The music is silenced
LOS ANGELES -- With Sweet Chin Music banned at Survivor Series, is the Fat Lady already singing on Shawn Michaels' WWE Championship dreams?
As first seen exclusively on WWE Mobile on AT&T, Raw GM William Regal granted WWE Champion Randy Orton's request to ban Michaels from using Sweet Chin Music in their WWE Championship Match at Survivor Series on Nov. 18. If HBK uses, or attempts to use, his lethal trademark move, the match will be stopped immediately and he will be disqualified and never get another opportunity at Orton's WWE Title. However, the Legend Killer is not off the hook. On the heels of his blatant disqualification at Cyber Sunday against HBK, if Orton is disqualified at Survivor Series, or appears to attempt to get disqualified, he will lose the WWE Championship.
Orton clearly wanted Sweet Chin Music banned at Survivor Series for one reason: He is scared of it. Though Michaels has knocked him out for five straight weeks with the swift, sudden kick to the jaw, Orton was apparently spooked after HBK used it to pin him during Monday's tag team match on Raw. (WATCH)
But in his typically arrogant style, the third-generation Superstar denied being scared of The Showstopper or Sweet Chin Music.
"Superkick or no superkick, it doesn't matter. I'm going to literally own him at Survivor Series," he said. "I'm the better wrestler. I'm in my prime. I certainly haven't had back surgery, for Chrissakes!"
But how will Michaels be able to win the WWE Championship from Orton without his biggest, most feared weapon? He has relied on Sweet Chin Music for nearly 15 years. He has downed giants like Sycho Sid, Diesel and the late Yokozuna and has won three out of his four world championships with it. The only time HBK didn't win the WWE Championship with Sweet Chin Music was when he employed the Sharpshooter against Bret "Hit Man" Hart at Survivor Series during the infamous "Montreal Screwjob" 10 years ago. And that "submission" victory will always have an asterisk because Michaels knew beforehand that Mr. McMahon and the referee would screw Hart out of the title.
HBK sheepishly admitted he would have to go back to his old playbook to prepare for his showdown.
"When I first started in this line of work, I was a student of the game who learned everything I could possibly learn," he said. "It looks like I'm going to dust off some of my old files. I'm going to have to be reborn into the guy who was the student of the game."
But Orton shouldn't start planning his victory party yet. HBK has previously baffled opponents by changing his strategy. In his Iron Man Match at WrestleMania XII, he surprised Hart when he matched him, move-for-move, in a ground-based game plan instead of using the aerial assault the Hit Man expected. He surprised his critics with his Street Fighting acumen in wars with Diesel, Mankind and Triple H.
So, HBK may have more instruments in his arsenal than Sweet Chin Music. Longtime friend and former rival Triple H thinks Orton may have actually written his own demise by getting Sweet Chin Music banned at Survivor Series.
"Randy's now going to have to think ahead about what Shawn is going to do," The Game said. "Shawn has a lot of years under him, a lot of experience. I don't think Shawn is going to be in a panic because he can't use one move. He's got a lot of ways to beat you, and Randy Orton's going to have to figure out how Shawn is going to go after him."
Either way, HBK is going to have to figure out a way to survive against a dangerous, sadistic -- and perhaps desperate -- Orton without his most lethal weapon. And the Legend Killer not only wants to keep his WWE Championship, but he wants to finish the job he started six months ago when he tried to end Michaels' career. For his sake, Michaels better have a Plan B or Orton could pull the final curtain once and for all on The Showstopper.