Randy Orton vs. Rusev Match Announced for WWE SummerSlam 2017

Rusev appears set to feud with Randy Orton for WWE’s United States Championship based on their interaction on this week’s Sunday Night Raw, a booking decision that some are viewing as a demotion for Reigns.

WWE announced Sunday night that Randy Orton will put the United States Championship on the line against Rusev at SummerSlam on Aug. 20.


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Randy Orton successfully defended the U.S. title against Cesaro on Raw. Earlier in the night, Reigns crashed Randy Orton's post-wedding celebration with his wife, Kim.


Wrestling for a secondary singles title is a nice change of pace for Reigns. He could compete for the WWE Championship for only so long before that arc had run its course. Reigns' wellness-policy violation in June may have hastened his exit from the main event scene.


It was shocking when Finn Balor beat Reigns on the May 15 edition of Raw to earn a WWE Universal Championship shot against Seth Rollins at SummerSlam.


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Randy Orton is also a great foil for Reigns in the ring.


Reigns excels 
when he's able to let loose and get physical. His match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 33 was the best of his career to date, largely because he and Lesnar unloaded on each other. It's rare that a wrestler can look stronger in defeat, but that's what happened with Reigns in that clash.The fact that Reigns was constantly feuding with superstars who received far more vocal support than he did, no matter what role they were in, destroyed any and all chances of Reigns being the No. 1 fan favorite that Vince McMahon so desperately wanted him to be.

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When Reigns was paired against the likes of Styles and Ambrose, two of WWE’s most popular babyfaces, the creative team did him absolutely no favors. In fact, quite the opposite is true because Styles, a new addition to WWE, and Ambrose, the epitome of what a genuine babyface should be, were never going to be booed by the masses while feuding with Reigns. Ditto for Triple H (he always acts like a face these days even though he’s a heel) and Rollins, who is fresh off an injury that could have ended his career and earned him a ton of respect as a result.


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Until WWE makes a concerted long-term effort to elevate its secondary titles again, it's easy to question whether Randy Orton-Reigns will help either wrestler. Plenty of U.S. title matches have looked interesting on paper but turned out to be underwhelming.


Assuming WWE still envisions Reigns as one of its top stars, though, this should be an interesting storyline to follow heading into SummerSlam.