In front of over 52,000 people at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, Randy Orton won his second Royal Rumble match and secured his spot in headlining WrestleMania 33 for the WWE Championship. Also, John Cena won his match against AJ Styles, and became the world heavyweight champion for the 16th time, tying the record of Ric Flair. On the road to WrestleMania, there is one more road block for the champion, as he is forced to defend the WWE title against Dean Ambrose, AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, The Miz, and Bray Wyatt inside the Elimination Chamber.
To kick off SmackDown Live, Cena talked about his record-setting reign in front of the live crowd in Corpus Christi, Texas. He was then interrupted by Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton. Wyatt pledged to become WWE Champion for the first time in his career by winning the chamber match. Orton, on the other hand, explained to Cena what would happen if he was able to get past the five other men on February 12 and defend his championship at WrestleMania.
“If by some miracle you make it out of the chamber alive, with that title, I’ll be waiting for you at WrestleMania. But John, one way or another, we are going to end this oh so vicious cycle. And the Wyatts are going to set that championship free.”
The latest rumors suggest that Wyatt will indeed win the elimination chamber match and claim his first WWE Championship. This would mean that there will be dissension between the remaining members of the Wyatt Family, Bray Wyatt, and Randy Orton between the SmackDown Live following the Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania.
While this may be a plan for WrestleMania, the recent SmackDown Live suggests that Cena will retain the WWE Championship and compete against Orton in Orlando on April 2. Moreover, Orton pinned Cena during the tag team match of Cena and Luke Harper against Wyatt and Orton, and JBL kept alluding to Orton winning the championship if he would have pinned Cena at WrestleMania.
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Another factor consists of the animosity between Wyatt and Harper. For weeks, Harper and Orton were jockeying for position regarding who would be the more favored Wyatt Family member. When Orton defeated Harper on SmackDown Live, Wyatt executed the Sister Abigail finishing move on the defeated Harper, and abandoned him. Harper was able to gain a bit of retribution on Wyatt and Orton at the Royal Rumble before getting eliminated by Goldberg.
Seemingly, the more plausible match for WrestleMania would be Luke Harper getting his freedom from the trance of the Wyatt Family and competing against Bray Wyatt. On SmackDown Live, Harper had no issues of fighting Orton during the tag team match. However, when it came to going toe-to-toe with Wyatt, Harper stopped in his tracks and backed up. This psychological advantage that Wyatt has over Harper has the potential to come to a head on April 2, with Harper finally breaking free.
The Cena vs. Orton rivalry is one of the best of both competitors’ history in the WWE, with the match occurring numerous times throughout their careers. The last time the two embarked in a feud was to unify the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship, which Orton won, at the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view in 2013.
While the Cena vs. Orton match has occurred a dozen times, including SummerSlam, it has never happened at WrestleMania. The closest to this was a triple threat match at WrestleMania 24, including Triple H.
For WrestleMania, a Cena vs. Orton match does have a more star power feel to it than Wyatt vs. Orton. While Wyatt has clawed and scratched his way to becoming a credible contender to the title, winning it and headlining WrestleMania just weeks after his first reign seems a bit premature and not very plausible.
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