(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The WWE’s No. 1 bad guy Randy Orton doled out an epic beat down to handsome crowd favorite Roman Reigns on Monday night’s “Raw.” The crowd cheered, jeered and chanted “One more time!” after Orton jumped and grabbed Reigns’ neck with both arms before “slamming” his skull through the announcers’ table. (For those who watch regularly, you’ll recognize that move as the “RKO.”) In short, the crowd did everything it was supposed to.

This is good news for all — even the beat-up Reigns — and especially for Orton. Monday’s crowd-pleasing match could help dissipate the real-life heat that Orton’s reportedly been getting over his previously boring, rest-hold filled matches with Reigns, an up-and-comer who the WWE has poised to become its next Rock. (Incidentally, Roman Reigns is related to Dwayne Johnson.)

WWE management and his fellow wrestlers were rumored to be complaining about Orton, who’s been at the center of several main story lines for the past couple of years, and his lack of enthusiasm to build Reigns as the new face du jour of the company. WrestleZone.com wrote Monday morning before the program:

Several of the wrestlers in WWE … are worried Orton may be slowing down Roman’s progress to the top, where a new babyface star is needed since John Cena can’t be expected to carry the entire load, and Daniel Bryan’s future is uncertain with his nerve damage and possible need for a second surgery. “If Roman’s the guy, then Roman’s the guy,” one WWE Superstar said.

“Whoever is the guy, we need to get this guy over bigger than ever, not hold him down in rest holds and hope no one gets hurt. We’re in the wrestling business, Bumps and bruises happen.”

After Monday’s episode, it looks like bumps and bruises did, indeed, happen. The first time Orton tried to RKO Reigns through the announcers’ table, it didn’t collapse like it was supposed to.

(Via DailyWrestlingNews.com)

The botch looked like it hurt Orton more than Reigns. But sensing the audience’s anticipation to see the table crash to the ground, Orton executed the move again. This time the table broke. And it seems perhaps the tension backstage did, too.

Sure, this wasn’t the best match of all time, but it wasn’t supposed to be. Instead, it was a decent set-up to the pair’s upcoming SummerSlam pay-per-view match that finally, finally looks like it might be exciting to watch.