Winning the Royal Rumble event is a huge thing in WWE, granting the winner a chance to compete for either the WWE Universal Championship or WWE World Championship at Wrestlemania. Yet this year it seems Randy Orton has opted to eject their opportunity all together; meaning that a replacement must be found.
The situation unfolded at the end of this weeks episode of Smackdown Live – where Bray Wyatt successfully defended his WWE World Championship against AJ Styles and John Cena. Randy Orton approached the Champion after the match – then announced he would be fighting his master.
It was later on Talking Smack that Daniel Bryan announced that a battle royal will take place during next weeks Smackdown Live to find a replacement number one contender. It’s never happened before where a Superstar has willingly opted out of their Championship opportunity, and is likely to get tongues waggling.
Randy Orton gained the number one contendership during the Royal Rumble match, by successfully winning the annual event. His victory should have guaranteed passage to the main event of Wrestlemania 33. Yet after Bray Wyatt’s victory at Smackdown Live’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, his decision to stand down from the position is one that will surely shock wrestling fans far and wide.
Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton fought constantly over the summer in 2016, their rivalry proving to be a huge part of Smackdown Live’s show. Wyatt beat Orton enough times that he ended up joining Bray Wyatt’s Family – eventually winning the WWE Smackdown Live Tag-Team Championships. From there, relations with Luke Harper fell apart, him leaving the Wyatt Family and facing Randy Orton at Elimination Chamber. For my money, Luke Harper has to be the favorite to win the match.
We’ll have to wait and see who steps up and replaces Randy Orton in the main event of Wrestlemania 33.