Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton ended in a No Contest

BUFFALO, N.Y. — At the conclusion of an intensely competitive WWE Championship bout at WWE Battleground, it was neither Daniel Bryan nor Randy Orton who would determine the fate of the illustrious title. Tormented for weeks by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, a troubled and conflicted Big Show interrupted the night’s main event, laying waste to both competitors in a fit of frustration that resulted in the prolonged abeyance of WWE’s richest prize.

As speculation regarding the giant’s true intentions in Buffalo’s First Niagara Center continue to swirl around the WWE locker room, one fact remains painfully clear: there is no WWE Champion.

View jaw-dropping photos |  Complete WWE Battleground 2013 results

Before Big Show stormed the ring, Bryan and The Viper were embroiled in a hard-hitting clash fueled by raw emotion. Countering the swift offense of the white-hot Bryan, The Viper began the match by methodically picking apart his smaller opponent with pure malice and weakened Bryan by tossing him into the steel steps, the ring post and the barricades. Dazed, Bryan ultimately found himself susceptible to the superplex, a maneuver made popular decades earlier by Orton’s WWE Hall of Famer father, “Cowboy” Bob Orton.

Though stunned, Bryan was hardly ready to give up, bringing the WWE Universe to its feet with an expertly executed diving headbutt and a series of running dropkicks that left the anointed “face of WWE” with its fair share of black-and-blues. After evading an attempted RKO, Bryan trapped The Viper in his patented “Yes!” Lock, a move that has felled some of WWE’s most elite Superstars in the past.

As Orton resisted the urge to tap out, Big Show’s music blared through the arena speakers, heralding the arrival of the nigh-unstoppable juggernaut. Someone was about to get knocked out. 

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton ended in a No Contest

Big Show charged down the ramp with purpose, first incapacitating referee John Cone, then delivering a devastating KO Punch to Bryan’s skull. Visibly disturbed by what he had presumably been forced to do by “The Authority,” the giant looked on as Raw General Manager Brad Maddox brought to the stage a replacement referee: none other than recently fired official Scott Armstrong.

It was Armstrong who delivered the fast count that awarded Bryan the WWE Title at Night of Champions, and it was the circumstances of that victory that led WWE COO Triple H to hold the WWE Title in abeyance the following night on Raw. At WWE Battleground, it seemed, Armstrong would redeem himself by doing what was, in Triple H’s eyes, “best for business.”

Watch Brad Maddox sound off on Big Show’s plans

However, after weeks of adhering to the cruel mandates of “The Authority” for fear of financial ruin, the down-on-his-luck Big Show leveled Armstrong to prevent the shifty ref from counting Bryan’s shoulders to the mat. After Orton got in the giant’s face for failing to fall in line, Big Show delivered a KO Punch to Orton that left The Viper sprawled out in the ring alongside his bearded rival. No doubt facing severe repercussions for his brazen act of defiance, The World’s Largest Athlete nevertheless celebrated his temporary victory over “The Authority” with the WWE Universe in Buffalo.

When the dust settled Sunday night, the WWE Championship remained without a bearer. How will Triple H and Stephanie McMahon address the abeyant WWE Title? Regardless, even though there was no winner in WWE Battleground’s main event, “The Authority” was dealt a giant-sized blow from which it might never fully recover. 

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Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton ended in a No Contest

BUFFALO, N.Y. — At the conclusion of an intensely competitive WWE Championship bout at WWE Battleground, it was neither Daniel Bryan nor Randy Orton who would determine the fate of the illustrious title. Tormented for weeks by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, a troubled and conflicted Big Show interrupted the night’s main event, laying waste to both competitors in a fit of frustration that resulted in the prolonged abeyance of WWE’s richest prize.

As speculation regarding the giant’s true intentions in Buffalo’s First Niagara Center continue to swirl around the WWE locker room, one fact remains painfully clear: there is no WWE Champion.

View jaw-dropping photos |  Complete WWE Battleground 2013 results

Before Big Show stormed the ring, Bryan and The Viper were embroiled in a hard-hitting clash fueled by raw emotion. Countering the swift offense of the white-hot Bryan, The Viper began the match by methodically picking apart his smaller opponent with pure malice and weakened Bryan by tossing him into the steel steps, the ring post and the barricades. Dazed, Bryan ultimately found himself susceptible to the superplex, a maneuver made popular decades earlier by Orton’s WWE Hall of Famer father, “Cowboy” Bob Orton.

Though stunned, Bryan was hardly ready to give up, bringing the WWE Universe to its feet with an expertly executed diving headbutt and a series of running dropkicks that left the anointed “face of WWE” with its fair share of black-and-blues. After evading an attempted RKO, Bryan trapped The Viper in his patented “Yes!” Lock, a move that has felled some of WWE’s most elite Superstars in the past.

As Orton resisted the urge to tap out, Big Show’s music blared through the arena speakers, heralding the arrival of the nigh-unstoppable juggernaut. Someone was about to get knocked out. 

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton ended in a No Contest

Big Show charged down the ramp with purpose, first incapacitating referee John Cone, then delivering a devastating KO Punch to Bryan’s skull. Visibly disturbed by what he had presumably been forced to do by “The Authority,” the giant looked on as Raw General Manager Brad Maddox brought to the stage a replacement referee: none other than recently fired official Scott Armstrong.

It was Armstrong who delivered the fast count that awarded Bryan the WWE Title at Night of Champions, and it was the circumstances of that victory that led WWE COO Triple H to hold the WWE Title in abeyance the following night on Raw. At WWE Battleground, it seemed, Armstrong would redeem himself by doing what was, in Triple H’s eyes, “best for business.”

Watch Brad Maddox sound off on Big Show’s plans

However, after weeks of adhering to the cruel mandates of “The Authority” for fear of financial ruin, the down-on-his-luck Big Show leveled Armstrong to prevent the shifty ref from counting Bryan’s shoulders to the mat. After Orton got in the giant’s face for failing to fall in line, Big Show delivered a KO Punch to Orton that left The Viper sprawled out in the ring alongside his bearded rival. No doubt facing severe repercussions for his brazen act of defiance, The World’s Largest Athlete nevertheless celebrated his temporary victory over “The Authority” with the WWE Universe in Buffalo.

When the dust settled Sunday night, the WWE Championship remained without a bearer. How will Triple H and Stephanie McMahon address the abeyant WWE Title? Regardless, even though there was no winner in WWE Battleground’s main event, “The Authority” was dealt a giant-sized blow from which it might never fully recover.