SK Exclusive: Vince McMahon sees this WWE Superstar as the Roman Reigns of SmackDown Live
It's no secret that Roman Reigns receives priority treatment on Raw, however, who is the Roman Reigns of SmackDown Live?
What's the story?
An inside source has revealed to us that there is very little difference between the way Vince McMahon sees Randy Orton and Roman Reigns, both of whom are his pet projects.
In case you didn’t know...
Randy Orton, who has received a major push recently, won the 2017 Royal Rumble and then captured the WWE Championship from Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 33. Roman Reigns has been seen as the top project for years, and he has headlined the last three WrestleManias despite total indifference from the fans.
The Heart of the matter
Plans for a Roman Reigns heel turn were nixed a few weeks before WrestleMania 33 because Vince McMahon still believes that the Big Dog will get over as a babyface act. Our sources claim that he often wrongly refers to Reigns’ detractors as a “vocal minority.”
As for Orton, our sources have reiterated to us that Vince McMahon is extremely high on “The Viper” and that he will not lose the WWE Championship anytime soon. This obviously means that Orton will overcome the challenge of Jinder Mahal this Sunday and keep the strap until at least SummerSlam and possibly beyond.
Contrary to other reports, Vince McMahon singled out Orton for a mega-push last August when he was hand-picked as the face of SmackDown, winning the 2017 Royal Rumble and the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 33.
Randy Orton will defend his title against Jinder Mahal at Backlash, and he will retain his WWE Championship. Meanwhile, Roman is booked in a Fatal 5 Way No.1 contender’s match at Extreme Rules – with a program against The Miz pencilled in for the summer, which is no doubt designed to get Roman over as a babyface.
In an industry that is controlled by a man who puts a heavy emphasis on appearance, it's not a surprise that Orton and Reigns are receiving preferential treatment from the company. Orton is likely to be pitted against two anti-American heels, while Reigns will soon be paired against The Miz.
The WWE clearly feel that these are the most likely opponents to aid Orton and Reigns in getting positive crowds reactions. In my opinion, none of this will work. Fans may be cold towards Jinder Mahal, but they respect the work of Rusev and The Miz. I believe Orton vs Rusev and Reigns vs The Miz will both receive mixed reactions.
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