At Survivor Series, Team Ziggler manged to best Team Foley in one of the most highly anticipated matches on the card.
Going in, there was a great deal of speculation about who would turn on whom. Questions abounded. Could The Miz be trusted? Would Orton shock the world and turn on Team Foley, kick-starting his much-talked about heel turn? And, most importantly, why does Mick Foley continue to dress so embarrassingly?
Well, in the end, none of that happened. Miz stayed true to Team Foley, even managing to eliminate Wade Barrett during the bout, much to the delight of the fans in attendance. Orton, despite coming off as surly and indifferent during Foley's backstage prep talk prior to the match remained loyal and firmly on the good guy side.
Indeed, as the last survivor for his team he fought valiantly despite being outnumbered two-to-one by heels Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler.
Things came down to Orton and Ziggler in the closing moments, with Orton going for his famous punt move, which he hasn't used in ages. "The Show-off" managed to quickly avoid it, before hitting a tremendous superkick to pick up the victory.
Considering many had expected the usually dominant Orton to overcome the odds and emerge victorious, this ending was quite the surprise.
The match itself was terrific. Filled with drama, tension and gripping moments, it was easily a highlight of the pay-per-view (it was far better than the cluttered Triple Threat main event, in my opinion). Even Mick Foley's often cringe-worthy comedy actually came off as fun and light-hearted, as the best-selling author tangled with annoying heel manager Ricardo Rodriguez.
In other notes: David Otunga replaced an injured Cody Rhodes. Damien Sandow was first out after getting pinned by Kane (who was then swiftly eliminated by Ziggler).
Most of the big-name guys got a chance to shine, with The Miz's face turn getting off to a good start, after he eliminated Wade Barrett to huge cheers from the crowd. There was even time for some obligatory dysfunction from Team Hell No as the duo were seen bickering at several points.
So, what does this result mean?
Well, for one thing, Ziggler, after a string of pay-per-view and television losses, picked up a resounding and clean win over a big star. This should at least go some way to helping him regain his credibility with fans. It may also mean the company is truly ready to get behind him as a big player.
The result could also indicate a significant change in Orton's character going forward.
Could the loss here possibly lead to "The Viper" turning heel in the future? Perhaps he can claim he felt abandoned by his teammates and blame them. Or he may even turn around and blame old foe Foley, who recruited him to the team in the first place. There are quite a few justifications he can churn out in any future promos.
A heel turn would surely be a good move, and something that would help revive Orton's stagnant career. It would also greatly help SmackDown: Despite what the company may like to think, The Big Show just simply isn't the top heel the brand needs at the moment. Bad guy Orton is desperately needed on that show.
In summation, as we emerge from Team Foley/Team Ziggler, there are a few intriguing possibilities going forward, the main one being that Orton's days on the good guy side may be soon over. Let's wait and see how WWE intends to follow it up.
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