Did Orton’s mercy rouse the monster within Kane?

Did Orton’s mercy rouse the monster within Kane?

When asked this past week on Raw SuperShow how he will prepare for battle against Kane at WrestleMania XXVIII, Randy Orton expressed disbelief regarding how such a momentous match even came to fruition.

“We’re here talking about a WrestleMania match between Kane and myself only because I beat the monster last summer,” said Orton. “I beat him so badly, he shook my hand.” ( WATCH | PHOTOS)

Kane already made it clear that images from the infamous handshake endure in his mind. ( WATCH | PHOTOS) However, it may be the words uttered by The Big Red Monster prior to Orton’s victory in that SmackDown Street Fight from July 2011 that follow The Viper into Sun Life Stadium this April. Haunted by his own humanity, Kane had made an eerie prediction last summer regarding his true intentions for facing the third-generation Superstar.

“Randy Orton will be the vehicle by which I reawaken the monster within,” Kane said in the moments leading up to their main event clash. “And the WWE Universe will remember, once and for all, why I am The Devil’s Favorite Demon.” ( WATCH)

Those words ultimately proved prophetic, but not due to The Apex Predator prevailing at the Target Center last July nor Kane’s humbling gesture of good sportsmanship afterward. Instead, the prophesy may very well have come true because a distracted Orton – who was consumed at the time with regaining the World Heavyweight Championship from Christian - reciprocated the show of respect and left the ring quietly. This simple act would allow the monster to fester and eventually grow again.

What if The Viper chose to go for the jugular that day in Minneapolis instead of letting the monster lie? What if he had tried to destroy the sadistic Superstar after hearing Kane’s cries to SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long that “something is wrong” with the monster within him? ( WATCH)

Mark Henry arrived at ringside in the moments following Orton’s exit to assault Kane, but The World’s Strongest Man only injured the wounded monster. Henry managed to knock Kane out of action for a few months, but he, like Orton, did not finish him off that day – and the WWE Universe has felt the reverberations ever since.

Just ask John Cena, who became a target of the renowned havoc rained down by The Big Red Monster months later. Kane, once again wearing his iconic mask as a symbol of his monstrous past, forced the Cenation leader to “Embrace the Hate” by terrorizing him at every turn. Would the preparation for his “Once in a Lifetime” bout with The Rock at WrestleMania XXVIII have suffered if Cena never realized the new level of ruthlessness he needed to defeat Kane at the 2012 Elimination Chamber?

Did Orton’s mercy rouse the monster within Kane?
What about Zack Ryder, the Superstar that served as the vehicle by which Kane tormented Cena? The Long Island Iced-Z experienced the brunt of the brutality inflicted by the masked menace that eventually cost Ryder the United States Championship and his equal standing in a budding relationship with Eve. If he was not consistently subject to Kane’s devilish deeds, would Ryder have carried championship gold into WrestleMania XXVIII or learned of Eve’s secret intentions to use Ryder for her own means?

And what about Orton himself? The Viper assumed control of the World Heavyweight Championship by leveling Christian at SummerSlam, but his second reign was cut short by Mark Henry at Night of Champions. He struggled to stabilize his composure for their WWE Hell in a Cell rematch and eventually found himself pushed out of action by Wade Barrett.

With a boost in confidence from ridding WWE of The Devil’s Favorite Demon, could The Viper have gained enough momentum to defend his title against The World’s Strongest Man? Would he have fallen prey to the Barrett Barrage after successfully exorcising such a prolific force of evil? Would Sheamus’ success at the 2012 Royal Rumble have put The Celtic Warrior in position to collide with Orton for the World Heavyweight Title in the main event at WrestleMania XXVIII?

Instead of finding those answers in an alternate reality, Orton will arrive at The Showcase of the Immortals with a clear directive to bring The Big Red Monster to his knees. The Viper chose to accept this demonic duel, but the path that made this hellish encounter necessary was paved last summer when he accepted Kane’s gesture of goodwill.

WWE’s Apex Predator showed mercy to a mere human last summer on SmackDown, but will the masked monster return the favor at WrestleMania? Only one thing remains clear – it will take more than a handshake for Orton and Kane to settle their differences on The Grandest Stage of Them All.

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