Before these two faced off once again, John Cena told Renee Young backstage that WWE was in the middle of a great change, and any young star wanting to rise to the top would have to go through him.
The promo lacked passion even if the words themselves were loaded with emotion. There was something uninspiring about his delivery.
Once the match started, Randy Orton tried to keep Cena down early with a brain-squeezing headlock. Cena countered with his own headlock.
Orton slipped out of the ring several times, seemingly adjusting his strategy in his head.
"The Viper" attacked Cena's leg and the back of his neck. He gloated after each offensive move and soon moved Cena to the outside where he slammed his rival into the security barricade outside the ring.
Every time Cena seemed on the verge of taking control of the match, Orton had something ready for him, be it a ring-rattling DDT or backbreaker.
Orton drove Cena's head into the mat and went on a red-faced rant directed at the fans. He was frenzied, unstable and apparently unfocused.
Cena used the moment to attempt a submission with the STF.
After escaping that move, Orton later hit the RKO, but Cena kicked out. It was then Orton's turn to kick out of the Attitude Adjustment.
Moments later, Cena hit the finishing move, and this time it was enough for the victory.
Cena wins via pinfall.
Memorable Moments and Quotes
"Tonight I close with my rivalry with Randy Orton"—Cena.
Orton dodges Cena's shoulder tackle and flashes him a knowing grin.
Orton hits his rope-hung DDT with Cena's feet on the top turnbuckle.
"They are emptying the toolbox"—John "Bradshaw" Layfield.
It's difficult to grade Cena and Orton's recent battles. For every great moment, there is a period of dullness; for every spurt of energy, there is something predictable.
The match began slowly and took too long to shift gears.
At times, Orton was brilliant as a slimy, slippery villain. Other times, he slowed the bout's pace by glaring at the crowd.
Orton and Cena's matches often feel formulaic, since they've clashed so often. They've seemingly just run out of stuff to do.
In terms of storyline, Cena's winning serves to make Orton look more vulnerable in the Elimination Chamber match and to make himself look like a major threat. Both of these elements existed in surplus beforehand, though, so little was added here.
Both men are talented and work extremely hard to entertain. They just need their rivalry to officially close. Its energy has already dissipated.