WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena
It's their ninth singles bout on pay-per-view over the last seven years, not to mention the many Triple Threats, Fatal Four Ways and Elimination Chambers they've been in together. Perhaps then it's unsurprising that WWE has been forced to recycle the storyline of The Viper opportunistically attacking John Cena Sr. again to heat up a feud that's well and truly been done to death. Ho-hum...
The road to Royal Rumble
In a shocking turn of events, after The Authority came to Randy Orton's aid on five straight pay-per-views and conspired against his babyface opponents Daniel Bryan and The Big Show, they were conspicuous by their absence at TLC. But nevertheless Orton still came through and cleanly defeated John Cena in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match to unify the WWE and World Heavyweight titles and become the first ever WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
By the next day on Monday Night Raw, Orton was back to bickering with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon when they booked him to defend his newly won prize in the show's main event against Daniel Bryan. Randy took the cheap way out and retained his championship by disqualification after a low blow to cut off an offensive onslaught by Bryan. John Cena instinctively rushed out to help out his Bella dating buddy, but got met with an RKO for his troubles when he wasn't looking, allowing Orton to stand tall with both title belts over both men's bodies:
Over the quiet Christmas period, the only storyline advancement in this feud was Cena lobbying to get the next title shot against Orton. He got his wish from Stephanie McMahon on the Dec. 30th Raw, who announced the match would take place at the 2014 Royal Rumble with victory by pinfall or submission only. There must be a winner, as they say!
Next week, saw the expected and frankly quite tiresome whining by The Viper about the booking of this rematch and he wanted that decision by The Authority to be reversed. As it was Old School Raw, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair was on hand to tell his former Evolution comrade to quit being such a baby and when the punk looked set to scrap with the legend, Cena made sure he left with his tail tucked between his legs:
However, this didn't stop Orton's griping, as on the Jan. 10th Smackdown he promised to once again demand that Stephanie McMahon cancel the rematch on next week's Raw.
That pledge was soon forgotten about when Kane gave him Kofi Kingston to vent his frustrations out on in a non-title match. Kingston scored the major upset when he reversed a draping DDT attempt into the S.O.S., which led to a frustrated and distraught Orton beating down John Cena Sr. in the crowd until his son made him flee the scene:
This earned Orton another public lecturing by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon on the Jan. 20th, Raw who were none too pleased about his unbecoming actions and they threatened to strip him of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and fire him if he ever crossed the line like that again. However, Orton shifted the blame for his behaviour back on the Authority for the disrespect shown to him by bringing back Batista and Brock Lesnar to the company. Hunter then offered an olive branch by telling him he wanted to help him correct his course, but he would have to make things right with John Cena later that night. Batista then broke up the happy party and told Orton he was coming after his big gold belt:
The show closed with John Cena getting some payback on Randy for assaulting his Dad last week by interrupting The Viper's rematch with Kofi Kingston and brawling with him all over the arena, until Orton escaped by stealing a car and speeding off:
What's at Stake?
The prestigious spot of being the one and only WWE World Heavyweight Champion going into WrestleMania 30 and defending the title against the Royal Rumble winner.
The issue has also become personal due to Orton's uncalled for attack on Cena's ageing father. Vengeance may be a more primary goal now for Cena than his fifteenth world title. That could play into the hands of the cold and calculating Viper who may be able to exploit The Cenation Leader's latent rage. All it takes is one mistake from his hotheaded opponent for Orton to be able to hit his devastating RKO finisher and keep his hands on the gold.
Given the stipulations that victory can only be achieved by pinfall or submission this paves the way for liberal interference by The Authority to help out their chosen one. Or maybe The Wyatt Family will move onto their next victim after dealing with Daniel Bryan earlier on in the show?