Also influencing this decision was the USA Network. The initial decision to take the belt off him and put it on Triple H for a WrestleMania match up with Batista was met very negatively by USA. They would like to see his reign last at least to WrestleMania primarily because the show has been dominated by babyfaces for the past three or four years. They like the fresh dynamic that Orton has brought being the top act on the show as a heel.
From the looks of things, the WWE seems to have heard the message, as Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy matches are starting to pop up at the top of more and more coming house show cards, thus giving a stronger – but not air-tight – indicator that this is, indeed, the case.
Scott Hall was supposed to defend his Universal Heavyweight Title in Puerto Rico in WWC over the weekend but he no showed, so they gave the championship belt to the #1 contender. Unbelievable.
Ric Flair is confirmed for SD! this coming week to continue the ‘retirement’ angle. I’d expect him on RAW as well.