At WWE Summerslam, Brock Lesnar will face Randy Orton in one of the most anticipated matches on the card. Many within the WWE Universe were curious how WWE would build to their match with Lesnar being on Raw and having a limited schedule while The Viper was drafted to SmackDown.
However, Lesnar vs. Orton has escalated very quickly after the last week of WWE programming. On Raw, Orton caught Paul Heyman monologuing, which distracted The Beast Incarnate and allowed Orton to draw first blood with an RKO. However, Lesnar retaliated the next night on SmackDown by invading the show, going through security, and hitting Randy with an F5 to “even the score.”
As the feud between Lesnar and Orton has begun to expand, the rules of the WWE Draft and brand split have been violated, which is creating tension between Raw and SmackDown since the rosters are supposed to be exclusive to their drafted brand. However, Lesnar and Orton have been bending the rules as WWE Summerslam approaches closer, so Mick Foley thought it was time to extend an olive branch.
According to a preview for next week’s edition of Monday Night Raw on WWE, Mick Foley has invited Daniel Bryan to appear on the show, but neither Foley or WWE has specified exactly what Bryan will be doing on Raw. It’s very likely that Bryan and Foley will attempt to handle the tension that Lesnar vs. Orton has created between Raw and SmackDown before it gets out of hand.
WWE made the following statement about Daniel Bryan returning to Monday Night Raw for the first time since the night his return to WWE programming only a few weeks ago.
“The lead-up to the anticipated SummerSlam clash between Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar pitted Raw and SmackDown Live against each other in a whole new way this past week. After The Viper invaded Monday night’s hottest show to attack The Beast, Lesnar retaliated against WWE’s Apex Predator the following night and put Team Blue on notice. Now, Raw General Manager Mick Foley has invited SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan to Monday night’s hottest show for what’s sure to be an eventful meeting. Will the competition between Team Red and Team Blue stay friendly for long?”
When Vince McMahon made Stephanie McMahon and Shane McMahon the respective commissioners of their brands for WWE’s brand extension, the idea was to create a civil war in WWE that was as much Raw vs. SmackDown as it was Shane vs. Stephanie.
There should be some interaction between Raw and SmackDown because it will sell the brand split, establish the on-screen competition between the two brands, and allow the fans to choose a side. WWE officials are definitely looking for the WWE fans to argue if Raw or SmackDown is better, so the two sides interacting so soon after the WWE Draft will help more than avoiding that they’re in competition in WWE.
On Raw, Daniel Bryan, and Mick Foley will discuss the brand split thus far, the build up to WWE Summerslam, and the developing issues that Lesnar vs. Orton is causing between their brands. The interaction between Bryan and Foley on Raw is actually going to be important to determine how the dynamic between Raw and SmackDown goes in the future.
The fact is that Lesnar vs. Orton is the first feud within WWE that will focus on Raw and Smackdown, so one WWE superstar is going to win, and the other will lose. In the end, one brand will have bragging rights, which could create a lot of storylines as WWE settles into the brand extension over the next few months.
[Image via WWE]