Randy Orton and Riddle are now a tag team. For weeks, there have been less-than-subtle teases of the newly-formed RKBro. The formula behind this tag team – that being the goofy, happy-go-lucky superstar in a duo with the more serious “straight man” – guarantees its success. Whether it be compared to the Hollywood example of Martin & Lewis, the archetype of the formula in the 1950s, or the pro-wrestling example of Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane), RKBro looks set for big things on Monday Night RAW.
— matthew riddle (@SuperKingofBros) April 28, 2021
An Unlikely Partnership
As it clearly comes across in backstage segments, Orton and Riddle are near polar opposites (as Orton noted in a recent segment following his loss to Riddle on RAW). We all know who Randy Orton is: he is “The Legend Killer,” “The Apex Predator,” and “The Viper.” A superstar who has been ever-present on WWE television for nearly twenty years. In that time, he has punt kicked Stephanie and Vince McMahon; has brutalized a vast array of legends; tried to re-break Edge‘s neck, and, most recently, burned a man alive. The character of Randy Orton is quite possibly the most demented, vindictive, and sadistic character to have ever existed within the WWE. He is not a monster like Kane or Undertaker; his character is that of a real human man, committing monstrous crimes. He has done these things for one reason only: to win world championships and prove to the world that he is more than just a generic, third-generation wrestler. Riddle is the opposite.
The character of Riddle is essentially that of a calm, ultra-chilled “stoner bro” who can get serious when he needs to. There has so far been nothing comparable to Randy Orton, other than like Orton, Riddle can win matches. Riddle boasts an impressive MMA background (including high-school wins over Jon Jones) and therefore, though his character displays a cartoon-ish goofiness unlike anything else in the WWE right now, he can back it up in the ring. In what makes him an even more direct opposite to Orton right now, Riddle possesses an odd fixation for scooters. Why? We’re not sure. But in almost every backstage segment – including the hilarious one with Asuka where he forgot his lines – he can be seen either riding or waving his scooter around. He has even suggested he and Orton buy matching scooters and this is something that must happen, simply for the visual.
RKBro and Comparisons With Team Hell No
Randy Orton and Riddle have come together following a brief feud, similarly to Team Hell No. The team of Daniel Bryan and Kane formed in 2012, following a lengthier feud. At that time, Daniel Bryan was in the role of obnoxious heel; at the height of his “No!” phase, following the initial “Yes!” chants which began earlier in the year. Kane, however, was in the role of veteran babyface with not much to do following his return and feud with John Cena a few months prior. In August of 2012, following a love triangle (or “love square”) involving AJ Lee and CM Punk, they began attending anger management meetings together, which created such brilliant moments as anything involving Dr. Shelby (a recurring character who encourages hugs to end disputes) and Kane’s long monologue which gave us insight into exactly why he enjoyed torturing MLB’s Pete Rose.
The comedy sketches between the two were, frankly, golden. Though Daniel Bryan had become a popular part of the brand, largely with thanks to his prior popularity as Bryan Danielson, he had only recently been given the chance to show off his incredible personality and gift for comedy. We all knew Kane was capable from his Attitude Era team with X-Pac and backstage skits with The Rock and Hulk Hogan, but this was the first time in a while he had been given such a role. The team of Kane and Bryan became hugely popular; easily one of the highlights of WWE television every single week. In similar fashion, RKBro are capable of achieving the same level of notoriety. Their act can create a breath of fresh air on a brand that has lacked character for some time.
RKBro: The Endgame
This is premature speculation but every team comes to an end (especially in the WWE, as seen most recently with Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander). Randy Orton is, frankly, the least trustworthy star in WWE history. Every team he has been a part of has ended either with an RKO or a punt kick. As mentioned previously, he cares for one thing: the WWE Championship. We can see from a mile away that Orton is probably going to be using Riddle either because he sees potential in Riddle and wants to hold him back, or because he sees Riddle as someone who can help him in his quest to regain the title. Ultimately, this is very likely the route they are going and it could spell disaster for Riddle.
On the other side, Riddle might not be all that he appears to be. Yes, he is absolutely the laid-back, scooter-riding “stoner bro,” but there is more to him. He was, very recently, the United States Champion – he is a proven competitor in the WWE already. His outspoken remarks on Twitter – mostly on Goldberg – and his general drive to be the best may just be a hidden element of his on-screen character, in addition to his real-life persona. If so, Riddle could be the one playing Orton – with Orton underestimating the intelligence of someone who can be easily misunderstood. Whatever happens – and we are some ways off from this happening anyway, with rumors that they are in for a big push – it will end in brutal fashion. Riddle has all the makings of being a future star within the company and this will only help him become that. As for Randy Orton? This is just something for him to do until the Viper is ready to strike. Until then, enjoy the certified future success that is RKBro.
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