Yesterday, some major news dropped that WWE is planning for Randy Orton to win the Royal Rumble on Sunday, but the real reason why they want Orton to win out all other options has been revealed. It has been reported that Kevin Owens is likely to retain the WWE Universal Title over Roman Reigns at the event.
Since a feud with Chris Jericho is imminent for Kevin Owens and will now be for the WWE Universal title, a WWE Superstar from SmackDown is far more likely to win the Royal Rumble match since the world title picture is still open for Wrestlemania 33. In all likelihood, AJ Styles will also walk out of San Antonio as the WWE Champion, but that doesn’t mean a rumored match between him and Randy Orton will happen soon.
Instead, the belief is that if WWE officials follow through with Randy Orton as their choice to win the Royal Rumble on Sunday, he will still be facing Bray Wyatt at Wrestlemania 33. However, Orton vs. Wyatt will be for the WWE Championship. Since all this news dropped just three days before the WWE Royal Rumble, it’s a mystery exactly how WWE officials plan to get to that match, but the reason why they want to is very clear.
During the last edition of SmackDown before the WWE Royal Rumble, Randy Orton defeated Luke Harper as the conflict with The Wyatt Family continues into Sunday. After that match, Bray Wyatt consoled Harper but then left him laying in the ring after hitting him with a Sister Abigail. On paper, the future of The Wyatt Family is uncertain. Bray’s actions could have been some tough love, or it may have been Harper’s exile from the stable.
It’s been rumored that WWE officials have been high on Luke Harper since his return from injury and were looking to give him a big push on WWE television over the coming months. The conflict with Randy could lead to a face turn for Luke Harper and be used to build the kinship between Orton and Wyatt. Randy Orton winning the Royal Rumble on Sunday will make it much easier for Wyatt to choose him over Luke Harper despite the latter’s loyalty.
Regardless of who leaves San Antonio as the WWE Champion at the WWE Royal Rumble, the title will be defended inside the Elimination Chamber next month. At this point, John Cena or AJ Styles could walk out of the PPV as the WWE Champion, but the expectation is that Bray Wyatt will win the title from either man at the WWE Elimination Chamber PPV. If that comes to fruition, SmackDown will have Orton vs. Wyatt at Wrestlemania 33.
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt isn’t what the WWE Universe thought would be the WWE title match on the grandest stage of them all. However, the real reason why WWE officials want to do it is to open up the card for AJ Styles to face Shane McMahon while John Cena enters into another great feud with Samoa Joe. Most importantly, it would allow Randy Orton to help finally establish Bray Wyatt as a WWE main event star.
WWE officials have been high on Bray Wyatt for a long time, but the WWE Universe has been complaining about his booking for a long time now. SmackDown Live would spend the next few months building up the family aspect between Orton and Wyatt only to wedge them apart once the WWE title is put between them.
It’s unclear that if WWE follows through with all of this that Orton vs. Wyatt would be the main event of the show, but the expectation is another match would have that honor. As unexpected as this match would be, it would be creative and help establish a new major player in WWE on the grandest stage of them all. If WWE changes their minds, it’s because they got cold feet and went with a safer pick for Wrestlemania 33, which would be a shame.
[Featured Image by WWE]