After defeating John Cena to become the first ever WWE World Heavyweight champion at TLC, "The Viper" Randy Orton once again got the better of Cena at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view by successfully defending his title.
WrestlingZone.com breaks down how Orton had some assistance in defeating Cena:
Orton in the STF and Bray Wyatt's (theme, clip bit) hits, and here is the Wyatt Family. Cena walks into an RKO and Orton retains— WrestleZone.com (@WRESTLEZONEcom) January 27, 2014
That was the heavyweight version of a cruiserweight "spot fest". Not fluidity, just big moves and a rebellious crowd. #Wrestlezone— WrestleZone.com (@WRESTLEZONEcom) January 27, 2014
It was a hotly contested match throughout that featured the crowd breaking out into a Daniel Bryan chant.
Orton outsmarted Cena at TLC by utilizing handcuffs against the leader of the Cenation. That tactic allowed Orton to pick up the win and both the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships, but his title reign has left plenty to be desired.
Rather than making Orton look like a strong, legitimate champion, he was instead built as a whiny, arrogant and entitled one. Orton seemingly fell out of favor with The Authority due to his actions, which included attacking John Cena Sr. on the Jan. 13 edition of Raw.
That incident predictably fired Cena up, but Orton still came out on top at the Rumble. Despite the fact that Orton looked fairly weak heading into the event, the no disqualifications or countouts stipulation made him the clear favorite.
Most probably figure that Orton retaining the title essentially guarantees him a spot in the WrestleMania XXX main event, but that isn't necessarily the case. The Elimination Chamber pay-per-view takes place prior to 'Mania, so any number of different competitors could potentially hold the title entering the show of shows.
Was having Orton retain the title the right decision?
In terms of the one-on-one feud between Cena and Orton, this likely marks the end of it. The likes of Brock Lesnar, Batista and others figure to involve themselves in the title scene since they have already announced their intentions to do so, and there will be a number of Superstars chasing Orton's WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Despite the fact that Cena is on a rare two-match losing streak on pay-per-view, it's unlikely that the WWE Universe was particularly captivated. The creative team did everything that it could to drum up interest in the Cena vs. Orton feud; however, it was extremely difficult to care after their TLC match fell well short of expectations.
Orton was even booked to lose to Kofi Kingston on Raw in order to make him look vulnerable, but it made him look weak instead. Orton entered the Royal Rumble with absolutely no momentum on his side after running away from Cena on Raw, and he still doesn't have much despite a second consecutive win over the face of WWE.
Both Cena and Orton figure to be in the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but it remains to be seen where they will go from there. WWE has done an excellent job of keeping the fans guessing in terms of potential WrestleMania feuds, and it stands to reason that both Cena and Orton have several different possible opponents.
The WWE World Heavyweight Championship scene has unquestionably been stale, but with so many stars looking to enter the fray, that issue now figures to be a thing of the past. It took a less-than-inspiring program between Cena and Orton to get there, but the main focus of the company is now the world title.
That has been an issue in recent years with the title taking a backseat at certain points, but it is abundantly clear that the WWE World Heavyweight Championship will take precedence above all else moving forward.
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