Thursday, September 19, 2013

WWE Battleground 2013: Bryan/Orton Stipulation in the Works?

Written by Travis Taylor

On October 6, 2013, Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton will meet in their third matchup for the WWE Championship at the WWE pay-per-view Battleground. But with their feud in full swing, does the WWE have a match stipulation in mind?

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If the idea is to milk this feud, and Bryan's popularity, then a new rumored stipulation for the Bryan/Orton title bout is the only way for this thing to go.

According to, the WWE is toying around with the idea of having Bryan and Orton wrestle in an Iron Man match. The article reads:

Stipulations are expected to be added to Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton and Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio at WWE's Battleground pay-per-view. There's talk of Bryan vs. Orton being an Iron Man match. That would allow WWE to do another indecisive finish, leading to Hell In a Cell where there could be a definitive winner once and for all.
For those unfamiliar with an Iron Man match, the rules are simple. The match has a time limit, usually one hour, but a half hour is not unheard of. The winner of the bout is the wrestler who scores the most wins by the end of the time limit. Those wins can by pinfall, submission, count out or disqualification. 

In the entire history of the WWE only seven Iron Man matches have taken place. Nine wrestlers have competed in those seven matches, including Triple H (2), Kurt Angle (3), Chris Benoit (2) and, yes, Orton. In 2009 Orton faced John Cena in a spectacular bout.

The idea of the WWE using an Iron Man stipulation in this bout is exciting. The match itself is something to behold. Too many of today's bouts last less than 10 minutes. If one stretches to 20 minutes it reaches epic proportions.

Going one hour doing anything physical is an awesome feat. The reason there's only seven of these matches is because there aren't many wrestlers who can last that long without getting winded and manage to keep the audience glued. 

At WrestleMania XII in 1996, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels set the bar extremely high in the very first WWE Iron Match, for the WWE Championship. After one hour of action, neither man had scored a victory. In what is still considered a controversial move, Gorilla Monsoon ordered that match to go into sudden death. 

Michaels would go on to win the bout and the WWE Championship. 

In that bout the two men were able to make an incredible connection with the audience. Not only did their feud have a wonderful, well-understood backstory, but also both men knew how to pace the bout and draw out the drama.

The WWE never would have placed the bout on the Grandest Stage of Them All if there had been any doubt Hart and Michaels could pull it off.

There should be no fear giving Bryan and Orton an Iron Man match as well. Orton has proved he could pull off the stamina and storytelling needed when he faced Cena at Bragging Rights in 2009. When he was on the independent circuit, it wasn't unusual to see Bryan go an hour or more.

If the WWE does go this route, it is a smart move. The feud with Bryan and Orton, and Bryan and The McMahon's really, has been an exciting one. Just watch the crown reactions to Bryan and Triple H. See how wild the crowd went this past Monday and when the locker room emptied and rushed to Bryan's aid.

The WWE doesn't want to drop the ball on this one. If the feud can be stretched for one more pay-per-view—and it shouldn't go any further than that—the Iron Man match is a great move. Like said, the Iron Man match can end with no clear winner and both men can come out looking great.

Imagine after 60 minutes of action the score is tied. Both men have battered each other senseless and scored multiple victories over each other. With time running out, Bryan and Orton score win over win against each other. In the final seconds, Bryan locks in the Yes Lock. Orton hold out and taps a mere second after time expires.

The match is over, both men look strong and there is still no new WWE champion. The only choice is to send these two men into Hell in a Cell and finally give that pay-per-view a match and feud worthy of the monstrous cage.

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