WWE ended up nixing the first-ever Braun Strowman vs. Randy Orton singles match from Monday’s RAW episode.
WWE announced Orton vs. Strowman for RAW during last Friday’s SmackDown on FOX show. We noted on Monday evening how the match had been pulled from WWE’s RAW preview some time earlier in the afternoon. The match never happened on RAW as Orton wrestled Riddle in singles action, while Strowman teamed with Drew McIntyre for a tag team match against T-BAR and Mace.
It was noted by PWInsider that Strowman vs. Orton had already been changed to Riddle vs. Orton when Monday’s RAW production meeting began, with no explanation given. Braun was also written into the McIntyre storyline by that point. This was said to be a call made by WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon.
Orton appeared early in the night in a backstage interview with Kevin Patrick. He declared that “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt will never be seen or heard from in WWE again, as long as Orton is around. Orton then said the WWE Champion after WrestleMania Backlash, either challenger Drew McIntyre or current champion Bobby Lashley, will have a target on his back because Orton is coming for what he truly cares about – the WWE Title. Orton was then interrupted by Riddle, who wanted to form a “RK-Bro” tag team with The Viper. Orton walked off but then told Adam Pearce to make the match. Riddle ended up getting the win out of nowhere with a crucifix pin after blocking the RKO.
As noted before at this link, Strowman teamed with McIntyre for the DQ loss to T-BAR and Mace, which led to the former RETRIBUTION members being un-masked. There is no word on if WWE is saving the first Strowman vs. Orton singles match for a later date, but there was no interaction between the two on this week’s RAW. The storyline going into the nixed match played off how Orton and Strowman participated in last week’s Triple Threat with McIntyre, who won to earn the WrestleMania Backlash match with Lashley on May 16.