Randy Orton after learning he must face all his Elimination Chamber opponents in singles action
Randy Orton urged the chanting crowd to hush before tangling with Daniel Bryan. Bryan used his mat skills to take control early, but a headbutt from Orton turned things around.
He pulled Bryan up by the hair and gloated after knocking him to the mat.
The bearded one used a dragon screw legwhip to hurt Orton. He then zeroed in on Orton's knee, bending it backward and stomping on it as the champ groaned in pain. "The Viper" bit his way out of one submission hold, but struggled to put weight on his leg.
Bryan went back to work on the leg, Orton having to slip out of the ring in retreat mode.
"The Flying Goat" wore a predatory look as he kicked Orton's leg and cranked it back in a half Boston crab. Bryan looked assured to win, but Orton then smashed his ribs on the security barricade. The champion whispered a "Yes!" chant before slugging it out with Bryan.
Orton slammed Bryan onto his shoulder. It was then his turn to pinpoint a body part and torture it. He used the ring post and a nasty armbar to have Bryan howling in agony.
He tried to finish off his rival with a superplex, but Bryan threw him off. A missile dropkick then hurt Bryan just as much as it did Orton.
Each man struck the other's weak point. Bryan followed with the Yes! Lock, but Orton flopped his foot over the bottom rope to escape. Neither a diving headbutt from Bryan or a hanging DDT from Orton was enough to finish the match.
Kane walked down to the ring and Bryan quickly dove at him. That cleared the way for Bryan to hit his flying knee for a three-count.
Orton and Kane then attacked Bryan. Raw went off the air with the fan favorite lying on the mat.
Bryan wins via pinfall.
Memorable Moments and Quotes
Bryan dropkicks Orton's knee into the ring post.
"Randy Orton bites someone just a little bit and you guys are all over him," John "Bradshaw" Layfield to his fellow announcers.
Bryan flings Orton over the announce table, knocking into Michael Cole.
"Orton has really walked into a buzzsaw in Daniel Bryan," JBL.
Orton counters a kick into a vicious suplex.
Bryan runs into Orton's dropkick.
While a touch less compelling than their instant classic at the end of 2013, Orton and Bryan put on a stellar show. It was a wrestling showcase easy to get lost in. Orton excelled as a snarling villain and Bryan performed his usual mat wizardry.
Bryan got a big win and, as many expected, is entered back into a rivalry with The Authority now that CM Punk out of the picture. Does this lead to him winning back the title, or is he destined for a showdown with Triple H?
Even if the latter isn't what fans are demanding, it promises to be a career-defining moment for Bryan.