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Is WWE moving towards a World Championship triple threat at WrestleMania 33?

Wednesday’s Rude Awakening includes Luke Harper and Randy Orton’s latest, Emmalina’s move back to Emma, and more KO vs. Goldberg on Twitter.

We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.

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Randy Orton claimed he is the servant of Bray Wyatt, so even though Orton won the Royal Rumble and could challenge for the WWE World Championship at WrestleMania 33, he says he will not — that’s because Wyatt is currently holding that title after winning it at Elimination Chamber then successfully defending it on the following SmackDown. This was intriguing enough on its own as a reason to tune in next week, but then SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan heaped even more curiosity on top of it by making a number one contender Battle Royal for next week’s episode of the Tuesday show. There are a few directions WWE could go with this, but the one that springs to mind as the most fascinating, the one that makes this rivalry much less Orton vs. Wyatt 2.0, is to move towards a triple threat for WWE’s top title at WrestleMania.

The man to make it work that way? Luke Harper. He attacked Bray before Wyatt’s triple threat against AJ Styles and John Cena, and clearly isn’t finished serving revenge to the master who betrayed him and cast him aside. Harper and Orton have issues with each other as well — that’s where all of this came from, as Orton joined the Wyatts and then usurped the position of the Family’s second-in-command. Having Harper win the Battle Royal, then having Orton change his position and declare he wants to use his Royal Rumble privileges after all basically out of spite, could help bridge the month-and-a-half of television that exists between today and Mania 33 in April.

It’s simple: Orton and Harper don’t get along. Bray and Harper no longer get along, but they used to, and it’s easy to see a way they once more could. Weeks of mind games, singles matches, backstage brawls, promos, and all leading to a WrestleMania match where we’re pretty sure it’s basically a 2-on-1 against Harper, the lone face in this scenario. “Pretty sure” instead of absolutely sure, because it’s easy to envision a scenario where no one quite trusts Orton at his word, and everything then breaks down into an every-man-for-himself triple threat where all that matters is the WWE World Championship. It’s a much better use of Harper than anything else they might have planned for him, and given they keep putting him in situations where crowds can get behind Harper, this might just be where they’re going.

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