The common thing for any smart WWE fan to do after a pay-per-view is to have a reaction, a calmly laid out point that rationalizes everything he’s either seen or heard for the better part of two and a half hours. Feuds don’t normally end in terms of full measures, they mostly straddle along in the half measure tense before finally blowing up in our faces. Much to our chagrin, we’re now left in a main event picture where Daniel Bryan, man of the people and Randy Orton, handpicked corporate champion now turned sinister destroyer of worlds (and hapless faces) — battled to a no contest.

Well, as much as a no contest as you can have with Big Show punching out both men (one out of obligation and the other out of frustration) but you get the point. Nobody won.

WWE pay-per-views shouldn’t end like RAW main events. Dusty finishes and common draws are saved for those feuds with way too much chicanery involved and Bryan/Orton was beginning to pick up on plenty of that. There’s Orton, playing his game diabolical Jake “The Snake” Roberts impersonation towards Brie Bella, Bryan’s real life fiancé and berating her to deal with a “real man” like him. Not saying this needed a bit of “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth but there’s already enough established beef between the two of them that something of this nature wasn’t even necessary. Orton stole Bryan’s thunder at Summerslam thanks to corporate choosing, Bryan waged war with said corporation and ultimately got one up on them at their Payback event in September.

Now we’re here — at a crossroads with the two and a payoff that really only benefits Orton in the long run.

In other words, the E backed themselves into a corner the moment they didn’t expand this as just Daniel Bryan versus the glass ceiling until John Cena got back from injury. As much as Cena can be considered stale and earn the hatred of nearly every single adult fan still tuned into the product, he knows he’s damn good at drawing your attention. He’s the wrestling version of Drake, a company man to the bone who cares about his Make-A-Wish commitments just as much as Drizzy loves to sing love ballads and twist emotions around. I’m sure there have been way more streamlined comparisons between rappers and grapplers but you get the point — the world needs John Cena in order for there to be some sense of order. Otherwise there will be a ton of build up between Bryan & Orton without the necessary idea of pecking order below them. Who’s next to challenge for the WWE Title? It will be Cena, one can only presume and maybe then we’ll figure out where they’ll head until November’s Survivor Series.


The above image is maybe the only thing that will make Survivor Series that more important. For weeks, Cody Rhodes has been under the thumb of COO Triple H and his wife Stephanie and it’s led to Rhodes getting fired, his older brother Goldust returning to try and save his job, their father Dusty Rhodes (!) speaking on their behalf and so forth. It’s pretty much created the one great blood feud running inside of the E with the Rhodes family who have long been victimized by politics and the McMahons both second and now third generation who just seem to carry on the legacy of sticking it to the family one more time.

Sunday night gave us the first step to our eventual blow off between the Rhodes Family and whatever creation the McMahons put in place at Survivor Series, which means there will be bionic elbow fades passed around for everybody involved. Look, it’s been well stated that Dusty Rhodes might be the blackest white man who ever walked God’s green earth and his mannerisms are about as Wrestling Game Aaron Neville as you can get. The fact that the E on one hand has booked this feud perfectly in response to the mess up near the top is a wonder. They’ve given characters depth and consolation and actual purpose all year round from The Shield to Bray Wyatt and even Bryan to an extent. But all that pales in comparison to the instant sight and gratification of Dusty Rhodes literally preaching for his two boys.

It’s another sign that creative knows when he has a home run and unlike something as obsessive compulsive as our beloved Breaking Bad, messes things up to the point where no ending will truly satisfy fans at home.