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WWE Backlash 2016: Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton full match preview

Randy Orton seems unflappable.

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That much became crystal clear when, after Brock Lesnar opened his proverbial third eye with a hardway elbow strike at SummerSlam, he showed up on SmackDown and basically shrugged it off. Staples to hold his broken flesh together? Nothing new, and nothing compared to the mental ligatures holding his broken mind together.

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Bray Wyatt thinks different, however. Bray Wyatt thinks the crack Brock Lesnar opened in Randy Orton’s skull runs way down past the bone, all the way into his soul. He takes that wound as a sign that the Apex Predator is done for, that something has changed, deep inside, and that it’s time for the old predator to give way to the new, the man-god that is the Eater of Worlds, Bray Wyatt.

Randy Orton, as you’d expect, has a rather different view of things. Bray isn’t the first man to come along saying he could kill the Legend Killer, dethrone the Apex Predator and reshape the WWE ecosystem in his image. He’s developed a kind of respect for Bray Wyatt. They’re both damaged, he reasons, and it’s not hard to infer that they probably have more in common than they have differences.

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Story time, folks.

Indeed, both men have used parables to build this match. Bray hearkened back to the days of primitive man (although he was unclear as to whether he was speaking of before or after the rise of the sons of Aryas, nor when this tale occurred in relation to the oceans drinking Atlantis), spinning a tale of how man lived in fear of the great predator. He foraged and foraged, but in the wake of the predator’s lack of morality and remorse, all he could do was get torn to shreds. But in time, man evolved and adapted and civilization grew up and the once-deadly predator became a plaything.

Orton, on the other hand, told a tale of a starving man in the wilderness. The man happened upon a rabbit and shot it, hoping to fill his belly and apparently totally unaware that rabbit poisoning is a thing. As he approached the carcass, however, he saw a snake. Thinking back to what he’d been taught, he remembered that snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them, and proceeded to claim his meal without caution. As soon as he thought he was safe, however, the snake struck, and bit him dead. The snake wanted the rabbit too, and knew that all he had to do was wait for the man’s overconfidence to leave him wide open.

It’s a classic dichotomy. Orton has faith in his own natural wiles, the instincts he’s cultivated in his 16-year wrestling career. Wyatt believes in the inexorable march of progress, out with the old, in with the New Face of Fear.

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