On This Day: June 15, 2020 – Randy Orton “Retires” Christian
On this day, June 15, 2020, Randy Orton would unleash hell upon a former World Heavyweight Champion.
After a seemingly feud-ending match between Randy Orton and WWE Hall of Famer Edge, Orton wasn’t exactly ready to put the bad blood behind him. Never one to leave things up to the imagination, he made it his personal mission to make Edge’s life a living hell – and that would require paying a visit to Edge’s friends. On the episode of Raw following Orton and Edge’s “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever”, Orton was not just content with a win. In fact, he felt it necessary to make an appearance on Raw and proclaim himself as “the greatest wrestler ever.” Orton would go on to thank Edge for reminding him what it feels like to be The Legend Killer. Orton would continue to run down Edge in a vicious promo detailing Edge’s loss, and Edge’s sustained injuries at Backlash. However, Orton would soon be cut off by a very familiar entrance theme.
It’s Christian! Christian is a former tag team champion alongside Edge and has a very storied history with WWE’s Apex Predator. Christian would tear Orton down in a promo that felt like he had been brewing for the past 6 years. Instead of paying any attention to this, Orton would cut Christian off and challenge The Leader of Peep Nation to a match on Raw. Christian would remind Orton that he isn’t medically cleared, only for Orton to make the challenge an “unsanctioned match.” Orton would end the promo by telling Christian that the offer would expire at the end of the night – and if he didn’t accept it, it would prove he is just as much of a coward as Edge.
Christian vs. Randy Orton
Throughout the rest of the night, Christian would debate accepting the offer. He would make phone calls and would have conversations with Big Show and Ric Flair, who gave their words of advice. Ultimately, Christian would accept the match.
Christian makes his way down to ringside in a pair of black pants and a black shirt. It looks like he’s about to mug Orton, not wrestle him. Orton makes his way down to ringside in his typical regalia. Just as the match is about to go underway, Orton’s former mentor, Ric Flair, would make his way down to ringside. Flair would grab a mic and told Christian that he “didn’t need to prove anything to anybody” and that he should “let it go.” Christian would grab the mic from Flair and inform him that he had to wrestle this match. Thus, we have our contest.
The bell rings, and this match is underway. Christian and Orton spend the first few seconds staring at each other until Ric Flair gets back into the ring and low blows Captain Charisma! Since this isn’t a sanctioned wrestling match, the referee is powerless to stop this one. Orton spends the next couple of moments relishing in the moment and PUNTS CHRISTIAN IN THE SKULL! This is the first match since the early 2010’s that we had seen that maneuver. Orton would proceed to roll Christian over and pin him for the victory. Orton would proceed to yell at Christian as EMTs wheeled him out of the arena in a neck brace.
This match was barely a match and more of a segment. However, it was a dramatic and exciting moment to see Flair turn heel (for the 100th time in his career) and align with Orton. Due to the nature of the match being less than 5 minutes, I’m going to have to give it a DUD rating.
Match Result: Randy Orton defeated Christian via Pinfall in 1:00.
Walker’s Star Rating: DUD
In the fallout of this event, Orton would get his hands on championship gold in WWE once more. After going through a championship-dry-spout, Orton would enter a feud with then-WWE Champion, Drew McIntyre. While Orton would lose his first two opportunities at WWE SummerSlam and WWE Clash of Champions, Orton would finally capture his fourteenth WWE Championship reign at WWE Hell In A Cell. Orton would go on to hold the belt for one month, dropping it back to McIntyre in a No Disqualification match on the November 16, 2020 episode of Raw. Orton currently wrestles as one-half of the oddball tag team, RK-Bro, alongside Riddle on Raw.
Christian would decide to head a different route with his career. Potentially getting the itch to compete in-ring again, Christian would make one final appearance in the 2021 Royal Rumble match where he would make it to the final four. Two months later, Christian was announced as the “special guest signing” promised by Paul Wight at AEW Revolution. Christian would make his All Elite Wrestling debut at the event to sign his contract in front of a live crowd. He’d wrestle his first match on March 25, 2021, where he would defeat Frankie Kazarian on AEW Dynamite. Christian is currently still competing under the AEW banner.
Nobody knows what the future holds for Orton or Christian. All we know is what happened On This Day.
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