As a top performer in WWE, you don’t lose that often. As the top guy, you rarely lose at all. Roman Reigns is the top full-time performer in the company, which is exactly why he’s on the flagship show of WWE. Reigns is the face of Raw, but SmackDown has a more diverse roster, and many WWE Superstars could be argued as the top guy for “the blue brand.” It is not without debate, but WWE has chosen The Viper to fill that role.
Randy Orton was the WWE Champion until last night, which makes him the clear choice for the job. But, he has been in that role on SmackDown Live since winning the 2017 Royal Rumble match in January. There is a new report claiming in the eyes of Vince McMahon, Orton has been receiving a “Roman Reigns” push on SmackDown. Apparently, The Boss doesn’t see much of a difference between how the two men are booked.
Despite the fact that Randy Orton lost the WWE Championship to Jinder Mahal at WWE Backlash, Orton is not expected to relinquish his spot as the top guy. Not only that, but WWE officials are expected to push The Viper as the top guy on SmackDown for the foreseeable future. He’s expected to feud with Jinder Mahal, Rusev, Baron Corbin, and AJ Styles. Orton vs. Styles is being planned as a huge feud, but that doesn’t mean there will be a title change.
The interesting dynamic is that while WWE officials have selected Randy Orton as their top guy to represent SmackDown Live, the WWE Universe hasn’t necessarily made the same choice. In fact, you could argue that WWE fans have chosen a couple of different performers to be “their guy” on SmackDown going forward.
It’s been reported that Shinsuke Nakamura was specifically brought to the blue brand to replace John Cena as a top babyface. “The King of Strong Style” was embraced by the WWE Universe immediately. His stock is only going to continue to rise on SmackDown Live. Not to mention, AJ Styles has become synonymous with the SmackDown brand since WWE’s brand extension. Many WWE fans consider Styles to be the top guy.
He’s currently on hiatus, but John Cena is also a top guy whenever he is featured on WWE television in the same way Brock Lesnar is on Raw. However, there is also a report going around that WWE officials do not consider John Cena to be “the face” of SmackDown any longer. There is no question that he’s still a top guy, but he’s not being relied on like he has been in the past, which is why Orton is now considered the top face.
Randy Orton is still receiving a “Roman Reigns” like push on SmackDown for the time being. However, AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and John Cena are waiting in the wings to take that spot away from him if they can. Depending on who you ask, one of them may have already taken the spot. SmackDown’s roster has many strong babyfaces, which only adds to the rumor for an Orton heel turn.
Based on his rumored plans and the report that WWE officials are pushing him like Roman Reigns, it’s very unlikely that a heel turn comes to fruition. Having said that, Cena, Nakamura, and Styles could all become the top babyface for SmackDown if WWE pulls the trigger on a heel turn for Randy Orton. For the foreseeable future, Orton will be booked as the top guy. However, the next several months could see some big changes for the blue brand.
[Featured Image by WWE]