Pruett’s Blog: Christian losing the World Title to Randy Orton and why WWE did the right thing

Posted in: Pruett's Blog, MUST-READ LISTING
May 9, 2011 - 10:28 AM

By Will Pruett

Monday, May 9 – 10:28 A.M. (CT)

It has been nearly a week since Christian became World Heavyweight Champion at Extreme Rules 2011. In the best match on the show and one of the greatest WWE moments of this year, Christian raised the “Big gold belt” over his head and achieved his life-long dream. Many believed that this moment was WWE finally giving Christian his due after what many have considered a long period of mistreatment due to him going to TNA.

Two days later, many of those same people were outraged. On the Dot Net Member’s Forum there were a ton of angry responses, but that paled in comparison to Twitter that evening. Everything from people saying WWE robbed Christian, to fans swearing that they would never watch WWE again, and even some death threats directed toward the man WWE gave the championship to, Randy Orton.

Three days after Smackdown was taped, it aired in the United States. I watched this episode with a ton of curiosity. I already knew how it ended, but it was my goal to be as open minded as possible when it happened. I’ve been a Christian fan for a long time and I was happy to see him with his first World Championship.

As the show went on, I realized that WWE was making the right choice. Before the hate mail begins, please hear me out of this one. I know that there was a groundswell of support behind Christian when Edge retired, but he is not the caliber of star that Randy Orton is at this moment.

Randy Orton received the biggest reaction of the night, even with Christian’s new championship around his waist. Both when he came to the ring in the opening segment and when he was introduced before the match, it was clear that the fans, as happy as they may be for Christian, were firmly behind Orton.

Christian’s promo at the beginning of the show was lackluster, considering this was the promo his fans have waited years to hear. After watching this, it was clear to me that Christian, at least in his current character, would not be able to carry Smackdown.

Many have wondered why WWE did not wait until the Over The Limit pay-per-view to take the title off of Christian. I believe that this was done with Christian’s own interests in mind. His star power was dwarfed by Randy Orton’s in just one night as champion. He looked like a lesser wrestler in their one face-to-face encounter. What if WWE had let this build for three weeks?

Christian would have looked weaker and weaker in the ring across from Orton and any future plans that WWE had for him would be washed away because Christian’s stock would have fallen far. Christian would have dropped the title at the pay-per-view and who knows where WWE would go from there?

With this option, Christian still got to look his best. He got his one night celebration and now we will see what a new Christian character can do. With Randy Orton being his competition for top babyface, Christian has the opportunity to assume to role of Smackdown’s top heel. This is a make or break moment in Christian’s long career that he may not have had the opportunity to reach had it not been for a one night title reign.

It’s easy to be upset about a veteran wrestler achieving his dream and having it taken away. My first reaction was sadness when I heard the news Tuesday night, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how big of a moment this could be for Captain Charisma.

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