WWE

Randy Orton def. Rusev

DETROIT — No sneak attacks, no post-match challenges, no shenanigans of any kind. Just an RKO and a 1-2-3 to hand Randy Orton a decisive victory over Rusev in an anticipated rubber match at WWE Hell in a Cell.

Given that the 1-1 series had thus far been decided under increasingly skewed circumstances, there was a question as to whether Round Three would conclude in similarly abrupt fashion, especially when Orton went for an early RKO. The Super Athlete showed he was ready for that and more. After evading the RKO and bulldozing Orton out of the ring, Rusev hit The Apex Predator with an impressive fallaway slam into the barricade.

With the lingering specter of the RKO still lurking, Rusev opted to simply brutalize Orton. The offense was indeed punishing, but the former United States Champion may have taken a bit too long to savor in his own skills. He opted for holds instead of strikes, paused for the occasional triumphant pose and seemed generally confident that Orton would simply wear out down the stretch.

The Bulgarian Brute didn’t immediately roll over once Orton started to get inventive, but a few expertly-picked maneuvers by the 13-time World Champion slowly began to whittle the mighty Superstar down to size. A backdrop to the barricade slowed Rusev, and a collision with the ring post left him loopy. At the last moment, Rusev took a page out of his opponent's book, nearly sealing the deal with a jaw-dropping attempt of an Accolade outta nowhere. But The Viper’s ensuing escape left The Super Athlete just tripped up enough that the ensuing RKO hit its mark perfectly. Happy Orton Day.