Randy Orton won the distinct honor of becoming the number one contender to Bray Wyatt’s WWE Championship after winning this year’s Royal Rumble match. After pledging his undying loyalty to his “master,” he gave up that right and said he wouldn’t face Wyatt at WrestleMania 33. With that, a battle royal was set up for this week’s SmackDown Live to determine a new number one contender, but history shows that that person has already been chosen.
When Orton won the Rumble, John Cena was the WWE Champion, but he lost that title to Bray Wyatt at the Elimination Chamber. Once that happened, Orton gave up his title match as he wanted to remain loyal to the leader of The Wyatt Family.
As reported by Inquisitr earlier this week, SmackDown Live general manager Daniel Bryan announced a battle royal for this week’s show. The winner of that match would go on to face Wyatt in the main event at WrestleMania 33 as the number one contender.
The history of the company shows that this battle royal isn’t even necessary because Roman Reigns is the number one contender already.
Now, many may say that there is no way that is possible, but it really is.
Technically, Roman Reigns was the last superstar eliminated in the Rumble after Randy Orton tossed him out. With him being the first runner-up, one would think that he would step in if Orton couldn’t carry out his duty to main event WrestleMania 33 with Bray Wyatt.
Wrestling Inc. pointed out that actually, that is exactly how it is meant to be.
The 1999 Royal Rumble was won by Mr. Vince McMahon, who entered at number two, right after “Stone Cold” Steve Austin entered the match. McMahon stayed away from the ring for virtually the entire match, but returned at the end to dump a distracted Austin up and over the top rope and therefore, win the Rumble.
The next evening on Monday Night Raw, McMahon revealed that he was giving up his right to compete in the main event at WrestleMania 15 and that he would not go on to face The Rock. He revealed his plans to announce a new number one contender soon, but before he could finish, he was interrupted.
On the TitanTron, Steve Austin and then-WWE (WWF) general manager Shawn Michaels appeared and addressed The Corporation.
As you can see, Michaels let the world know that the organization’s “rule book” states that if the winner of the Rumble cannot go to WrestleMania, willingly or unwillingly, then, the runner-up would receive all the honors and the match.
In 1999, that was “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. In 2017, that is Roman Reigns.
Now, with the brand split and everything in place, if Reigns would have won the match in January, he would have likely gone on to face Universal Champion Kevin Owens. As rumor has it, Owens will lose that title to Goldberg at Fastlane and the belt will then be defended against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 33.
Maybe, Reigns would decide to go after the WWE Championship held by Bray Wyatt even though he’s on Raw and the champion is on SmackDown. No one really knows, but it doesn’t seem like it will matter because it most likely isn’t going to happen.
While there may be a rule book for the talent and how they are supposed to act, there really isn’t one regarding this type of situation. Well, that is unless you look at storylines and how things came into play 18 years ago. That would be an amazing continuity connection, but it won’t happen.
At this time, and according to the official website of WWE, the battle royal on Tuesday night will determine the number one contender. That superstar will head into WrestleMania 33 and take on Bray Wyatt for the title.
Spoiler alert – It won’t be Roman Reigns.
The way things are going, WWE is likely going to end up with Bray Wyatt facing off against Randy Orton at WrestleMania 33 anyway, and maybe Luke Harper as well. Roman Reigns will likely step into the ring against the Undertaker unless plans have drastically changed since the Royal Rumble. Yes, there is historical evidence that the “rule book” states the number one contender should be Roman Reigns, but that kind of continuity is something WWE rarely does.
[Featured Image by WWE]