ten times now, he knows what to do in between the ropes. No beef there. And how he became champion, along with the follow up on RAW, should set up a nice and hopefully lengthy program with Daniel Bryan feuding over the WWE title.
In this sense, Hunter did do us a favor. Cena, love him or hate him, seems to have gotten stale. It was time for him to step away, get healthy and let other wrestlers work in the top matches. It will be a breath of fresh air to have main events without Cena for however many months he needs to recuperate-and that’s not a knock on Cena at all. Besides, I am hearing four to six months time off for him. Do the math, and what you are looking at is a possible return to the Rumble (though I am hoping they don’t book him to be a surprise return, late entrant and win it AGAIN). With the SummerSlam main event aftermath, WWE gave John Cena his exit and created the new heel to reckon with, along with further positioning Daniel Bryan as one of the top faces in the company.
So is this just smart booking by WWE? Or is this going to shake out as the birth of a new Corporate Alliance or Legacy 2.0? Time will tell on this one, though I am partial to more of Orton flying solo at this point-though I am not holding my breath. One thing is certain, however. There is a new look and feel to the top of the card, and in this case, I am feeling optimistic about it.