Interweaving feuds from the past and the present will make the WWE Championship Money in the Bank ladder match especially compelling.
It's a given that each competitor will be vying for the red briefcase swinging over the ring, the one that contains an all-but-guaranteed reign as WWE champ. However, it will be the mess of rivalries, bad blood and lingering resentment that will elevate the drama of this battle.
Orton and Bryan left behind a wake of splintered kendo sticks, bent steel chairs and broken tables on Monday's WWE Raw. Their animosity may have died down after a post-match handshake, but expect it to boil over again when the company's ultimate prize is on the line.
Bryan is by no means the only man in the match who has issues with Orton. The third-generation star's rivalries alone will make for an intriguing match.
A Viper Has Many Enemies
Orton has had issues with every man he is competing with on July 14.
Some of the wounds are fresher than others, but he has left his mark on each man competing in the match. WWE has a myriad of options in terms of which rivalries of his to focus on.
The freshest in our collective memory is with Bryan. The two foes have fought in intense battles over the last few weeks. Though Orton was willing to congratulate Bryan after their Street Fight, it still has to sting that he tapped out to The World's Toughest Vegan.
It's easy to imagine those two reigniting their rage come Money in the Bank.
Orton has also recently had a tense relationship with Sheamus. Just two months ago, Sheamus and Orton pounded on each other before Big Show interrupted and started tossing bodies around.
It appeared certain that Orton and Sheamus' sometimes partnership was heading down the path once walked by Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels. There is still tension to mine there. The MITB ladder match may see Orton and Sheamus join forces during some moments and tear each other's heads off during others.
Going further back, Orton has a history with Punk that can be revisited and rekindled.
Their bad blood dates back to a 2011 rivalry that saw them collide at WrestleMania XXVII and in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules of that year.
Orton had issues with Van Dam many years ago and that's not likely to factor into the MITB match. Kane and Orton’s brief feud last year probably won't be dramatic fodder either.
WWE could however easily draw from the past in revisiting Christian and Orton's intense feud in 2011.
The two foes traded the World Heavyweight Championship in increasingly personal matches. WWE doesn't need to give fans a history lesson, but splicing in a few clips of their old feud and making a handful of references to it only serves to make the MITB ladder match more interesting.
Anger Issues and Burned Bridges
Another man who has few friends in this matchup is the man many are predicting will be facing Cena for the WWE title at SummerSlam.
Bryan's rage led to his partnership with Kane and has recently destroyed it. An obsession with proving that he was not Team Hell No's weak link fractured their relationship.
A duo that began as enemies can easily revert back to that state once the MITB ladder match begins.
It will be intriguing to see if they can work together some or if they lose focus on the championship in order to beat each other into the ground.
Bryan has plenty of reasons to be angry with Sheamus as well.
It was Sheamus that took his world title from him in 18 seconds two WrestleManias ago. Watching those two collide once more will be more fun knowing their history. Normally two faces would forget their old feud, but Bryan is often a tweener, his anger reaching beyond the traditional boundaries of good guy and bad guy.
The last time Bryan had a shot at the WWE title, it was Punk who thwarted him time and time again.
Their history goes back to their days at Ring of Honor. Their chemistry together is among the best in the business. Should it be Punk and Bryan slugging it out atop the ladder, their past will make it all more meaningful.
Those are just some of the enmities that will help color the MITB ladder match.
WWE's options are plentiful in terms of using the past to help dramatize the present. The company often uses only the immediate past to build up a match, but there is plenty of acrimonious history to mine here.
In the race for the Money in the Bank contract, old rivals are going to have cross paths again. That enduring hatred can either thrust them into victory or distract them from their ultimate goal.
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