Tonight, at WWE Payback, there will be an inter-promotional match between WWE Champion Randy Orton and former champion Bray Wyatt. The match was supposed to be Wyatt’s rematch for the title he lost at WrestleMania 33 but the title defense is off the table because Wyatt was traded to Monday Night Raw earlier this month.
Randy Orton has played the face in their feud although he did some evil things to win, including burning down Bray Wyatt’s home and desecrating the bones of Sister Abigail. It looks like the evil ways might continue as well, with Cageside Seats reporting that Randy Orton might turn heel on SmackDown Live after the feud ends and start a feud with AJ Styles.
That will be interesting since AJ Styles is still basically a heel although he has been feuding with other heels and the fans are cheering for AJ Styles in those matches. While Randy Orton is popular, there is a belief that AJ Styles is more popular and will get most of the cheers if they feud.
Plus, Randy Orton has made it clear that he likes playing the heel better than he likes playing a face in the WWE. Getting fans to stop cheering for the RKO won’t happen but Randy Orton has proven over the years that he is perfect at turning fans against him.
Interestingly, Forbes reported that Bray Wyatt was one of the top merchandise sellers in both arenas as well as at WWEShop.com but the fans have mostly been solidly behind Randy Orton in their feud. However, when Bray Wyatt dropped The Miz with Sister Abigail on Monday Night Raw this past week, fans quickly cheered for him despite him also taking out Dean Ambrose as well before that.
It seems like fans want to cheer for Bray Wyatt but he has given them little reason over the last year. Tonight will mark the end of his feud with Randy Orton, one that started out strong but received negative reviews across the board for their match at WrestleMania 33.
The two might have more trouble getting fans behind them tonight at Payback since their match is reported to be very strange, starting out inside a house and then moving on to the arena later in the show. Fans at arenas don’t like watching things on the big screen when they paid money to see it in person so there is a chance fans will lash out against the match.
However, once this match is over with at Payback, the two wrestlers will move on. Bray Wyatt has hinted at feuds with Finn Balor, Dean Ambrose, and The Miz since arriving on Monday Night Raw. Randy Orton is already scheduled to face off with Jinder Mahal on SmackDown Live, so Orton will remain a face until at least Backlash on May 21.
Right now, AJ Styles is involved in a feud with Kevin Owens for the United States Championship. That title almost seems below both men but it is only a matter of time before AJ Styles is back in the world title scene and it looks like the WWE wants to see the Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles feud.
It could also play out well since AJ Styles won a battle royal and a qualifying match to get the main event at WrestleMania 33 against Bray Wyatt but lost a match to Randy Orton to lose that title shot. AJ Styles has never received his one-on-one rematch for the belt, so the feud with Randy Orton is already set up perfectly.
AJ Styles had a great run as the WWE world champion in 2016 and Randy Orton is a veteran who seems to be able to work well with anyone. After AJ Styles dominated John Cena in 2016, doing so against Randy Orton in 2017 could entrench AJ Styles as one of the best wrestlers in the WWE.
[Featured Image by WWE]