If you have not read wwe.com lately, then I have some news for you. Randy Orton took a low blow from a fan during an overseas tour. In South Africa, a fan jumped into the ring, and nailed Orton with a low blow while he was on the top turnbuckle. Interestingly, Orton sold the nut-shot, but once he saw it was a fan, got up right away, just as security rushed in.
Or did they?
Because WWE decides to publish this normally taboo topic on their own site, many now question if this was some sort of publicity stunt. Had this been televised on RAW, then it would be of no surprise to see WWE handle the situation, similarly when Lawler had his heart attack on RAW over a year ago. It was live, on television, and WWE made the right call in how they handled it. But this attack on Orton took place at a bona-fide house show.
From my standpoint, look at the reasons why this could be staged:
• The fan having a good 30 seconds in the ring before striking Orton.
• Only after the guy strikes, the ringside security comes in.
• Security seems to slowly back the guy off, without restraint or any use of force.
Why this might not have been staged:
• Orton no-sold it after realizing it was a fan. There are times where last minute decisions are made without wrestlers knowing, and they have to roll with it.
• Security did jump in after all.
• It was after the match, lights on and off, it would be easy for the fan to have not been noticed until it was too late.
Footage found everywhere, even on WWE.com shows the incident in full. Many wonder, why Orton would sell a low-blow if it was not part of the script for the show? Things like that are planned, or a referee would have cued Orton moments before the event. We have seen fans rush in the ring before, and security bum-rushes the hell out of the person before any damage could be done. Had WWE left it alone, this would have been forgotten about faster than breakfast.
But here is the kicker. After all this, it was revealed it was not just a fan, but a South Africa-based wrestler. So, after everything stated above, do you think this was staged or now it is an indy guy trying to make a name for himself? The guy is now in jail, having plead guilty to assault charges, and WWE.com is reporting Orton suffered a groin injury. Wah waah waaaah. WWE.com is going bonkers over this like The Rock having hernia-surgery. It is VERY important. Real or staged? You decide.
The SmackDown tapings did not reveal much more than what we already know. Interesting developments include Layla turning on Kaitlyn, and Christian facing Alberto del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam, defeating Orton and RVD in a triple threat match. One has to wonder if Del Rio vs. Christian is the start of a feud, or if Captain Charisma is serving as fodder until Ziggler is back in the World Title hunt.
Momentum for The Shield seems to be waning. It seems winning championships might have become more of a curse than a blessing. Now it is a game of who is next to challenge for the titles. After The Usos are done, will the Colons or Prime Time Players vie for the WWE Tag Team Titles? Will Mark Henry unseat Dean Ambrose as United States Champion? It seems with a heavy focus now on its newest stable, The Wyatt Family, the novelty of The Shield as worn off. A big team-up match pre-SummerSlam could be entertaining. The Shield and The Wyatts on one side, the other with their rivals, The Usos, Mark Henry, Kane, and two other recent victims. I think it would be a good bout.
On the topic of decreasing popularity, a number of current wrestlers are dropping below mid-card and bordering Jim Powers-level jobberdom.
Jack Swagger – He had an amazing push. He got in trouble. His push ended. Even Zeb Colter (“Dirty” Dutch Mantell) is having a hard time keeping his politically charged angle alive. The addition of fellow ring veteran Antonio Cesaro has done nothing for Colter and his Patriots. Their only salvation is with capturing the WWE Tag Team Titles, because they have nothing else to gain nor lost at this stage. No feuds, no pushes, no nothing.
Fandango – Defeating Chris Jericho at WrestleMania, then earning fame thanks to an insane New Jersey crowd, Fandango enjoyed major time in the limelight. His theme was sung almost every show, fans loving the crap out of this guy. Then WWE had him lose. A lot. He ramped up into uber-heel mode, depriving them of the music and often bailing on his matches, the latter something he still does. Does Johnny Curtis not know how to wrestle?
Brodus Clay and A-Train – They are the modern-day Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty & “Grandmaster Sexy” Brian Christopher). They have their fun, entertain the kiddies, but nothing more.
Ryback – I can hear you scratching your head. Yeah, look at Ryback now. He is the “bully” of WWE. Their creative staff have nothing for him to do, so they have him beat up interns at the catering hall. He hugs Vickie Guerrero. Way to get a push big man.
The Miz – This one probably comes as no surprise. Not even wrestling at SummerSlam, but serving as “The Host” for the pay-per-view. Do I really need to elaborate more?
Curtis Axel – You probably think I lost my marbles. He is the Intercontinental Champion. Oh, because that was REALLY helpful for Wade Barrett, wasn’t it? Sure, Axel is a “Heyman Guy” but so is Brock Lesnar. I highly doubt you will see Lesnar and Axel teaming up anytime soon. At first I thought we would see a gimmick where Heyman recruits some up-and-coming young talent into a new Dangerous Alliance stable. As of Raw, Heyman brings out Axel for his match, only to talk about Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk, and as a side note, Axel is more than perfect. Yay. Good for him. Axel having the IC belt and hanging with Heyman is coming across as WWE Creative saying “Hey, we WANT you to PAY ATTENTION to this guy. He MIGHT be good one day!”
Before I go, I wonder where the following wrestlers have gone off too?
Ted Dibiase Jr. – You done with The Marine 6 yet?
Alex Riley – We saw you with Brad Maddox. You must be up to no good. At least you’re up to SOMETHING.
Primo and Epico – Don’t worry you’ll have your turn to job to The Shield.
Curt Hawkins – I just found this guy on the WWE superstar page. Right up there with Bo Dallas. Uhm… they had ONE match on RAW and got a spot on the WWE roster page?