When WWE first announced that John Cena would take on Randy Orton in the main event of the upcoming TLC pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for Sun., Dec. 15, 2013, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, with both the WWE championship and World heavyweight championship on the line, the obvious question was asked.
Does this mean title unification?
The answer, sadly, is still unclear.
That's despite the best efforts of those in WWE, who have now gone out of their way to convince us that that's exactly what's happening. Take, for instance, Triple H's interview with Michael Cole where he outright said "the brand split is dead, so there's no longer a need for more than one champion."
Then on Monday Night Raw last night, Stephanie McMahon finally used the word "unified" in reference to the Cena vs. Orton match, a word that had previously been avoided, though perhaps not on purpose.
They even went so far as to hold a vote on the WWE App over what the champion should be called after TLC:
Finally, in its Raw results post, WWE.com said the following:
It is a guarantee that WWE TLC will end with one champion between John Cena and Randy Orton. Who that will be, however, has never been murkier following the longtime rivals' tense contract signing at the conclusion of Raw.
That seems to erase all doubt, right?
Consider the fact that Triple H also said in his interview with Michael Cole that "the goal is for their to be one champion."
Consider Cole's words at the end of the above video: "The WWE Universe has weighed in and I'm sure The Authority will take this vote under consideration."
Consider the fact that the match stipulation dictates hanging both the WWE and world titles above the ring and the winner has to grab both belts to win the match to become the undisputed champion.
Consider how open that leaves it for the dreaded SWERVE.
So while WWE may be trying its damnedest to convince us the titles will be unified at TLC, after months of screwy finishes to major matches and an awful track record with keeping its word, we simply cannot believe it.
Even if this exact scenario already happened once before some 12 years ago.