Analyzing Randy Orton's Best Possible WrestleMania Opponents
The road to WrestleMania 30 is now gathering pace, and speculation is rife as to who will be pitted against whom at the showpiece event later this year.
For the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton, there are plenty of options and alternatives available to him to ensure he has the best possible match at the event.
There are, of course, extenuating circumstances to determine how each possible match comes around. But Orton is surely set for a high-profile match at WrestleMania, given his recent run as "face of the company."
Let's take a look at the best possible Mania opponents for the current champion later this year.
We start with an option that will no doubt sit uneasily with many people—but it is an option that could happen.
Right now, there doesn't really seem to be any sort of plan for John Cena heading into WrestleMania 30—partly because he is embroiled in a battle for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship with Orton.
Could this rivalry run and run all the way to Mania? Well, it would depend on both men leaving the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view without the belt—as the champion will face the winner of the Royal Rumble at Mania.
It has been a decent-enough rivalry, though, and it does have the potential to run. For it to work, though, you would have to feel that The Authority would continue to be involved in some level.
Would the WWE dare to go back to a rivalry that is seemingly dead and buried? For what felt like the majority of the past Summer, Daniel Bryan was constantly getting overturned by Randy Orton and The Authority until WWE ceased the rivalry.
Despite that, it was a pretty exciting feud whilst it was going on. And, Bryan is surely amongst the front-runners to win the Royal Rumble and advance to the main event at WrestleMania—which could mean a rematch at the event if Orton is still the champion.
It would be far from the worst thing in the world should we see Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania.
Here's a potential match that could set the pulses racing. The first-ever unified champion in the WWE against the current unified champion?
It is a match that certainly would have star billing at WrestleMania 30. If Jericho does return at the Royal Rumble—and goes on to win it—it would be a fantastic championship match.
The only issue standing in the way of it happening is the potential for Jericho to be in the main event. Many will sit uneasily with that due to Y2J's part-time schedule with the company—and the fact that there are plenty of other guys who could rightly main event the show.
Even if Orton was to drop the belt for WrestleMania, a match with Jericho would be a good option for The Viper to take up at the event.
They could certainly make the rivalry work, that is for sure.
A few weeks ago on Raw, we witnessed a chaotic ending to the show that saw plenty of the company's top stars go at each other.
There was a spot where CM Punk and Randy Orton almost launched into a full-scale brawl—and plenty of people thought that was a teaser into the future.
Of course, if Punk wins the Royal Rumble, that could well be the case. It would also be an excellent WrestleMania match for a number of reasons.
It would satisfy many people to see Punk back in the title mix, for starters. Also, he would be going at it with the top heel in the company—who is very much an authority guy. Punk is the perfect anti-authority figure for the company to work with—meaning instant chemistry.
They are also two excellent workers in the ring. Putting it simply: A Mania match with CM Punk would make great sense, and it would be my shout.
When The Animal returns on Jan. 20, he will have his sights on the Royal Rumble—and a potential main event at WrestleMania.
Could it happen, though? You bet it could.
Many feel that Batista will be the guy that goes on to win the Rumble match—just like he did in 2005—and headline his first WrestleMania back with the company.
A match with Orton at the event has plenty of legs, too. They had a pretty impressive rivalry a few years back—including an awesome steel cage match for the WWE Championship at Extreme Rules in 2009.
There is, of course, the history between the two. Orton and Batista were both part of Evolution—just as the COO of the company Triple H was. It makes for a great conflict of interest for Triple H, as he may be torn over who the face of the company actually is.
Of all the potential feuds for Orton at WrestleMania 30, Batista is the one that could indeed be best for business.