The stars of WWE SmackDown Live were in action just one night after the epic Royal Rumble 2017 pay-per-view went down. Hidalgo, Texas played host to the superstars at State Farm Arena for a live WWE house show. Among the competitors in action were this year’s Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton, as well as Luke Harper, who seems to be showing a continued move away from the Wyatt Family. In addition, the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena had to defend his title in a triple threat match against two of his WWE SmackDown rivals. Could one of the wrestlers in his match become Cena’s next feud over the title?
One of the major aspects of professional wrestling that doesn’t get mentioned enough is just how hard many of the stars work. One of the biggest cases in point has been John Cena over the course of his career, as he seems to always be appearing at an event. The schedule for pro wrestling can be grueling, and sometimes, the champions get very little rest between title defenses. Just ask WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens, who was forced to put his title on the line just last night against Braun Strowman. John Cena was also defending his title on the same night, while Royal Rumble winner Randy Orton was in action as well after surviving the 30-man match. Even though the superstars were working at an untelevised “house show,” there were still interesting results that arrived from the event.
On Monday, 411 Mania reported about the scheduled matches for WWE’s live event in Hidalgo. Among them, Dean Ambrose defended the WWE Intercontinental Championship against The Miz, Alexa Bliss put the Women’s title on the line against Becky Lynch, and American Alpha teamed up with Kalisto to battle The Wyatt Family. The match came just one night after Luke Harper showed that he was no longer going to take any more abuse from Bray or Randy and seemingly made a turn against his “family.” It also was just a night after Orton captured a career second win in the Royal Rumble match.
With SmackDown Live on Tuesday night, it won’t be surprising to see more fallout between Orton, Harper, and Bray Wyatt. One has to wonder what Bray’s reaction will be to watching Orton win the Royal Rumble rather than himself, but he may be preoccupied with Harper for a bit. It almost seems like the latest events could provide clues about who will participate in WWE’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
With Orton winning the Rumble match, could Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper become competitors in the chamber match? Rumors have indicated Wyatt might actually win the title to kickstart a big feud heading towards WrestleMania 33.
Of course, one of the other main attractions at Monday’s WWE house show in Texas was John Cena. The brand new champ is a now a 16-time champion, and the WWE star was forced to defend his belt just a night later in a triple threat matchup. Also participating in the matchup were former champion AJ Styles and Royal Rumble entrant Baron Corbin.
A fan posted a video on Twitter showing Cena’s big victory in the Triple Threat match on Monday night. The closing moments saw Cena duck a clothesline from Corbin and hit the Attitude Adjustment on him. After that, AJ Styles attempted to come off the ropes, but Cena gave him the AA, slamming him onto Corbin. A pinfall on Corbin gave Cena the big win to send a bunch of the fans home happy.
As one might expect with a house show, Cena retained the championship, so he’ll be bringing the belt with him to SmackDown Live. However, the interesting aspect of the match is the involvement of Baron Corbin in it. Corbin had a relatively strong performance in this year’s Royal Rumble, including the fact that he was the man who eliminated Braun Strowman. One has to wonder if Corbin will be headed towards a program with Cena before WrestleMania. There’s also the possibility that Corbin will be a part of the upcoming Elimination Chamber match, which could be for Cena’s title, or for a future championship match.
With regard to Randy Orton, the way it looks is that he’ll sit back and wait to decide who he will challenge at WrestleMania 33. As of this report, fans have yet to hear whether Orton wants to go up against the WWE World Heavyweight champion or Universal Champion when WrestleMania finally arrives.
While WWE’s live events don’t normally feature title changes or major surprises, sometimes they can provide minor hints of upcoming feuds or stories. The latest WWE house show results could seem to point towards what’s to come up on SmackDown in future episodes as the wrestlers prepare for their latest feuds, the Elimination Chamber, and eventually, WrestleMania.
[Featured Image by WWE]