BUFFALO, N.Y. — As his Rev Theory entrance theme suggests, Randy Orton was hearing voices in his head and -- to his dismay -- ringing in his ears, courtesy of Batista, who defeated his rival at Armageddon.
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In a match four years in the making, it was The Animal who utilized his sheer force to rise to victory in the highly anticipated showdown between two Superstars groomed together for success in Evolution.
One week earlier on Raw, Orton professed that the "Legacy" would be born as he and rival-turned allied second-generation Superstars Cody Rhodes & Manu effectively colluded to bring down Batista in tag action. It seemed this new regime orchestrated by the Legend Killer might be the next step in his personal evolution, alongside a pair of individuals that many could argue mirror Orton himself and Batista in their earliest days beside The Game and the "Nature Boy."
The Animal, aiming to refocus on the World Heavyweight Title, would need to overcome this apparent alliance in order to fortify his contendership.
Though supported by his multi-generational miscreants initially, Orton's numbers advantage was quickly vanquished by referee Mike Chioda, who ejected Manu and Rhodes from ringside after they attacked Batista.
The ensuing battle of fierce adversaries clearly demonstrated the deep-rooted ill will between two men both bred for only one achievable top spot. Targeting the weakened neck of his opponent, Orton still could not repeat execution of his RKO on Batista for the third time straight in recent collisions. Perhaps the Legend Killer's frustration was his temporary undoing as Orton strayed from his arsenal for an unconventional maneuver that The Animal reversed directly into a Batista Bomb.
At Armageddon, the confrontation the WWE Universe couldn't wait to witness ended with the four-time World Heavyweight Champion proving himself the better product of Evolution. But as The Animal adjusts his vision to the gold, has Batista fully advanced from the Legend Killer's cross hairs and the Legacy's scorn?