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The Viper and The Phenomenal One: A new feud in the making?


The Viper and The Phenomenal One: A new feud in the making?

Randy Orton just signed a new contract with the WWE. The Apex Predator is already since the year 2001 part of World Wrestling Entertainment and one of the greatest superstars this company has ever seen. He is a 13-time World Champion while on the other side AJ Styles just had two title runs with the WWE Championship until now. However, he’s just part of the company since 2016, but still, one of the greatest superstars of the whole roster since she was already well-known for his time with ROH, NJPW and TNA. Anyways, it looks as these two men would once more start a feud with one and another.

The history between the two men

We already had this match at this year’s WrestleMania. The match was the second one on the match card of the main show and Styles was able to win it after the Phenomenal Forearm. During the build-up for this fight, they mainly concentrated on the aspect which I already mentioned above: Orton is part of the WWE for over 16 years while Styles joined the company in 2016.

Additionally, the Phenomenal One used at that time several times the catchphrase that SmackDown would be the “house that AJ Styles built”. Orton noted during the build-up for their match at WrestleMania 35 that he would have built that house while Styles was wrestling in high school gymnasiums. During the whole feud, Orton perfectly worked as the heel while Styles was the face.

A new build-up?

During the RAW episode on 25 November 2019, we had a four-way match between Orton, Rey Mysterio, Ricochet and Drew McIntyre. The winner of this match would get the opportunity to face after this fight the United States Champion AJ Styles in a title match. However, at some point in this match, the Viper hit McIntyre with an RKO outa nowhere and looked like the sure winner as Ricochet and Mysterio weren’t seen near to break up the pin. However, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows (partners of Styles and part of the OC) broke up the pin and attacked Orton which cost him the match and the title shot. Mysterio won the fight and went on to face Styles for the U.S. title just moments later.

In this match, it looked likely that Mysterio could win this match, but once more Gallows and Anderson got involved. They attacked the Master of the 619 and it was legal as the ref was on the ground since Styles took him out accidentally.

However, suddenly Orton came out to beat up Gallows and Anderson, and then he hit the Phenomenal One with an RKO to help Mysterio winning the match and the title. After this match, Styles got interviewed in the backstage area and seemed to be on the verge of tears. He didn’t say any word except Orton’s name and then walked off.

What we can expect

It’s not sure if this really is the start of a build-up for a match, but the signs are pretty clear. Orton cost Styles his U.S. Championship and Styles first statement after that match wasn’t about winning back the championship, but about Orton. Both men are incredible performers and also good actors and due to that, a rivalry could be once more interesting. However, if they start a feud, they hopefully use another topic than they did during their last one. Besides, the fact that Styles has now the OC in his corner could also change the complexion of the situation. We’ll have to wait and see.


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