Randy Orton has once again become one of the hottest acts in WWE in recent months, reviving his "Legend Killer" gimmick while feuding with the likes of Edge, Christian and Big Show with Ric Flair by his side. And while "The Viper" seemed to be teasing some sort of feud with NXT in recent months, it sounds like WWE has much bigger plans for him at SummerSlam. According to WrestleTalk's Louis Dangoor and TalkSport's Alex McCarthy, the current plan is for Orton to feud with Drew McIntyre over the WWE Championship at WWE's second-biggest pay-per-view.
A few weeks ago, I reported that Randy Orton had been pitching to work with members of the NXT roster at SummerSlam, most notably Adam Cole & Tommaso Ciampa.
However, I've been told that due to the shortage of #WWERaw heels, Randy Orton will likely be facing Drew McIntyre.— Louis Dangoor (@TheLouisDangoor) July 8, 2020
Just because the match isn't happening at SummerSlam, doesn't mean it won't happen at Survivor Series or another PPV down the line.
With so few top heels of Raw, higher-ups feel as if Randy is needed for the WWE Championship picture over the coming months.— Louis Dangoor (@TheLouisDangoor) July 8, 2020
In fairness, I was also told Orton’s immediate thoughts after learning Edge was injured was to pivot to either Adam Cole or Tommaso Ciampa at SummerSlam.
Not sure on current plans, but common sense says Randy is top heel/best matchup for Drew. https://t.co/YDxEkxr1zE— Alex McCarthy (@AlexM_talkSPORT) July 8, 2020
The pivot to McIntyre/Orton makes plenty of sense. McIntyre has already demolished most of Raw's biggest heels like Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley and Andrade and his latest feud with Dolph Ziggler doesn't seem like a real threat to his championship. He recently told Sports Illustrated he had a list of 12 opponents he wanted in a WWE Championship match and aside from Ziggler (who just jumped to Raw) and Jinder Mahal (injured), Orton was the only one on the Raw roster.
WWE's next pay-per-view, The Horror Show at Extreme Rules, takes place on July 19 at the WWE Performance Center. Check out the full card (so far) below:
- WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler
- Raw Women's Championship: Asuka vs. Sasha Banks
- SmackDown Women's Championship: Bayley vs. Nikki Cross
- Wyatt Swamp Fight: Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
- Eye for an Eye Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins
- United States Championship Match: Apollo Crews vs. MVP
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.