On the Smackdown after HIAC, we are told by Paige in an official statement that Jeff and Randy will both be unable to compete, Randy until after Super-Show Down, and Jeff possibly until after Mania. Randy spends his off time posting silent Twitter videos of him rewatching himself maim Jeff Hardy over and over again. This is brought up by the announcers every Smackdown, but not given any air-time because "Watching a guy behave like a creep would be the wrong way to use our time" according to Paige. The announcers sell Randy's actions as some of the most disturbing behavior we've seen in some time. On the Super-Showdown post show it's c confirmed that Randy Orton is here, as he's posed next to an area landmark with a studded belt similar to Jeff Hardy's with the cryptic warning, "You ain't seen nothin yet #herodeleted"
-Daniel Bryan def The Miz to become the Number One Contender to the WWE Championship.
-Samoa Joe wins the WWE Championship from AJ Styles after a Kendo Stick assisted Rear Naked choke. As Joe departs with the title, and AJ staggers to his feet, Randy bolts through the crowd, and delivers an RKO to the fallen ex-Champion. Randy then bolts back through the crowd as quick as he came.
-Triple H w/ Shawn Micheals def The Undertaker w/ Kane after Randy Orton RKO's Taker and pulls Hunter onto the fallen Deadman. Kane attempts to run interference but gets an RKO counter out of a Chokeslam. Randy produces the leather belt and whips both Brothers of Destruction with it as Triple H rises to his feet, satisfied with what he's seen. Also worth noting is that I would add in some gruesome spot to the match where one could surmise Taker was hurt, so that when Randy attacked him we could explain away the lack of an immediate response
We cold open the post SSS-Smackdown with Triple H informing Paige that she must read the statement provided, and also abide by the rulings herein or risk termination. After the show opening graphic Paige informs us that in turn for his assistance at Super Show-Down, Triple H has written Randy a new contract with new provisions. This is basically a rehash of Raven's Rules. He can wrestle who he want to, when he wants to, under whatever stipulations he sees fit. She tells us that he has no match tonight, per his request. AJ Styles comes out to tell Paige this is BS, but he doesn't blame her, he blames Triple H and that scumbag Randy Orton. He ponders if he's one of the "heroes" Randy is planning on taking out. AJ says his rematch clause isn't going anywhere, and neither is he because this is the house that AJ Styles built, and when Randy was ready he'd be ready too.
We cut backstage about midway through the show to see that R-Truth is unconscious, his shirt is ripped, and stud marks are all across his back. We are also informed that Tye Dillinger is doing charity work at a Canadian hospital, so he isn't here.
On Twitter, Tye is furious and says he will be on Smackdown tomorrow to demand an explination
The next week on Smackdown Randy is in the building. Instead of a match however, Randy has requested promo time to explain his actions, with the stipulation that should anyone interrupt, they be fired.
Randy reiterates his whole "Take out your heroes" gimmick he's had since he's returned, but iterated that, since Hell in a Cell, he's remembered something, that he causing pain. He likes hurting other people. That's when he's most fulfilled. He states that any of the idiots who've been been watching WWE for the past 10+years know that he's a hot commodity. So maybe he shouldn't wrestle on Smackdown in front of po-dunk crowds like this one. Maybe he should maximize his money making opportunities. He teases a one on one match at WWE Crown Jewel between himself and Tye, but then says he's entering the tournament, and Tye better enter too, same with AJ if he wants a piece.
Randy ducks AJ and Tye, the rest of the month, his only match squashing R-Truth who came back before he was supposed to to fight, Randy takes the match against the injured man because he is a dick.
Also Daniel Bryan and Samoa Joe will be wrestling Andrade Almas and Rusev respectively at Crown Jewel
- Harper returns to squash a Saudi Arabian trainee who made an open challenge to cement that he is a heel
-Randy Orton wins the Crown Jewel tournament, beating Titus O'Neil in the first round, Tye in the semis, and AJ Styles in the final. All three are whipped with a leather belt. AJ is also given a second RKO to sell AJ being off TV for a while (Randy post's on Twitter #houserepoed and #zerooutoften) in response
We cold open the first post CJ Smackdown with Randy hanging out with Harper back stage. Randy whips a broken looking cabinet, while Harper smashes it with his hammer. Tom Phillips audibly wonders what on Earth that could be about. After the show opener, we're told about the Survivor Series card. and how the only "brand supremacy" match on the card will be his own, when he and Harper beat the New Day tonight in a No Holds Barred match for the tag straps and go on to face Rollins and Ambrose at the Survivor Series. He considers Rollins and Ambrose to be the biggest "heroes" on the other brand and he'll take them out too along with his partner Harper who he reminds us is due a re-match for the Tag titles, which is why they are friends. Plus they both like swinging dangerous objects at people.
-Randy Orton and Harper beat The New Day after Harper bludgeons Big E's knee with the hammer.
In the proceeding weeks, Randy picks up wins against Xavier and Kofi in singles action, as well as defending the tag titles successfully against Dillinger and Truth. (Randy posts on Twitter #dayisdone and #nomorepancakes along with all the other hashtags)
-On the kickoff panel, Booker T makes the point that the hashtags on Twitter are like Ted Bundy's trophy collection, which sets the explanation of what the hashtags mean.
-Rollins and Ambrose def Harper and Orton when Seth pins Harper. Randy looks disgusted
-Daniel Bryan defeats Samoa Joe clean to win the WWE Championship
Randy Orton and Harper drop the titles to The Bar on the post-Series Smackdown when Randy walks out on Harper immediately, claiming that the Bar aren't heroes, he doesn't need to take them out.
On the next Smackdown we learn that per Randy's request, he is now the Number One Contender for the WWE Championship at The Royal Rumble. We also learn that Rusev will be wrestling Shinsuke Nakamura for the US Championship at the Rumble. The next few weeks are engaged in a TV feud with Samoa Joe. who's enraged that his rematch clause is overruled. Randy accepts the match if for no other reason than to shut Joe up. Joe loses after Randy low blows him. Joe takes his frustrations out on Nakamura, who's also known for low-blowing people, so the US title match is now Rusev vs.Nakamura vs. Joe. Randy meanwhile spends the rest of the month cutting promos about how he will whip Daniel like farmers whip and hurt animals to tenderize the meat he enjoys so much.
Rusev def Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamua to win the US Title. After the match, he cuts a promo stating that he will enter The Royal Rumble, beat the champion at Wrestlemania, and become the king of singles competition on Smackdown, and every day will be Rusev Day.
-Randy Orton gets himself disqualified intentionally with the leather belt and walks away laughing as Daniel squirms in pain. The commentators wonder why Randy would do this.
-A few surprise entrants are revealed pre-Rumble, such as AJ Styles and Ricochet, the latter of whom says he's seen blowhards like Randy everywhere he's wrestled and he is here with the blessing of GM Regal to do what he does best and shut people like Randy up.
-In the Rumble itself, a few things of consequence happen in our story Rusev eliminating AJ. This allows AJ to go off and feud with Rusev, AJ believing that Rusev is the reason why he will not be able to fight Randy at Mania. Also the final two people in the Rumble are Ricochet and Seth Rollins. Orton interferes and shoves Ricochet off the top rope giving Seth the victory. Seth chooses the Universal Title, planting the seeds for a Seth vs Roman feud at Mania.
In a promo, Randy informs us that at one point he was the champion and had the blessing of the Authority. Daniel Bryan changed all that. So now we've come full circle. This wasn't just about whipping Daniel Bryan like he'd said a few weeks back, this about killing the biggest "hero" of our time, and he'd do so at Mania. Meanwhile, he makes a snide remark about Ricochet and their match tonight.
-Randy Orton beats Ricochet clean, although Ricochet takes him to the limit. Randy demands another match next week.
In the next week. Randy beats Ricochet again this time with the leather belt, but Ricochet is given a "Thank you sir, may I have another" moment by demanding a match with him the next week.
-The next week, Daniel Bryan interrupts Randy's match from the back by chanting "Yes" into a microphone. Ricochet gets a rollup win. Randy demands a match
- The week after that. Ricochet pins Randy Orton clean with no interference in the opener. Randy is asked by an interviewer what's happening out there. Randy screams that Daniel Bryan pissed him off and he's going to go home and train, and he'll get the Viper at the top of his game, and see you at Mania (censored).
- The angle is kept alive by Daniel Bryan promos stating that he's fighting on behalf of every young guy who's been kept down by a psychotic old-timer who freaked out when he saw change happening all around him. Daniel promises that when he's done Randy will have to move out of the way and onto the sidelines where he belongs. Also, pre-recorded Randy Orton interviews and workout packages are shown.
-Daniel Bryan retains against Randy Orton in a no-holds barred match via doctor stoppage when, after a twenty minute back and forth match in which the leather belt is teased and not used. Daniel snaps Randy's shoulder out of socket with the Yes Lock. All of the babyfaces who have been hurt by Randy take turns whipping him until the studs off the belt break. Randy is helped to the back by doctors while all the babyfaces lead the crowd in a "YES" chant.
(Also, I intentionally left several plot threads open, AJ, New Day, Brothers of Destruction, to give Randy some possible post-Mania PPV matches.