The match itself was a pleasant surprise. Before the bell ever rang, Orton used veteran instincts, attacking Mahal during introductions and throwing him to the outside of the ring with an added flurry of rights and lefts.
Mahal's surge came to a halt as the 13-time champ eventually caught him with a devastating superplex, then a power slam. A little later, Orton's standard DDT from the ropes set up a RKO, but the Singh brothers wouldn't let Mahal go down in that fashion.
Orton turned his focus on the brothers and went after them outside the ring, hitting a number of high-risk maneuvers surrounding the announcer's tables.
Mahal took advantage of the distracted Viper, tossing him into the ring post multiple times. Somehow, someway, Orton countered with a devastating RKO, only to have the brothers interfere again and pull Mahal out of the ring.
Orton again went after the brothers and double-DDT'd them. ... And then it happened.
Mahal saw his opening, clutched his hands around Orton and converted a Cobra Slam. Game, set, new champ. Mahal is the new face of SmackDown Live, with all due respect to AJ Styles and Kevin Owens.
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