As many of you may now know, the top story on the internet today is the fact that Randy Orton defeated Christian at the Smackdown taping last night to become the new World Heavyweight Champion.
After speaking to several key WWE insiders, PWMania can now provide details behind why WWE decided to book this major title change just days after Christian won the title at Extreme Rules.
To begin with, as we exclusively reported several days ago, Randy Orton is set to become the focal point of the Smackdown brand, and the entire Friday night show will be centered around him from both a marketing and creative standpoint. Orton’s position on Smackdown can be compared to John Cena’s position on Raw, as WWE looks at both talents as the creative centers of their respective brands.
Additionally, we were told that Christian’s title win at Extreme Rules was done not so much as a “well deserved win for Christian,” but much more so that a big moment could be made for Edge at the PPV. “Vince [McMahon] could smell, touch and taste a moment between Edge and Christian celebrating on PPV, and that’s the major reason why Christian was awarded the title.” This dispels any conspiracy theories that Christian was awarded the title to keep it on Smackdown, as we were told it would have been very easy for WWE to throw a third party into the Extreme Rules match which would have kept the title off Christian and still on Smackdown.
As to the question of why WWE stripped Christian of the title so shortly after his win at Extreme Rules, WZ was told that no one in WWE with any kind of influence values Christian as a top money draw for the company. Christian is well liked, and is considered, as we were told, “a reliable hand,” but when it comes to being a top player in WWE, Vince McMahon has absolutely no faith in him.
Brian Gewirtz, who is the head writer on Raw, and also oversees the entire writing staff in general, which means he does have influence on the direction of Smackdown, is said to be a big supporter of Christian, but other than him, there appears to be no other members of WWE’s top brass that consider Christian to be a major player. And yet, we’re told by our key WWE insider that even Gewirtz wouldn’t speak up for Christian as a top draw. “Brian knows Christian is a very entertaining wrestler,” we were told, “but even he knows Christian should not be the number one guy on either brand.”
As we said, however, Christian is still considered to be a quality worker and a reliable hand for WWE, and we were even told that a possible producer/agent position might be available for him when his wrestling days are over, but as far as Christian ever working at the top of a WWE brand, that seems to be a very unlikely possibility.