The scene was a very hot crowd on Raw a week ago today and it also contained the brutally fired up Daniel Bryan and veteran Randy Orton in a street fight.
By the way, thank the WWE Universe for not voting on a Lumberjack match and actually voting for the best possible outcome.
Just like the fans predicted, Orton and Bryan put on a spectacle. Orton has always been regarded as a very good in-ring performer that is able to utilize his athleticism for dangerous spots and tricky, yet tedious timing spots; hence, the Evan Bourne RKO in mid-air.
Bryan is a much better performer, not only that, he might be the best technical wrester in the WWE. That's up for debate, but each match is of the highest quality, including this street fight.
However, praising their accolades and individual skills is not the reason for this column.
In an article that was posted on the main page, World Wrestling Entertainment fined both Bryan and Orton for their chair shot exchange on Raw.
Their chair shots were to the head and due to the recent events of concussions, safety precautions and PG-esque storylines, the WWE felt it was a necessary measure to fine the two superstars.
Here is the link to the story, which includes a quote from HHH, a reaction from Orton, and the full statement made from WWE: http://www.ewrestlingnews.com/news/17999/breaking-news-randy-orton-daniel-bryan-fined
As soon as the floating dirt sheets, websites and ultimately WWE, announced the news the audience immediately split. The hardcore fans went to their beliefs and couldn't stand the fact the fine was issues to both Bryan and Orton.
On the opposite side of the coin, those fans who didn't start watching until the mid-2000's and enjoy the PG product, I'm assuming, enjoyed the idea of the fine and welcome the promotion of safety, non-hardcore wrestling and the fan-friendly John Cena same song and dance.
I find it ridiculous.
Those two put on a match for the ages on Raw. That could be exaggerating the fact, but all "should,” agree the battle Orton and Bryan got themselves in was full of drama, hardcore tactics (but not too much hardcore) and a great ending spot to finish the match.
If you don't remember, Bryan had Orton in the Yes Lock and stole the kendo stick that was in Orton's hands and used it to apply more pressure on the submission hold. The third-generational superstar tapped out and shook the hand of Bryan after the match.
The fine issued by World Wrestling Entertainment was undisclosed, but Orton did say, "It was enough." Why should the wrestlers be punished for doing moves and utilizing weapons that are used responsibly?
I completely understand it's a rule and that is fine. If it is however, the rule must remain consistent. Did CM Punk get fined for performing a piledriver on John Cena in their number-one contender's match on Raw?
No he did not.
If there is a doctor reading this post, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe a piledriver is much more dangerous than aluminum chair shots to the head. Let me clarify by saying that each chair shot by Orton and Bryan to the head weren't devastating.
Check the match and look for yourself, the shots aren't what Rock gave Mankind at Royal Rumble 1999.
In an interview with WWE.com, HHH had this to say about the incident and chair shots to the cranial skull: "We don’t allow chair shots to the head in WWE. We understand it was in the heat of the moment but we take this very seriously and as a result, [Orton and Bryan] were fined."
Helmsley did exactly what he was told to do. WWE performed and exercised their right to perfection. That doesn't mean I, and many others I would think, agree with it.
His actions were justifiable with all of the recent concussions occurring. Fandango has been out for the better part of a month due to a concussion and Dolph Ziggler just returned from a concussed brain that involved retrograde amnesia, to feud with Alberto Del Rio in a World Heavyweight Championship quest.
Those two men bring in a lot of money for the company. I can back up HHH and say risking an injury to either Bryan (with WWE title aspirations very soon) and Orton (about to turn heel and rejuvenate his career any moment) would be asinine and idiotic.
WWE is now full-fledged PG and if you had a hope of it going back to the verbose, abrasive and hardcore style it once had: think again. At this point, Vince McMahon and his band of suits must remain consistent.
I'm a Punk guy all the way, but if you don't fine him for using the piledriver on the company's number-one guy, then a fine to Bryan and Orton is not justifiable.
After all, it's only aluminum.